Dittman buck­ing bulls are tak­ing on the PBR cir­cuit

Central and North Rural Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - Jorunn Loren­zen Jorunn.Loren­zen@dai­ly­mer­cury.com.au

FOR THE third year, Ja­son Dittmann’s buck­ing bulls are on the PBR cir­cuit, leav­ing him and his fam­ily no week­ends to spare.

But he wouldn’t have it any dif­fer­ent.

“It is a pas­sion, you live for it,” Dittmann said.

“I can’t wait to come home to the bulls. They are like your mates, they come up to you and you can pet (some) of them, be­cause you are with them ev­ery day.”

A boy from Carmilla, Dittmann got his first taste of the rodeo cir­cuit work­ing for a cat­tle­man at Nebo, who spent his week­end in the arena as a bull clown.

“We started trav­el­ling and I started rid­ing and it fell into place,” he said.

Af­ter re­al­is­ing he wasn’t go­ing to make it as a bull rider, Dittmann de­cided to breed bulls.

“I used to make the CRCA fi­nals but no ti­tles,” he said.

“That is why I am a con­trac­tor.”

It takes some ef­fort to look af­ter buck­ing bulls and travel the road with 10 to 12 “ath­lete” bulls on a truck.

“The big­gest thing with the PBR is the an­i­mal wel­fare – all our bulls are well looked af­ter,” Dittmann said.

“It costs a for­tune to keep a buck­ing bull, the grain, feed and nu­tri­tion. It is like a boxer – if he isn’t fit, he isn’t go­ing to fight.

“You gotta keep an eye on them. It is a full-time job just feed­ing them.”

There is no train­ing a buck­ing bull, said Dittmann. Young rid­ers come up to visit and buck them out in his arena.

“Then I know if they are go­ing to be any good,” he said.

He also has a re­mote dummy to test their buck­ing skills, but there is noth­ing like hav­ing “live bait on”.

Af­ter do­ing the hard work for 10 years as an un­der­ground miner, Dittmann started his own busi­ness in Mackay sup­ply­ing labour to un­der­ground mines.

The busi­ness al­lows him to con­tinue his hobby, as mak­ing a liv­ing out of breed­ing buck­ing bulls is a tough gig.

But the PBR has grown, draw­ing more and more crowds to the are­nas.

“The PBR has grown ev­ery year and the bulls are getting better be­cause of the breed­ing,” Dittmann said.

For the first time, Dittmann, his wife and three chil­dren will be trav­el­ling to the United States at the end of the year to watch the PBR World Fi­nals in Las Vegas.

“They are send­ing straws back to Aus­tralia from the good bulls over there and I am in­ter­ested to go and see how good they are,” he said.

“I want to see it for my­self and see what other con­trac­tors do dif­fer­ent.

“I am still learn­ing, but last year I be­came sec­ond in the con­trac­tor of the year and I have only been do­ing it for three years.”

The Dittmann fam­ily and friends will con­tinue to hit the road with the bulls, en­joy­ing the at­mos­phere of the PBR fam­ily.

“We are like lit­tle kids when we know we’re go­ing to the rodeo,” he said.

“We get in the truck and we high five each other.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

READY TO HIT THE ROAD: Neigh­bour Kerry Bent­ley helps Ja­son Dittmann (right) with daily chores look­ing af­ter the bulls and on the road.

PHOTO: PHILLIP WIT­TKE

Cody Hef­fer­nan on Cloud Jumper. The bull will fea­ture at the Mackay PBR show next month.

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