Bull rider stays upright
BULL RIDING: They call the Bull Ride the toughest sport on dirt, but just recently Rockhampton cowboy Russell Cox has been making the eight-second nightmare look a little easy.
He's been around the scene for a while, but it's only over the past months that he has started to pick up a few high finishes.
Furthermore the young man has been getting his results from riding quality beasts.
His best performance so far came in the Open Bull ride at St Brendan's where he rode the Brian Duggan bull, Western Star, for 86 points.
It is very rare a cowboy has the pleasure of hearing the eight-second bell while still seated on that particular bull's back.
“I thought the judges were a bit sparing with their scoring for that ride,” an impressed Duggan stated.
“That was a really good ride.”
Recently he conquered another good Duggan bull at the Blackwater Rodeo, extracting 84 points for his effort on Prison Break to gain second place.
Duggan has watched Cox develop as a rider and is in no doubt he has the talent to go far.
“This year he is really applying himself,” he said.
“He's got the ability, but now he is more mature and focused.”
Cox said he didn't get into the sport until he was 15-years-old.
“I didn't get into it until late with the steer rides,” he said.
Born at Alpha, Cox was more used to riding horses around the 50,000 hectare property on which he lived.
It wasn't until he was a student at Rockhampton State High School that the opportunity came about to move on from equine to bovine.
He took that chance.
Even the world's finest riders have literally had their share of ups-and-downs, but Cox deals with that as just a part of the sport.
“It is just how it goes; you can't ride them all,” he said with a chuckle.
During his short time around the sport Cox has had the opportunity of watching other cowboys in action and viewed their style.
There are three in particular who left a big impression, one being Duggan and also current riders Ben Seeds and Ryan Storey.
Seeds has progressed to the United States and that is where Cox would like his bull riding to take him.
“First I would like to make the (CRCA) Bull Riding finals,” he said.
“Then go to America and ride a few over there, hopefully in the next year.
In the meantime his next challenge will be in the CRCA rodeo at Appletree Creek.