Riders put bodies on the line at world-class PBR event
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," says 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.
"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.
"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 riding steers and junior bulls," Glen said.
"They'll progress through to the rodeo circuit. When they're winning there then they'll come and test themselves on the PBR tour.
"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 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 going 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.
"I've tried every single weekend and I still can't.
"No one leaves these competitions until the last bull of the night, because that's the number one 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-time Australian champion, he's a father of three kids, got a fourth on the way, 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.
"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."
PBR is coming to town
- Dalby will host round four of the Rural Weekly PBR Series on March 21
- The world-class entertainment kicks off from 5pm at the Dalby Showgrounds
- Buy your tickets at www.eventopia.co before they run out
If you are travelling to the event from Chinchilla, Miles, or even further west, a bus will be running from Chinchilla to the event at Dalby and returning after the event with return tickets just $20, but early bookings are essential.
Book this week by phoning 4672 9900.