Sport

Pro bull-riding circuit success no easy ride

Troy Dunn has a lifetime of professional bull-riding experience under his belt.
Troy Dunn has a lifetime of professional bull-riding experience under his belt. Sharon Smallwood

IT'S not a matter of "if" you'll get hurt in this sport. It's a matter of "when" and "how badly".

And the insurance cover isn't great.

So why on earth would anyone want to become a bull rider?

"That's a bloody good question," said Glen Young, general manager at Professional Bull Riding Australia.

"Speaking from my own perspective, I started out riding bulls when I was 12 years old," Mr Young said.

"I'd played a lot of team sports. I was decent at rugby league and rugby union and then I had my first go on a bull," he said.

"What you put into it is what you get out of it. It's a personal kind of sport.

"It'd be very similar to a golf player, I reckon.

"It's the mental aspect of it all, it's the physical aspect of it all.

"The only person you've got to blame is yourself if you don't do any good.

"(North Queensland-born bull rider) Troy Dunn always says they've got to have a big ticker, a whole lot of determination and a heap of dedication."

For the best of the best, there's the attraction of the world championship with its million-dollar bonus.

So how do you become a pro bull rider?

"In Australia kids will get started ridin' steers and junior bulls," Mr Young said.

"They'll progress through to the rodeo circuit. When they're winnin' there then they'll come and test themselves on the PBR tour," he said.

"They'll keep entering until they qualify and then it's up to them to do well and stay qualified to be in the top 40 in the nation to be able to compete on the PBR tour.

"Our competition is very hard to win. You can be the best bull rider in the country and you may not win an event all year long.

"You've got 40 guys goin' in there, all of equal ability, and it just really comes down to getting the right bull on the night.

"I've been involved in the sport since it first started and I've never been able to pick a winner of an event.

"No one leaves these competitions until the last bull of the night, because that's the No 1 man in the competition. If he can pull it off in the last bull ride of the night he can win the event."

Not everyone wants to go overseas to make it.

"Dave Kennedy, our four-times Australian champion, he's a father of three kids, got a fourth on the way," Mr Young said.

"He's done the US tour but you know it's not really his cup of tea because he's a

family man trying to establish life after the sport here in our country," he said.

"But he just won the Australian title, so he gets automatically qualified into the world finals in Las Vegas in October, through competing in Australia.

"He's riding for a couple of hundred thousand dollars per round over there. On one bull he could win more than he could win in Australia all year long."

Australian Regional Media, publisher of Rural Weekly and the Fraser Coast Chronicle, has teamed up with PBR Australia to deliver an adrenaline-filled series of bull riding events around the regions.

Top bull riders will be chasing valuable competition points plus an ARM prize bonus of $20,000.

Topics:  bull riding, extreme sports, hervey bay, pbr




Wildlife have a feast on whale

Beached whale left to rot as food for other wildlife

Road Safety Week wraps up on Coast

HARSH REALITY: (From left) Snr Const Adrian Edge, Sgt Steve Webb and volunteers in policing Katherine Webb in front of the crashed car in Maryborough.

As Road Safety Week wraps up there is still a plea to drive safely

Moran fights for title at Golden Gloves tournament

FOCUS: Hervey Bay boxer Katie Moran trains with Greg Atzori during an early morning session at Pialba.

How Katie Moran fell into fight sports.

Latest deals and offers

Kooza takes circus-goers back to Cirque Du Soleil's roots

The high wire act as featured in Cirque Du Soleil's Kooza.

NEW show puts the skills of the performers front and centre.

Branson "amazed" he's still alive after cycling crash

Branson saw "his life flash before my eyes" during a bike crash

Reality TV show "turned our special day into a joke"

UNHAPPY: Maryborough couple Emma and Steven Dilliway who star on Australia's Cheapest Wedding and are not happy with the outcome.

Reality television helped turn this wedding into an internet joke

John Krasinski has better sex now he's in good shape

John Krasinski says there's at least one good reason to get jacked

Kanye West gets 'free reign' at VMAs

Kanye West has been let off the leash for the VMAs

Robbie Williams sings at manager's funeral

Robbie Williams and Lamar sang at the funeral of their manager

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa