By Jeremy Sollars
The Warwick Show and Rodeo Society has moved to quash suggestions that the 2019 Warwick Rodeo and Campdraft could be in doubt due to water supply at the Warwick Showgrounds.
In a statement released to the media last week a Warwick Show and Rodeo Society spokeswoman said the 2018 event is “still going ahead” and the Society “understands with the current drought situation there is concern the event puts pressure on the town water supply”.
“We have worked tirelessly to reduce our impact on the town supply and have advisory meetings with Southern Downs Regional Council, Department of Natural Resources and local water services to work on an achievable outcome,” the spokeswoman said.
“We have been advised that our bore which will be metered is at 11 megalitres with 80% usage available.
“This will be available to maintain the grounds and the wellbeing of stock on site.
“With consultations we believe this to be a sufficient amount of water to support our event annually and decrease the pressure on the town water supply.
“Other options have been investigated including a water system on the grounds, this however comes with a hefty price tag of an estimated $150,000.
“Our society not only hosts the Annual Agricultural show and The Famous ‘Warwick Rodeo’ and Gold Cup Campdraft but is the home to the local Pony and Hack Club, Riding for the Disabled, the Poultry Society and the Dog Club.
“We aim to be a support hub for the agricultural community to come and attend events as a reprieve from the ongoing drought and social wellbeing for the community.
“The Warwick Rodeo and Gold Cup Campdraft occurs annually and boosts the locally economy by an estimated $2.8 million per annum.
“We aim to employ over 80% local contractors on the grounds and have a firm philosophy of shopping locally.
“Southern Downs Regional Council have offered information on how we can reduce our water consumption in regards to water saving shower heads, information for competitors and shown support for our 2019 event continuing.
“We are aiming to liaise with the Chamber of Commerce to ensure that we have a working relationship with local businesses to ensure they get the full economic benefit of our event.
“As a Society we are aware of the effects the drought is having on the community with all of the Committee being connected to the industry in some form.
“We are mindful and making a concerted effort to work with the relevant organizations to be more sustainable.”
The Warwick Rodeo will be the home of the Australian Professional Rodeo Association’s (APRA) National Finals Rodeo for the next three years.
In June APRA chairman Shane Iker said the top 15 in all eight APRA events would qualify for the finals.
“Competitors must compete in five rodeos to be eligible for a spot in the finals,” Shane said at the time.
“We have been pushing to have a long term home for the open finals and Warwick fits the best – it is where our office is situated.
“The APRA want the open finals to get bigger and better each year.
“Sponsorship for the finals looks the best it has for a long time.
“The national finals have been held in conjunction with the Warwick Rodeo in recent years and some of the factors in staying in Warwick included the all-weather arena at the Warwick Showgrounds.
“Warwick has always been the rodeo town and we want to keep the finals in the town, the finals are supported well by Warwick residents.”
Contrary to reports in other local media only a small number of 2019 rodeo events in Queensland have been cancelled due to the drought.
The 2019 Killarney Rodeo – which was due to have been held last weekend – was cancelled due to difficulties experienced by the Killarney Show and Rodeo Society in securing adequate sponsorship and pressure on volunteers related to organising other major events at the Killarney Showgrounds this year.
The Gold Coast Polocrosse Gold Racquet Carnival which was due to have been held at the Killarney Polocrosse Grounds has been shifted to Laidley this weekend due to water shortages at the Killarney grounds.
Cowboys Bull Ride
In other rodeo news the Warwick Cowboys Octeros Cabinets Bull Ride is coming up on Friday 6 September.
The event is an NRA-affiliated rodeo and will feature Open, Novice and U18 Junior Bull Rides, U15 Junior Steer Ride and Local Steer Ride – and Cowboys Footy Steer Ride – along with U12 and Local Poddy Rides.
Admission is $20 for adults, $15 concession/pensioner/children 15-17 and children up to 14 free entry. Gates open at 5pm for a 6pm start, with live music from Mik Oberle at the ‘after-party’.
The Warwick Cowboys Bull Ride is also proudly sponsored by the Warwick Hotel and Timothy Williams Dental – and more local sponsors are being keenly sought – for sponsorship enquiries contact Liz Brown on 0409 894 100.