October 10, 2016
A crowd of more than 500 packed into the rear of the Cooyar Hotel on Saturday, October 1, for a fun night of rodeo action.
The event was run by Xtreme Rodeo Productions, a joint venture between Hank, Tim and Jack McArthur from Cooyar and Brian and Kerri King and Kandiece and Justin Hine from Mundubbera.
The crowd had come to see Xtreme Rodeo’s two lead acts: Buffalo Bill, a bucking horse that won the NRA Bucking Horse of the Year in 2013, 2014 and 2015; and Game On, a formidable bucking bull that won the Champion Bull of the Silver Spurs Series in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and could boast 100 unridden trips.
There were $500 cash prizes on offer to anyone who could manage to ride either one, and this excited a lot of interest amongst competitors.
In between, spectators could watch 100 aspiring rodeo riders test their mettle on a wide assortment of other bulls and horses; chow down at food stalls selling everything from pizzas to baked potatoes; or just take in the action from the ringside spectator stands.
The rodeo was a first for Cooyar Hotel publican Karyn Williamson, who decided the October long weekend would be a good time to trial the event.
The nearby Cooyar Showgrounds was hosting the annual two-day Cooyar Campdraft; the Maidenwell Hotel was running its three-day Maidenwell Folk Gathering just 25km away; and the South Burnett & Cherbourg On Show Festival was promoting visits to the region.
As things turned out, she was right.
The rodeo didn’t interfere with the gate at any of the other nearby events but it offered visitors at all of them an alternative night of entertainment if they wanted one.
People travelled from all over the South Burnett, Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Bundaberg and the Darling Downs to Cooyar to see the action.
The rodeo kicked off about 5:30pm and ran until 8:30pm.
No one managed to ride Game On, but some riders acquitted themselves well and others had bruises next day to show they’d tried hard.
After the rodeo wound down, popular South Burnett band Mr Q kept the party atmosphere rolling until past midnight, playing on the back of a truck parked in the hotel grounds.
Karyn said she was very pleased with the positive feedback she’d had about the rodeo, and now hopes to make it an annual event.
[Photos: southburnett.com.au and East Coast Images Sunshine Coast]