SIXTY-THREE years young, the Cloncurry Merry Muster goes from strength with another huge event at the Equestrian Centre on the weekend.
They came from all parts, to watch, compete and officiate, and the overwhelming feeling was of a terrific weekend out in the Curry.
This year’s event was a double celebration of the town’s 150th anniversary and the rodeo’s entry into the APRA’s Rodeo Hall of Fame, an accolade gained on account of its longevity and local commitment.
That commitment was obvious in the happy faces of hard working committee geared out in their blue South32 apparel, with many of the men adding distinctive white ties to the ensemble.
Not even a power cut that affected all of North West Queensland on Saturday morning, could knock the rodeo out of its stride with an eerie silence lasting only a minute or so before the reserve generators kicked in.
Miss Rodeo Australia Emma Deicke was on hand to lend glamour to the occasion and local Merry Muster Queen Kate Taylor was not to be outshone either.
A huge crowd built slowly through the day and by nightfall the hill was packed.
Merry Muster president Janessa Bidgood said in the official opening it was “amazing” to see such a large crowd and she thanked the committee and volunteers that made it possible.
She also announced Maree Walduck and Ray Vidler as life members for their dedication to the Muster.
Cloncurry Mayor Greg Campbell admitted he might be biased but said the Muster was the best rodeo in Australia.
In results, the Ernest Henry Mining Open Bull Ride was won by Jack McArthur.
The Paddy Cusack Memorial Local All Round Cowboy went to Byron Remfrey.
The K & R Contracting Rope and Tie champion was Lee Kimber.
Rebecca Van Houten was the South 32 Ladies Breakaway Roping champion.
Deon Lane was the Southern Cross Austereo Open Bareback champion.
Cody Williams was the JDR Mining and Civil Allan Cuscak Memorial Junior Steer Ride champion.
Anthony Caldwell was the North West Star Vic Remfrey Memorial Open Saddle Bronc champion.