More than 1000 rodeo fans braved the cold and the rain to gather at the Colac Showgrounds for a night of action-packed entertainment on the weekend.
The Colac Rodeo returned for its second year in a row on March 30, after having a successful first year showcasing bull riding, saddle bronc riding and barrel racing.
Western Eagles Football Club along with the P & A Society organised the rodeo as a fundraiser for the football club, with Woodall Rodeo Promotions supplying bulls and horses for the evening.
Western Eagles president Robert Montano said, despite the rough weather, they were pleased how the event went.
“It’s just an idea for us to make money, but it’s more than that. It’s about bringing the event to the community and it is getting our brand and name out there,” Montano said.
“We get a lot of sponsors on board which alleviates the costs a little for us, but you do rely on crowd numbers.”
Competitors follow rodeos around the country to gain points to compete in the Australian Rodeo Championship.
The main event, men’s open bull riding, saw Sam Woodall take first place with 84 points and win $3000 prize money. Local bull rider Sam Daly place third with 82 points.
Saddle bronc riding and ladies barrel racing winners also earned $2000 in prize money each.
Food vendors supplied warm meals to keep the crowd happy as live music started after the action had finished.
Ron Woodall, owner of Woodall Promotions, said the event was a success in consideration of the conditions.
“I thought it went excellent for the way the weather was. And the people, they were just unbelievable in the way the weather was and they sat it out,” Woodall said.
“They must have been rodeo-minded to sit out in the rain and they never moved, I think everyone that was here enjoyed it.”
Woodall noted that the rodeo industry was changing with animal activists becoming more vocal, but he believed the industry was misunderstood.
“No animal will buck or perform if they’re getting hurt. We have a vet check them before and then again after and we don’t have much problem at all,” he said.
“We can change our stock every week, we’ve got 40 bulls at home and over 100 horses, so you can switch them around for events, and when they only work 8 seconds at a time, it’s not a lot of work in a year if they do 10 rodeos.”
“I’ve been breeding stock for nearly 50 years and contracting, they’re bred to buck, horses that are un-rideable get a new lease on life.
“The industry is changing but we’re evolving with it.”