During the week he can be found ringside around the state’s cattle sales but come the weekend Cliff Richardson is in the main arena.
The champion bull rider from Gresford is making comeback on the international stage after a life-threatening injury sidelined him in 2014.
A bull horned him in the stomach during a rodeo event on the NSW/Victorian border.
“As the bull threw me, it spun around and horned me and the force did some damage,” Richardson said, who is a beef producer and cattle buyer.
But that didn’t deter him from competing in the sport he loves.
“I try not to look back and have now been back a while,” Richardson said.
“I keep going back because I’m not finished what I have to do, it’s the only sport I know and love with both sides of the family involved including my wife Jess.”
It took nearly two years to recover but the determined bull rider is back and better than ever having already competed and won on the rodeo circuit.
Having grown up on a farm it was only fitting, Richardson, now 26, would get involved in rodeo from a young age.
“I was riding horses before I could walk,” he said.
He has won a number of titles including the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) 2013 rookie of the year, Australian Bushman’s Campdraft and Rodeo Association 2011 rookie bull rider, all-rounder and bareback rider as well as making the PBR finals for five years. He also did a stint in the United States.
But he’s not the only rodeo star in the family with his brothers Lachlan, 25, and Eric, 19, both on the rodeo circuit as well as cousins Oscar and Toby Leake.
“I don’t tell too many people my goals but I want to be an Australian champion and I wouldn’t count out another stint in the US,” he said.
“I won’t make any plans and will just keep on going – I spend 48 weeks a year riding bulls somewhere around Australia.”
Richardson’s next international event is the inaugural Professional Bullriding Global Cup.
He is among the world’s toughest cowboys who will be vying for an Australian record of $750,000 prize purse at the event, which will be held at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena on June 9 and 10, 2018.
He has already led the Australian team in the first leg of the new team event in Canada earlier this month where he ranked eighth individually.
Each team are fighting to crown their country “toughest nation on dirt”.
The trophy, valued at $250,000, weighs 54kgs and consists of five separate horns decorated in respective national colours and is encrusted in 360 Swarovski stones.