Cowboys, bulls both stars of this show
THRILL-SEEKING cowboys will show their prowess on a one-tonne bucking bull in an extravaganza that brings the country to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre tonight.
The second stop of the Professional Bull Riding (PBR) season is an opportunity to earn points, during eight-second unrelenting battles, for the Australian title and world rankings.
Some of the world’s best riders are among the 22 competitors, including Australian champion Aaron Kleier, 2017 champion Troy Wilkinson and Brazil’s No. 2 Lucas Divino.
But the extreme sport will not be without controversy after last year’s event – the first PBR show in Adelaide – saw a bull break its leg, hobble from the arena and euthanised.
“It’s something we don’t hide from,” PBR Australian general manager Glen Young said. “It happened, we’ve gone through and reviewed it and improved what we could.
“It’s one of those freak accidents and something we don’t want to experience again.”
Mr Young said the educational aspect of PBR and its animal welfare practices would be part of the show, which features live music and pyrotech- nics and is expected to attract up to 7500 people.
“These animals aren’t traumatised to buck,” he said. “They legitimately have it in their genetics – some are the great grandsons of champion bucking bulls and American bulls. The bulls are characters themselves and people are starting to follow the bulls like they do the ‘Winxes’ of horseriding.” The RSPCA has called on organisers to ban the use of spurs and flank straps which they say make bulls buck more violently.
“Cattle are prey animals, and having a rider on their backs spurring them in the sides is akin to being under attack from a predator,” RSPCA animal welfare advocate Dr Rebekah Eyers said.
Mr Young said the equipment was used but denied it was to make bulls buck more aggressively.
GIDDY-UP: Junio Quaresima Lucas Divino, and Rubens Barbosa at the Entertainment Centre.