Merrijig Rodeo now all set to go
Dispute settled, with parties looking to future
IT’S all full steam ahead for the Merrijig Rodeo on March 8 after a dispute between the committee and the land leaseholder was settled last week.
The dispute came to a head recently when the landowner padlocked the gates of the venue in an attempt to reach a settlement.
The Merrijig Rodeo and Sports Association (MRSA) ommittee and the landowner, Adele McCormack, have now confirmed they have resolved their dispute and all parties are now working towards a successful event.
Next month’s twilight event will again form part of the Australian Professional Rodeo Association’s (APRA) tri-series of events held with Kyabram and Chiltern over the Labor Day weekend.
APRA representative, Steve Hilton, said he was looking forward to the Merrijig Rodeo going ahead smoothly.
Mrs McCormack, under the guidance of the McCormack Park management committee, leases a one acre parcel of her property to the MRSA for $1 a year, with a further 25 acres of land and water donated by her for use by campers and competitors.
The lease, which is for the Labor Day weekend only, enables the rodeo to continue its 40 year history.
Mrs McCormack said “it’s full steam ahead now for the Merrijig Rodeo”.
“The rodeo is an extremely important event not only to Merrijig but to Mansfield,” she said.
Starting from humble beginnings at McCormack Park on land generously offered by the late Cyril McCormack, the community put in hundreds of volunteer hours to construct the high quality infrastructure now at the rodeo grounds.
Earth works, the new arena meeting all safety features, tree planting, shade screens and lighting towers have ensured the event has been able to attract high quality rodeo riders from across Australia.
MRSA vice president, Dave Shelton, and secretary, Lisa Service, stood down from the association last week to pave the way for new members to take over the running of this year’s rodeo event.
Both Mr Shelton and Ms Service have given dedicated service over the past 12 years and seen the popularity of the Merrijig Rodeo grow into a great day out for family and friends.
New MRSA members were appointed at a special meeting held last Thursday evening.
Helena and Steve Simpkin, Beau Purcell, Evan Houston and Noel Willaton join with ongoing members, Nellie Walker (president) and Mandy Aistrope.
“We are new members with past experience and we are going to run a rodeo,” said Mrs Simpkin.
“I’ve just put my hand up and said I’ll run it.
“I want to see it (the rodeo) go ahead.
“We will run this rodeo and it will be very successful; and it will be great for Merrijig.”
RIDE ‘EM WILL: Merrijig has produced its own home grown local rodeo bull rider, Will Purcell, who will be facing up to strong competition at next month’s Merrijig Rodeo.