The Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo is upping the entertainment at its 60th rodeo with an International Challenge featuring an American rodeo team taking on our Aussie champions.
The Isa Rodeo’s long-term naming rights sponsor, Mount Isa Mines is flying in a team of cowboys and cowgirls who will compete in each of the eight rodeo events – bull riding, saddlebronc, bareback, ladies barrel race, team roping, rope and tie, steer wrestling and breakaway roping.
Isa Rodeo General Manager Ms Natalie Flecker said the Mount Isa Mines International Challenge – Isa Rodeo Champions vs North American Champions would be a highlight of the final day of rodeo competition on Sunday, August 12.
“The Australian champions of each event will compete against their equivalent American champion,” Ms Flecker said.
“It will be an absolutely spectacular way to finish our 60th rodeo arena competition before we hold our 60th RODEO ROCK concert in the arena on Sunday night.”
General Manager Health, Safety, Environment & Community for Glencore’s North Queensland operations, Maryann Wipaki said MIM was proud to support the International Challenge.
“To mark the 60th anniversary of the Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo we’ve invested $60,000 to bring the International Rodeo Team made up of USA’s top cowboys and cowgirls to take on the best of our Australian competitors,” Ms Wipaki said.
“We’re confident that Mount Isa and our Aussie team will give the North Americans a true taste of the best rodeo action Australia has to offer, which will see them return for future rodeos.”
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The American team comprises team roper Layne Carson (header), bareback rider Chase Erickson, bull rider Coleman Entze, saddlebronc rider Benjamin Londo, breakaway roper Addie Marie Ewing, barrel racer Kristy Lee Cook, steer wrestler Scott Kleemann and team roper Jason Ray Vohs. Popular American rodeo comedy clown, Cliff “Hollywood” Harris will also return for this year’s rodeo.
Ms Flecker said the team would be accompanied by an American film crew from RFD-TV who would capture the team’s experiences in the Queensland Outback and Great Barrier Reef with support from Tourism and Events Queensland.
“RFD-TV is the leading regional American network and the crew will be filming for the Cowboy Channel which will reach up to 30 million US households in a targeted manner, as we know they are interested in rodeo,” she said.
Ms Flecker said it would be a spectacular finale to the 60th rodeo when the US team takes on the Isa’s champions. “Many of the US team are familiar names on the American rodeo circuit,” she said. Barrel racer Kristy Lee Cook is also a country music and television star, who first gained fame as a Top 10 finalist on Season 7 of American Idol.
North Dakota-based 24-year old bull rider Coleman Entze rides professionally in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). He has qualified for the Badlands circuit finals multiple times and is a seven time qualifier in the North Dakota Rodeo Association. He recently competed at the Days of 47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Coleman rode in the US PBR in 2014 and 2015 and qualified for the 2017 PRCA circuit finals.
“I am so excited to come to the Mount Isa Rodeo,” said Coleman. “One reason is I have never been to Australia and I get to go there and do what I love to do which is ride bulls so it’s a win win. I can’t wait to ride for Team USA and see all the amazing things that come along with going to Australia. I am so excited to meet all of you, it can’t come soon enough.“
Bareback rider Chase Erickson showed early promise as a three time qualifier for the College National Finals Rodeo and National High School Finals Rodeo, before going on to win dozens of rodeo championships, including winning the 2011 All American ProRodeo Finals in Waco, Texas and finishing 22th in the world standings in 2013.
Ms Flecker said the International Challenge was part of a strategy to target the American market for the event.
The Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo Diamond Jubilee 60 th Anniversary Rodeo will be held from 9 to 12 August.