RODEO is all about putting your life on the line.

That's according to Terry Gildae (pictured) who has been with the Calliope rodeo for 24 years despite the fact he has never actually ridden a bull.

The challenge for all rodeo competitors is deciding whether you are better on the back of a bull or in the ring fighting one.

But it's not a sport suited to just anyone.

"I could never keep up in the ring or stay on the back of the bull," Mr Gildae said.

"But as a member of the Calliope Rodeo for nearly three decades I have watched it grow into something amazing."

Growing from 500 patrons to 5000 the Calliope Rodeo has come a long way in 30 years.

It started at the back of the Calliope Railway Hotel pub with fewer than 100 people in attendance.

Back then, the rodeo was a weekend event; a place to go and watch the live entertainment, have a drink and catch up with old mates.

Three decades on it has become one of the largest sporting events in the Gladstone region, highly sought after by thousands.

"When we look at how far we have come, compared to where we started, it's a terrific milestone," Mr Gildae said.

"It has taken a lot of hard work to get the rodeo well recognised as a professional sport within the community.

"We couldn't have done without the ongoing support from the community, our sponsors and of course the dedicated members of the Calliope Rodeo."

Mr Gildae said not only has the sport itself changed but the people involved have too. "Back in the day the majority of bull riders and cowboys were men who worked on cattle farms," he said.

"But now the rodeo has attracted all walks of life. We have industry workers, city workers, rural and urban residents and even surfers who get in the ring.

"I remember one day we had this younger boy come to the rodeo, he was tanned with dreadlocks and told us he liked to surf.

"He wanted to try his luck at being a rodeo clown, and boy, once he was in the ring he shocked us all.

"He was a natural, the way he could run around a bull was just amazing.

"He was born for rodeo; not afraid to put his life on the line."

Mr Gildae said the Calliope Rodeo's biggest achievement was what it had been able to give back to the community.

"Last year it was around $14,000; a huge amount for a local organisation."

"Everyone involved with the rodeo, members, riders, clowns and even the patrons should be extremely proud of what we have been able to achieve; 30 years of good times, memories and friendships. "Let's hope we can run the Calliope Rodeo for 30 more years."

This year's rodeo will be held at the Calliope Rodeo Grounds from September 25-26.

A range of bull riding categories are open for nominations with up to $6500 worth of prize money to be won. Bull riding is only half the fun at the rodeo with live music, wood chop demonstrations, the ute muster, children's entertainment, bar and food, clothing and novelty stalls as well as camping facilities.