Doomadgee punches above weight in rodeo


Eleven-year-old Peter Gregory Jr of Doomadgee practices bull riding at the Mount Isa Rodeo.One of Queensland’s remotest communities is fast building a reputation as a force in rodeo.

Located 140km from the Northern Territory border in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Doomadgee doesn’t have a rodeo school.

With just 1500 residents it also doesn’t have the population of cowboy-producing towns such as Mount Isa, Townsville and Warwick.

But bull rider Peter Gregory has a theory why his community is punching above its weight in the sport.

“I think it just comes natural,” he told AAP.

“It starts with their great grandfathers and goes on and on. Just keeps going down the line.”

Doomadgee is well represented at this weekend’s Mount Isa Rodeo, Australia’s biggest and richest rodeo.

Steer rider Edward Jupiter has competed, two months after travelling to Texas to contest the prestigious Youth Rodeo Association Finals .

Gregory, who competes on the elite Australian Professional Bull Riders circuit, is joined by his three sons, the youngest being 11-year-old poddy calf rider Peter Jr.

“We have seven buckles in our house, 20-something ribbons. One trophy,” Peter Gregory Sr said.

“All my boys are going good. They all go good.

“I train my sons myself. I never sent them to rodeo school.”

A dangerous sport that requires regular travel, rodeo’s lure is more than financial for the Gregorys although there are thousands of dollars of prize money on offer.

“It builds a lot of young fellas’ confidence,” Mr Gregory said.

“All my boys, they all get switched on.

“I tell them not to get fear. I don’t get fear myself. I don’t feel anything about it. I just feel normal. It’s just a lifestyle.

“I just ride bull. I just feel really good riding ’em and I like riding ’em.”

The Mount Isa Rodeo concludes on Sunday.

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