Livestock

Hobby proves to be all bull

HARD WORKIN’: Ross and Jan Hamilton prepare Killarney Showgrounds ahead of this weekend’s competition.
HARD WORKIN’: Ross and Jan Hamilton prepare Killarney Showgrounds ahead of this weekend’s competition. Anna Gilchrist

ASK Jan Hamilton about her family's business supplying bucking bulls for the Australian rodeo circuit and she good humouredly describes it as an "expensive hobby".

Breeding rough stock for the rodeo arena, she explained, was very much a sideline to the family's livestock carting enterprise based on their Legume cattle property.

"The bucking bulls are really Ross's hobby," she laughed, before admitting these days her husband's interest has become something of a full-on family pastime.

Today the couple's sons Graeme and Geoffrey both take a keen interest in breeding bucking bulls and the family has savoured its share of success with stock on the rodeo circuit.

"They boys don't compete on the rodeo circuit though. Years ago Ross was more into campdrafting, and represented Australia in the first team to compete in Canada in wild horse racing," Mrs Hamilton said.

"Like Ross, their interest in rodeo is really about breeding the best bucking stock."

Her husband's sideline as a stock contractor started almost by chance, years back, when he was asked to supply a line of bullocks to a Killarney rodeo, because the Queensland/New South Wales border was closed.

He has been breeding stock specifically for the rodeo circuit ever since.

His focus is on bloodlines and producing bulls with proven athleticism and stamina.

These days he turns off young animals, selects the ones with the most potential and works alongside Warwick stock contracting veteran Frank Biddle to bring them into the arena.

The pair have had their share of glory with bucking stock from their string, repeatedly earning accolades on the Queensland and New South Wales circuits.

Yet Mrs Hamilton was quick to emphasise their bucking stock operation paled in comparison with rodeo's major players like the McPhees and Gill Bros.

"We are small when you compare us with other contractors, who take semi-trailers of stock to rodeos across the country," she explained.

"It really is something we do as a hobby - an expensive hobby."

In an arrangement that works for both parties, the bulls are bred on the Hamiltons' property, Verdant Hills, and started as futurity, junior and classic bulls, then contracted to rodeos as open and second division bulls by Mr Biddle.

Out of the chutes they are generally described by announcers as either a Biddle bull or one of "Scrubber Hamilton's".

"Yes, we like to think that's an affectionate term," Mrs Hamilton laughed, referring to

the nickname her husband has carried for 40 years.

At Verdant Hills, their 248 acre property above Killarney, carries a line of bucking bulls which have been officially retired after proving their ability in the arena.

The next generation of Hamilton bucking bulls tend to be sired by retired performers with deceptively gentle names such as Teddy Bear, Ivory Sunset, True Colours, Chopper Reid and New Boy and out of cows by Black Friday, Hot Chocolate and Five Alive .

"Rodeo bulls actually live a fantastic life," Mrs Hamilton said. "They are well fed, they are well looked after and, when they retire, they live out their years in a paddock near the house."

Interestingly, in the early years what breeders like the Hamiltons assessed first with young bulls was chute temperament, ahead of even bucking ability.

"If they don't settle in the chutes, they don't make it as rodeo bulls," she explained.

"Temperament is very important and, when they are 12 months old, we usually put them in our chutes at home and see how they handle it.

"If they don't settle in the chutes and stand there calmly, they don't go on.

"What we don't want is a bull which goes crazy in the chutes and injures themselves or the handlers."

While the Hamiltons don't track the rodeo circuit like other, larger rodeo contractors, they admit the highlight of their year tends to be supplying bucking stock to Warwick Rodeo.

"It might be our local rodeo but the size and quality of the event means they have to be particular," Mrs Hamilton said.

"It's not just any bulls, or any contractors that are invited."

This weekend it's not the Warwick Rodeo the Hamiltons are preparing for but the National Bucking Bulls Australia Futurity and Classic on Saturday at Killarney Showgrounds.

The event features the best of the best young bucking stock in the country and kicks off at 1pm.

Bucking stock

Chute temperament more important than bucking ability.

Retired bulls sire next generation.

Topics:  bucking bulls bull riding rodeo



Science Festival seriously awesome

CALLING everyone who wants to see, hear and be a part of something totally cool: this is where you need to be this March.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Is Brisbane the new arts and culture capital?

Check out GOMA's latest exhibition - it's all about hair! GOMA 10 Ambassador Patience Hodgson visits Nervescape V 2016 by Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (aka Shoplifter), commissioned for ‘Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything’ at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. 
Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA

THE rest of the world should be envious of this line-up!

REVEALED: The Warwick school with the best OP scores

Scots PGC had the second most graduate with OPs between one and five, with six of their students in the highest band.

A WARWICK highschool has helped more students achieve better OPs.

Elite rams on offer at Inglewood auction

TOP FLOCK: A range of breeds of high quality rams will be on offer at the Inglewood Showgrounds this Friday.

Strong offerings from from regional stud breeders

Local Partners

A selfless nan's plea for a helping hand

A GRANDMOTHER caring for her five young grandchildren is struggling after her seven-seater vehicle broke down and proved too expensive to fix.


Lions to lob in at Warwick Redbacks sign-on tomorrow

Sabrina Frederick-Traub, of Brisbane Lions (centre) will be in Warwick tomorrow to help the juniors.

Brisbane Lions ready to meet aspiring Warwick Aussie rules players

Elite rams on offer at Inglewood auction

TOP FLOCK: A range of breeds of high quality rams will be on offer at the Inglewood Showgrounds this Friday.

Strong offerings from from regional stud breeders

Drags will pit mates against each other

Racer Andrew Lange.

Drag racing on today at Warwick Dragway

MOVIE REVIEW: Matt Damon's The Great Wall gets lost

The Great Wall feels about as artisanal as a fortune cookie. Its underlying message is just as trite.

Paul Murray listens to regions

Paul Murray is taking his Sky News show on the road to shine a spotlight on regional Australia.

Radio broadcaster wants viewers to 'turn up and fire up'

Why Hollywood’s siding with Brad Pitt over Angelina Jolie

Jolie may have the kids, but Pitt has custody of Hollywood

Tensions high at pointy end of MKR's round two

Things are really heating up on My Kitchen Rules.

Games are being played around the My Kitchen Rules table

Jungle Jay sent packing from I'm a Celebrity

I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Here! contestant Jay Laga'aia with Keira.

BIG friendly giant Jay Laga'aia has been eliminated from I'm A Celeb

Carson Kressley brings 'camp' to I'm a Celebrity jungle

"I am not all Park Avenue and daffodils” ... Carson Kressley.

Meet the "campest” campmate to star on I'm a Celebrity.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi mystery already solved

FILE- This undated file photo provided by Disney shows Daisey Ridley as Rey, left, and John Boyega as Finn, in a scene from the film, \"Star Wars: The Force Awakens.\" Hasbro said it is changing its Star Wars Monopoly set after an 8-year-old girl became upset that Rey, the movie's female heroine, was not included as a figure along with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. (Disney/Lucasfilm via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

A key mystery surrounding the title of episode eight has been solved

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Massive seaside development of 3200 lots

DESIRABLE LIFESTYLE: The masterplan for the proposed Elliott Heads Estate.

"There's nothing else left along the coastline of Queensland now"

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

50 more high rise buildings planned for Brisbane CBD

Height limits have been scrapped for Brisbane CBD

800,000 more people expected to work in city over next 20 years

New suburb in the crosshairs of Coast vandals

UNDER WRAPS: Graffiti on art installations at the entrance to the newly opened Bells Creek Arterial Road has been covered up.

Vandal rechristens Stockland as something less than complimentary

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!