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Kyabram Rodeo set to thrill

Kyabram's 69th annual rodeo takes place this Friday.

March 1, 2014 4:56am

Lancaster resident Bernie Ryan has attended every one of Kyabram's previous 68 rodeos and will again be helping out on the main arena stock gates at this Friday's 69th Kyabram Rodeo.


Kyabram will come alive to the thrills and spills of the 69th annual Kyabram Rodeo on Friday night.

Entry numbers are good and another big crowd is expected at Kyabram Showgrounds when the main competitions start.

The Kyabram Rodeo has again attracted many of the top cowboys and cowgirls from across Australia to take part in events including the bull ride, barrel race, saddle bronc, bareback and steer roping.

Although there will be no local steer ride this year, there’s sure to be plenty of action with stockman Garry McPhee supplying a great line up of rides to challenge the cowboys. There will also be a junior pony ride for local youngsters to try out.

There cannot be many people who have seen all 69 Kyabram Rodeos, but Lancaster’s Bernie Ryan has.

Mr Ryan admits to being into his 70s and to being a young boy when he attended the first Kyabram Rodeo.

‘‘I remember the first one was held in June at Kyabram Recreation Reserve and then it switched to the showgrounds for the next one the following March. It was quite a novelty for Kyabram,’’ he said.

‘‘A lot of the cowboys did more events in those days whereas now they generally focus on a couple. I enjoy the saddle bronc most as there’s so much skill involved.

‘‘The quality is still very high and we’ve been lucky to see most of the top riders and still do.’’

He remembers watching Jimmy Pierce ride in one of the first Kyabram Rodeos and his grandson Brad Pierce, a regular competitor at Kyabram, is the APRA Pro Tour All Around champion.

Mr Ryan started volunteering at the rodeo about 40 years ago and has done many different jobs to help ensure the smooth running of the event.

‘‘I used to go round doing the point scoring with the judges and for many years now I’ve been manning the run-off gate where the stock leave the arena,’’ he said.

He believed the switch to have the rodeo on a Friday evening gave it a big boost and added something to the event and atmosphere.

Entries closed on Monday and although the numbers were slightly down on last year, the quality was still there.

Among those listed to compete are Brad Pierce, All Around Cowgirl Adele Edwards, plus individual event champions including Cameron Webster, Terry Evison, Aaron Bookluck and Leslie Moore, while Miss Rodeo Australia Mallory Doyle will also be attending.

Slack events start at 1pm, while the main sections begin at 7pm.

Kyabram Rodeo has a strict no BYO policy, but there will be a licensed bar that will be situated in its regular spot to the west of the main arena.

Seating around the main arena is limited and organisers recommend bringing your own fold-up seats.

As well as the main rodeo action, there will be sideshow alley stalls and rides plus food and refreshments.

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