An aerial photo of a packed Warwick Showgrounds.
An aerial photo of a packed Warwick Showgrounds.

Loyal sponsors voice support for annual Warwick Rodeo

SPONSORS are sticking behind the Warwick Show and Rodeo Society after animal welfare activists lobbied to have them boycott the event after a bull was injured.

But event sponsors have banded together and said they would not withdraw their support for the event that brings 30,000 people to the Rose City, including the creme of rodeo riders and campdrafters.

Warwick Credit Union CEO Lewis von Stieglitz said he strongly supported the rodeo society and their actions.

"We wouldn't even consider withdrawing our support," Mr von Stieglitz said.

"I think all sponsors need to strongly support the rodeo because it puts a lot into the town's economy and is a tremendous experience for children and adults alike."

Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg agreed and said he felt the rodeo personnel handled the situation as best they could.

"I do think they handled it right, but it wouldn't matter because the reality is, these people would have complained either way," Mr Springborg said.

"If they had of euthanised the bull in the middle of the ring they would jump up and down about that too, so they're damned if they do and damned if they don't."

Mr Springborg said the RSPCA would need to look at the situation in context when conducting their investigation.

"It's very easy to run off on a tangent of emotion so the RSPCA will have to look at this in context because the people who make the most noise are the most heard," Mr Springborg said.

"When you consider there were thousands of animals used in the rodeo, and they are all handled with the utmost care - the reality is these things happen.

"I'm sure the sponsors will put it all in context and the community understands, even if (some people) want to put a whole lot of emotion around it."

Mr Springborg said people could fire up all they wanted, but the spirit of rodeo would remain in the Rose City.

"If you look at the Warwick Rodeo, it's been going for decades and decades and is a serious part of the Australian rodeo calendar," he said.

"It's a wonderful sport and is so much a part of Australia's foundations."

Another local sponsor to preach he was in full support of the Warwick Rodeo was CG Welding owner Gerard O'Leary.

He said the incident was taken way out of proportion and needed to be brought back to base.

"I've seen this thing all my life (on farms)," Mr O'Leary said.

"They break their legs having sex in the paddock - it's not just rodeos.

"If a footballer breaks his arm or leg, all they give him is some ice and half an orange.

"I think it's out of control."

CG Welding was the major sponsor for the Ladies Silver Cup campdrafting last week and Mr O'Leary said he would continue to support the event.

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