By HARRY CLARKE
SOME of Australia’s toughest cowboys go their whole careers without winning a Mount Isa Rodeo buckle, but 18-year-old rider Boston Leather has pulled it off within only two months of becoming old enough to compete in Australia’s most prestigious rough stock rodeo event.
Leather, the breakthrough cowboy from Calliope, was the only competitor to ride all three of his bulls on the hallowed red dirt of Buchanan Park, sending the arena’s record crowd into a frenzy for the Mount Isa debutant.
“I was pretty excited, I didn’t come off the greatest and I was a bit sore by the end of it, but once I got up and realised I’d just spanked this bull it was bloody amazing,” Leather told the Caller.
Leather finished on 246.5 points from three rides, ahead of Beau Willis and 2022 Isa Rodeo champion Jackson Gray, who scored 161 and 157 points from two bulls respectively.
He takes home the lion’s share of $30,000 for the open bull ride – the biggest prize pool for a single event in Australian rodeo.
Total prize money on offer across all events at Mounts Isa is more than $300,000 making it the largest and richest rodeo in the southern hemisphere.
Leather was the last out of the chutes in the open bull ride final round. Given that his first two rides had already put him in front on points leading into the event, he had already won before climbing aboard the final bull of the night.
“I didn’t even have to ride time on the last bull but I really just wanted to put on a show and sort of prove that I deserved it,” he said.
“Since I was last out, they already announced that I’d won it but I tried to block that out because I want to get that last one done.”
Leather said attending Mount Isa for the first time was a late decision, and admitted he wasn’t brimming with confidence leading up to the event.
“I didn’t really plan to come. It wasn’t in my books but one of my mates said ‘you’ve got to at least do it once’ and he needed a travelling partner, so I jumped in and away we go,” he said.
“After bucking off two at Cloncurry the week before I doubted myself coming into it. But once I got me first couple of bulls done at Isa I thought ‘I’m not half bad at this’.
“It was very exciting, I was riding with all of the top riders and they were all pumping up, I was pumping up and the crowd was pumping up. It was full – chocker block – and you couldn’t ask for anything else.”
Leather is one of 13 siblings in his family. His eldest brother, Macaulie Leather, currently leads the bull riding points standings for PBR Australia, which is a seperate competition to the Australian Professional Rodeo Association.
He said he’d just commenced “a pretty busy period” for rodeo.
“I’ve got shows every two weeks for the next two months,” he said.