Thursday, January 4, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Courageous Ky Claims Maiden World Bull Riding Championship Title

Mackay native Ky Hamilton has established himself as the world’s best bull rider.

The teak-tough Queenslander created history before Christmas when he captured the 2023 Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association Bull Riding World Championship.

Hamilton showed tremendous courage and skill during the United States National Finals Rodeo in the hallowed Thomas & Mack Arena in Las Vegas to become the first ever Australian to claim a bull riding world title.

The former Mercy College student overcame a concussion, a broken rib and a night in hospital to win the premier event – passing several milestones along the way.

In clinching the world title, 23-year-old Ky set a new prize money record by winning $515,414 in a single year.

As well as taking home the coveted PRCA Gold Buckle, the Aussie hero was named overall Average Champion and Top Gun Winner for dominating the Wrangler NFR event.

It was the perfect Christmas present for Ky with his Mackay connection - parents Sharelle and Michael Hamilton and grandparents Yvonne and Bill Stevens – in Las Vegas to witness and celebrate this remarkable career moment.

Since arriving in Texas as a rookie 18 year old the determined Hamilton has stamped his mark on the professional bull riding circuit.

He attended Odessa College and Sul Ross University on a Bull Riding scholarship and is now on a Sport Visa, competing against the world’s best riders.

Hamilton joins ProRodeo Hall of Famers Dave Appleton (all-around, 1988) and Glen O'Neill (saddle bronc riding, 2002) as the only native Australians to win PRCA World Championships.

Ky is also the first Australian to claim the NFR Average title since fellow Queenslander Greg Potter of Ridgelands accomplished the feat with 502.5 points on six head in 2003.

Hamilton has won plenty of admirers for his sheer courage and tenacity in riding some of the fiercest and most powerful bulls on the ultra-competitive circuit.

That toughness was evident when he returned to the yellow bucking chutes - just 16 hours after being knocked out during his ride aboard MAGA during Round 5.

Ky was flung violently after he smacked heads with the bull and taken away in a stretcher to Nevada’s UMC Trauma Centre to be treated for concussion, a broken rib and bruising to the lung.

Written off as a title contender, he returned the next day in sensational circumstances to secure his inaugural world championship.

Bull riding pundits have described Hamilton’s feat as one of “the greatest in rodeo history.”

Australian Professional Rodeo Association president Shane Iker said the achievement was “a dream come true, not just for Ky but for Australians.

“He’s an icon for Australia and the sport, Ky speaks so well and represents us so well. It’s amazing” he added.

Mackay’s new world bull riding champion Ky Hamilton demonstrates his skill and courage during the United States National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas before Christmas

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