THE cream of Australia’s bullriding talent will showcase their skills at the Muswellbrook Charity Rodeo this weekend, according to president Brad Singleton.
More than 400 entries have nominated for the ABCRA-affiliated two-day event, which takes place at the Muswellbrook Showground.
And, Singleton is thrilled with the response.
“It’s on par with previous years,” he said.
“We’ll have a good roll-up of past and current Australian champions, junior and open competitors, as this is one of the last qualifiers for the national finals at Tamworth.
“There’s a good local line-up, too, highlighted by Scone star Heath Nichols and the Parkinson family.
“Plus, we’re offering $20,000 in prizemoney.”
Since 1990, the Muswellbrook Charity Rodeo has given away more than $60,000 to not-for-profit organisations.
This year, Where There’s A Will is the major beneficiary.
“They do such a great job in the Upper Hunter,” Singleton said.
“We were going to look after them in 2016, however rain affected the event, so they missed out.
“A lot of time and effort goes into it [the planning].
“We’re a small, strong band of volunteers but we pride ourselves on our rodeo.
“In fact, we were voted the Rodeo Committee of the Year in 2015.
“We run two events [a year].
“One is for charity [like this weekend], while the other is held in conjunction with the Upper Hunter Show.
“The venue boasts a perfect sand arena and terrific spectator viewing.”
The rodeo starts from noon on Saturday, with the main program scheduled to begin at 6pm in a variety of disciplines – including steer wrestling, saddle bronc, bareback, rope and tie, barrel race, bull and steer rides and breakaway roping to name just a few.
Sunday’s action features a jackpot round.
“It’s the first time we’ve hosted that in more than a decade,” Mr Singleton said.
“It encourages competitors to stay [in town] overnight and enjoy our upgraded facilities.
“Our thanks go to our many sponsors.
“Without them, events like this can’t go ahead.”
Bar and canteen facilities are available over the two days, while music will entertain the crowd after Saturday’s finale.