Bro­ken, bruised, un­de­terred

Stanthorpe Border Post - - SPORT - Matthew Pur­cell Matthew.Pur­cell@bor­der­post.com.au

Bruised, bro­ken and bat­tered – and Stan­thorpe cow­boy Lukas Wilkin­son wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tak­ing part in the War­wick Rodeo over the week­end, Wilkin­son had qual­i­fied for his first na­tional fi­nals in the Aus­tralian Pro­fes­sional Rodeo As­so­ci­a­tion in bare­back.

“It was great, the at­mos­phere was un­real and the crowd and whole event was just un­be­liev­able and a real plea­sure to be part of,” he said.

“Bare­back is prob­a­bly the hard­est event on your body – phys­i­cally any­way.

“Feel­ing a lit­tle bit worse for wear af­ter it.

“I ended up get­ting hung up on the last ride on Satur­day night and the horse stood on my face and frac­tured my eye socket and cracked my ribs.

“It was the APRA bare­back horse of the year so I was happy to get her cov­ered.

“Bit of a re­match for us be­cause I got her down in Syd­ney and she bucked me off in 7.1 sec­onds and I fi­nally got to ride her for eight sec­onds in the fi­nal this time.”

Wilkin­son was one of 15 fi­nal­ists from across the coun­try who tack­led four rounds.

“So you’re on one head of stock ev­ery night – ba­si­cally from Wed­nes­day through to Satur­day.”

He didn’t do as well as he wanted but he got three of his four horses cov­ered.

“It was good, prob­a­bly one of the best feel­ings in the world, to be in top 15 in Aus­tralia and be able to com­pete at that level and against peo­ple that are the best in the coun­try,” he said.

It has been a busy year for Wilkin­son, who has com­peted at rodeos at Clon­curry, Mt Isa, Mitchell, Spring­sure, St Bren­dan’s, Yep­poon and Syd­ney.

He plans to take a lit­tle time off to let his body heal be­fore div­ing in head first next year.

“It’ll be my rookie year so I’ll be look­ing at tak­ing home the APRA rookie bare­back ti­tle.

“I’ll prob­a­bly just travel all over Aus­tralia again and if it all works out I’ll prob­a­bly go for the Aus­tralian ti­tle the year af­ter and hope­fully head back over to Canada or the States.”

Wilkin­son tried his luck in Canada in 2016 but suf­fered an in­jury.

“I’m not go­ing to let that stop me – I’ll get back even­tu­ally.”

It’s not a life for ev­ery­one, but he said he’d love to see more from Stan­thorpe give it a go.

“Stan­thorpe’s still home but for prob­a­bly eight months of the year I’m liv­ing out of a suit­case and pick­ing up mus­ter­ing work.

“It’d be good to see a lot more young peo­ple from Stan­thorpe get into rodeo and give it a go. It’s wild life to lead but I love it.”

PHOTO: GERARD WALSH

BARE-BACK­ING IT: Stan­thorpe rider Lukas Wilkin­son prepped and ready to jump in the arena ahead of his bare­back ride at the War­wick Rodeo last Fri­day night.

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