Rodeo a buckin’ bewdy
IT WAS huge ... and Bull and Bronc Rodeo organisers agree, it was the best yet.
The 25th anniversary of the rodeo, held on Saturday night at the Gympie Showgrounds, drew a massive crowd, with people coming from mid New South Wales to Rockhampton, Brisbane to inland, as well as a huge crowd from Gympie and districts.
Chief steward and show president Joe Mooney Jnr said it was "a massive night", with 14 riders in the over 40s open bull ride division and four of those now able to go forward into the world titles senior pro division, being held in Las Vegas at the end of the year.
"The bull ride was won by Troy Wilkinson, the Pro Bull Riding champion and Dave Mawhinney, last year's world title holder won the saddle bronc and was second in the over 40s bull ride.
"Dave is also the world senior pro all round bull riding champion and world steer wrestling champion, so we had a three-times over world record holder at the rodeo," Mr Mooney said.
"He lives at Tansy, so he is putting this region on the world rodeo map," he said.
Another feather in the Gympie rodeo hat was the fact it has now been put on the world title circuit - zone 4 - joining other countries such as the US, Canada, Brazil and Mexico.
The night was a huge success for everyone involved. However, it was forced to begin a little later than the advertised start for two reasons, Mr Mooney said.
"Firstly, the sun was setting and shining directly into the chutes and secondly, people were still streaming in through the gates, so we postponed the start to allow them to find a seat.
"And by then, the sun had gone, so it was all good, with people enjoying three and a half hours of pure entertainment," he said.
The big screen was set up too, which meant people could keep track of what was happening in the chutes.
"It really made the show."
One of the aspects he is most proud of was the night was totally injury free.
"And as well as our usual show vendors, we had extra food vendors, and it all worked well."
Gympie Show secretary Donna Dodson is just as "blown away".
"Dare I say, it was perfect," Mrs Dodson said.
"Not only were there a lot of locals, but a huge number of people from Brisbane and further afield too."It was a very successful evening and we doubled what we made at last year's event."
Final crowd figures have not yet been tallied, but estimates put the crowd at about 6000, possibly more.
Aside from the rodeo, a highlight was the entertainment in the mosh pit after the rodeo wound down.
"Brigginshaw were brilliant. They kept the crowd going until 1am," Mrs Dodson said.
"And with everything sourced locally, apart from the entertainment, the whole event was a huge boost to Gympie's economy."