Community & Business

11 June, 2024

Organisers ramping up for big Mareeba Rodeo

THE “cream of the crop” of Australian bull riders will converge on Mareeba next month for the town’s iconic rodeo as organisers ramp up for the two-day event.

Organisers ramping up for big Mareeba Rodeo - feature photo

“We’re going to have the cream of Australian cowboys and cowgirls at Mareeba rodeo this year,” Rodeo Association president Peter Brown said.

“We will have an Australian champion bull rider – there’s a lot of champions coming, so you’re going to see the cream of the crop so make an effort and come out.”

To encourage even more patrons to the 13-14 July event, Mr Brown announced that ticket prices for the Sunday program would be reduced this year and kids will also be able to enter for free on Sunday.

After an extended wet season, Mr Brown said it was great to see the weather improve for the tourist season.

“It’ll be good to just get back and get a full-blown rodeo (happening) and get something done for Mareeba,” he said.

One of the most popular bull riders in the north, Braydon Wellby, will be among many other top cowboys and cowgirls who will compete at the rodeo and are guaranteed to deliver the thrills and spills patrons expect to see in the arena.

With more entertainment announcements still to come, organisers have opened up applications for a myriad of program events including the Rodeo Queen and Princess quest, the annual garden awards, ute muster, downtown parade and agricultural show.

The Queen and Princess competition is always one of the most anticipated events, with last year’s Rodeo Queen Raquel France encouraging young women to enter the prestigious annual contest which has been running since 1959.

“The rodeo queen competition is an amazing learning experience,” she said.

“You meet so many different people, get involved in the community, learn about etiquette and have the best fun while doing it,” Raquel said. 

“Put yourself out there, you can only benefit from the experience.”

Entrants must be 16 to 25 years of age and participate in many of the rodeo program’s events such as the Rodeo Ball on 6 July, the garden awards, the cowpokes competition and the downtown parade on 12 July. 

Queen applications are due before 12pm Monday, 24 June. Official judging takes place on 7 July and the winners are announced at the parade.

The 2024 Mareeba Rodeo program kicks off on 29 June, with the popular Junior Cowpokes competition.

Entry opens at 12 noon on the day of the event and judging will begin at 1pm.

Garden enthusiasts are also being urged to be part of the annual rodeo garden competition which offers cash prizes for each of the 12 categories.

One lucky winner will receive the Champion Garden award, receiving garden vouchers and goods valued at $1000, while first place winners for each category will receive $100, second place $75 and third place $50, all with a respective sash.

Garden Awards entries close on Wednesday, 26 June.

Another very popular event associated with the rodeo is the ute muster, offering local enthusiasts to enter seven different categories – street, classic, B&S, chicks, 4x4, town and country, and feral ute. 

Nomination fees for each category are $10 and winners will be asked to participate in the annual downtown parade.

Entries are now also open for the parade down Byrnes Street which is a traditional feature of the rodeo program.

The parade floats feature rodeo queen contestants, best themed floats, local businesses and bicycles, with prizes varying from $30-$175

Rodeo organisers are also seeking volunteers to assist with this year’s event. Anyone available between 8-14 July to assist with both set up and take down of the event should go to the rodeo’s website to apply.

“Be a part of your local community and come out and get involved,”  Brown said.

“There’s a lot of things coming, so come and be a part of it.”

Applications to enter all competitions can be found at 


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