16/04/2024

Bull riding has continued to grow in Australia regularly bringing in sell-out crowds. (Photo: PBR Australia).

Bull riding is not for the faint hearted.

The sport is one of the most dangerous in the world and bad injuries are common for riders. You may be wondering why people would willingly put themselves in harm’s way and at risk of horrible injuries.

It’s in the blood.

The passion of these riders overtakes all else, as they climb into the chutes time and time again without giving it a second thought.

While bull riding has been massive in America for many years, Australia has experienced great growth in recent times with more viewers and people attending PBR (Professional Bull Rider) events than ever before.

PBR Australia manager and director, Glen Young explained the brutal nature of the sport and the risk riders put themselves through at every single event.

“Every time these guys nod their head, it can be their last ride,” he said.

“It could be the last time they walk, it could be the last time they breathe, there’s eight seconds of uncontrollable motion going on, it does get dangerous.”

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While the junior pathways have increased interest in the sport, Young felt the exposure to new audiences both overseas and here in Australia was the biggest factor.

“I’ve been at it since it started over here in Australia,” he said.

“I’ve sort of been with it from the start to where it is now and I think it’s just more people being exposed to it.

“That comes through when we are doing live streams on the internet, putting tv content and stories out on 7Mate or Fox Sports.”

The sport has transformed from a one-time experience of going to a rodeo, to now being a sport that can actively be followed.

“We’re starting to see more NRL fans coming across, starting to see more AFL fans and we’re starting to see a lot more fans put up their hands for locations they want us to come to,” he said.

“You can go to monster trucks once and you don’t follow it, but they (our supporters) can actually follow (riders like) Sam Woodall every weekend, they can get results on him every weekend that there’s a PBR event.”

The biggest event on the calendar is the annual PBR Australia Grand Finals, which are set to begin on Friday, November 3 in Townsville.

“I’m looking forward to that one, it’s one of my favourites,” Young said.

“I started that event back in 1999 so it’s good to see that this will be the 25th performance.

“It delivers a bull riding atmosphere like no other.”

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