Isa Rodeo Arena boss Steve Hilton is predicting bull riding will be the stand out event of the Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo.
“We’ve had the highest number of nominations in the Open Bull Ride that I’ve seen in more than a decade with top riders like previous Isa champion Jared Borghero, as well as the current Australian champion Darcy McBean chasing the prize money and prestigious Isa Rodeo buckle,” Mr Hilton said.
Every single current Australian rodeo champion was heading to Isa, except for the current Rope and Tie champion Mark Knox.
Some of the competitors to look out for include current Australian Bareback Bronc Riding Champion Dave Worsfold, who recently broke the long-standing Australian record and national legends like Shane Kenny and Shane Iker.
Around 620 individual entries had been received, which was on par with last year.
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“We’ve also got a couple of new novelty events – the Super Hero Bronc Ride and Op Shop Barrel Race which are based on events popular overseas, so the Friday night crowd will see a new-style opening,” he said.
The top field of Open Bull Ride cowboys will be up against up to one tonne of bovine muscle from the fearsome stock trucked in by the Isa Rodeo’s stock contractors, Darren and Dakota Brandenburg. Dakota has just been named the first Professional Bull Riding (PBR) Australia Stock Contractor of the Year 2017.
They know, come rodeo, all eyes will be on their bucking bulls with names like Take the Gamble, Tuff Territory and the deceptively named Blossom.
“This will be Tuff Territory’s first time at Isa,” Darren said. “Like Take the Gamble, he is a Banteng which is an Indonesian-bred bull. He’s a really good upcoming bull, with lots of power, lots of kick and a big set of horns.
“Take the Gamble is going into his fourth year at Isa, and last year the then PBR Australian Bull Riding champion Cody Heffernan got body slammed off him.”
Rodeo-goers will also see the country’s best bucking broncs in action from the renowned Garry McPhee stable.