Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

{Hardy Bull Riders Deliver} {a Spectacle like No Other}; {Performers Risking Life and Limb aboard Angry Bovines in Centre } {of Arena, Behind-Scenes Fixers, Pick-Up Men All Play Vital Role }

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

{Hardy Bull Riders Deliver} {a Spectacle like No Other}; {Performers Risking Life and Limb aboard Angry Bovines in Centre } {of Arena, Behind-Scenes Fixers, Pick-Up Men All Play Vital Role }

Article excerpt

Byline: Alan Kennedy alan.kennedy@capnews.com.au

RODEO: One of the items on everybody's "Bucket List" should be a visit to the rodeo.

Perhaps not to take part as that is really asking for problems, but attending the event as a spectator as these skilled athletes risk life and limb for the chance of collecting a little pocket money and earning points to add to their total for the season. Recently the CRCA Finals were held at Gracemere's Austadium, attracting more than 5000 spectators plus, of course, the best cowboys and cowgirls from around our region.

But while the action is frenzied inside the arena, The Morning Bulletin also took a look around the back of the chutes and had a chat to some of the people who make things happen on show day.

A rodeo is not just those competing, there are the stock contractors who rear the right kind of animals for an event, the judges, general stock hands, athletes who provide protection for the fallen cowboys, ambulance staff and even those from other sporting organisations who are manning stalls as a major fundraiser.

Many of these people travel around the state and maintain their common interest - the sport of rodeo.

Few would disagree that those involved at a rodeo wear a standard uniform of leather boots, denim jeans a chequered shirt and the obligatory Akubra hat, but while they share similar, sensible work attire and maintain a similar passion for their sport, they also retain a relaxed professionalism.

Behind the scenes stock contractors go about their work.

Apart from Brian Duggan, there are many other successful bull contractors who provide booking beasts for these events; one is Dysart's Fred Kleier

Duggan said Kleier had only started in the last three or four years, but could already claim a number of quality bucking bulls.

Kleier has the bull Easy Going, which won the classic at the Great Western recently, among his herd and a couple of promising young bulls.

"Red Bull looks pretty handy," said Duggan.

When it comes to horses the name Busby is always up there.

The family of contractors of high-quality horses for rodeo - especially in the Saddlebronc section where Mathew Busby is a handy competitor finishing in the top three for that event in 2008.

With the minutes ticking down to showtime you could be forgiven that panic, even a controlled urgency would be in order.

Not with these cowboys.

Sure a few steers get moved from pen to pen and horses get shifted around, but to the casual observer everything appears to be on auto mode.

That should be of little surprise as working with stock is the livelihood of these people and is as natural to them as crossing a road is for us city dwellers.

Consequently the show started on time with no avoidable delays and with as little fuss as possible. …

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