Ranse confronts beasts head-on
IF WORLD champion bull fighter Brian Ranse had a superpower, it would be the ability to help everybody.
Ranse, 30, makes a whirlwind return from the United States to join round eight action of the Toyota Extreme Superbull Series at Rockhampton's Great Western Hotel tonight.
According to Ranse, life as a rodeo clown is no joke.
The Katoomba cowboy has, arguably, the most dangerous job in the world.
Ranse, the 2003 APRA (Australian Professional Rodeo Association) bull fighter of the year, boasts an injury list that reads like a train wreck.
"My job is to make sure these guys get out of the arena on their own power.
"If that means I end up in hospital, then I do,'' Ranse said.
In an event on the world circuit last year Ranse broke three ribs, punctured a lung and lacerated his liver.
His job tonight to protect the nation's top-25 bull riders sounds simple, but you try going head-tohead with a 900kg beast.
"You've got to know which way the bulls are going to break,'' said Ranse, a former bull rider.
"It can be a dangerous job, but I have to get in there no matter what happens.''
Rockhampton's Kevin Connolly and Robert Searle are just two bull riders who will have Ranse in their corner tonight.
Connolly has overcome a bad start to his 2005 campaign to be the current leader of the Bullriding Australian Championships.
"I couldn't ride a swag with a dung beetle under it, but things are going pretty good now.''
Searle, who finished third in the last round of the Toyota Extreme Superbull Series, returns to the Great Western Hotel tonight after winning his home town event in Collinsville.
Tonight is the penultimate round before the season-ending finals on December 30 and 31.