‘Our ro­man­tic Wild West wed­ding’

Cham­pion bull rider Troy says win­ning his bride was harder than tam­ing a wild beast in the ring!

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Real Life -

When Mon­tana Thurtell walked down the aisle in her stun­ning white wed­ding gown, Troy Wilkin­son says she took his breath away and left him feel­ing al­most like he was sky­div­ing.

“I was ter­ri­fied and su­per-ex­cited at the same time,” ad­mits the rodeo cham­pion, who risks his life to ride wild 800kg bulls bred specif­i­cally to buck, spin and throw him to the ground in com­pe­ti­tions around the world.

The two-time Aus­tralian bull rid­ing cham­pion, from the tiny town of Up­per Hor­ton in north­ern NSW, had to fight hard to win the woman of his dreams, even if he play­fully in­sists she chased him af­ter ini­tially play­ing hard to get.

“She will never ad­mit con­tact­ing me first,” the 27-year-old grins.

But nei­ther of them dis­pute that Mon­tana, 24, smelled trouble with a cap­i­tal T when Troy met her at a bull-rid­ing show in Dalby, Queens­land al­most four years ago. “I didn’t like bull rid­ers be­cause they have a bad rep­u­ta­tion,” she says.

Walk­ing away from the “cocky” cow­boy, Mon­tana says it took Troy three months to track down her phone num­ber and an­other three months to build up the courage to phone her. But when she flew to Mackay to sur­prise him at a bull-rid­ing event, in what be­came their first date, the pair fell for each other, and have rarely been apart since.

Troy pro­posed af­ter cook­ing but­ter chicken “from scratch” and pre­sent­ing Mon­tana with a Kinda Sur­prise – with the sur­prise be­ing the beau­ti­ful di­a­mond en­gage­ment ring in­side the choco­late.

“That was the most ner­vous I’ve ever seen him, and he rides mon­ster bulls for a liv­ing,” she laughs.

“Within a few min­utes he charmed me like no one ever had,” says Mon­tana of her first meet­ing with Troy.

The cou­ple promised to “love each other for an eter­nity”.

Troy is a two-time Pro­fes­sional Bull Rid­ers Aus­tralia cham­pion.

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