ORGANISERS of arguably New South Wales’ biggest rodeo believe bringing the event to Orange in October will be a massive boost to the economy.
Thousands of workers, competitors and fans are expected to flock to the East-West Coast Championship Rodeo at the Orange Showground.
It will be the first time in more than a decade the event hasn’t been held at Wyong, and organisers are thrilled with the new challenges Orange will bring.
“Car park issues at Wyong forced us to look at alternative venues, and we’ve decided to relocate to Orange,” event organiser Allen Wilson said.
“I came to a rodeo here last year. It was cold and the weather was miserable. They still got nearly 2500 and I was really impressed with the support from the community and the way they captivated the audience.
“With such a small budget they had people on the edge of their seats for four hours and really entertained. If they got so many people in poor conditions, imagine the roll-up we can get here in good weather?”
Mr Wilson said for each of the past 10 years, between 4000 and 7000 people attended the rodeo.
He knows moving the event to the country is a huge risk - but firmly believes it could also become one of the biggest events in Orange.
“I was originally of the thought that I’d cast rodeos in the city because they have such a large population, plus I thought the rural centres had seen enough rodeo action and didn’t enjoy them,” he said.
“But I firmly believe now there is a need and a want for a rodeo in the country and they’re really hungry to see it.
“The feedback I’ve received has been really positive. They continue to tell me they need a good rodeo in Orange.”
Early estimations are that at least 5000 people will attend Orange’s inaugural event, but Mr Wilson said 10,000 people was not out of the question.
He expects such a good crowd because only the best riders from all over Australia will compete.
“More than 170 competitors qualified and earned the right to compete at the championships, so they really are the best of the best,” Mr Wilson said.
“Events include bull riding, saddle bronc, bare back, barrel racing and junior events.”
And the best thing for Orange is that the October 27 event in Orange is not a one-off.
Organisers hope it will prosper and grow in stature.
“If it’s a success, we plan to make it an annual event in Orange. It’s a proven success in Wyong, we think it can be even better here and to stay in Orange,” he said.