The first rodeo at Kinross Woolshed in almost a decade was a huge success for the pub's new owners with a capacity crowd in attendance on Thursday night.
More than 2500 people flocked to see some of Australia's best cattle in action as riders travelled from the Northern Territory, Queensland and even Tasmania to compete for more than $35,000 in prize money.
Border cowboy Jason Collins, a former jockey and track work rider at Albury, won the Riverina saddle bronc championship with 77 points.
Victorian Sam Woodall captured the open bull ride, while Julie Breed saw off a field of 65 competitors to take out the barrel race.
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Venue manager Grant Wheeler has co-owned the Kinross since January 2020 and said it was great to finally get a major event under the belt after a tumultuous two years of trade due to COVID.
"I was shocked by the turnout to be honest, it genuinely impressed me," he said.
"Obviously there's a market there for people who are begging to get out and do things and we've got the perfect space for it.
"We were very happy with the numbers a week out and the last day and a half they were doing 50 an hour and it kept ticking and ticking.
"We sold out about half an hour before the event.
"We're looking at a lot of options of things we could do in the space we've got."
Mr Wheeler said the Kinross had the ability to welcome more people for events but the team wanted to focus on getting its first one right.
"It was nice to be out of restrictions a bit and do something nice for the town and community," he said.
"It's important when we do these events that the community comes out to support us so we get the numbers to justify us doing it again."
Rodeo organiser Russell Green said there was double the entries expected which led to an earlier start time.
"It helped to form a bit of a Christmas run for the cowboys and cowgirls who travelled down," he said.
"The standard was excellent. We had some first class riders there and former Australian champions."
The majority of the riders will head to Tumbarumba for its New Year's Day rodeo.
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