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Warwick visitors just love the rodeo centre

Celebrating a big display for the Volvo car club are (back from left) Warwick Rodeo Queen Ashleigh Grant, Volvo Car Club Australian President Rob Eldridge, Dion Doro, Arne Thornberry, Warwick Rodeo Princess Brittany Keog (front) Kyle Hamilton, Tyler Aspinall and Jack Hayes.
Celebrating a big display for the Volvo car club are (back from left) Warwick Rodeo Queen Ashleigh Grant, Volvo Car Club Australian President Rob Eldridge, Dion Doro, Arne Thornberry, Warwick Rodeo Princess Brittany Keog (front) Kyle Hamilton, Tyler Aspinall and Jack Hayes. Contributed

IF THERE is one thing Warwick is known for, it's rodeo.

Between the amazing annual rodeo action and the Australian Rodeo Heritage Centre, it's the place to be for rodeo action.

For Australian Professional Rodeo Association office manager Karen Burraston, part of the fun is all the new people she gets to introduce to the action-packed sport.

Mrs Burraston works out of the heritage centre and regularly gets to show a huge range of groups what rodeo is all about.

Most recently, she took delivery of 90 car club members for a spot of Friday night fun.

"The 2017 Volvo National Rally was in town on the weekend," she said.

"They contacted us about 18 months ago looking for something to do on the Friday night, so we put on nibbles and did a tour of the centre, then went up to the back arena so they could see demonstrations by the High School Rodeo team."

She said the centre offered a range of rodeo demonstrations, though some were held at other locations due to a lack of space.

The High School Rodeo Team was only happy to provide the entertainment as part of their efforts to learn all they could about the art of bull riding, roping, breakaway and all the different disciplines within rodeo.

Mrs Burraston said it was an exciting program started by a teacher at Warwick High School who saw plenty of potential in rodeo as a sport.

Soon enough the program was opened up to all schools in the district and paved the way for similar programs in other cities.

She said it was an extra-curricular subject for junior high schoolers, but counted as a full subject for seniors, who also learned about the art of marketing, event promotion and other useful skills in the rodeo industry.

Mrs Burraston said the kids were well used to putting on a show thanks to the popularity of centre tours.

"We had 90-odd people here on Friday night and tomorrow the Alvis Car Club is coming," she said.

"That's what keeps us going. Our office is inside the museum so it's the tours that keep us going.

"The Volvo club was very, very happy and the majority had never been to a rodeo before.

"We had our Warwick Rodeo Queen here and she invited them all back to the national finals later this year and one of our competitors came to speak about different things."

She said the group was comprised of people from all over Australia, making it the perfect advertisement for them to come back and spend their tourist dollars at other times in the year.

"We would've had a couple of hundred extra people in accommodation and out buying meals," Mrs Burraston said.

Topics:  apra australian professional rodeo association australian rodeo heritage centre warwick


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