Grass Roots draws crowds | Photos, video

MORE than 140 competitors from across Australia rode at the Grass Roots rodeo on Saturday, January 19.

Australia’s largest stand-alone bull-riding event attracted more than 2500 spectators, with funds raised going towards the Cage Youth Foundation.

Founding director of the Cage Linda Grieve said the organisation would benefit greatly from funds raised at the event.

“I love how locals support locals (at Grass Roots),” Ms Grieve said. 

“(It) generates a wonderful opportunity for awareness and fundraising, which, as a self-funded charity, assist us in helping others through providing our free community services across Redlands Coast.”

The Cage provides services including counselling, crisis care and community work skills programs.

Ms Grieve said the Cage had also launched a fundraising competition at Grass Roots in which a surfboard would be raffled off in support of Young Veterans Redlands.

FUNDRAISING: The Cage's Paul Bowers with his handcrafted surfboard, to be raffled off in support of Young Veterans Redlands.

FUNDRAISING: The Cage's Paul Bowers with his handcrafted surfboard, to be raffled off in support of Young Veterans Redlands.

The surfboard, which pays tribute to 41 Australian soldiers who died while serving in Afghanistan, was constructed by the Cage program manager Paul Bowers, a former serving soldier.

The raffle will be drawn on April 27.

The bull ride featured 70 head of stock from poddy calves to 900 kilogram bulls.

GRASS ROOTS: Bull riders Lane Meller and Dan Ruhland and bullfighters Kirstin and Gabe Wood talk rodeos, travelling and what they love about their sport.

Event organiser Jesse James said the event was a resounding success, with takings up from previous years.

He said local food vendors and merchandise companies had enjoyed good sales, as well as stock contractors and the winning bull riders, who collectively took home $8,500 in prize money.