PBR Australia: Tamworth's Ethan Watts and Lachlan Slade are cowboys on the move

NO BULL: Tamworth's Lachlan Slade and Ethan Watts tell it how it is when it comes to riding a ton of angry animal. Photo: Peter Hardin
NO BULL: Tamworth's Lachlan Slade and Ethan Watts tell it how it is when it comes to riding a ton of angry animal. Photo: Peter Hardin

Ethan Watts delivers as advertised.

He speaks with a drawl which gives him that laid-back country manner.

Yet given his job – professional bull rider – you know that beneath the easygoing charm beats the heart of a highly competitive athlete who dreams of summiting his sport.

A sport which happens to be one of the most dangerous on the planet.

Short in stature but big with grit, Watts will strap himself to some one ton of bull on Saturday night at AELEC for the Tamworth round of the Professional Bull Riders Australia tour.

The 25-year-old, a five-year pro, is lucky: he loves what he does for a living.

He started riding calves when he was about eight and, like anyone whose childhood passion morphed into an adult passion, he is still honing his craft.

“Well, you get a lot of adrenaline,” he said in reference to what it is like riding a bull.

“For me, I find it fun. But there’s a lot of people out there who would probably not find it fun.”

After competing in seven events, Watts is ranked 10th with five completions from 15 rides.   

He expects to get a lift from competing at home.

“Being a hometown cowboy they’ll be plenty of people that I know that I’ll be riding in front of. I’m sure it’s gonna be packed out,” he said.

“You always find a bit more motivation riding where you’re livin’.”

He added: “Everyone here tomorrow night will be after the win.

“Speaking on my behalf, I’ll be after the win too – just to go higher in the PBR and just to go one step further.”

Fellow Tamworth resident Lachlan Slade enters the event ranked sixth. The 23-year-old, a two-year pro, has ridden five of 17 bulls.

The PR blurb for the event calls bull riding the “mother of all extreme sports”.

Cowboy and injury are often spoken in the same sentence. On that subject Slade said: “It has its fair toll [on the body].

“But as long as you stay fit and healthy. A lot of people just get used to it, I guess.

“It’s your living. As long as you can live and breathe and walk, you can get on [a bull], I suppose.”