Mareeba PBR rider Kurt Shephard to compete on home soil after previous injury

Zoe Thomas
By Zoe Thomas
Updated May 5 2022 - 5:20am, first published 5:00am
Mareeba PBR rider Kurt Shephard competing in the 2021 grand finals. Photo supplied.

A Tablelands cowboy is set to make his comeback on the arena stage at the upcoming PBR Monster Energy Tour Cairns Invitational.

Mareeba local and PBR rider Kurt Shephard will compete on home soil after a neck injury earlier this year temporarily ruled him out of the competition.

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Mr Shephard will go head-to-head with other riders at the Cairns Invitational to determine the supreme bull riding powerhouse.

"I'm back working and starting to train again, so I'm feeling good," Mr Shephard said.

"Just getting stronger and stronger as the days go by, I can't wait to get back into it."

Prior to injury, Mr Shephard competed at the PBR Monster Energy Tour's Rockhampton Invitational last New Year's Eve, which secured his spot as the current number three rider in the 2022 national standings.

Mr Shephard said he was looking forward to getting back into competition as the Cairns Invitational offers essential bonus points that would provide him with the opportunity to make up for lost ground.

"It will be great to ride in front of the home crowd," he said.

"I'll just have to go in there confident and believe I can win, stay on all my bulls and get the job done."

Kurt Shephard will compete on home soil after a neck injury earlier this year temporarily ruled him out of the competition. Photo supplied.

PBR general manager Glen Young said they were looking forward to bringing back some international flavour to the event with borders now reopened.

"Considered as one of Australia's top tourist locations, Cairns would have to be one of the most picturesque locations where we stage a PBR event," Mr Young said.

"The town has always embraced the Cairns Invitational and we are proud that this is one of our key destination events for PBR fans worldwide.

"The Cairns Invitational will also play a crucial role in determining who will qualify for the PBR Monster Energy Tour Grand Finals in Townsville in November, which is the richest bull riding event not only in Australia, but in the entire southern hemisphere."

Cairns acting mayor Terry James said the upcoming PBR Cairns Invitational highlighted the calibre of world-class events the region has on offer.

"Events bring visitors to our city and July's PBR Invitational will certainly provide a boost to our economy, which will be welcomed by local businesses," Mr James said.

"Having nationally and internationally recognised events like the PBR Invitational attract people to the region, are well patronised by locals, and of course enhance the offerings for visitors, who may even extend their stay as a result."

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The PBR Monster Energy Tour Cairns Invitational takes place on July 16 at the Cairns Convention Centre.

Zoe Thomas

Zoe Thomas

Journalist - North Queensland Register/Queensland Country Life

Northern based journalist at North Queensland Register and Queensland Country Life.

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