Big crowds witness non-stop action under clear skies

JUST metres from the rodeo ring, kids lined up to have their own turn on a mechanical bull, laughing with smiles wide as they were tossed onto the matting.

But their smiles couldn't have matched Maclean Twilight Rodeo organiser Bruce Green as the night presented a clear sky for the first time in years for the Maclean Twilight Rodeo.

If you weren't in the ring at the Maclean Rodeo, Josh Finnigan found a softer way to still ride the bulls in front of the 3000-strong crowd at the Maclean Showground.
If you weren't in the ring at the Maclean Rodeo, Josh Finnigan found a softer way to still ride the bulls in front of the 3000-strong crowd at the Maclean Showground. Adam Hourigan

And the perfect weather brought the crowd out in droves, with more than 3500 filling the stands of the Maclean Showground to see the annual Christmas time spectacle.

"This is the first clear night we've had for a while, and it's a bumper crowd - just unbelievable," Mr Green said.

"We put twelve months planning into it, and the weather does make or break you, but this time it was on our side."

With a mechanical bull outside the ring to find some future superstars, and a replay screen doubled in size from previous years to help maximise crowd enjoyment, Mr Green said it was also the quality of the show on offer that kept people coming back.

"We've increased the prizemoney on the events, and that really proved in the saddle riding and the bull riding - the quality of the riders and the big names we've got here has shown that," he said.

"And the bulls they are bred and born to buck these days; they're so strong, it's hard to get good riders to ride them and we've seen some great ones tonight.

>> RELATED STORY: Troy tames the Machine at Maclean

"(Winner) Troy Wilkinson is just a class act. I tipped him earlier in the week to win and sure enough he's done it."

Winner Troy Wilkinson rides Machine on his way to 87 points and the win at the Maclean Twilight Rodeo.
Winner Troy Wilkinson rides Machine on his way to 87 points and the win at the Maclean Twilight Rodeo. Adam Hourigan Photography

The rodeo donates its proceeds to local charities and groups, many who come along and help out on the night on everything from a busy night of food service to gate taking and volunteer work.

"Over the years we've given away more than $350,000," Mr Green said. "It's great to see the local clubs here helping out. For many of them its their major fundraiser."

Noah Love, 3 gives a cheeky smile at Maclean Twilight Rodeo
Noah Love, 3 gives a cheeky smile at Maclean Twilight Rodeo Adam Hourigan Photography


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