Nebo Rodeo has been bringing all the thrills and spills of the sport to the small town in Queensland's Isaac region since the 1950s, and for the past 70 years the small but dedicated committee has worked tirelessly to put on the best show possible.
But with several factors, from COVID-19 to event-calendar positioning creating "forced opportunities", the current committee is now focused on one thing.
"We're going to take our rodeo and turn it into the rodeo everyone wants to go to," committee chairman Jarrod Deguara said.
"Now's the time to invest in our event, whatever we do moving forward we're going to make it worthwhile doing."
With an unwavering approach to delivering a rodeo that doesn't have to be the biggest, or the best, but a rodeo that is something the wider community can be proud of, Nebo began a growth and development journey nearly a decade ago that would see them reach record prizemoney for this year's event.
With $14,000 up for grabs in the team roping, $10,000 in the bull ride, $7000 in the ladies barrel race, $7000 in the broncs and $7000 in all remaining open events, it's a big jump from 15-odd years ago when the committee was writing cheques to the winners for $800.
"When we began affiliating with the APRA, we made the decision to work with Gill Bros Rodeo to bring the broncs to compliment the line-up of bulls by Brandenburg Bucking Stock," Jarrod said.
"We weren't worried about the cost, we knew the proof would be in the pudding - and that year, Dave Worsfold had a 90 point ride, we all sat back knowing we'd done the right thing and we haven't looked back."
So, in 2022 the committee is bringing the best stock from Gill Bros, McPhee Rodeo and Brandenburgs to attract the best cowboys and give the 5000 ticket holders a regional rodeo experience like never before.
Behind all the arena action on the night, there's a strong network of committee members, volunteers and stakeholders, that work uniquely to their strengths to underpin and seamlessly run this large-scale event.
"We have a really diverse team of volunteers, who are tasked with roles suited to their strengths and capabilities and that guarantees their engagement and their effort," Jarrod said.
The Nebo committee offer every volunteer a paid-shift during the event, this money then goes to their chosen local group or charity, the volunteer is provided free entry to the event so outside of their shift they're there to enjoy the event.
"It's a win for everybody, we have an exceptional volunteer base and it involves the wider region and we feel it's far better to provide payment than offering handouts," Jarrod said.
And with over 50 volunteers financially contributing to over a dozen local and regional groups, it's obviously working.
"Community engagement and involvement is crucial to a successful event and we have a small line-up of beneficiaries annually, including the Nebo RSL, the rescue chopper and the local ambulance - we find a good cause and we get behind it," Jarrod said.
The committee's generosity and willingness to donate available profits, whilst ensuring the viability of their event - and the future security of the sport of rodeo within the community - is without doubt the secret to success.
Further creative approaches extend to how they promote the event. They have dropped the event's television and radio marketing campaign and transferred the money to fund a dedicated digital marketing specialist to maximise all Facebook activity - of which has generated 1500 ticket sales in the three days since going live.
"I believe that 90 per cent of regional event committees are run by volunteers, on shoe-string budgets, they're sometimes forced to cut corners and take risks, we're not prepared to do that," Jarrod said.
"Nebo Rodeo is run like a business and if it doesn't pay then we won't do it."
Experience Nebo Rodeo for yourself, visit https://isaactickets.com.au/event/13673
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