Brothers League Club bucks tradition of hosting rodeo
BROTHERS Leagues Club has opted not to host this year's spectacular national rodeo championship at its Raceview grounds - ending a 15-year association with the National Rodeo Association.
The event, held each November, has become a fixture on Ipswich's social calendar and featured the best bucking stock and cowboys in Australia.
Better known as the City of Ipswich Brothers Rodeo, it had attracted fans from over the Toowoomba range and from across south-east Queensland.
Brothers general manager Mark Hennelly said there were no sinister reasons behind the decision.
He cited dwindling sponsorship, combined with poor weather conditions in previous years, as some of the factors.
"We've had a long association with this event and formed a great relationship with the NRA," he said.
"The rodeo has been something that has brought a lot of people to Ipswich and we're proud of that."
Mr Hennelly said the club's past four rodeos had been marred by rain, which had affected crowd numbers.
"Sponsorship has also become harder to obtain each year," he said.
"A lot of effort goes into putting this event together, from our junior football club members, who help out, to our ground staff.
"Based on the outcomes in recent years we felt it was time to have a break from the event."
But Mr Hennelly said he didn't dismiss the idea of one day hosting the event again.
"I can't see into the future but, who knows, the City of Ipswich Brothers Rodeo might one day return to the club bigger and better than ever," Mr Hennelly said.
In the meantime, NRA executive director Jason Hall said he was trying to find an alternative venue.
He said he would like to keep the event within Ipswich but was also looking at locations in the Lockyer Valley and Toowoomba regions.
"Obviously we're disappointed not to have it at the Brothers Leagues Club," Mr Hall said.
In light of bad weather in the past, Mr Hall said he was also considering the possibility of holding the rodeo at an indoor venue.