HANG ON: Yeppoon's Damian Herden tackles one of the toughest bulls around, Rock Star.
HANG ON: Yeppoon's Damian Herden tackles one of the toughest bulls around, Rock Star. Contributed

Time to banish the mental demons

PBR: Confidence is a funny thing in sport. Without it, you miss the putt from two feet or miss a tap-in with the goal wide open.

It's the same in the eight seconds of professional bull riding.

By his own admission, Yeppoon cowboy Damian Herden just needs a win.

Deep down he knows that one ride can turn it all around.

"It has been a slow start to the year for me. I don't know what the go is really, just low on confidence and a bit rusty,” Herden confessed.

"Just struggling to get back into the groove. You can't just switch it back on though, just have to keep practising. You just have to remember one ride can turn it around and you can go on a roll from there.”

Herden suffered an injury to his groin while competing in Tamworth. He said it had affected him mentally and physically.

Tomorrow night he has the opportunity to banish the demons and start fresh at the Gladstone PBR at Marley Brown Oval.

"I got bucked off pretty bad riding a bull and even with therapy it took a long time to heal,” Herden, who won his first PBR title in Yass, said.

"I had a three month break and it was tough. But I am keen for Gladstone.

"My dad Tony is coming down with me to help me prepare, which will be good.

"Cody Heffernan, the Australian champion will be there. He is definitely the one to beat. But it is also pretty even at the moment, plenty of other riders have stepped up.”

While a win and the $7,000 cash prize would be a dream, Herden just wants to get some bulls under his belt.

He doesn't care what bull he faces. Even if it is a rematch with Fire Ball and Highway Man, the two who bucked him off in Mackay and Toowoomba.

"They are all pretty similar, all good bulls,” he said.

"I just keep calm when I get there. If I know the bull I picture how I want to ride it.

"But when you get in the shoot your mind goes blank, when you get in the shoot it just happens.”

Herden will be joined by fellow Central Queensland riders Jay and Jared Borghero, George Chong, Lawson Nobbs and Sonny Schafferius.

The bullriding action starts at 7pm.



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