By HARRY CLARKE
IT hasn’t taken long for Australian bull riding prodigy Sam Woodall to make a statement at the centre of world rodeo, clinging on for a 92-point ride at the renowned Ty Murray Invitational PBR event in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Woodall, 23, is on his first tour of the United States as a professional open bull rider, but an injury not long after his arrival in January meant he had to spend several weeks watching from behind the chutes before clocking his first 8-second ride.
And what a ride it was.
Having drawn High Tide Blues, a relatively unknown but clearly fierce bucking bull, Woodall with his signature green helmet stunned the Albuquerque crowd with a blistering 92-point ride.
WATCH: Sam Woodall’s 92-point ride on High Tide Blues at Ty Murray Invitational. VIDEO: PBR
“I saw everything on that ride,” Woodall told the Caller from his base in Stephenville, Texas.
“There’s definitely bull rides where everything just happens in a blur and you don’t really know what happened, but on this one I saw everything.
“I realised every time he sort of got me out of position and I had to fight back for it. It comes from being in the right position and being aggressive enough to keep that position.”
High Tide Blues has a 0-percent ‘buckoff’ rate, meaning everyone who’s sat on the bull has successfully ridden him for 8 seconds – but the bull’s only been attempted twice, and the first rider also clocked a huge score of 88.5 points.
“I didn’t know a thing about him (High Tide Blues)… nothing at all,” Woodall said.
“I didn’t even know what he looked like until he ran into the race where I put my rope on.
“I asked the fella who owned him ‘what is he like’, and he said ‘he’s that black bull right there’, and I said ‘righto, that will work.”
Woodall, from Heywood in rural Victoria, has steadily risen to become one of the top cowboys on the PBR Australia circuit.
The Caller was there to report on Woodall’s first PBR victory when he won the PBR Rockhampton invitational in September 2020.
Since then he’s placed in the top 10 in several PBR events, and last year won the PBR Grand Final in Townsville.
The 23-year-old’s has so far amassed more than $31,000 in prize money.
By the time he arrived in America his world ranking was 13, but now sits at number 41 having been unable to continue his form due to injury.
A bull landed on his back during his second week in the states, lacerating his liver and kidney. The Caller asked whether the risks of bull riding was a constant concern.
“If you’re worried about that stuff you shouldn’t be doing, that’s what I always say anyway,” Woodall said.
“I’m starting to feel really good again, I’ve been working out and it’s going well. I was really just happy to get a score in Albuquerque. I’d been having a bit of trouble getting one the board and I just needed to get that out of the way.”
Woodall will this weekend join up to 70 competitors at a major PBR event in Souix Fall, South Dakota, as he continues to enjoy the right of passage in USA bull riding which many Aussie cowboys have taken before him.
“It’s definitely bigger in the states. You’re competing in front of massive crowds at all the stadiums, there’s a huge atmosphere,” he said.
“Our better bulls in Australia are the quality of what pretty well all of these bulls are here, so you’re always getting on quality bulls and you’re getting on them often.
“Everyone you’re competing against at that level, all the riders are just as good as each other. So anyone, on their day, can win the event.”