Streaky Bay benefits from rodeo

Streaky Bay's rodeo brought benefits to the town throughout the week. Picture: Kurt Walter Fine Art Images
Streaky Bay's rodeo brought benefits to the town throughout the week. Picture: Kurt Walter Fine Art Images

The organising team of November's Rodeo by the Sea at Streaky Bay say the economic benefits of the event were seen throughout the town.

The rodeo attracted a sell-out crowd of more than 2500 to the Streaky Bay Racecourse, with a number of events and attractions on the arena and away from it throughout the evening.

Hosted by the Streaky Bay Tourism and Business Association, the idea for a rodeo at Streaky Bay was drawn up in early 2019 by president Lyn Finch.

She said "it was about time" for a rodeo to return to the region after more than 30 years and for most of the year worked with the committee to put it together.

Ms Finch said she was pleased to have the support of local businesses for the event, especially as it was built from scratch.

"Sponsorship is always the most time consuming element of any project, but I was delighted when several of the larger business came on board straight away, one being a national company, Landmark, as our platinum sponsor," she said.

"There's always an unknown quantity when building something from the ground up, so you're never quite sure how the end result will look.

"The element of nervousness is quite real with a big spend like this, not knowing if there will be profit at the end."

Streaky Bay hosted hundreds associated with the rodeo in the week leading up to the event - cowboys and cowgirls, and their friends and family - as well as tourists and spectators from across the region.

Ms Finch said rodeo competitors and their families enjoyed the best of what the district had to offer, including taking a fishing charter to catch whiting, oyster tours, and visiting local attractions.

She said $100,000 was spent on the event, which was raised through sponsorship and community support, and it ended with a profit that would cover stock and prize money for the 2020 event.

Other businesses also reported financial upturns during rodeo week.

Streaky Bay Surf and Style owner Sara Goosay and Nigel Brace of Killas Streaky Bay both noted increased patronage.

"The weekend of the rodeo produced one of my largest turnovers for the year, matching the Easter period sales and only second to the Christmas holiday period," Ms Goosay said.

"My profit for that weekend alone was up by 50 per cent," Mr Brace added.

Ms Finch also said local caravan parks indicated their bookings for the rodeo weekend had significantly increased.

Chairman of the Australian Professional Rodeo Association Terry Evison also praised the event and said it was the best in South Australia in terms of the experience for competitors and attendees, plus the organisation of it.

Streaky Bay plans to make the rodeo an annual event and after the success of the inaugural event Ms Finch said locals have already expressed their interest for the 2020 event.

She said the plan for the second edition was to make it "bigger, better [and] stronger".