By Jackson Russell
Three young Broadford men have taken up a hobby a little different to most, travelling across Victoria every weekend to compete on the rodeo circuit.
Corbin Mundy and brothers Kaya and Jake Burge are only in the early stages of their rodeo careers but all have dreams of competing on the Professional Bull Riders circuit in the United States.
Fifteen-year-old Jake was dared to give the sport a go by his friend Corbin last March and fell in love with it immediately.
Jake competes in the junior bull and steer riding events and made his debut in the second division senior bull event at Yarra Valley Rodeo on Saturday night.
Older brother Kaya, 18, quickly followed Jake into the sport and only had a couple of rides in the junior divisions before turning 18 and going up to the bulls.
Sixteen-year-old Corbin is the most experienced of the three, and has already started riding in the second division saddle bronc as well as junior steer and bull events.
Corbin said rodeo was a natural fit for him and he enjoyed the community that came with it.
“I’ve always been into it. I’ve been around horses all my life as it’s just the thing for me to do,” he said.
“Everyone’s nice and helps you out so it’s a good place to be around.”
It doesn’t come without its dangers though, as they attempt to stay on a disgruntled 1000kg bull for eight seconds.
“They’re crashing around the chute and trying to get you with their horns and all that. It psyches you up a bit. You eventually calm down and it becomes a normal thing,” Corbin said.
Kaya recently had a rough fall off his bull, getting slammed into a metal gate.
“I was on a pretty big bull and came out of the gate, I had two and a bit bucks and my hand got stuck in the rope and he swung me around and the bull slammed me right into the gate and stepped on my legs,” he said.
Fortunately, Kaya was able to walk away from the fall unscathed but a little sore.
Jake and Kaya’s father Anthony Burge said he was proud of his boys.
“It is scary, especially on the bigger bulls. It’s very daunting but they love it and look forward to it every week,” he said.
“I’m happy because it gets them out of the house, off the Xbox and out into the fresh air doing some sport.”
The three will compete at theWhittlesea Pro Rodeo at the end of February in front of a home crowd and are hoping to receive some sponsorship from businesses to help further their careers.
“It gives the boys a bit more confidence and makes them strive to do their best,” Mr Burge said.