The 3 days and 3 nights of action attributed to the 2015 Ernest Henry Mining Curry Merry Muster Festival have come to an end with barely a minute in the schedule going by without some form of fast paced action or entertainment.
Kicking off on the evening of Thursday July 30, over 20 hand decorated floats from local businesses, community groups and schools took over the Cloncurry CBD in a colourful street parade highlighting a Light Horse Regiment theme in honour of the Anzac Centenary.
Barely enough time to rest your head later the Cloncurry Community Precinct then played host to the Bush Poets Breakfast which saw seasoned poet and balladeer Brenda Joy entertain a packed house and encourage local and visiting poets to showcase their talents.
Closely followed by a Teddy Bears Picnic in the park, young children were invited to play with sand art, decorate cookies and enjoy a range of games and dancing before the crowds then flocked to the Cloncurry Equestrian Centre for the all new junior rodeo.
Commencing at midday at the purpose built Cloncurry Equestrian Centre in excess of 1,400 people made their way through the gates to see the up and comping superstars of Australian Rodeo show off their skills. Including over 95 entrants and comprising of 6 events ranging from Junior Calf Roping to Junior Steer Ride; young Cameron Southern proved to be one to watch with an outstanding 8 second effort in the Junior Bull Ride.
Directly tailed by all the action of the Pro Rodeo from 6pm the crowds were kept entertained late into the evening with sections of the open bull ride, team roping, ladies breakaway; through to the saddle bronc riding all being staged.
With a 10am start on Saturday morning there was no time to sleep in with the rodeo action continuing, starting with the “Pretty Ladies with the Super-Fast Horses” as so delicately put by crowd favourite and highly entertaining Rodeo Announcer Aaron Ryan. Also known as the Ladies Barrel Race Jo Caldwell took out the win with a blistering time of 17.46 seconds setting the pace for a huge day to follow.
With over 4,500 visitors (at the time of publishing) making their way through the gates the adrenalin was kept pumping late into the night, climaxing with the final of the Open Bull Ride taken out with a heart stopping ride by Bowen cowboy Ben Gooding who stayed on Gill Brothers Rodeo bull ‘Splinter’ for the necessary 8 seconds and a ride scoring 85 points.
Wrapping up on Sunday morning with the Cloncurry Team Roping Association showing off their skills a very weary Committee President Jeremy Grimm deemed Cloncurry’s largest annual event and Australia’s highest single payout professional rodeo “another huge success”.
“The whole event went exceptionally well and we’d like to give a shout out to all of the competitors, locals and visitors who supported us over the weekend along with our dedicated sponsors, committee and team of volunteers who together make the event a possibility”.
An event that highlights true outback spirit and adventure the Curry Merry Muster Festival is truly an event that is growing for the future.
Other winners from the professional rodeo included-
- Ladies Breakaway Roping- Kelly Westlake (2.5 seconds)
- Junior Team Roping- Jordan Iker (5.95 seconds)
- 2nd Division Bronc Ride- Jake Malay-Murphy (71 points)
- Junior Breakaway- Darcy Harrison-Douglas (2.95 seconds)
- Junior Steer Ride- Cameron Southern (61 points)
- Junior Barrel Race- Ellie Gard (16.993 seconds)
- 2nd Division Bull Ride- Cameron Southern (74 points)
- 2nd Division Bareback- Tim Richardson (71 points)
- Rope & Tie- Mark Knox (10.45 seconds)
- Open Saddle Bronc- Rhyse Angland (80 points)
- Team Roping- Clancy Middleton Jnr and Aaron Bookluck (5.15 seconds)
- Open Bareback- Jack Kidd (79 points)
- Steer Wrestling- Jamie Reynolds (3.55 seconds)
- Ken Coleman Shootout- Michael Maher (83 points)