Maclean Twilight Rodeo committee saddles up

Luke Dillon gets a rough ride from this bull in the open bullriding event at the Maclean Rodeo.Photo: Adam Hourigan/The Daily Examiner
Luke Dillon gets a rough ride from this bull in the open bullriding event at the Maclean Rodeo.Photo: Adam Hourigan/The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

BULLRIDING is a pretty basic sport at face value.

Riders of questionable mental stability try to sit on a bull for eight seconds and are judged for their style, balance and vigour.

While little has changed to that basic recipe for action, the sport is becoming increasingly popular to a wider demographic through the power of television.

While cowboys from around the region are shining their spurs ahead of the annual Maclean Twilight Rodeo to be held at the showgrounds on December 29, a live camera crew is busy shining their lenses.

"We are the only rodeo between Sydney and Warwick which puts up a big screen television for action replays of all the rides," organiser Bruce Green said.

"It makes all the difference for the crowd and the atmosphere of the event.

"You can't get a full appreciation for what the riders are doing until you see it in slow motion."

Organisers of the hugely popular event for both competitors and spectators, are flat out trying to assemble the best rodeo seen in the Clarence Valley.

Although the television truck and camera men come at a huge financial cost, the committee feels it is a worthy investment and of great benefit to both the spectators and sponsors.

"The benefits of having that technology there warrants the extra cost by a country mile,'' Green said.

"We can give better value to our sponsors with ads in between the rides, and no one in the crowd begrudges paying a couple of extra dollars to see all the rides replayed and slowed down.

"The riders love it too and it is the first thing they turn to after they are safely out of range of the bull."

The gate opens on the main events like the bullride and saddle bronc at 6pm, but plenty of other favourite rodeo categories will be on display much earlier in the day.

"We start the day at 11am with poddy calf rides, roping and barrel racing ... and people are welcome to come early and make a day of it," he said.

"We are really concentrating on making it affordable for families and have set a family ticket price of $55 for two adults with no restriction on how many kids join them.

"Single adult tickets are $25 so it's an affordable entertainment option for locals and holiday makers alike during the Christmas/New Year break.

"It's a great fundraiser for a lot of local community organisations and we already have eight clubs including the SES, firies, preschools and the Lower Clarence Magpies footy club all running barbecues or bars to help raise money for their clubs."

The Maclean Rodeo's dual affiliation with the Australian Bushmen's Campdraft & Rodeo Association (ABCRA) and the National Rodeo Association (NRA) also attracts the best riders from both circuits.

This results in big fields in the main events, high quality competition and plenty of bucking action.

Topics:  maclean maclean twilight rodeo rodeo

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