Kyogle Bull Ride Spectacular 2017

Action under lights, Kyogle 2017
A couple of weeks ago, we went to the Northern Rivers area of NSW to Kyogle. It was their Annual Bull Ride Spectacular and we always find these great events.

Photography can get a bit tough, the lighting is against you, positioning is hard and the damn dust (as you will see in a couple of the shots) makes life interesting; in both good and bad ways.

Positioning is probably the hardest to contend with, it is difficult to get positioned so that you can see the action and not get too messed up by the bars around the arena.

The bulls can be tough too, the winning ride in the open section came late in the night. After no winning rides in the competition, a pot luck ride off was held. The riders pulled a bull's name from the hat and rode in a winner take all ride.

The winning ride, Open Bull Ride, Kyogle 2017
The winner scooped the pool, taking the entire winning purse in one wild, 8 second ride. With a bit of showboating, you can see that he is pretty happy about it.

The riders don't always win and the "clowns" or rider protection athletes in more politically correct speak, are there to make sure that the bull can't turn on the riders. These guys earn their pay, they are involved in every single bull ride, needing to anticipate the moment that the rider looks like coming off.

Out for revenge, Kyogle Bull Ride Spectacular, 2017
If it is a win by the bull and the rider is tossed or a more dignified dismount at the end of the eight second ride, their job is to put their own safety on the line to protect the rider. The training that these guys must do to stay safe and in one piece must be intense.

Small size, big heart, Kyogle Bull Ride Spectacular 2017
Riders come in all shapes and sizes with the juniors riding smaller calves and steers. The animals are a bit smaller and the riders have some growing up to do but no one can doubt their courage and enthusiasm!

Sunset Barrel Race, Kyogle Bull Ride Spectacular, 2017

Barrel racing started out the evening and the event leaves you breathless. The speed and the agility of both rider and horse is amazing. From full gallop to dead stop before the collide with the fencing after the ride, the event is definitely one to be watched.

Some colourful abstracts from the night by my wife. I am sure that she is much more creative than I am!

Kyogle is a very pretty little town and is only a couple of hours from Brisbane so is an easy day trip on the weekend.

Stop in and see some of the craft galleries there, especially interesting is Mudwood Studio, a place that specialises in the local artists.