Forbes Rodeo has made a sensationally successful return with organisers thrilled with Saturday's big event.
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Competitors were happy and the crowd's delight evident, Sean Read said as the dust settled on the day.
There were plenty of achievements to celebrate and some special honours in memory of two identities of the Forbes rodeo committee.
The Paddy Molloy Memorial buckle for all-round cowboy was presented to Cooper Thatcher from Tumut, who had a huge day winning the saddle bronc and the Ben Hall Motor Inn saddlebronc shoot-out.
Fletcher Ruhrmann took home the Bruce Sayers Memorial Buckle for best junior heeler in the best junior team roping.
A number of local juniors entered the arena, with success for Kobe Read and Samuel Klingner who were two of three tied first place-getters in the steer ride.
On the lighter side of the day, comedy clown Big Al was an absolute hit on his first visit to Forbes.
Overall, it was a terrific way to make a comeback after COVID cancellations, Read said.
"Competitors were all super happy ... everyone was over the moon and the people you talked to in the crowd reckoned it was unreal," he said.
"I think it was the biggest crowd we've ever had, I don't know how many came through the gate but it looked like there were way more people there. They just kept coming, they didn't stop."
And once the crowd got warmed up, they showed plenty of enthusiasm for what was some top competition on the arena.
"The crowd was awesome - the most vocal I've ever heard a Forbes crowd," Read said.
With good reason: it's been three long years since the last rodeo in Forbes and there's not too many in this region - then we were treated to an excellent show.
Read and the other committee members were pretty busy on the day so he didn't get to watch all the action in the arena, but he did reckon the saddlebronc event was a stand-out.
"That saddlebronc riding was up there with the best you're going to see in Australia, it was really really good," he said.
"That second division saddlebronc - the horses that came down from Tumbarumba rodeo committee, they were the best second division saddlebronc horses I've seen in Australia.
"They were unreal and the quality of the second division saddlebronc was the best that I've ever seen anywhere as well."
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