The world's best bucking bull riders are coming to town

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The world's best bucking bull riders are coming to town

Dust off your cowboy hat and get ready for a night of awe-inspiring grit, because some of the world’s best bull riders are coming to Bendigo next month.
Billed the “toughest sport on dirt”, bull riding is one of the fastest growing action sports in the world, pitting top-notch athletes up against 900kg of bucking bull fury.
The rules at the heart of bull riding — the most popular and dangerous of the seven events that comprise a rodeo — are relatively simple. One hand grips a rope tied to the bull. The other hand is air bound; if it touches the bull or rider, he is disqualified. If the rider stays on for eight seconds, he earns points, and possibly money.
Entire careers can be made or lost in those pivotal eight seconds.
And soon, local audiences will have a chance to watch this eight-second battle play out before their very own eyes when the PBR Bendigo Invitational hits Bendigo Showgrounds on March 3.
The first stop on the 2018 Professional Bull Riders (PBR) stadium tour, the Bendigo Invitational is set to debut a world-first, purpose-built mobile stadium that will bring fans closer to the action than ever before – as well as a live concert by Australian country music star Casey Barnes.
And it’s a big coup for locals, given that the Bendigo Invitational was created in response to five years of fan-requests for a PBR event in the area.
PBR - Newcastle
The stadium will feature a custom-built mega screen to take the audience behind-the-scenes – inside the bucking chutes – and to give slow motion replays for each ride.
“The new stadium will allow us to revolutionise this extreme sport into a touring outback spectacular, with a full theatrical production offering an action-packed night of pro bull-riding, combined with a social after-party event featuring live performances by the very talented Casey Barnes,” says PBR Australia General Manager, Glen Young.
“These won’t be one-off tour stops,’ Young adds, emphasising that PBR Australia is making long-term investments into high caliber events that positively impact the local economies they tour to.
“On average, close to half of the attendees at these events will come from areas up to 400km away, and most of our fans will attend more than one event each year,” says Young.
What’s more, the Bendigo Invitational will host a range of tasty treats and eats, spotlighting some of the best local food suppliers this great city has to offer. Local food truck vendors will plate up mouthwatering selections of mains and morsels – from US barbeque foods, hot dogs and burgers to Tex Mex and South American fare.
Casey Barnes
The event also represents a massive opportunity for Aussie riders to pave a path to the world stage in 2018.
The Bendigo Invitational forms part of the global series that allows riders from across Australia to accumulate critical ranking points for the world standings, which ultimately determine qualification for the multimillion dollar PBR World Finals in Las Vegas and the inaugural PBR Global Cup in Sydney.
The PBR World Finals crown the world’s best individual bull rider, while the new $750,000 Global Cup is the sport’s most prestigious team title – contested by the world’s premier bull riding nations USA, Canada, Australia, Mexico and Brazil.
With the PBR Global Cup in Sydney drawing closer, set for June 9 & 10, the stakes in Bendigo will be higher than ever, with every elite bull rider across the country fighting for last-minute qualifying points to secure one of 14 coveted spots on Australia’s national team.
Twenty year-old Victorian rider Sam Woodall will be a key draw card competing for qualification points in Bendigo, having made a successful return to the PBR Tour from an injury in November 2017.
Sam is hoping to emulate the success of his father Gavin, who was a three-time Australian bull riding champion. Sam’s brother, Jack, is also a bull rider and their grandfather, Ron, breeds bulls for competitions.
“Bendigo is a huge deal for all of the top Aussie riders aiming to make the cut for the Global Cup and also the PBR World Finals at the end of 2018 – it’s also a great chance to showcase the talent in Victoria,” says Sam.
“We’re all gunning for qualifying points to make the Aussie team and the PBR World Finals – it’s going to be cracker of a battle and I’m really excited to compete,” he adds.
PBR - Tamworth
Bendigo too will attract the best bulls in the sport, with 2016 PBR Bucking Bull of the Year “Sweet Pro’s – Hillbilly Deluxe” confirmed for competition. Three of the nation’s top bull breeders – Mitch Russell, Scott Maynes and John P Gill & Sons – will also have bulls in contention.
When & Where: Bendigo Showgrounds, Bendigo – March 3 2018
Tickets are on-sale now for the Bendigo leg of the PBR tour at:
Tickets to the Sydney leg of the PBR Global Cup at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena are also available via ticketek.