The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES KITTO

GUSTY wind and threat­en­ing storm clouds did not stop hun­dreds of cow­boys, cow­girls and mo­tor­ing en­thu­si­asts from strap­ping in for the an­nual Melton Mowbray Rodeo.

More than 2000 peo­ple turned out for the ru­ral event in the south­ern Midlands at the week­end, which show­cased the best of Tas­ma­nia’s wool shear­ing, bull rid­ing, wood­chop­ping and ute mus­ter­ing.

Paige Blyth, of Chig­well, who com­peted in the ute muster con­test and took out the gong for the Loud­est V6 en­gine, said the Melton Mowbray Rodeo was a high­light on the south­ern Midlands cal­en­dar.

“There needs to be more rodeos around the state, par­tic­u­larly in­clu­sive of ute musters and other events like the sheep shear­ing,” she said. Ms Blyth’s 1995 VR Holden Com­modore reg­is­tered a roar of 98.1 deci­bels — a louder than a Boe­ing 737 air­craft.

“It’s my sec­ond year com­pet­ing in the event’s ute muster con­test and my sixth year com­ing along to the rodeo and it’s al­ways been a bit of fun,” Ms Blyth said.

Melton Mowbray Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Ben Sculthorpe said de­spite some wor­ry­ing weather early in the day, crowds flocked to en­joy the event.

Mr Sculthorpe said the event would go close to rais­ing $12,000 for char­i­ties, in­clud­ing the Buy a Bale drought ap­peal cam­paign.

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