Community Assistance Program to help rope in success at National Final


The countdown to the much-anticipated 57th National Finals Rodeo has officially begun, as riders and spectators gear up for an unforgettable three-day event at Gracemere’s CQLX Austadium.

The rodeo extravaganza will take place from 9-11 November 2023, with a crowd of up to 4,000 participants and enthusiasts expected from across the country.

Rockhampton Region Mayor Tony Williams said Council is extremely proud to partner with the Australian Professional Rodeo Association (APRA), that received $10,000 towards the event through Council’s Community Assistance Program (CAP).

“Rockhampton has a rich history in both the beef and rodeo industry and this event is a testament to our city’s strong connection with Australian agriculture and showcasing the best of Australian rodeo,” Mayor Williams said.

“This event is expected to create a significant economic boost for the Rockhampton region, with the Gracemere CQLX Austadium set to be the epicentre of rodeo action.

“The festivities will officially kick off next month, with Cowboy Markets on each day and a gold coin donation for spectators attending on the Thursday evening.

“This is an excellent opportunity for local families to enjoy a night of thrills, spills, and unforgettable rodeo action, with events including Bull Riding, Saddle Broncs, Bareback, Barrel Race, Breakaway Roping, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping and Rope & Tie.”

Communities and Heritage Councillor Drew Wickerson said that this year’s National Finals Rodeo will not just be a showcase of rodeo prowess, but also highlights the significance of community-driven initiatives through the Community Assistance Program.

“This vital program remains pivotal in nurturing a strong sense of community pride and elevating the profile of local sports in Rockhampton,” Cr Wickerson said.

“The funding program revolves around endorsing events, projects, and endeavours that have a positive impact on the entire community, and we take great pride in its successful delivery.”

Australian Professional Rodeo Associations Executive Chairman, Shane Iker said that this is the 57th year of the National Finals Rodeo and APRA are proud to host this prestigious event once again in the Rockhampton region.

“This year has seen records broken in season earnings by competitors, with well over $3 million dollars in prize money paid out to our professional Cowboys and Cowgirls,” Mr Iker said.

“The battle for the Australian titles is tougher than ever in 2023, and that is good news for Rockhampton rodeo fans as it means the performances seen at next month’s finals will be second to none.

“Australia’s best competitors will be up against Australia’s best award-winning livestock – fighting to take home the prestigious title that they’ve worked so hard and travelled thousands of kilometres for.

“Competitors from as far as Tasmania right up to the top of North QLD will be competing, and it’s even more reason why the APRA saw the need to increase the marketing of our event across the region to attract a larger audience and make it even more prestigious for our competitors.

“There is nothing better than performing in front of a packed crowd of thousands of enthusiastic rodeo fans!

“The support of the Rockhampton Regional Council through its Community Assistance Program will help APRA achieve this goal of a sell-out crowd – we want to grow this event and we’d love to make CQLX Gracemere and the Rockhampton region the “Home of the NFR”.

“APRA and its members are very grateful for Council’s support of this event and the sport of professional rodeo.”

During the first funding round for the 2023-24 financial year, Council has supported 20 local organisations to deliver 22 projects, seeing more than $52,000 of funding support provided to community groups and clubs across the Region.

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