In 1999 the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) first delivered an event to Townsville, 18 consecutive years later the event has put more than a million dollars into the wrangler pockets of cowboys with over 150 000 spectators witnessing over 1600 bulls buck out in what is considered one of the most intimate bull riding venue experiences in the nation.
The positive economic on-flow affects to the Townsville and broader community have been substantial since its inception and will continue to do so as it moves towards its 20th Anniversary celebration in 2019.
Being the inaugural PBR event to debut in Australia, the Townsville event is steep in bull riding history and has given sports enthusiasts the opportunity to witness world ranked bull riders going head to head on Australia’s toughest bulls over the years.
Townsville is and always will be a very special tour stop for the PBR said PBR General Manager, Glen Young.
I’ve been involved with this event since day one and I’m a local, so it is important that this event stands alone amongst all other competitions to satisfy long term fans, attract new fans but most importantly insure the event is a historic event to win amongst the athletes that compete in it.
Our normal Cup Series format consists of the top 22 athletes all competing on two bulls, with the top eight progressing to a third bull in the Championship Round to determine the winner. three bulls in one night or one weekend for that matter at this level of competition is gruelling enough. With Iron Cowboy, we have added an additional two rounds of competition that will now see the athletes competing on four bulls each and the top eight progressing to a 5th bull in the finale.
Last year riders could progress on times if they didn’t make a score, this time around we have reverted to the most identifiable aspect of bull riding, the eight second ride. If they want to be in the running for a pay day and a chance to be crowned 2017 Iron Cowboy Townsville, then they must have endurance, stay healthy and make the 8 second whistle as many times as they can over two nights of competition and five bulls.
In 2016, a record attendance of fans cheered on through the night until there was one cowboy left, Troy Wilkinson, who went on to win the National Champion Title in July 2017.
“The iron cowboy is like no other event, it tests your endurance, state of mind and the pain and stress your body can with take. It's the ultimate challenge in bull riding, not only do you have to ride consistent and make the whistle each, you also have to outperform 21 other riders all with the same like-minded goal,” Troy Wilkinson said.
“The concept and format really brings out the true champion and who wants it the most.”
Troy said, “It's one of the best crowds we get at any event in Australia, the stadium creates an awesome atmosphere and makes you want to perform.”