THE dust hung in the air beneath a perfect blue sky at Widgee yesterday as day three of the annual Widgee Bushman's Carnival unfolded to the background strains of country music and a sea of Wrangler shirts, big hats and bigger belt buckles.
Genuine cowboys and cowgirls from throughout south-east Queensland and beyond were there to contest the annual Widgee Rodeo, which forms part of the National Rodeo Association calendar of events.
The rodeo was followed two days of campdraft, where riders vied for thousands of dollars in prizes, and was held simultaneously with the Widgee Pony Club novelty competition yesterday, where 60 young riders competed for honours.
Some of Queensland's most talented emerging and experienced riders were at the campdraft and the rodeo, including Traveston sisters Olivia and Sharni Webb, who made this year's National High School Rodeo team.
Two hundred and fifty horses competed in the Maiden campdraft on Saturday, and another 250 in the Novice draft. Dan Richards from Kilcoy took out the Maiden draft, and Steve Idle from Lower Wonga the Novice draft.
The Ladies campdraft on Sunday was won by Kay Radke from the Burnett region, and the Juvenile draft by Peta Barkle from Kilkivan.
The Darren Falconer Memorial Junior draft was won by Riley Rockemer from Teebar.
Kilkivan rider Max Lucht won the Open draft.
They've got something special going on at the Widgee Showgrounds.
The place is completely run by volunteers and is a hub of activity and energy that is utilised by and benefits many people in the relatively small community.
Widgee District Hall and Recreation Association treasurer Joan Falconer was busy behind the scenes yesterday, and said numerous Widgee community groups would make good money from the weekend and the hundreds of competitors and visitors who descended on the township.
Widgee Show Society president Barry Dyer said the event had been another great success.
"The weather has been fantastic," he said.
"If we had ordered it I don't think we could have ordered much better weather."