Ticket-holders for this Sunday's Roma Pro Rodeo are set for a show with the 2021 Australian Professional Rodeo Association bareback bucking bronc of the year, Classic Cowboy, heading north for the Easter weekend.
Classic Cowboy is one of three animals,bred and owned by the Gill Bros Rodeo family, to scoop the 2021 bucking stock awards, with the Saddle Bronc going to Wrangler Moves Like Jagger and the Bull Ride to Kickstart.
"For our work, our breeding program, to be recognised and for us to win all three is fantastic," Eddie Gill said.
"But for us to have bred all three here at home, it's a huge thing.
"We've bred for the love of bucking stock, for the love of what we do, but we've bred because we wanted to secure the future of the bucking horse here in Australia for the future of rodeo."
The Gill family have been breeding their bucking stock for 30-odd years,alongside their commitment to continuing to improve their showmanship and the quality of the entertainment they provide.
"Rodeo is what we've always done. The Gills travelled to towns across Australia with champion bucking stock - because champion stock are all part of the entertainment," Eddie said.
"Giving everyday Australians access to the best in the sport is what we do; it's what we've always done.
"Rodeo in its early days was more entertainment and a show, but it has evolved into a professional sport - you can see the money and interested generated in it across the globe now.
"The best thing about rodeo right now, today, is that it's advancing. The growth of the sport is massive.
"Competitors are coming because they're getting what they need from the sport, from the APRA. They're enjoying it and together we're putting on an adrenaline-packed show."
Rodeo runs in the blood for the Gill family. Since the late 1800s, the family have been touring Australia staging their own Wild West shows.
"When the family would travel with the Wild West show, we'd travel with about 14 horses,five bulls, ponies, mules, donkeys, monkeys, you name it," Eddie said.
Let's compare that to present day, with the Gill Bros Rodeo operation preparing for the coming days where they'll move 150 horses plus 70 to 80 bulls across two states, they'll hire 100 personnel and they'll be working with three of the biggest events in these two states for the Easter weekend.
Next stop for the best bucking stock in Queensland will be Nebo Rodeo in May. And if you happen to be in NSW this week, you can catch bucking bull of the year, KickStart, at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
Head to https://www.prorodeo.com.au for the 2022 rodeo calendar.
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