Record number of riders set to battle it out for the big buckles this weekend at the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo

Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships and Mount Isa Rodeo

Record number of riders set to battle it out for the buckles this weekend at the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo and Indigenous Rodeo Championships

Reigning champions back to defend their titles – extraordinary calibre of cowboys and cowgirls competing, and a record for women and Junior riders

It’s another one for the record books. This weekend when the first chutes open at the world famous Mount Isa Mines Rodeo, history will be made with a record number of entries registered, the most in its 64 year history. Highlights….

On Thursday the second annual Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships takes place with a record 119 competitors entered across all eight events in rodeo.

Five reigning Indigenous champions are returning to defend their buckles including Mount Isa cowboy Stafford Swan (Bull Ride Champion), Northern Territory cowboy Jason Craigie (Bareback Bronc), Gracemere’s Tylor Chong (Saddle Bronc), Dimbulah (FNQ) cowgirl Ricki Sivyer (Barrel Race) and fellow cowgirl Maisey Hetherington from Mackay (Breakaway Roping).

Then, it’s the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo, and competition will be fierce among the 941 entrants with the country’s best cowboys and cowgirls competing, some travelling more than 2,000km for the opportunity to ride in the famous red dirt arena of Buchanan Park.

Two-time All Round Australian Champion and going for four in a row as Mount Isa Mines Rodeo All Round Champion, Campbell Hodson from Charters Towers returns to defend his crown, as does reigning All Round Cowgirl, Leanne Caban. They are joined by defending Bull Ride Champion, Barcaldine’s Jackson Gray, the Open Ladies Breakaway Champion Sharon McGuire, and young Wylie Roots who took out the Mini Bulls buckles in 2022!

It’s all about girl power this year with a record number of female entries with almost 200, 18+ riders: 98 in the Ladies Barrel Race, and 97 in the Ladies Breakaway Roping. In 2022, there were 173 18+ female riders: 92 in the Ladies Barrel Race and 81 in the Ladies Breakaway Roping.

ALL of the top five All Round Cowgirls in the national rankings will ride in ‘Isa – that’s Leanne Caban, Ellie Gard, Tayla Pierce, Maddison Caban and Alyesha Burford!

Just as competitive will be the Junior events, with a record number of riders and nine of the top 10 junior riders in the country competing, led by Jayden Kenny.

Jayden’s father Shane Kenny is rodeo royalty, having won more Australian Bareback titles than any other ever, and a 13-time Rope and Tie champion, 4-time Ariat Australia Pro Team Cowboy, 4-time Steer Wrestling Champion, and 4-time Team Roping Champion. In fact, they are competing against each other in some events.

In a wonderful rodeo moment, Bob Holder, the certified Oldest Competing Cowboy in the world is returning to Isa after having been unwell in 2022. He’s competing in the Over 55s Team Roping in what will make international rodeo history.

And at the other end of the age spectrum, the crowd will surely all stand when 10-year old Mount Isa cowboy Byron Kirk rides in the Junior Steer Ride and the Mini Bull Ride (8 to 10 years). He and fellow junior, 16-year old Cade Ferguson will both be fresh off the plane from representing Australia in the World Youth Rodeo Championships in Texas!

As Mount Isa celebrates 100 years as a city, the rodeo is bringing the bucks – both in the famous red dirt arena and in terms of economic benefit.

Statistics released by Tourism and Events Queensland found that in 2022, Mount Isa Mines Rodeo generated overnight visitor expenditure of $10.0 million for Queensland. The event was responsible for more than 33,000 visitor nights in Mount Isa, with most of these nights from intrastate visitors who travelled more than 40km from their home. Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships similarly generated $1.3 million, and more than 4,000 visitor nights in Mount Isa.

In a great nod to history, the McPhee Rodeo Company have arrived, 2,440km from their home in Benalla Victoria, with 32 of Australia’s top bucking broncs, direct descendants from Mount Isa’s famous Carandotta Station horses.

Outside the arena, there’s more action. The rodeo rock lineup features Jessica Mauboy on stage at the Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships on Thursday evening, then on Saturday night at the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo concert it’s Aussie rock royalty The Angels, supported by rodeo favourite Luke Geiger, and on Friday night, it’s The Screaming Jets and O’SHEA supported by Furnace and the Fundamentals. Oh, and the one and only Darryl Braithwaite stars in the Isa Street Festival on Wednesday August 8.

Famed Low ‘n Slow Pitmasters, The Shank Brothers will launch their hot sauce named The Ghost of Chainsaw after the famously unrideable bull, and will host their Hot Wing Challenge over the weekend. Calling all heat lovers!!

It’s official, rodeo is incredible!

This event is supported by the Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland.

The Queensland Government is the Principal Partner of the Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships.

Mount Isa Rodeo Festival highlights include:

Thursday 10th August: Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships featuring Jessica Mauboy

  • The second year of the Mount Isa Indigenous Rodeo Championships will see more records set, and indigenous riders celebrated, before Jessica Mauboy takes to the stage, with DJ Deadly Jacob hosting.
  • A Welcome to Country and cultural performance by the Sundowners Kalkutungu Dancers and the spectacular Komet Torres Strait Islander Arts and Culture Dance Group.
  • Don’t miss Dancing Dexter in the Red Dirt Arena, the crowd-pleasing Bull Fighter from last year’s Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships!

Friday 11th to 13th August: Mount Isa Mines Rodeo

  • Returning champions and contenders go ride for ride in the Southern Hemisphere’s largest rodeo and the third largest rodeo in the world.
  • Entertainment includes The Angels, The Screaming Jets, O’SHEA, Furnace and the Fundamentals, and Luke Geiger
  • The Shank Brothers return with their infamous Hot Chilli Wing Challenge – register for one of their HEATS!
  • NEW – Bell and Moir Toyota Kalkadoon Bar & Grill for lunch and dinner – a new dining offering which includes a two course menu prepared by Chef Jason Peppler, beer and wine and outstanding views of the rodeo arena hosted by Channel Seven’s Kimberley Busteed and a bunch of good friends. Bookings essential.
  • An incredible 5m high inflatable boot as part of our Kids Zone – perfect for rodeo selfies!


In 1959, a group of people with passion and an intrinsic sense of potential formed the Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo Inc (MIRRI). Their vision was to put the new, remote town of Mount Isa on the map and raise funds for charity organisations in the new city. Through 63 years of whip-cracking vision and dedication, the event has evolved into legendary status. The event is part of the Australian Professional Rodeo Association’s (APRA’s) national circuit. The event is supported by the Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland and is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. The rodeo schedule includes the Bull Ride (Open, Over 40s, 2nd & Junior Division), Saddle Bronc (Open & 2nd Division), Bareback (Open & 2nd Division), Rope & Tie (Open), Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Ladies Barrel Race, Ladies Breakaway Roping and Mini Bull Rides.

Mount Isa Mines Rodeo FESTIVAL: August 5 to 13, 2023

After a record-breaking event in 2022, which saw entries top out at 956, a highest ever purse of $300,000 and the staging of the first ever Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships, the largest rodeo in the Southern Hemisphere is back! Website:

/Public Release.