This cowboy's made of tough stuff
RODEO: Courageous cowboy Tyler Morgan has defied injury to win the open bull title in the Top Guns series.
The 19-year-old lined up in Saturday night's final at the Great Western Hotel just two weeks after suffering two cracked ribs, a cracked sternum and a partially punctured lung in the Jundah PBR.
Morgan was the only one of the 12 riders in the open bull final to score, receiving 83 points for his ride on the bull Seek and Destroy.
He admitted there were a few nervous moments before he realised he had gone the eight seconds.
"I wasn't too sure if I had made it or not because I didn't hear the buzzer so I was just waiting for the announcer to call if I was there or not and I was thankfully and I couldn't be happier,” he said after the win.
"That's my first title so I'm pretty stoked.
"I drew a good bull of Peter Wallace's called Seek and Destroy, a real good little bull, it had me working the whole time.”
Morgan decided to ride in the final when he realised he was within striking distance of the prized buckle. He knew he had to prepare himself mentally for what was going to be a serious physical test.
"I came back early. I wasn't supposed to get on another one until next year but being 60 points behind I thought I'd go for it and see how I went. Luckily I came out on top,' he said.
"There were a few times there I probably could have quit because I was hurting a bit but I got a bit of determination and it helped me get through that last bit there.
"It was definitely a bit nerve-racking to get on it with these injuries but I just tried to block that out and ride like it was just another bull.
"I just put it out of my head and went for it.
"The adrenalin's wearing off a bit now... I'm feeling pretty sore but it was worth it.”
Morgan said he planned to take a well-deserved break before getting back into training.
"I'll have a few months off now and hopefully be back at it again next year. I'll just go home and get into fitness again and get myself set for next season.”
The Great Western's arena manager, Jayden Hakaraia, labelled Morgan's ride as one of the most gutsy he had seen.
"He's just come off injury from the Jundah PBR. It would be a bit of a head spin for him but he got Seek and Destroy done. It's the first time I've actually seen that bull rode and he rode it real good.
"It's good to see him get a win.”
Hakaraia found himself in the winner's circle as well, claiming the bareback title with his 70-point ride on Pancake.
"It's a pretty good feeling. I haven't really ridden that much this year so it's good to come away with a win.”