Bobcat daredevil to entertain

Earthmoving skills on show at Rotary FNQ Field Days

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A Mareeba earthmover will defy gravity in a first-time stunt show at the Rotary FNQ Field Days.

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UNUSUAL TALENT: Rex Petersen is sure to impress visitors to the Rotary FNQ Field Days.

UNUSUAL TALENT: Rex Petersen is sure to impress visitors to the Rotary FNQ Field Days.

A MAREEBA heavy machinery operator will attempt to defy gravity in a first-time stunt show at the Rotary FNQ Field Days.

Rex Petersen started performing stunts with a skid-steer loader, commonly known as a bobcat, about 20 years ago and is now ready to bring his skills back to the main stage.

Mr Petersen has been working on some new tricks that are sure to impress crowds, some of which will include a ball and a beer.

The first show will be part of the official celebration on Wednesday, May 26 at 1pm in the arena, which will also include the event's first agricultural parade, featuring old and new machinery.

"Back in the early 2000s I used to do all the stunt stuff at the supercross at Mareeba Rodeo Grounds, so that's where it started because they needed machinery there to work on the track," Mr Petersen said.

"We used to have a couple skid-steer loaders working on the track and then I was putting on a little show in the half time break of mainly balance, that's what most of it is - balancing a machine on two little tiny wheels, holding it on the point of balance.

"Not many people have ever seen a machine on the point of balance, it's only the odd few that can do it. By the time you spend 15 minutes in there on two wheels, it's a workout."

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Mr Petersen has been practising tricks with his vintage skid-steer loader in preparation.

"The newer machines are too safety conscious so you can't do these tricks with them, so I've had to borrow back one of my old ones and we're going to give it a coat of paint and make it look all pretty," he said.

"Then I'll do some practise of the tricks in my backyard ready for the field days."

Other entertainment at the field days includes the highly anticipated tractor pull, emergency services mock rescues and a Rural Fire Brigade display and demonstration.

The field days are at the Mareeba Rodeo Grounds on May 26, 27 and 28.

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