Legacy lives on with bucking bull breed
The ladies of BK Bucking Bulls carry on after tragedy
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
BIG BUCKS: Game On was unridden until his retirement ride in Brisbane in 2018.