WHAT a weekend! That's how you do rodeo!
Buckles, belts, bulls and broncs took over Longreach in Outback Queensland for the first ever Road to Rodeo at the weekend with a rollcall of new champions named and the event firmly established on the calendar for 2023 and beyond.
Almost 3000 people attended the inaugural two-day event, making it a standout success, while in the arena some of the best riders in the country competed for titles across the full rodeo program, including bull riding, bronc riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing, breakaway roping, team roping and rope and tie.
Rodeo Rock on Saturday night starred The Wolfe Brothers, James Johnston, Luke Geiger and Bareback, Bella Mackenzie and Dee Jay Bux as well as locals Corinne Ballard and John Hawkes. Famed pitmasters The Shank Brothers low and slowed their way through the weekend showcasing Droughtmaster beef and the crowd loved every minute.
Talented young Injune cowboy Darcy Radel walked away with two saddle bronc ride titles, taking the PIRTEK 2nd division title and the Longreach Regional Council open saddle bronc title.
Local Barcaldine boy Jackson Gray took out the bull riding title and flew in to Longreach from Mackay especially for the event. In a nail-biter of a final, he beat cowboys Donovan Rutherfurd and Brumby Brandenburg to take the title. Reigning Mount Isa Mines Rodeo open bareback bronc rider Fred Osman took the Longreach title in his signature event.
In a wonderful moment in Australia rodeo history, Longreach welcomed legend Bob Holder - officially the world's oldest competitive cowboy - as well as nine-year-old mini-bull rider Byron Kirk from Mt Isa. Bob's daughter, Kerrie Holder, took out the ladies barrel race, adding to her bulging mantlepiece of awards, including being the current Australian champion and the reigning Mount Isa Mines Rodeo champion. Acclaimed rodeo announcer Aaron Ryan's wife, Jane Ryan, the current Australian Breakaway roping champion also won her signature event.
Road to Rodeo - An Isa Rodeo Experience brought a taste of the legendary Mount Isa Mines Rodeo experience to Longreach, featuring the signature ingredients of this iconic event. The series aims to create four new annual rodeo events across Queensland by 2024, representing a long-term economic injection to the state of over $4 million. This outback festival is perfectly at home in Longreach, home to stockmen, shearers, sunsets and big blue skies.
Open Saddle Bronc
Open Bull Ride
Open Bareback Bronc Ride
Rope & Tie
Ladies Barrel Race
2nd Division Saddle Bronc
Junior Barrel Race
Junior Breakaway Roping
Junior Team Roping
Junior Bull Ride
Mini Bull Ride 8-10 Years
Mini Bull Ride 11-14 Years
Over 40s Bull Ride
Novice Barrel Race
Op Shop Barrel Race
NEXT STOP: Mount Isa Mines Rodeo
The Mount Isa Mines Rodeo is the largest in the southern hemisphere and will be held Thursday August 11 to Sunday August 14.
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