Connolly chases US dream
ROCKHAMPTON bull rider Jock Connolly could realise a lifetime dream thanks to a new association between Bullriding Australia and America's PBR (Professional Bull Riders).
The PBR is setting up in Australia, giving our bull riders a chance to qualify for the World Championships from home.
PBR has already tapped into Brazil, Mexico and Canada.
Any event which carries $4000 or more in prizemoney will count towards qualifying points for the world titles.
The Superbull Series, which is hosted by Rockhampton's Great Western Hotel, has upped its prizemoney by $10,000 this year to $40,000 and will be included in the qualifying rounds.
Connolly was considering hitting the US circuit this month, but with this new association has opted to stay at home.
"It's just like a dream come true,'' Connolly said.
"It would be awesome (to qualify).''
Connolly set the standard at the end of last season, winning both the Bullriding Australia and Superbull Series finals and averages.
It was a dramatic turnaround for Connolly who had lost all faith in 2004 ? a year when all he wanted was to win one buckle.
"I came here to ride my first bull, got no re-ride, and the next bull showed me the dirt,'' Connolly said.
"I hid, I was devasted ? it was like my heart was torn out.'' Connolly needed another 10 to 15 bulls the following season to get used to the game again.
"Then one morning I just got up and said let's go,'' he said.
The reigning Australian champion has already contested one round of the Bull Riding Australia series this year, riding one bull at Cooyar last weekend before being bucked off his second bull after about 7.4 seconds ? just short of the required eight seconds.
Connolly's next challenge awaits at Marrabel, in South Australia, this weekend for round two.
The opening Super Bull round is at the Great Western Hotel on March 18.