Queanbeyan Rodeo pulls crowds for plenty of thrills and spills: GALLERY

The Queanbeyan Rodeo attracted thousands of flannelette and akubra clad spectators to the city's showgrounds on Saturday to watch cowboys bravely mount big, angry bulls.

Keen fans breezed past the handful of animal rights protesters at the gate to get their spot at the front row hay-bail for the brave 8 second battle of man versus beast in one of Australia's richest rodeos.

The classic rodeo clowns entertained the crowd and protected the riders while a number of cameras on the ground and in a drone provided modern live action replays on the big screen.

Daredevils of a different kind, sky divers, arrived in style during the intermission.

Queanbeyan Rodeo Committee president Mark Mills joked he was disappointed with the NRL for scheduling the Canberra Raiders' first game of the season on the same night, but he was still expecting up to 5000 to attend.

"It's always stressful because of the weather, everything hinges on the weather," he said.

Mr Mills couldn't have asked for better conditions, with the sky so clear and dry water was continually laid in the rodeo ring to temper the dust.

The event runs on the generosity of volunteers and sponsors, with all the profits going towards a nominated charity.

This year the money was handed over to the mental health organisation, R U OK? - a fitting tip of the cap to support an issue that plagues so many rural and regional communities.

And more simply, the help is appreciated to put on such a big event.

"Without the sponsors and the volunteers the rodeo wouldn't be running, it's as simple as that," Mr Mills said.

"The volunteers are indispensable."

The party flowed long into the night but there was also plenty of rides and games for the little ones, including a mechanical bull for the future stars of the rodeo arena.