Bulls all part of the fam­ily

Central and North Rural Weekly - - FIND A -

FROM BULL rider, to un­der­ground miner , to bull stock con­trac­tor for PBR Aus­tralia, 41 year-old Ja­son Dittmann is will­ing to try his hand at it all, and his de­ter­mi­na­tion and will-to-suc­ceed has paid off. Big time.

Sit­ting in sec­ond place as a stock con­trac­tor on the PBR leader board, Dittmann con­trib­utes this to a com­bi­na­tion of hard work, the money be­hind him to buy good bulls, and treat­ing each and ev­ery buck­ing beast as part of the fam­ily. “They’re treated even bet­ter than my kids,” he says with laugh.

“I have a nu­tri­tion­ist make up their feed, which costs a for­tune, but they’re worth it.

“Be­tween the bulls’ high pro­tein feed which al­lows them to put 2kg on a day, vi­ta­min shots, worm­ing, B12 shots, and keep­ing them in tip-top con­di­tion with reg­u­lar ex­er­cise and sub­stan­tial rest time be­tween buck­ing out of the chutes, each bull costs be­tween $500-$600 a week to keep.

“I jog them one kilo­me­tre ev­ery day on a spe­cially-made con­veyor belt. I watch them care­fully, and any that aren’t up to form I give them time off from the rodeos.”

Dittmann is very pas­sion­ate about an­i­mal wel­fare, and does every­thing in his power to keep his bulls happy and healthy.

“A bull won’t buck un­less it wants to, and we never hurt them by forc­ing them to. In my opin­ion, they’re looked af­ter bet­ter than herd bulls, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing they get ten ki­los of grain a day.

“Each bull has his very own feed bin, so I know he’s get­ting his fill.”

A so­cial bloke, but also ex­tremely driven and com­pet­i­tive, Dittmann does all he can to pro­mote the sport he loves. “I’ve had cool­ers made, and bumper stick­ers. I don’t see stock con­tract­ing as a job, but more of a hobby.

“It’s my down time and a great ex­cuse to catch up with mates, and have a beer and a laugh af­ter the event.

“PBR Aus­tralia is like a big ex­tended fam­ily that I’m proud to be a part of. It’s some­thing my whole fam­ily can be in­volved in. My wife and two boys each have their very own buck­ing bull that they help feed each and ev­ery day.” With baby num­ber 3 only a month away, and con­firmed to be a girl, Dittmann is sure his lit­tle cow­girl will also have her pick of his prime bulls.

It’s cer­tainly a fam­ily and friend af­fair for all of them.

“My good mate, Troy Dunn, lives just up the road. He used to cart some of my bulls for me years back.

“He’s been an in­spi­ra­tion in me be­com­ing a stock con­trac­tor for the PBR.”

It hasn’t been an easy ride for Dittmann to get where he is to­day. He’s worked hard, and sac­ri­ficed. An un­der­ground miner for nine years , he then went on to start his very own project man­age­ment com­pany with 260 staff.

Never one to shy away from hard yakka, to add to the stress of man­ag­ing that many staff, he now has 23 bulls be­neath his belt.

“I look for bulls with a good na­ture see­ing as they are go­ing to be around my kids, and with heaps of rear and drop for the arena. I hate to lose so I strive to win at every­thing I do.

“Stock con­tract­ing is no dif­fer­ent. My bulls are a prized pos­ses­sion and they are treated that way. I want to have the best buck­ing pen in Aus­tralia.”

Dittmann has had his fair share of in­juries over the years, a punc­tured lung be­ing one of the worst while bull rid­ing.

As a stock con­trac­tor he spends more time on the ground and found him­self in hospi­tal a few months back af­ter be­ing run over by one of his bulls.

“I was wear­ing thongs, and slipped over in the mud, and with all the hul­la­baloo the bug­ger got ex­cited and did what he does best when a bloke is on the ground, de­fends his ter­ri­tory.”

Like a true rodeo man, Dittmann tells this story with a light-hearted edge.

“The fam­ily and I are head­ing over to Las Ve­gas for the PBR World Fi­nals at the end of this year, and we can’t wait. It’s go­ing to be a trip of a lifetime. Although I like swag­ging it some­times, it’ll be nice to flash it up and stay in a nice ho­tel with room ser­vice.”

A true-blue Aussie, with a big heart and a warm how-ya-go­ing per­sona, it’s blokes like Ja­son Dittmann a per­son wants to see make it…a big con­grat­u­la­tory pat on the back that he has.

❝ I jog them 1 kilo­me­tre ev­ery day on a spe­cially made con­veyer belt... — Ja­son Dittmann

PHOTO: PHILLIP WITTKE

FINE FORM: Ro­bi­son Guedes on Ja­son Dittman's Palooka for 0 points in the cham­pi­onship round.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Ja­son Dittmann jokes his buck­ing stock are looked af­ter bet­ter than his fam­ily.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Ja­son Dittmann is ded­i­cated to pro­duc­ing qual­ity buck­ing bulls for the PBR cir­cuit.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Ja­son Dittmann loves get­ting his kids in­volved with the PBR.

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