BIG BUCKS ON BUDD’S MIND

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TRENT SLAT­TER

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.

Pic­ture: SCOTT RAD­FORD- CHISHOLM

HOME TURF: Budd Wil­liamson can’t wait for the chal­lenge.

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