Maddog returns from US
BULL RIDING: There’s always a good show when Shane “Maddog” Simpson hits town.
Call them clowns, bull fighters or protection athletes as the terminology matters little, it is the job these characters do in saving stricken cowboys that really counts.
That is why Maddog is highly acclaimed as he is very good at his job.
Simpson will be carrying out his work at the Great Western Indoor Arena over two nights, December 30-31, as the Bundaberg Rum Professional Bull Riders Touring Pro show hits town.
As always, these events have the top bulls from throughout Queensland, the best riders in Australia and top bull fighters available.
For Simpson it will be a case of working during his rest period as he has only been back in Australia for three weeks after a stint on the lucrative American tour.
The popular bull fighter has already been in the thick of the action as he was also at the recent PBR finals at Tamworth.
After three years on the American circuit, Simpson is enjoying his time back home before setting off for the States again.
“I head back in April for the PBR World finals at Las Vegas,” he said.
Later in the year he has further shows including one in Florida.
While Simpson admits the money is a driving force to continuing his career in America, he said there were also a number of other considerations that made him return there.
“It is the most elite level of the sport,” he said.
“It is the furthest you can go in this sport and you always have to try and be one of the best in the world.”
If being one of the best in the world is a criterion for success, then Maddog has hit the mark as he is widely recognised as one of the top five in his dangerous trade.
Ironically, while the rewards are much greater in America, Simpson feels that the dangers, while still there, are less on that circuit.
“It is probably a little easier as the bulls are less hooky,” he said.
“They just like to buck.”
Bull riding has been a professional sport for a long time in the States and therefore the bulls on the circuit have been bred into the sport over many generations, but he still enjoys working here.
“It is good to be back, it stops me getting soft,” he joked.
Nevertheless, the dangers still exist when average sized men are in an arena with a 1000 kg bucking bovine that appears to have one aim in life and that is to rid itself of the annoyance of having a cowboy on its back.
“I’ve been pretty lucky with injuries as I’ve only had a fractured skull and a broken leg over the last three years,” he joked.
Even the best bull fighters can’t save all riders from injury.
“When they fall off the bulls shoulder, the bull is still bucking and so there is nothing you can do to protect him,” Simpson said.
Nevertheless, the bull fighter will get in as quickly as possible to divert the bull’s attention and limit the damage.
“As soon as the rider is off it’s showtime,” he added.
Supplying bulls for the Rockhampton show are Rockhampton’s Brian Duggan and Robert McPhee, Clermont’s Fred Kleier and Duaringa’s Trevor and Tony Dunne.