NOMINATIONS are full, the bucking bulls and broncs are locked in and Weipa is geared up for one of the biggest events on the Cape, the annual Weipa Rodeo.
To be held on August 18 and 19 at the Andoom Oval showgrounds, this year’s rodeo will include junior and open barrel races and the saddle bronc, as well as all the usual bullriding action.
Weipa Rodeo Association vice-president Reuben Slingo said the bushman’s buckjump had been popular in recent years and that the addition of more horse events was a no-brainer.
“It brings a little bit more diversity to the events, something that everyone enjoys and also for people travelling up and following the rodeo competition, it makes it more worthwhile for them,” he said.
The Cape of Origin concept will again pit north, central and southern Cape teams against each other in the rodeo.
“We’ve got our captains set, they are professional bullriders who will mentor the whole weekend, out the back on the chutes offering tips and techniques on how to set up and how to get off safely,” Mr Slingo said.
“They also run our rodeo school, a full day for nominated riders on the Thursday before the rodeo that gives a lot of value to the youngsters looking to jump on their first beast and also to the older kids and adults.
“It gives everyone a chance to set themselves up and get some practice and some of the older ones we’ll actually buck them out on stock as well.”
Mr Slingo said between the experienced team of Brayden Wellby, Anthony Ryan and Donovan Rutherfurd leading the Cape of Origin teams, and protection athletes Joel Fabiani, Liam Wellby and Leith Malone, competitors were in good hands.
“They’re all very experienced and will talk everyone through what they have to do,” he said.
“They’re built tough and go through a lot to make sure everyone is safe and hits the ground and gets out as safe as possible.”
A new addition to this year’s rodeo is the mini bulls, a category which will replace the junior steers and add a bit more excitement for the crowd and a better experience for the riders.
“We’ll still have poddy calves for the little tackers, but for the juniors they’re going to be professional stock, more technical and more controlled,” Mr Slingo said.
“They’re an intact bull, just small and they are safer for the young ones and great training for them leading into the novice bull ride as well.”
There will also be a host of food stalls, brand new merchandise at the rodeo stall, jumping castles for the kids and a mechanical bull for those not quite ready to jump on the real thing.
Visit www.weiparodeo.com or follow Weipa Rodeo on Facebook for more information.