Great weather and huge crowds combined to make the annual Lawrence Twilight Rodeo, one of the best.
The event which was held at the Maclean Showground on December 27, offered spectators all the thrills and spills of a top class rodeo event along with a good splash of comedy and family fun.
Lawrence Rodeo president Bruce Green said that he was overwhelmed with the crowd numbers.
“This year was on a par with the best crowd numbers we’ve seen, but it will be a blockbuster next year,” said Mr Green.
“Next year’s event will be held on December 30, which is a Saturday.
“With this last event falling mid week, a lot of people were still working and just couldn’t make it.
“It will also be better for the visitors who travel to the valley after Christmas, giving them a bit more time.
All the rodeo events ran smoothly, with PBR (professional bull riders) Troy Wilkinson taking out the Open Bull Ride event.
Rodeo comedy clown Ian Bostock had the crowd captivated with his dry sense of humour and mobile Woolly Bully.
The ‘bull rider’ protection clowns, Joel Chevalley, Scott Tuff and Scott Amos did an amazing job watching out for the rider’s safety whilst encountering a few near misses themselves.
The local drawcard event once again had to be the ‘King of the River challenge’, which saw the Clarence Valley’s three rugby league teams battle it out in the (rodeo) ring, not on the field.
Mr Green said that Friesian steers were used for this challenge (supplied by Jake Green).
“Lower Clarence’s Dan Randall was petrified going into the challenge, but after his ride was over, he thought he was a millionaire,” said Mr Green.
The ‘King of the River challenge’ was won by Grafton Ghosts Ben McLennan, for the second year running.
Mr Green said that next year’s challenge has taken a new twist which will see four footballers versus four elite jockeys.
“Former Lawrence girl, jockey Tegan Harrison attended the rodeo and was keen to be a part of next year’s challenge,” said Mr Green.
“Planning has already started for next year’s event which will be even bigger and better, so put the date, December 30, in your diary.
“I have to thank the committee, sponsors and all the voluntary workers, because without them, you wouldn’t be able to put the show on.
“It’s just amazing how many people are involved.”