IT was already the biggest single-day rodeo in NSW and now Queanbeyan Rodeo will stand one of the richest as well, according to event organiser Mark Mills.
A boost in prize money on last year's event will see riders competing for a share of more than $20,000 in prize money when the annual display of guts and horsemanship hits the Queanbeyan Showground later this month.
Mills said the increase in cash on offer was driven in part by a drop in rider numbers at last year's event.
"Competitor numbers were a bit down this year so we've upped the prize money to give the riders better bang for their buck," Mills said.
"As far as prize money goes, we'd be up there as one of the richest rodeos in NSW so we're hoping to attract the best.
"Along with the prize money on offer, the winner of each event also gets a share in the entrance fees paid by all the competitors so you could be looking at $4-5000 total which is a significant amount."
Prize money will be uniform across the rodeo's marquee events as well as for both the men's and women's competition.
Mills said while down on 2011, last year's competitor numbers still ranked it as one of the biggest single day rodeos in Australia, but that organisers were committed to making the event bigger and better each year.
Spectators at this year's rodeo will also be well looked after thanks to a new sound system and electronic timing board, as well as the return of the popular big screen.
"The electric timing board is something we're doing for the first time but that'll be good for the crowd," Mills said. "They'll be able to see times straight away and count down between rides.
"The new sound system is supposed to be huge as well. We've always tried to make it more of a Queanbeyan event rather than just a rodeo so we want to keep the crowd involved and entertained as best we can."
Mills said spectators could expect all the usual thrills and spills at this year's event with a full rodeo program including Saddle Bronc, Barrel Racing, Bareback Riding and Bull Riding.
Queanbeyan's biggest single-day sporting event, the rodeo also serves as a major charity fundraiser.
Last year's rodeo attracted more than 4000 spectators to the Queanbeyan Showground and raised more than $40,000 for charity.
The Queanbeyan Charity Rodeo will be held at the Queanbeyan Showground on Saturday, March 9. Gates open at 2pm with the rodeo to get underway from 4pm.
The Queanbeyan Age is giving five lucky readers the chance to win a double pass to the Queanbeyan Charity Rodeo at the Queanbeyan Showground on Saturday, March 9.
Gates open at 2pm and all the action commences at 4pm.
To enter, simply email your name, address and contact number to firstname.lastname@example.org to automatically be in the running.
Deadlines for entries is close of business, Thursday, March 7. Winners will be contacted by the Queanbeyan Age and will be required to pick up their tickets from
The Queanbeyan Age office at 108 Monaro Street by close of business, Friday, March 8. Entries limited to one per person.