Riding it out for rodeo glory
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."
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," 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.
"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."
The Rural Weekly Pro Bull Riding Live Series will arrive at North Ipswich on Saturday.
Tickets are available at the QT office or visit qt.com.au/liveseries.