VIDEO: PBR series captivates Grafton crowd
THRILLS and spills were the order of the evening at the Grafton Showground on Saturday night as the PBR Live Series event held the crowd's attention almost as tightly as the competing cowboys held on to the bulls.
Chasing success, the cowboys did their best to hang on for eight seconds atop bucking bulls - with names like Anaconda and Firecracker - that were doing their darnedest to dislodge their unwelcome passengers.
Legs and arms and hooves were flying in equal measure during the brief but adrenalin-charged encounters as bull battled man.
And the crowd loved every second of it.
Not only did the event attract devoted fans of the sport from the Clarence, it also attracted visitors who ventured down from the Tablelands, up from the Mid North Coast and from across the Queensland border to the city.
More than 1500 fans flocked to the showgrounds as the high-octane soundtrack and big video screen replays ensured nobody missed out on a second of action at the all-ages event.
And due to this consistently great support, PBR Live Series events manager Di Hallam said it was likely the rodeo will return to Grafton next year.
"It works really well here in Grafton and because you don't have many PBR events around this area, it seems to be a hit as a destination," she said.
"We'll definitely be considering bringing it back again in 2017."
Ms Hallam said apart from the spectacle, the quality of riders at the event was a big drawcard for fans of the sport.
"We have Cody Heffernan who's No. 1 in Australia and 28th in the world here tonight. He flies out to the USA to compete after this," she said.
Ms Hallam said the PBR Live Series was growing in popularity due the way it is presented as a mix of sport and entertainment.
"The music and big screen all play a part in creating the exciting atmosphere for spectactors," she said.
"The weather here was perfect too which also really helps gets people out."
Kelly Price, general manager of The Daily Examiner which sponsors the Grafton PBR Live Series event, said she was delighted to see so many people come out and support the event.
"It brings people from everywhere to Grafton for the weekend so it's another mini boon for the economy here which can only be a good thing," she said.
The Grafton event was the final event of the 2016 PBR Live Series.
Heffernan claimed the $10,000 bonus after being crowned overall champion.