A bucking time
BUCKING bulls and more than 4000 cowboys and cowgirls turned out to the Ride for Relief Rodeo held at the Gatton Showgrounds on Friday.
Organiser of the charity event, Myk Maroske, said he could not have asked for anything better.
“It was absolutely fantastic and about 4500 people came through the gate,” he said.
“We took about $28,000 at the gate and about $14,000 from the bar.”
He said they were aiming to raise $30,000 but exceeded expectations by hitting about $45,000.
“Just to see the looks on people's faces and them light up was great,” Mr Maroske said.
“I saw people who had lost their family, their homes and possessions and they said it was the first sleep they had had since it happened.
“One lady from Grantham said she slept like a baby that night.”
He said there were great competitors who travelled to Gatton from across the countryside.
“Saddleback rider, Dave Mawhinney, paid the entry fee and then threw in a $130 donation – he was the only cowboy on the night who did that,” he said.
“A few boys got knocked about in the bareback because we only had a short time to get ready and dump the sand there. They are all champions in my eyes.”
Mr Maroske said everyone bent over backwards to get the rodeo happening.
“I also want to thank Ann Jones, wife of Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Steve Jones, for making it all happen at the start,” he said.
“There are so many people to thank and we couldn't have done it without their help.”
He said one rider had been in Afghanistan for the past 12 months fighting with the Americans.
“He saw some wild action and now he has returned to fight bulls,” he said.
He said people had been harangued by nightmares since the floods and they just wanted to have a good time.
“There were lots of families because I picked up many snow cones cups and empty beer cans, so they must have all enjoyed themselves,” he said.
“I hope they all go away happy.
“We've been approached by people who want to get on board and do it next year.”
“Entries were a full day before and it was a really great roll-up in the end.”