Click or flick across for more photos of cowboys and rodeo fans.
BEECHWORTH’S first rodeo was branded a success and organisers say they will be running it again next year, thanks to the support of their town.
About 2500 people poured into the Mayday Hills grounds to watch the best cowboys and cowgirls in the country.
Rodeo national champion Brad Pierce, from Tooma, won the Saddle Bronc event.
Queensland’s Sam Champ took out the open bull ride, national champion Gerard Oversby won the open bareback and Teneille Little from Gunnedah was the ladies’ barrel racing winner.
Organiser Maree Anstee was pleased.
“A good 70 per cent of our crowd had never been to a rodeo before,” Ms Anstee said.
“People who wouldn’t normally go to a rodeo came to it.
“It was so fantastic and even in the planning of the event, we had the whole town behind us.”
Ms Anstee has competed in rodeos for years and she spruiked the idea in her hometown.
“I had a few friends that said ‘You should do a rodeo in your town’,” she said.
“We’re a big tourist town and I took the idea to the footy and netball club committee and they thought yes, this is a good and a new way to fundraise.”
EDITORIAL: Well done to town's rodeo
Beechworth’s rodeo was held at the opportune time, tacked on to the end of the Christmas series run by the Australian Professional Rodeo Association.
“The Christmas run is Myrtleford, Deniliquin, Yarrawonga, Tumbarumba, Finley and now us,” Ms Anstee said.
“So you get the best cowboys in Australia coming down for it.
“The plus side of that is you get the best stock in Australia coming as well.
“There wasn’t really that many points recorded in the bull ride because the stock was so good.”
Tamworth team roping competitor Jeff Miller had been travelling to the Christmas series for years and he said Beechworth’s rodeo had a big future.
“Where we combine several rodeos together, they’re going to be well-supported,” Mr Miller said.
“That makes the trip worthwhile.
“I thought (Beechworth) was exceptional — I was very pleased with how appreciative the crowd was.
“Once the committee gets their grounds established with a bit of grass and turf to make it more comfortable for onlookers, I think they’ve got a big future.”
Emma Nankervis, from Wooragee, normally goes to the Myrtleford rodeo once a year with her husband and children.
“We thought as it’s the first time to be held in Beechworth it’d be great to go along,” she said.
“It was a really, really good night.
“For a first-time rodeo, I think they did a wonderful job.”
The rodeo raised about $1500 for the Beechworth Football and Netball Club and its cricket club.
Beechworth footballer Chris Taylor was one of about 50 volunteers on the day and commented: “Most of the boys hadn’t been to a rodeo".
“It’s really good profit-wise for the town,” he said.
Ms Anstee thanked the all the volunteers and sponsors.