TEN-year-old Daniel Pereira has big dreams of becoming a professional bull rider. This weekend he took one step closer to his goal when he competed for the first time in the ABCRA Junior National Finals Rodeo at Tamworth. He was up against 15 other juniors in the 8-11 steer ride and he enjoyed every minute of it.
Though he was bucked off after 5.4 seconds in the first round, he stayed on longer at 5.8 seconds the second night. The third and final round was Daniel's best when he rode time - staying on the full six seconds and picking up 66 points.
Daniel now lives with his Mum in Old Bar but has spent the larger part of his life in Wingham and he still plays football and cricket for the town. In order to practice for his bull riding he has set up a barrel on a trampoline. With only a normal block in town, Daniel has not grown up on acres of property with his own cattle on which to hone his skills. Dad Robert said he is only now able to get a young steer for Daniel to practice further.
But Daniel has been fortunate to attend clinics run by Australian Professional Bull Rider Brad Scott. As Daniel's mentor, Brad has been helping Daniel not only with the practical aspects of bull riding but the mental challenges too. The best thing he has been able to help with said Daniel, is overcoming his fear of getting on the large bulls. But Daniel is confident of his own mental toughness and said by the end of this year he would like to be in the top five of Australia's best junior steer riders.
Daniel cites local rider Ben Gallagher as one of his idols together with PBR world champion J B Mauney.