Mount Isa Rodeo Hall of Fame is now officially open

It was the start of a new venture for Mount Isa Rodeo and announcement of the end of an era too on Thursday.

As Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo president Darren Campi announced the long-heralded opening of the Isa Rodeo Hall of Fame at Outback at Isa and the first 12 names inducted into the Hall of Fame, he also announced this would be the last year it would be called the Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo.

“This will be the last rodeo bearing the Rotary name, as of 2019 it will be known as the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo” Mr Campi said.

“The major difference will be the change of name but the not-for-profit commitment will continue with the event committed to fundraising for local community organisations.”

Glencore have now signed a deal to extend naming rights for five years and it will be the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo until 2023.

Mr Campi acknowledged the federal government funding for the new Hall of Fame, as well the event’s longtime naming rights sponsor, Mount Isa Mines and Rotary for funding the project and Mount Isa City Council for providing a permanent location for the hall of fame at Outback at Isa. 

“A Hall of Fame is the perfect legacy as our amazing event reaches its 60th rodeo milestone,” he said. “It will celebrate the founders, as well as legendary competitors and stock who have competed in our initial venue, Kalkadoon Park and current venue, Buchanan Park.

The federal government invested $130,000 in the Hall and Senator Ian Macdonald helped Mr Campi open the facility.

Senator Macdonald said the gallery was free for locals and would provide the town with economic benefits.

“The gallery will become an integral part of the school curriculum and will be a drawcard for tourists, boosting Mount Isa’s profile and economy,” Senator Macdonald said.

Mr Campi announced the inaugural inductees to the Legends of Isa Rodeo Wall of Fame were:

- Innovative arena director Don Cummings;

- Carandotta coordinator and long-serving Rotarian Barry Harkin;

- Rodeo champion and judge the late Wally Mailman;

- The Ah One Family who drove the bucking stock in from Carandotta Station;

- The inaugural and longest serving Isa Rodeo Committee Chairman Bill Weigh;

- The founder of Rotary in Mount Isa, the late Sir James Foots;

- The Isa Rodeo’s initial stock controller Jim Hovi

- Designer, builder and driver of the “Smokey” train Peter Kretschmann;

- Inaugural Isa Rodeo All Around Cowboy Champion Vic Gough;

- Rodeo champion and judge Bonny Young;

- The inaugural Secretary of the Australian Rough Rider’s Association, Peter Poole; 

- Australia’s first female boss drover the late Edna Jessop.

On the night the Rodeo also donated $20,000 to the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the North West Hospital and Health Board.