O'Connor set for Cairns PBR

Updated August 21 2015 - 1:29am, first published June 25 2015 - 5:00pm
Sam O’Connor is currently placed 14th in the Australian standings and is looking forward to riding in front of his home crowd at the PBR Cairns Invitational. Photo: Philip Wittke Photography.

TULLY-based professional bull rider Sam O’Connor has managed to hold on to a spot at the Professional Bull Rider’s Cairns Invitational being held on July 4, almost guaranteeing his place in the Sydney final on July 11.

O’Connor’s hopes of making the finals came under doubt when he tore a thigh muscle on the back of a bull in May, causing him to miss some crucial opportunities for points in the PBR Cup Series.

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O’Connor said the injury forced him to watch other riders chasing him down on the qualifying ladder.

“I missed the PBR ride in Mount Isa – that’s a two-day event and there a lot of points up for grabs there – and I’ll also miss the Darwin ride this weekend,” he said.

“They’re pretty major events on the calendar and can have a big impact on who rides in the finals.

“I was just lucky enough to get a few points early in the series and not have anyone catch up to me.”

O’Connor is currently placed 14th in the Australian standings and is pleased to be riding in front of his hometown crowd in Cairns.

“Cairns is the main event on my calendar. I’ve always wanted to ride in Far North Queensland – it’s close to my home in Tully and where I started school in Malanda, so it’s like having the hometown advantage.

“Knowing that you’ve got friends watching gives you more drive to win. It’s good to know there are people in the crowd who want to see you do well.

“There’s a small chance I could still be kicked out of the finals if things don’t go my way in Cairns, but the chances are pretty slim.”

The PBR will return to Cairns bringing with it the cream of Australian bull riding talent, international riders and the most extreme bucking bulls Queensland can muster. Positioned one week prior to the PBR National Finals in Sydney, the event offers riders the opportunity to earn valuable points towards both the National and World Standings, and falls in a crucial period for riders hoping to position themselves in striking distance for the Australian Title the following week.

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