Legacy lives on with buck­ing bull breed

The ladies of BK Buck­ing Bulls carry on af­ter tragedy

Central and North Rural Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - GEORDI OFFORD Geordi.offord@ru­ral­weekly.com.au

FIVE months ago Kerri King and daugh­ter Kandiece were go­ing to give up their fam­ily buck­ing bull busi­ness af­ter tragedy struck.

What was meant to be a nor­mal week­end sup­ply­ing bulls to the Wood­ford Show turned fa­tal when her hus­band Brian was killed in a truck­ing ac­ci­dent.

It’s been a ter­ri­ble year for the fam­ily.

But with over­whelm­ing sup­port, they have bravely kept his legacy alive through BK Buck­ing Bulls.

“We were go­ing to give it all away,” she said.

“But we just had so much sup­port.

“Peo­ple have been so kind and we knew he would want us to keep go­ing.”

The pair sup­ply bulls to PBR events and on the NRA Ca­bool­ture cir­cuit, as well as a mini se­ries around their home town of Mun­du­berra, Gayn­dah, Monto and Mount Perry.

Kerri spoke to the Ru­ral Weekly this week to ex­plain why her fam­ily loves be­ing a bull con­trac­tor.

THE HUR­DLES

FIVE months on from the ac­ci­dent, Kerri said there were still strug­gles.

“Some days are very tough, and the fi­nals were par­tic­u­larly hard,” she said.

“We’re try­ing to jug­gle our com­mer­cial op­er­a­tion with the bulls, Brian was a very hands-on man, it’s a lot of work.

“We had to scale down and sell-off one of our prop­er­ties be­cause we just couldn’t get it all done.”

Kerri and her daugh­ter do a lot of work around the farm and with the bulls, and they also have a lot of help from Kandiece’s hus­band Justin.

“He works seven days on and seven days off at the mines,” she said.

“He helps us muster and run the place when he’s home.”

Kerri said when peo­ple would meet her and Brian for the first time, they used to think it was just him run­ning the bulls around.

“Peo­ple would say to me ‘you don’t go too, do you?’ and Brian would say ‘she’s the first in the truck!’,” she said.

THE BULL BUSI­NESS

PRO­DUC­ING buck­ing bulls was a long-time dream for the cou­ple.

“Brian used to ride when he was younger and we al­ways said one day we’d have our own team of bulls,” Kerri said.

“We just used to have com­mer­cial cat­tle and we had two young bulls rid­ers called Mark and Craig Pos­tle who used to come over and ride our bulls.

“They then went on to buy some of their own bulls and my hus­band said ‘if you see any good ones get me one’.

“So we started out with about a dozen and now it’s sky rock­eted to about 100.”

She said their stock was bred to buck and were based on the Speedy breed, in­tro­duced by Pat Speedy 50 years ago.

“We put a lot of time into them,” she said.

“We start han­dling them from a young age be­cause

❝ Peo­ple would say to me ‘you don’t go too, do you?’ and Brian would say ‘she’s the first in the truck!’ — Kerri King

we’re in a tick area so we’re al­ways keep­ing their treat­ment up to date.

“We also teach them at wean­ing age to go into the chute, stand and re­turn.”

Back when they be­gan she said they would have been happy with any rodeo gig they got.

“We were very pleased with our line-up of bulls and would have been happy with one a month,” she said.

“But now we’re only the road pretty much ev­ery week­end and some­times we’re sup­ply­ing two rodeos in the one week­end.”

Kerri said the health and care of their bulls was ex­tremely im­por­tant to them.

“We love those an­i­mals as much as peo­ple love their cats and dogs,” she said.

“A lot of peo­ple think they’re just a herd an­i­mal but they all have their own per­son­al­i­ties and quirks.

“All through the drought I’ve been buy­ing them the best lucerne I can get, and they get lick all year round.

“They’re al­ways happy to go around to events, we just back the truck up and they get straight on.”

She said the rid­ers were keen on their bulls thanks to word of mouth from their peers.

“They’re al­ways happy to have a con­ver­sa­tion with us,” she said.

“We pride our­selves on pro­duc­ing a good prod­uct and we try very hard to make sure they have nice bulls they want to get on.”

The fam­ily is on the road nearly ev­ery week­end.

“It’s a lot of very hard work,” she said.

“Then at the rodeo we’re flat out all night with the bulls and some­times we won’t get home un­til four in the morn­ing.

“Our last rodeo for the year will be in Rock­hamp­ton on New Year’s Eve and then we’ll have three to four weeks off be­fore we get started again in Fe­bru­ary.”

Af­ter a tough year for the fam­ily, their hard work was re­warded with their bull Let’s Rock tak­ing out the NRA Buck­ing Bull of the year.

“We were just blown away and so ex­cited,” Kerri said.

“We’ve been run­ner-up for the last three years in a row

only miss­ing out by a point or two.

“He re­ally de­served it, he’s a won­der­ful bull.”

PBR QUAL­ITY

WHILE they do sup­ply bulls for lo­cal rodeos, the Kings’ top line shines on the PBR stage and has done so for the last eight years.

Cur­rently their bull Austin Pow­ers is sit­ting in ninth po­si­tion on the PBR Aus­tralia stand­ings.

“It’s not just about the rid­ers any more,” she said.

“The bulls and the con­trac­tors get scored on the rides as well.

“Nat­u­rally be­ing a con­trac­tor your want to see your bull do well and you want to win.

“It makes it all very re­ward­ing when they do well.”

One of their high­lights was a bull called Game On.

“Some of the best rid­ers in the world had the chance to try and ride him,” Kerri said.

“The whole time he was in the PBR he was un-rid­den un­til his re­tire­ment ride in Bris­bane.

“But we didn’t mind that be­cause it was his last bull ride.”

BK Buck­ing Bulls are start­ing to use im­ported ge­net­ics from Amer­ica.

“It’s some­thing to bring in to keep on bet­ter­ing our bulls,” Kerri said.

“We do oc­ca­sion­ally buy bulls as well but we are very proud of the ones we breed at home.”

PHOTO: FILE, CON­TRIB­UTED AND PHILLIP WITTKE.

THE KING: Brian rode bulls when he was younger and was de­scribed by Kerri as very hands-on.

BK Buck­ing Bulls sup­plies bulls to the PBR, NRA Ca­bool­ture cir­cuit and their lo­cal mini se­ries.

The late Brian King with daugh­ter Kandiece.

PHOTO: PBR AUS­TRALIA

BIG BUCKS: Game On was un­rid­den un­til his re­tire­ment ride in Bris­bane in 2018.

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