The North West takes the reins with rodeo season

Each year Ernest Henry Mining and Mount Isa Mines support events that our communities come together and enjoy. This year’s rodeos and campdrafts attracted Australia’s top cowboys and cowgirls along with thousands of spectators to our region.

Queensland Metals General Manager for Health, Safety, Environment and Community, Maryann Wipaki, says as proud sponsors, we know how important it is to our communities to keep these events and traditions alive.

“While we can’t underestimate the effect the pandemic has had, we’re really glad to see the return of these iconic outback rodeo events in 2021,” says Maryann.

“Not only do they entertain with non-stop thrills and spills, they contribute valuably to the prosperity of our local economy.”

“The Mount Isa Mines Rodeo alone helps to generate in excess of $10 million for our local economy each year," Maryann says.

Ernest Henry Mining General Manager, Aaron Harrison, reinforced the importance of social inclusion and connection.

“After our event season was largely cancelled last year, it was great to see the Stockman’s Challenge and Campdraft, along with the Ernest Henry Merry Muster Festival and Rodeo return to our calendars with COVIDsafe plans,” Aaron says.

“These events provide opportunities for our communities to come together, connect and share in unforgettable moments”.

“It’s important that we continue to sponsor events that are important to our employees and broader communities, and we feel proud to have achieved this,” says Aaron.

The Mount Isa Mines Rodeo alone helps to generate in excess of $10 million for our local economy each year.

Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge and Campdraft

Kicking things off was the Curley Cattle Transport Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge and Campdraft.

With a $120,000 prize pool across 20 events, tried and noted riders from the stations near and far gathered to test their horse skills and vie for a chance to win big.

Ernest Henry Mining is proud to be a longstanding supporter of this classic outback event, this year obtaining the naming rights to the Open Challenge.

The six-day campdraft would not be complete without a celebratory Rodeo event to close off the competition.

Ernest Henry Mining is pleased to be a major sponsor of the Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge and Campdraft, an action packed six-day event.

Ernest Henry Mining Curry Merry Muster Festival

Ernest Henry Mining Curry Merry Muster Festival delivered something for everyone over three days of extreme rodeo action and entertainment.

Ernest Henry Mining has proudly sponsored the Curry Merry Muster for more than 20 years, including 15 years as naming rights sponsor. This year we were delighted to return in partnership to help deliver Australia’s highest single payout professional rodeo.

The Cloncurry event, which attracted more than 500 nominations, is one of only a handful of multi-day rodeos as part of the Australian Professional Rodeo Association (APRA) program.

While touted as a professional rodeo, the festival, which started in 1954, continues to deliver the outback country charm and hospitality that loyal fans and tourists have come to expect.

As per tradition, the festival kicked off with a Street Parade, aptly themed in tribute to the national television series Survivor in which the most recent season, airing now, was filmed in Cloncurry’s outskirts.

Other much-loved events made a reprisal, including Xtreme Bull Ride, Junior Rodeo, Brophy’s Boxing tent, a plethora of live entertainment and of course the APRA rodeo.

The Ernest Henry Mining Curry Merry Muster is an amazing opportunity that sees the whole community come together. This year's event included Ernest Henry Mining's ‘Survivor’ themed float in the traditional Curry Merry Muster Street Parade (top left) and non-stop rodeo action.

Mount Isa Mine Rodeo

The action then moved to Mount Isa for the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo, where the competition was equally fierce.

As naming rights sponsor of Mount Isa Mines Rodeo, Mount Isa Mines is proud to help make some of the most unforgettable moments in Mount Isa’s history. Each year the event helps generate millions into the local economy, with this year's investment estimated at $16 million.

This rodeo has long held the title of ‘richest in Australia’, with a prize pool of $250,000 offered in 2021. It is also part of the APRA national rodeo circuit.

With a record 757 nominations received from almost 570 competitors, it is easy to see why the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo draws a sensational crowd.

Thousands of rodeo-goers watched a spectacular day of finals action with the famous Isa Rodeo buckle taken home by the victors.

Mount Isa Mines held a competition for employees, gifting 50 double one-day passes for either Saturday's or Sunday’s events.

A week of festivities add to an exciting town atmosphere long before the rodeo officially kicks off. These events included the Rodeo Ball, Best Dressed Premises competition, Bush Poets Breakfast and Mailman Express. This event is so important to our community that local students even get to enjoy a student free day on the Friday.

Running since 1959, the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo is a legendary event that truly showcases outback community, culture and tourism.

Mount Isa Mines Rodeo bullfighters, or rodeo protection team. Bullfighters work as a team in the arena to distract the bull and protect the rider and each other.
Tony Caldwell rides ‘Miss Cactus’ for a win in the Saddle Bronc contest.
Mount Isa Mines have been proud sponsors of the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo since 1959.
Mitchell cowboy Greg Hamilton in the Open Saddle Bronc contest.
Charters Towers Cowboy Ryley Gibb clocks an impressive 4.45 second time in the Steer Wrestling Contest.