Streaky's ready to rodeo again

Rodeo by the Sea returns to Streaky Bay

Events
EAGER ENTRANTS: Tom Willoughby, Allendale North, with Caitlin Mitchell, Eudunda, and Shianne Kent, Port Lincoln. Photo: KURT WALTER

EAGER ENTRANTS: Tom Willoughby, Allendale North, with Caitlin Mitchell, Eudunda, and Shianne Kent, Port Lincoln. Photo: KURT WALTER

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Streaky Bay will soon host a rodeo.

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In the past, rodeos were a much-anticipated event for communities on the Eyre Peninsula and Streaky Bay decided it was time to bring one back.

Streaky Bay Tourism and Business Association president Lyn Finch believed that the EP was missing a family event that was connected to the farming community.

"We hold many other events such as the Family Fish Day, but we were missing an authentic connection to our farmers," she said.

"Rodeos were held at Smoky Bay many years ago and they were well attended, no one can tell me why the event stopped."

The inaugural Rodeo by the Sea will be held on November 23.

Lyn said she called in the help of "rodeo royalty" to help organise the event, including Jim Willoughby, a rider from Allendale North, who is also known for his work on the television series McLeod's Daughters.

"Jim is one of Australia's best stock handlers and legendary rodeo competitors. He walked us through what was involved in hosting a rodeo," she said.

Lyn said it was important the crowd witnessed the "magical experience" of a rider and horse working in union or the determination of a rider trying to stay on a bull.

The event will also feature a Rodeo Queen competition between Caitlin Mitchell, Eudunda, and Shianne Kent, Port Lincoln.

"The ladies have been busy raising funds for the Streaky Bay Hospital - the rodeo nominated charity," Lyn said.

"On the day of the rodeo, they will ride a horse they have never ridden before a judging panel."

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The entrants will be assessed on riding ability, equine knowledge, understanding of the history of rodeo and general knowledge questions.

The winner will lead the rodeo parade into the arena.

"The Rodeo Queen then promotes the rodeo throughout the next 12 months and will also help to mentor next year's entrants," Lyn said.

"I hope to host it (the rodeo) each year, but that is something we will need to discuss with the community post this year's event."

Event remembers EP champion rider

AN Eyre Peninsula rodeo champion will be honoured at the inaugural Rodeo by The Sea, with the Saddle Bronc Champion being awarded the Johnny McInnis Memorial Trophy.

The trophy will pay tribute to the Streaky Bay-born champion after he travelled across Australia to compete in some of the most prestigious buckjumping events.

Growing up in Cungena, Johnny's first contest was in 1936, riding a poddy calf at the Piednippie Rodeo.

He won his event and the trophy was a silver egg cup and spoon and a serviette ring.

But it was not until 1947 that he attended his first large-scale rodeo at Hahndorf, an event initiated by RM Williams.

Johnny competed at rodeos in country towns from Qld to Perth, collecting many champion ribbons along the way.

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He rode four times in the Australian buckjumping championships and was crowned champion in the Far Northern Buckjumping Championship in 1952.

Johnny also won the SA Buckjumping Championships in 1953 before becoming the Cungena Rodeo Committee president from 1950-54.

He lived the remainder of his life farming at Yantanabie and passed away in July this year at 92 years old.

Lyn said she was delighted to have a rodeo return to the region.

"Being on the national circuit, it will offer great benefits and give the region exposure to a new demographic," she said.

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