Cowboy Lucas is USA bound
LUCAS Wilson is eyeing off another six months of saddle bronc riding in the United States after a successful start to the season in Australia.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Education from USQ at the end of 2008, Wilson travelled to the United States last year to finish in the top 50 in the world.
After the end of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association season in America last year, Wilson returned home and has just taken the lead in the 2010 standings in the Australian Professional Rodeo Association.
Wilson has applied for a sports visa and hopes to be back in the United States next month in quest of prize money to make the Montana circuit finals.
Despite half the APRA season remaining, Wilson is almost assured of a top-15 finish and a spot in the National Finals Rodeo at the Gold Coast in January.
After competing at the Gold Coast, Wilson will head to the airport to return to America for the circuit finals in Montana.
This year, he has recorded wins at Deniliquin and Nanango and numerous placings to head the APRA standings.
Two weeks ago, he scored 85 on the Robert McPhee horse Wild Man to win Nanango.
His career best rides are two at 88, one on the Happy Gill horse Paper Rock at Southport and the other on the Burches horse Mullen Hill at Miles City, Montana.
“The ride at Miles City was the better of the two and won me $US10,000.
Wilson said the saddle bronc horses in the United States were much different to those in Australia.
“The America horses have more power in their kicks and bucks,” he said.
“Riding in the saddle bronc event in America takes it out of you more than riding in Australia.
“You have to work harder on a horse in Australia to get a good score.”
To win in rough stock events, cowboys want to draw the best horses.
The better the horse, the more chance of prize money but also more chance of being bucked off.
While he doesn’t keep statistics, Wilson estimated he rides time on 80 per cent of his horse in Australia and 50 per cent of the horses he jumps on in America.
His worst injury was at the 2007 rodeo at Myrtleford in Victoria where he shattered an elbow which needed a reconstruction.
It takes a tough competitor to go through a season in America as there are up to 13 rodeos in the week around the July 4 weekend.
In the past six months, Wilson has done some supply teaching at his former school, Assumption College.
“It was good to get back to Assumption to do some teaching but I have no plans to teach in America,” Wilson said.
Long term, Wilson wants to ride as a professional cowboy as long as his body holds up.
His two major sporting aims are to win the APRA title in January and to make the PRCA top-15 in the United States.
Wilson said he would have to win approximately $80,000 prize money in a season to make the PRCA top 15.
“The number 1 rider makes about $200,000 to qualify for the finals,” he said.
Despite almost a decade jumping on bucking saddle bronc horses, Wilson still doesn’t know why he decided to concentrate on the event.
“I don’t know, perhaps because Dad was in it,” he said.
“It was always the event I watched at the rodeo.”