Rodeo by the Sea a sell out

SEASIDE RODEO: Rodeo competitor and champion Tom Willoughby with Rodeo Queen entrants Caitlin Mitchell and Shianne Kent. Photo: Kurt Walter Fine Art Images
SEASIDE RODEO: Rodeo competitor and champion Tom Willoughby with Rodeo Queen entrants Caitlin Mitchell and Shianne Kent. Photo: Kurt Walter Fine Art Images

Competitors from across Australia will take part in Streaky Bay's Rodeo by the Sea this Saturday.

Tickets to the event, hosted by the Streaky Bay Tourism and Business Association and the Streaky Bay Racing Club, and conducted with the Australian Professional Rodeo Association (APRA), are sold out.

Streaky Bay Tourism and Business Association president Lyn Finch said there would be a crowd of 2000 at the Streaky Bay Racecourse.

"We are overwhelmed with the response and delighted for the support," she said.

"This gives us confidence to plan a bigger event for next year."

She said it would provide a significant cash injection into the community, estimated at more than $100,000, through accommodation, dining, vehicles and incidental spending.

"Streaky Bay being listed on the national rodeo circuit gives us exposure to a whole new demographic," Ms Finch said.

"I can only see sustainable benefits from this event.

"I'd like to think we could host it each year but that's something we will need to discuss with our sponsors and the rodeo community post event but perhaps it will be annually or biennially - either way, it will be successful in financial terms and in the calibre of the experience for competitors and attendees."

Among those to watch are South Australians Tom Willoughby and Amanda Tielen, plus Ben Hall, Brad Pierce and Aaron Bookluck.

There will be a Rodeo Queen, with entrants Caitlin Mitchell of Eudunda and Shianne Kent of Port Lincoln raising funds for the Streaky Bay Hospital, the rodeo's chosen charity.

The event will also pay tribute to an Eyre Peninsula rodeo champion, Johnny McInnis of Cungena, who died in July aged 92.

He first contested a rodeo in 1936 and competed in the Australian championships on four occasions.

The saddle bronc champion will be awarded with the Johnny McInnis Memorial Trophy, donated by his family.

We are overwhelmed with the response and delighted for the support. This gives us confidence to plan a bigger event for next year.

Lyn Finch

Ms Finch said the event was a chance to bring rodeos back to Eyre Peninsula and after meeting rodeo icon Jim Willoughby a plan began to formulate.

"Over 30 years ago Smoky Bay hosted annual rodeos, they were well attended and no one can tell me why they stopped," she said.

"Events, like many things, have trends and cycles (and) we thought it was time to bring the rodeo back to the Eyre Peninsula.

"The vision was to host a large scale event that showcased our region and had a genuine authentic connection to the land and farmers."

She said given most towns hosting rodeos were landlocked, a Streaky Bay event would be a "refreshing sea-change" for competitors, their families and friends attending.

Gates open for the Rodeo by the Sea at 2pm, with the main events from 5pm.