Warrnambool's first rodeo in 25 years has drawn a bigger than expected crowd, leaving organisers bullish about the next event.
The Saturday afternoon show brought 4200 spectators through the gates at the Warrnambool Showgrounds.
Veteran bull rider Kaleb Comollatti was the driving force behind the event, declaring it a "very successful night".
"We had a fair few people there and all the feedback has been really good. Everyone loved it," he said.
Mr Comollatti said it was such a success they had already locked in the next Warrnambool rodeo for January 15, 2023.
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"We are going to start organising it next week."
Mr Comollatti moved to Warrnambool four years ago, but has been riding for 20 years and thought Warrnambool needed a rodeo.
He said he was struck by the family atmosphere.
"There were a bunch of kids running around, asking for high-fives whenever I'd walk past."
Asked for a highlight, Mr Comollatti said it would have to have been Heywood local Sam Woodall's ability to stay on his bull long enough to register a score, which none of the other bull riders had managed.
"The bulls were very fast yesterday, but Sam's riding real hot at the moment," he said.
Mr Woodall won the open bull ride, named in memory of rider Sam Daly. When he was presented with the winner's buckle, Mr Woodall handed it back to Mr Daly's brother, Hayden, out of respect.
While the rodeo was a success, Mr Comollatti said he'd learned a lot for the next event.
"We also couldn't have done it without all the people who pitched in to lend a hand, the sponsors, and Woodall Productions providing the rough stock," he said.
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