Memories stay afloat
AS THE Comet Benefit Rodeo celebrates 20 years this year, the most touching memory for president Wayne McGhee came in 2008.
The rodeo was cancelled because the committee wanted to help out the many Emerald businesses that went under water in the 2008 flood.
"We didn't think it fair to businesses, but even though they went under, the businesses were still prepared to donate to the cause," Wayne said.
"It was amazing but that sums up the whole event, that's what the community spirit is."
Wayne said the same community spirit had repeated this year despite the downturn where money was tight, businesses still wanted to be a part of the rodeo.
"This year the sponsorships have been as big as ever," he said.
"That proves we are on a winner with the charity we've selected and the type of event we're running."
Wayne said it was also encouraging to see support from the competitors with some travelling from New South Wales, the Northern Territory and far parts of Queensland to compete in the event.
"For the guys to come as far as they do, we've got it right from a competitors' point of view," he said.
Other highlights for Wayne include local competitor Kym Ash setting an Australian record for breakaway roping, in front of her home crowd.
Another highlight was in 1998, two and a half inches fell during the night rodeo yet Wayne said it was one of the best rodeos they'd held with no-one going home despite the wet conditions.