Rodeo Queen Moz Miller with Miss Rodeo Australia Emma Deicke.
Rodeo Queen Moz Miller with Miss Rodeo Australia Emma Deicke.

The gates have closed on the 59th annual Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo, the biggest rodeo in the Southern Hemisphere, with record crowds attending over the three days. 

I took a lot of photos over the three days and they came from every part of every state and territory.

Visiting Mount Isa for the event, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the iconic rodeo had grown to become the world’s third largest competition and was a major event on Queensland’s tourism calendar.

“Last year, the Mount Isa Rodeo attracted more than 32,000 people, injected more than $9 million into the local economy and was elevated to major event status by Tourism and Events Queensland,” she said.

“There is no doubt the Mount Isa Rodeo has helped put the city well and truly on the tourist trail, and I congratulate all of the organisers and sponsors for their ongoing support and commitment to making it a major, multi-award winning event.”

Like Premier most people there believe the Mount Isa event is the best rodeo in the world-year after year, this great outback event has gone from strength to strength, which is great news for North West Queensland.

Even the US consul-general for New South Wales and Queensland had to admit it was as good as the famous Pendleton Round-up in her native state of Oregon.

The Isa Rodeo was nationally recognised when it won the 2016 Australian Tourism Award for Best Festival and Event, and you could see why as this superb event in a superb venue went off without a hitch.

The competition was fierce with the best cowboys and cowgirls in Australia attending and the stage entertainment was also first class with the likes of O’Shea and Busby Marou being crowdpleasers that kept the venue rocking late into the night.

My congratulations to the Rodeo committee and hard working rodeo manager Natalie Flecker for their great work in putting this together.

It’s hard to put a monetary value on what this means to the city but it would be well into the millions with all the extra spending money in town.

The prestige value is harder to measure still but just as important in getting the word out – Derek Barry