2010 Alstonville Rodeo winner, Kyogle butcher Daniel Piggott puts on a happy face before taking his ride on One Way Ticket at the weekend rodeo.
2010 Alstonville Rodeo winner, Kyogle butcher Daniel Piggott puts on a happy face before taking his ride on One Way Ticket at the weekend rodeo. Jay Cronan

Rodeo is a passion

EIGHT seconds work for a $1600 payout; who would knock back that gig?

The only catch is you have to stay atop a raging bull weighing enough to crush you and avoid being speared by a deadly pair of horns.

Not so keen now you've read the fine print? Don't worry, you're not alone.

At the Alstonville Rodeo on Saturday, a 32-year-old butcher from Kyogle was willing to take the risk.

Daniel Piggott knows it's danger money he's competing for, but if he can stay on the bucking bull he's been allocated - ominously named One Way Ticket - he'll be cashed up enough to get to the next weekend's rodeo, and the one after that...

Mr Piggott has been living his dream since he was seven.

"My pop and dad put me on a poddy one day and the next time there was a local rodeo I was competing," he said.

"It's fun. It's an adrenalin rush.

"I've had quite a few injuries. I've dislocated both shoulders and both elbows. But this is what I love doing; it's my passion."

It's a passion that nearly cost him his life last year when he was gouged in the thigh by a horn and sidelined for four months while he recovered.

"It wasn't the physical injuries that affected me most, it was the loss of confidence." Mr Piggott said.

"Before you go out you have to tell yourself that you can ride that bull. Confidence is key. Bull riding is 90% mental and 10% physical. You have to have your head together.

"If you start thinking about the injuries, you wouldn't do it."

Tony Rippon, president of the Alstonville Rodeo Club said Saturday's rodeo had attracted a crowd of about 3000 people.

"We nearly called it off on Friday because of the weather predictions, but I'm so glad we didn't," Mr Rippon said.

"It's been the best-quality rides, with the best cowboys we've ever had."



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