Rodeo ropes in dollars
By RODNEY STEVENS
MORE than 4000 spectators saw the bulls buck and the dust fly at the 24th annual Maclean Twilight Rodeo at Maclean Showground on Saturday night.
Organised by the Lawrence Rodeo Committee, the event hosted the best competitors and stock from throughout NSW and Queensland.
It also served as a major annual fundraiser for charity.
Vice-president of the Lawrence Rodeo Committee, Tim Ensbey, said the event attracted a record 258 nominations from competitors as far away as Queensland and Sydney.
"Each year it gets bigger and bigger... you don't know where it's going to end," he said.
President of the Lawrence Rodeo Committee, Bruce Green, said he was very pleased with the size of the crowd and the night went well as there were few injuries to competitors.
"The Fitzsimmons brothers and Kerry Hall gave us some of the best stock available in NSW and Queensland so the riders could put on a good show for the spectators," he said.
"Without the competitors and spectators who travel from all over NSW and Queensland the rodeo wouldn't have been so successful."
Mr Green said hundreds of thousands of dollars raised by past rodeos had been put back into the community.
"Lawrence Rodeo Committee have given away more than $380,000 in the past 23 years to charities including the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter," he said.
Competitors included former Grafton cowboy Cal Baker, Lawrence brothers Johnny and Shane Want, and good mates from Grafton, Joel Chevalley and Matt Newton.
Leading the senior Australian Bushman's Campdraft and Rodeo Association (ABCDRA) rope and tie class for 2006, Baker was keen to put in a good performance in front of his home crowd which could help him secure the title next month.
Regulars on the circuit, the Want brothers, recently competed in rodeos at Maroochydore, Armidale and Beenleigh.
A COMPETITOR, a man, 52, required treatment after dislocating his shoulder. A 20-year-old Queensland man suffered rib injuries. The men were treated by ambulancemen and taken to Maclean District Hospital. They have been released.