Bulls bruise riders at pro event

WELCOME to Rockhampton, Tom Henry and Clayton O’Brien.

It was the first night of action of the Professional Bull Riders Bundaberg Rum Touring Pro at the Great Western Indoor Arena and if the first half of last night’s program is an indicator, then fans are in for a treat tonight.

High-scoring rides, spectacular dismounts, bravery by the protection athletes and, unfortunately, injuries were all part of the program.

You could feel for teenage cowboy Tom Henry as he waited trying to settle the bull Inmate, owned by Trevor and Tony Dunne, in the chute with the powerful animal rearing and threatening to dismantle the structure.

Once the gate was opened the beast went about dismantling Henry, bucking wildly it sent the rider crashing to the dirt.

That was not where the damage occurred as the animal then lifted Henry with its horns and dumped him again before Shane “Maddog” Simpson and Daryl Chong distracted the crazed beast.

Henry was immediately surrounded by helpers and stretchered to an ambulance for treatment.

O’Brien was at least able to walk from the Arena after the Brian Duggan bull Hillbilly Hook scornfully dismissed the highly acclaimed cowboy.

Starting the night as a PBR champion, O’Brien was finally able to make his way out clutching an arm injury.

Highlight ride in the first section was by Grant Wells, who rode out a spinning and bucking Fred Kleier bull named Night Cap to score a huge 88 points.

After those early rides just five cowboys had scores from the 18 rides completed and two of those had the option of accepting a re-ride rather than a score in the low 70s. The show at the Great Western continues tonight with action getting under way at 7.30pm.

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