Hold onto your hats, Hedland… we’re getting a rodeo!
Drovers Rodeo, situated 14 kilometres up the Broome Road before the speedway, is a dream the property’s owner Frank Edwards has been brewing over for several years now and this year, things are set to happen.
He has the planning approval, building licence and a great right hand manager Joni Elliott all sorted and is looking at six to eight months to build the large yard and stage the town’s first big event.
Rather than compete with the famous Pannawonica Rodeo, owned and staged annually by his great mate Don Innall and wife Simone, Frank’s using his good friend’s expertise to create a similar, vibrant experience for Port Hedland and surrounds.
He aims to have about two or three, or even more rodeos a year and envisages something very big for the town.
“We’ve got a lot of people in Port Hedland, so we’re looking at a couple of thousand [people], maybe three,” Frank said.
“We don’t want to rival [Pannawonica], we just want to join the fun, join the circuit from the Kimberley to the south west.”
His manager Ms Elliott hails from a cattle farm in Gippsland, Victoria and whilst she works at the Hair and Beauty Shed, she shares Frank’s love of horses and is excited about getting the rodeo on the move.
“It’s going to happen!” Ms Elliott says.
“The plan for the year is to finish getting the big yard built for the bigger events.
“We’ve already got a smaller ring built which will have the broncs and small events riding in it.”
Drovers Rodeo will be a family oriented place too, with Ms Elliott saying that it will have good music, a great vibe, good entertainment and a good person on the microphone explaining everything.
“We’ll be doing pony rides, jumping castles; we’ll try and involve everyone in the community to come out there,” she said.
Visitors from other towns will also be able to camp and enjoy a weekend of it.
In the meantime, the plan is also to use the property as an equestrian centre in between rodeos where kids can come and learn all the skills involved in horse riding.
Drovers Rodeo currently offers birthday parties too, so interested families can call 9140 1306 to enquire.