Early in the 1950’s the local men sought to raise funds to build a new Memorial Hall in Carrieton. With a keen interest in rodeos led by Vince Rowe the men decided to run a rodeo. It was a huge effort from all around the district; building yards, securing stock, and along with the catering by the ladies with a knife and fork luncheon on Saturday of the long weekend Oct 1953 the first rodeo was held. It was a successful event and in the following years drew large crowds with great competition. The worldwide famous photos of Buddy Grovenor and Dick White riding Cloud Buster were taken during these early years bringing great recognition to Carrieton for its event and string of bucking horses.
In 2019 the Carrieton rodeo was inducted into the Australian Rodeo Heritage Centre at Warwick to its Hall of Fame. ”It recognizes 66 years of hard community work” said Daniel Williams, President of the club. One of the unusual features of Carrieton club is that it has its own successful string of bucking horses that are paddocked throughout the district.
The daytime rodeo in October in the 80’s was only making bare profits, bad weather conditions in a daytime event and competition from other events on the long weekend saw the crowds dwindle. A bold decision was made to shift to a night rodeo in 1990 between Christmas and New Year. It is now a recognized fun filled family event on the SA tourist calendar with attendance of around 3000, live music, a big screen to watch replays of the action and renown fresh steak sandwiches , food stalls and bar.
The eventful night is part of the Australian Professional Rodeo circuit attracting competitors from interstate and overseas. Some of the spectacular events include; Stockmans Ride, Australian Stock Saddle, Bull Ride, Ladies Barrell Racing and the ever popular children’s events of Barrell racing and Breakaway Roping.
For the event to be held it relies heavily on local support and sponsorship from within and outside the district. In return the Carrieton Rodeo club has provided large funds to numerous local projects in Carrieton and Orroroo and gives a yearly donation to the Royal Flying Doctor.
In 2020 the rodeo was cancelled because of covid. The Carrieton Rodeo for 2021 will be held on Monday December 27th at 7.00 pm. Unfortunately the uncertainty of covid restrictions and the heavy outlay of funds to stage the event has meant once again the committee reluctantly decided to cancel the event for 2021 .
President: Daniel Williams 0427959507
Secretary: Glynn Shackleford 040959089