TOUGH STUFF: NSW senior rider David Leake braves the arena at the Torbanlea Rodeo last Saturday.
TOUGH STUFF: NSW senior rider David Leake braves the arena at the Torbanlea Rodeo last Saturday. Tiffine Robertson

Huge crowd enjoys the first Torbanlea rodeo

LOOKING out to a field of about 1000 people, Tracey Waters could hardly believe the small rural town of Torbanlea had drawn this much attention.

The organiser of Saturday's Torbanlea Rodeo said there had been a "record” turnout for the town's first rodeo, with many people through the gates to catch the excitement.

Ms Waters said the rodeo was so successful the committee was already planning next year's event.

"It was a lot bigger than we thought, and the food was completely sold out,” Ms Waters said.

"That's how we knew it had been successful.”

Scenes from the crowd at last week's Torbanlea Rodeo.
Scenes from the crowd at last week's Torbanlea Rodeo. Dallas Howe

The rodeo coincided with the annual Coalfest in Howard, celebrating the area's long history as a mining town.

Ms Waters said the committee was organising more facilities to accommodate the larger crowds for next year, which included more venues and grandstands.

She said the massive turnout was a sign the town's economy was moving upwards.

Scenes from the crowd at last week's Torbanlea Rodeo.
Scenes from the crowd at last week's Torbanlea Rodeo. Dallas Howe

"Things are definitely moving up for the town,” Ms Waters said.

"The band was playing late into the night.

"It was all great for the community.”

$2000 in prize money was handed out to the 78 riders who attended on the night, many of them hailing from across the Wide Bay region.

Saturday's event was the first time the town had held a successful rodeo, with a previous attempt some 20 years ago cancelled by adverse weather.