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Warwick Rodeo snags 'biggest' title

Australia’s biggest and most famous rodeo and campdrafting events kick off on Monday.
Australia’s biggest and most famous rodeo and campdrafting events kick off on Monday. Craig Mccarthy

WE'RE bigger than Isa.

That's right - we're bigger than the rodeo dubbed "Australia's biggest rodeo in the Southern Hemisphere".

That makes our rodeo the biggest and most famous rodeo in Australia.

How much bigger? Over 30,000 people attend our rodeo each year.

We've got the largest combined payout of campdraft and rodeo prize money with a whopping total of $500,000.

And this year we've got over 100 more entries than Isa.

Australian Professional Rodeo Association general manager Steve Hilton said there had always been a healthy rivalry between the Mt Isa and Warwick rodeos.

"People travel to Mt Isa because there is higher prize money, but for most people coming to Warwick has become a tradition because it's been running for so long," he said.

"Warwick is also a lot more accessible than Isa."

"Numbers at both events have always been within close proximity."

The best of the best in campdrafting and rodeo are already starting to flock to town getting ready for the week of action ahead.

"As far as stock goes for events, we have the best," Mr Hilton said.

"People are travelling from everywhere to be here, even overseas.

"Because there is such good quality stock it makes the event harder to win and success all the sweeter."

While the prize money at Warwick has been increasing each year, Mr Hilton said the rodeo relied on sponsors to get more money into the event.

"The more money there is to be won, the more people will flock to Warwick," he said.

"Warwick is the only place that really turns the rodeo into a festival.

"It's great to see the parade and things like the mardi gras, which are definitely a major drawcard for people."

If nominations for rodeo events continue to grow over the next few years, Mr Hilton said organisers may have to look at spreading them out over four days.

"It's quite stretched over the three days at the moment," he said.

Former Warwick Rodeo committee chairman John Skinner said Warwick was the most famous rodeo because of its reputation.

"It wasn't the first rodeo, but we have tradition and reputation for quality and outstanding bucking stock," he said. "And then there is the Warwick Gold Cup.

"No one single event in horse sports draws the riders like that one."

So, if you're just pulling into town this weekend ready for the week's events, welcome to the Rose and Rodeo City - home of the biggest and most famous rodeo in Australia.

Topics:  australian professional rodeo association warwick rodeo


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