Cow­boys, bulls both stars of this show

The Advertiser - - NEWS - ERIN JONES

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.

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