In the sport of professional bull riding, there are two great athletes, the rider and the other being the bull, both of whom are determined on defeating the other, however in this sport, it is the bull that walks away the victor on most occasions.
It has been the last ten years that has seen a major game changer come into play in the sport of professional bull riding with every major bull contractor in the country developing breeding programs and using genetics from past champion bulls to deliver a new breed of bull that has been specifically bred to buck.
Duaringa PBR Stock Contractor Tony Dunne has been breeding bulls for several years, along with his father, Trevor.
He’s the breeder of That’s Gold, who won PBR bull of the year three years in a row. ‘As a young bull the first year, he got runner up for Bull of the Year and lost it by quarter of a point,’ says Tony, ‘and we didn’t know what to do.
Then he came back and he won it three years in a row after that, and we thought, oh well, that’s pretty special – He was a very good bull for us for a long time.’ Years ago, everyone, just went and got bulls out of the saleyard or wild cleanskins,’ says Tony, ‘and then bucked them.
Then once the bulls got older you just got rid of them and went and got a new lot of bulls to go through. We got to go through that many of those saleyard bulls before we finally got a good one.
Then we thought, well, we should put him out with the cows and the chances of breeding a good bull would be a lot higher than trying to buy one through the saleyard.
‘It escalated from there and then we got a heap of genetics over from the US, and now we’ve got like a good strong cow base – their grandfathers are all bucking bulls, so now every one of our cows’ grandparents both sides are bucking bred.’
At events the judges assess the bulls as well as the riders – even if the bull rider does not last the eight seconds and makes a qualified ride – the bull always receives a score.
‘They look for their kick, the speed, change of direction, intensity,’ says Tony. ‘They want them to get high off the ground, kick with intensity and change direction.’ Tony is pleased with his current pen of bulls.
‘We’ve got a couple that are only five or six years old now, like Rock the House, Domino Effect.
They’ve been good. Domino Effect won the Last Cowboy Standing in Brisbane last year and Rock the House, he’s a PBR final championship round bull, and they’ve still got the next three, four years up to top level and they’re pretty standout bulls …
We’ve also a heap of really young bulls we’ve been bucking that have been pretty impressive, we’re happy with as well.’
Dunne’s impressive pen of bulls will be at the Great Western PBR Saturday 20 May – Tickets on sale now, get in early to avoid missing out click on to www.greatwesternhotel.com.au/ to book your tickets.