The biggest crowd ever – more than 3000 people – rolled out for the 75th Tumbarumba Rodeo.

Photos Shaye Hughes

According to committee secretary Sarah Rowson, the crowd came to the Snowy Mountains venue from all over Australia, and even included some competitors from the very first Tumbarumba Rodeo 75 years ago.  

On New Year’s Eve, the broncs, bred by members of the Tumbarumba Rodeo Committee, were run down the main street of Tumbarumba. “This was a step back in time for us,” Sarah says. “In the early years of Tumba Rodeo this is how we used to get the broncs to the rodeo and we would run over 100 horses down The Parade. The whole town lined the streets as well as spectators from all over the country.”  

New Year’s Day saw the rodeo kick off at midday, with plenty of rough-riding action. Rosewood cowboy Tim Hammond won $1000 and the buckle in the Paul Doughty Memorial Chute Out, on bucking horse Blue Flame. “This is an event very close to our hearts,” Sarah says. “Paul Doughty was a past president and committee life member – the longest standing – and he passed away in 2021. He would have been so proud to see a local win this prestigious event.”

It was the first time at Tumbarumba for north-eastern Victorian photographer Shaye Hughes, who specialises in equine and livestock photography. Shaye was focusing on a different approach to the rodeo. “I prefer the more dramatic and artistic view rather than just snapping the regular shots,” she says.  “Tumbarumba is full of heart and the locals make you feel right at home instantly.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #142

Outback Magazine: April/May 2022