‘Our romantic Wild West wedding’
Champion bull rider Troy says winning his bride was harder than taming a wild beast in the ring!
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.