IT'S been almost two years since Bradie Gray's life was turned on its head after a life-threatening fall at the 2017 College National Finals Rodeo, in Wyoming.
The Tamworth cowboy sustained broken ribs, a bruised aorta and collapsed lungs after a bull stepped on his chest during the event.
Now, fully recovered, Gray is set to return to the place it all happened for the very same event.
"I'm pretty excited to go back over there and thank the community for their support after the accident," Gray told the Leader.
"It's been a long time, but I'm feeling fit and healthy and I can't wait to get back over there and see everyone."
After the accident, Gray was rushed to the Wyoming Medical Centre. When he got there, he had no pulse.
"The big reason for this trip is for me to personally thank all of the first responders who helped me after the fall," Gray said.
"They took exceptional care of me when I was in a really bad way and I can't thank them enough.
"It's going to be really special to head back over there, thank some of them personally and pay tribute to first responders everywhere."
Gray said the role of emergency service workers was not underestimated by those who compete in the sport.
"I think it's pretty simple: we wouldn't have a sport without them," he said.
"Injuries come with the territory of bull riding; they happen to everyone at some stage.
"Without our first responders we wouldn't be able to do what we love, and I know all of the riders are really grateful they are there for us."
Given just a two per cent chance of surviving the horrific rodeo accident, Gray said a positive attitude was key to his full recovery.
"I guess I am just the sort of person who is always looking on the positive side of things," he said.
"I love living too much and riding too much to give up.
"You just have to get on with it."
While not competing in this year's event, Gray said he was looking forward to seeing the best of the best compete.
"I'm always up for passing on any wisdom or tips I can onto the next generation of riders," he said.
"It's always a great event and I'm looking forward to it."
In regards to his own riding career, Gray said he was looking forward to a successful 2020, after returning to the saddle in Tamworth last year.
"I am taking the rest of this year off to recover from a couple of injuries," he said.
"I'm still recovering from a knee surgery after I copped a horn to the knee in Tamworth last year.
"But, it's really coming along and I'm looking forward to having a good run of it next year."