Wild ride set to hit the ground running

AFTER a five-year break one of Tasmania’s most popular rodeos is back once again. The Harveydale Rodeo on January 21 will kick off this year’s Island Rodeo Circuit.

Ian Brown from ID Rodeo Promotions Tasmania said after being cancelled for the last few years due to Covid, many locals are looking forward to seeing some rodeo action once again.

“A lot of people really like the rodeos, so I know the locals are looking forward to it,” he said. This year’s circuit will see six rodeos held, starting with Harveydale.

There will then be rodeo events at Ulverstone on February 4, Scottsdale on February 11, George Town on February 18, Preston on February 25 and at Gowrie Park on March 11.

Mr Brown, whose family owns the Harveydale grounds, said they have done a number of improvements to the site since the last rodeo was held there. They include a major renovation of the rodeo grandstand and an expansion of the childrens sand pit.

Mr Brown said premium tickets to secure a spot in the new grandstand will be available to patrons. All this year’s events on the circuit will include full rodeo programs. As usual, bar facilities, food and refreshments will be available. At Harveydale the band, the Smokey Elmores, will provide entertainment that night and camping will be available.

Mr Brown said while some long-time rodeo competitors had chosen to leave the sport after the Covid cancellations, there was now interest from a younger group of participants. “Covid did knock our numbers around a bit, but there are a few younger ones that want to get involved, so hopefully they will,” he said.

Mr Brown said helping newcomers learn the specific skills needed to compete successfully in rodeos was something the older participants were happy to help with.

“We try to run schools,” he said. “I used to do five events so I can help with things like the bulls and bareback bronc. “There are probably better people around here though who specialise a bit more who can help with things like roping.”

As well as the rodeos competitions themselves, Mr Brown said the events also provide entertainment for members of the whole family and an opportunity for people to get out and socialise.

Tickets to Harveydale can be purchased at the gate or online.

For more information about this year’s rodeo season go to the ID Rodeo Promotions Tasmania or the Island Rodeo Circuit Tasmania Australia Facebook pages.