Bravery and bruises will combine with begonias as elite professional bull riders and their steeds charge back in to town for the March long weekend, the traditional time of the Begonia Festival.
Professional Bull Riders Australia has announced their PBR Monster Energy Tour will return to Ballarat Showgrounds on March 7 after a successful debut here last year.
The dust and adrenaline will fly as Australia's elite cowboys attempt to stay on a bucking bull for eight seconds to earn points toward the PBR world standings.
This year dubbed the Ballarat Stampede, the Ballarat event is one of four stops in Victoria for the 21 date tour, which runs until November.
PBR Australia will again erect its 4500-seat mobile stadium at the showgrounds giving rodeo fans the best viewing position with all seats within 14m of the arena fence.
The inaugural Ballarat event last year sold out.
"There are a number of things that combine to make the PBR experience like no other," said PBR general manager Glen Young.
"One of the key components is obviously the major league match ups between rider and bull. Both are outstanding athletes, yet it is one of the most miss-matched opponents going. The rider on average weighs in slightly heavier than your modern-day jockey, relying on core strength, balance and their ability to counteract the moves of the bull who can be 10 times his size. Then there is the bull, weighing in around the same weight as the entire NZ All Black's forward pack."
The bulls are genetically bred to buck, with many coming from a long pedigree of bucking bulls.
Mr Young explained the rides are scored both for the cowboy and the bull, with each contributing 50 per cent to the total ride score.
Along with the excitement of seeing whether the rider can stay on the bull for the full eight seconds is the spectacular "outs" when the riders are bucked off.
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"When you combine the match ups on the dirt with expert commentary, state of the art vision that takes the fan behind the scenes, inside the bucking chutes and instant slow motion replays, fans get to understand the sport better and gain an appreciation for the professionalism and effort that goes into every aspect of this unforgettable event," Mr Young said.
On the night, rodeo fans will have plenty of opportunity to meet the cowboys before and after their rides.
"Unlike most other sports, PBR athletes are still quite accessible. They love to meet the fans and talk about their sport. These athletes who put it all on the line are known to be quite humble and very appreciative of people taking the time to approach them," Mr Young said.
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