Outback year to ride high on the back of rodeo

WHILE the Year of the Outback may have got off to a slow start, plans for a rodeo in the city are expected to raise the profile of the rural regions and those who live there.

The proposal for a one-day rodeo festival including sheep dog trials, shearing and a country and western concert is being driven by a number of regional organisations, including the local Pastoralists and Graziers Association.

Although it’s still early days, rodeo steering committee chairman Barry Court is keen to see the event run in Langley Park, following Telstra Rally Australia in November.

And it’s understood Janet Holmes a Court has agreed to supply all the cattle for this wild show.

V3 Leisure manager WA Shane Crockett is currently undertaking a feasibility study to look at all the costs involved in the rodeo event.

“Shane Crockett is also chairman of (Telstra) Rally Australia, so he knows how to coordinate with Rally Australia if necessary,” Mr Court said.

“This is the Year of the Outback and there’s not a lot being done here in WA – this is a chance to bring the outback into WA.

“The idea is to get a higher profile for the Year off the Outback in WA.”

It’s understood the festival of country culture has garnered strong support from the various official organisations, including the Royal Agricultural Society and the Perth City Council.

The only glitch in the scheme is the cost of moving the stands from Telstra Rally Australia out to the Vines Resort in time for the Heineken Golf Classic.

Ideally a two-week window is needed to pull down the stands and rebuild them out at the Vines Resort.

“The Perth City Council are very keen on having it and I understand the stands can be shifted in a week, but it’s very expensive,” Mr Court said.

“The idea is to make it a one-day event with different events on at the same time, finishing with a country and western concert.

“It’d be good to have it at Langley Park but we can still go ahead with it in a different location.”

Several alternative locations are on the table, including the showgrounds in Claremont.

It’s expected the event would attract thousands of people. A sheep dog trial held at Langley Park several years ago attracted considerable interest in its own right.

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