Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi

'Doing Good Work with Families'

A group of young Indigenous stockmen from WA’s far north is one step closer to competing on the professional bull riding circuit in America, thanks to a training program set up by a local rodeo organiser.

After travelling thousands of kilometres to Boyup Brook from the far reaches of the Kimberley, the young men received tutelage from two Aussie cowboys who are now living and competing in the US.

The program was created from a partnership aiming to provide opportunities for Aussie bronc riders to chase their American dreams.

Queensland-born Sam Spreadborough was just a teenager when he travelled to the United States as a member of the first Australian high school rodeo team. He was recruited not long after. His friend and WA bronc rider Travis Edwards was also recruited and now lives permanently in the US.

Inviting these cowboys to mentor young Indigenous stockmen was the brainchild of Mark Kestel. He wanted to provide a bit of focus, vision and purpose and establish a pathway to American college scholarships. “Rodeo is a thing these boys are interested in,” Mr Kestel said. “It’s in their background, in their past. In the early days with the Australian stockmen on the stations, most of them were Indigenous and very good in their day.

“We’re trying to rekindle that spirit, give them some training. The guys that are showing the goods, they’ll hopefully get to go over to the US and do exchange programs.”

(story from the ABC News)