BIG BUCKS ON BUDD’S MIND
BURDEKIN cowboy Budd Williamson has conquered bucking bulls around the world, but he says it will be a unique thrill to ride for Australia’s biggest rodeo prize in his own backyard.
Williamson will be the local hope as 22 riders battle against the bulls and each other in the PBR Grand Finals at the Townsville Convention and Entertainment Centre on November 23 and 24.
It is the deciding chapter of the PBR’s year- long race for the national championship and Williamson hoped having his friends and family watching on would help him stay aboard the one- tonne beasts.
“It’s huge to have such a big stage of bull riding right in my backyard,” he said.
“There’s some added pressure with friends and family there, but it also makes you grit your teeth a little more to hang on and not look like a dill in front of everyone. If you can come away with the win at the grand final then you’re the man.”
It takes nerves of steel to overcome the power of the most extreme bucking bulls, but Williamson said nothing could beat the adrenaline rush when the chute gate opened.
“It’s my drug, I guess. It’s an adrenaline rush and the original man versus beast,” he said.
“There are some technical things to it, but at the end of the day you just have to stay on and put aside the danger and risk involved and do the job at hand.”
Townsville has an almost two- decade association with the PBR and Acting Mayor Les Walker said it was a huge coup for the city to host the Grand Finals for the first time.
“We’ve snatched the finals away from Sydney and we’re very thrilled to have the grand slam of bull riding right here in Townsville,” he said.
HOME TURF: Budd Williamson can’t wait for the challenge.