Today, Rodeo 4 Life announced its line-up of elite bull riding champions* who’ll thrill audiences when Australia’s richest bull ride and country music arena spectacular explodes at WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong on Saturday 30 November to help save lives!
In an Australian first, Rodeo 4 Life combines electrifying rodeo sports entertainment starring Australia’s toughest bull riding champions from across Australia with a full length live concert by seven-time Golden Guitar winner and back-to-back CMC Male Artist of the Year, Travis Collins, performing some of his greatest hits.
Rodeo 4 Life will be a thrilling night of entertainment featuring a star-studded line-up of bull riding daredevil cowboys who’ll fight the odds to stay mounted for the full 8 seconds on the legendary JP Gill and Sons’ mightiest rodeo bulls as they compete for the championship title and a whopping $30,000 in prize money!
Rodeo 4 Life’s cowboy line-up includes bull riding superstars Cliff Richardson (NSW), Troy Wilkinson (NSW), Wade McCarthy (WA), Mathew Bee (QLD), Troy Cross (NSW) and Toby Collins (VIC) who’ll be going for gold to take home the Rodeo 4 Life inaugural title and the grand prize! But these bull riding legends won’t have an easy ride! They’ll be challenged by young gun cowboys already with a string of titles under their belts including; Wyatt Milgate (QLD), Sam Woodall (VIC), Joe Down (VIC), Bryden Atkins (VIC) and Ty Thomson (QLD) - all aiming to smash records to win the Rodeo 4 Life title and the pot of gold!
Producer Doug Vickers OAM, a long-time rodeo man who’s produced many large-scale rodeo events across Australia said, “We’re thrilled to have such a fine line up of champions in this spectacular event that will keep the audience on the ‘edge of their seats’ when Rodeo 4 Life rocks The Gong in a thrilling, action-packed night of electrifying live rodeo and country music entertainment.”
While Rodeo 4 Life will be exhilarating, Australia’s bull riding champions won’t just be bucking for the grand prize when they burst from chutes on powerful bulls in the ride of their lives; they’ll risk all by ‘riding for a greater cause’ – to raise bucks that can save lives through funding organ transplant research at the RPA Transplant Institute (RPATI).
Champion cowboy Troy Wilkinson who currently holds the highest bull riding score in Australia with a record of 93 and the titles of 2015 APRA Bull Riding Champion, 2017 PBR Australia Champion and 2017 PBR World Finals Qualifier, said, “Rodeo 4 Life will be massive and the competition as tough as it gets!”
“We’ll all be riding our hearts out for this important cause and hoping to bring home the grand prize in Australia’s richest bull riding rodeo arena spectacular.”
Rodeo 4 Life producer Doug Vickers is more than a businessman, he’s also a grateful RPA liver transplant recipient who’s doing much more than setting the bar high for Australian rodeo sports entertainment; he’s also increasing awareness of organ donation and funding essential life-saving organ transplant research with 100% of profits dedicated to research conducted at the RPATI.
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) has long been Australia’s pioneers in organ transplant research and surgery having saved thousands of lives through developing breakthroughs to benefit all Australians.
Thanks to the funds raised from Rodeo 4 Life, the RPATI will be able to continue with the development of a world first organ perfusion system that will be able to extend organ viability from the current length of just a few hours to become viable for several days. This will allow more organs to be made available for transplant and a greater number of Australian lives to be saved.
“Rodeo 4 Life champion bull riders and the audience will be part of something that’s so much more than a night of exciting entertainment - they’ll have the time of their lives while giving seriously ill people time to live,” Mr Vickers said.
“By promoting the need to register to become an organ donor and funding this vital research at RPATI, we’ll be increasing the number of organs that can be transplanted and together we’ll save more lives,” he said.
Travis Collins, who’s well known for his tireless fundraising efforts by dedicating his talents to causes close to his heart to help others said, “It’s an incredible honour to perform at Rodeo 4 Life. While music, song writing, recording and performing is my life, there is something very special about being part of something bigger that has the power to save the lives of many.”
*Full list of Rodeo 4 Life Bull riding champions below
Insight Communications on: 02 9518 4744 or [email protected]
- Rodeo 4 Life Champion Cowboys
- Doug Vickers OAM - Rodeo 4 Life producer and RPA Liver transplant recipient
- Travis Collins - Seven-time Golden Guitar winner and back-to-back CMC Male Artist of the Year
- John ‘Happy” Gill of JP Gill & Sons – Rodeo 4 Life stock contractor
RODEO 4 LIFE LINKS
- Rodeo 4 Life Website: https://rodeo4life.com.au/
- Rodeo 4 Life Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rodeo4lifeau/
- BOOK NOW at Ticketmaster: http://bit.ly/RFL-BOOK
- Organ Donor Register: https://donatelife.gov.au/
RODEO 4 LIFE MEDIA CENTRE – DOWNLOADS
- Photographs of spokespersons, cowboys, rodeo images and bulls can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/RFL-Media
RODEO 4 LIFE CHAMPION BULL RIDERS (IN ALPHA ORDER)
- Ben Atkins from Tongala, Victoria, is a long-time crowd pleaser in bull riding competitions and was a NFR Finalist in both 2007 and 2008.
- Bryden Atkins from Chiltern, Victoria, was 2 time APRA Junior Bull Riding Champion and 2009 NRCA Junior Bull Riding Champion. Bryden also holds the 2014, 2015, 2016 RSA Woodalls Series Ride-Tuff Bull Riding Champion title and was a 2015 United Bucking Bulls inc. (UBBI) World Series Qualifier. Bryden’s been an APRA Bull Riding Qualifier multiple times and his recent wins at Barooga and Chiltern APRA Pro-Rodeos.
- Mathew Bee from Tarome, Queensland, won the title of RSA Ridetuff Series Rookie Bull Riding Champion in 2014 and 2015. In 2015 he was the RSA Rookie Bull Riding Champion and in 2016 and 2018 he took the title of NRCA Australian Bull Riding Champion.
- Brumby Brandenburg from Bloomsbury, QLD will be looking to take home his first bull riding title when he takes on some of Australia’s champions at Rodeo 4 Life.
- Joey Buckingham from Mossman Queensland, holds the titles of 2017 Great Northern Bull Riding Series Rookie Champion and 2016 Mareeba Rodeo Novice Bull Ride Winner. In 2015 he was an ABCRA NQ Zone Qualifier and in 2014 he was an Australian High School Rodeo Finals Qualifie
- Sam Champ from Meldale, Queensland holds the title of 2015 APRA Sunshine Circuit Bull Riding Champion.
- Toby Collins from Maldon, Victoria is the 2018 Cloverdale Bull Riding Champion, a 2016 (PRCA) Texas Circuit Finals Qualifier and in 2011 he won the title of APRA Rookie Bull Riding and Saddle Bronc Champion!
- Troy Cross from Boorowa NSW, has been a national finals qualifier six times and holds the title of 2009 Christchurch New Zealand World International Winner.
- Jonathan Couling from Singleton NSW, holds the 2014 and 2017 East to West Coast Bull Riding Champion titles and was a WRA and LRA Bull Riding Finalist in 2016 in Alberta Canada.
- Sam Daly from Cobden, Victoria has a string of rodeo titles to his name including 2010 and 2011 RSA Junior Steer Riding Champion, 2012 SCRS Rookie Bull Riding Champion and the 2016 Ride Tough Woodall Series Rookie Bull Riding Champion.
- Joe Down from Warrnambool, Victoria is a four-time Dalby Qualifier, the 2018 and 2019 APRA Rookie Bull Riding Champion. Joe holds the 2018 and 2019 RSA Rookie Bull Rider titles.
- Jesse Glass from Qurindi, NSW has been working the rodeo circuit since high school and was a two-time Qualifier in the RSA National Finals Bull Ride & Steer Wrestling, ABCRA NFR and was a National High School Finals Qualifier.
- Lane Howlett from Roma Queensland, finished in the top 10 in the 2018 APRA season and took 4th place at Mt Isa in 2018. Lane holds the 2019 Sunshine Circuit Bull Riding Championship title.
- Sean Lynch from Wagga Wagga NSW, is a National Finals Qualifier in both the APRA and ABCRA Championships.
- Kyle Maskiell from Longford Tasmania is an RSA Champion Bull Rider.
- Jack McArther from Cooyar, Queensland holds the 2017 APRA Bull Riding Championship title.
- Wade McCarthy from Muckenburra, West Australia holds the titles of 2018 West Australian All Round Champion Cowboy, 2018 West Australian Bull Riding Champion and 2014 ABCRA Australian Bull Riding Champion.
- Wyatt Milgate from Biboohra, Queensland is one of Rodeo 4 Life’s youngest competitors with a string of bull riding titles to his name. Wyatt is a two-time NRCA Qualifier, a five time ABCRA Qualifier and in 2017 and 2018 he was the ABCRA NQ Zone Junior Bull Ride Champion. Wyatt holds the titles of NQRA 2018 Novice Bull Ride Champion and the 2017 and 2018 Great Northern Series Bull Ride Champion.
- Cliff Richardson from Gresford, NSW has represented Australia 3 times at the PBR Global Cups and qualified for the 2018 PBR Velocity Finals in Las Vegas USA. He was 2018 runner up PBR Australia Nation Champion, the 2018 PBR Australia Last Cowboy Standing Event Champion, 2018 ABCRA Runner Up Nation Bull Riding Champion, 2017 ABCRA Nation Bull Riding Champion, 2017 ABCRA Central Circuit Bull Riding Champion and in 2011 he was the ABCRA Rookie All Round Cowboy, Rookie Bull Riding Champion and Rookie Bare Back Champion.
- Dylan Richardson from Maffra Victoria, is one of Rodeo 4 Life’s youngest bull riders. Dylan holds the 2016 National Rodeo Council Services Australia Junior Bull Rider title and the 2019 RSA Junior Bull Rider title.
- Anthony Ryan from Warrnambool, Victoria holds the title of 2011 RSA Novice Bull Riding Champion.
- Trefor Sproule from Singleton, NSW is a 3 time ABCRA National Finals Qualifier. In 2016 he was the XTREAM Bulls Runner Up Champion and in 2010 a ABCRA Finals Round Winner.
- Ty Thomson from Mt Walker, Queensland holds the titles of 2012 Calf Riding Champion (NRA), 2016 Junior Bull Riding Champion (NRA) and was named Novice Bull Riding Champion (NRA) in 2018.
- Troy Wilkinson from Upper Horton, NSW holds the highest bull riding score in Australia with a record of 93 and the titles of 2015 APRA Bull Riding Champion, 2017 PBR Australia Champion and 2017 PBR World Finals Qualifier.
- Sam Woodall from Heywood, Victoria holds a number of titles including the 2018 Australian Professional Rodeo Association Rookie Bull Riding Champion, 2017 National Rodeo Council of Australia Bull Riding Champion, 2017 APRA Southern Cross Rodeo Circuit Rookie Bull Riding Champion, 2016 Rodeo Services Association 2nd Division Bull Riding Champion, 2014-16 Rodeo Services Association Junior Bull Riding Champion and 2012 - 16 RSA Woodall Rodeo Promotions Junior Bull Riding Champion.
RODEO 4 LIFE
Giving the audience the time of their lives to give seriously ill people the time to live! Rodeo 4 Life on Saturday 30 November 2019, at WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong, is Australia’s richest bull ride spectacular with $30,000 in prize money up for grabs with seven-time Golden Guitar winner and back-to-back CMC Male Artist of the Year, Travis Collins performing live in concert.
Rodeo 4 Life is the inspiration of Doug Vickers OAM, rodeo sports producer and liver transplant recipient. Rodeo 4 Life will be conducted in accordance with policies, rules and industry standards of Rodeo Services Australia (RSA), and the NSW Code of Practice for animals used in rodeo events. Rodeo 4 Life will be conducted in accordance with animal welfare standards, registration and licensing systems of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). An RSPCA representative will be invited to be on site to oversee the event and a veterinarian will be in attendance. Whilst the event is raising funds to go toward Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Transplant Service; the hospital or Sydney Local Health District is not involved in the conduct or organisation of this event.
DOUG VICKERS OAM
Doug Vickers was born and raised in Townsville, North Queensland. In 1970 he joined the Australian military serving in the RAAF in Australia and overseas. In 1991, Doug Vickers was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List for his service to the military.
In 1999, following his discharge from military service, Doug went on to teach at the National Aerospace Centre of Excellence until 2013 when he ventured into the world of business purchasing Loam and Stone Landscape supplies and establishing his engineering company which he operates today.
On 23 December 2015, Doug underwent a life-saving a liver transplant at RPA. After receiving the gift of life and the lengthy recovery period that followed, Doug learned of the funding challenges faced by researchers at the RPA Transplant Institute and became passionate about creating a unique event that could generate essential funds for vital research that could save the lives of others.
With a family background in rodeo sports dating back to the late 1940s and having produced many large-scale rodeo events across Australia and served on the Judges Panel for both the APRA and ABCRA Associations, Doug initiated Rodeo 4 Life to generate much needed funds to support organ transplant research at the RPA Transplant Institute.
On 8 August 2019, in an Australian first Doug Vickers OAM announced Rodeo 4 Life as Australia’s richest bull ride extravaganza and country music concert with 100% of profits dedicated to funding research at the RPA Transplant Institute. Rodeo 4 Life will be held on 30 November 2019 at WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong NSW.
RODEO 4 LIFE ENTERTAINMENT
Rodeo 4 Life will star seven-time Golden Guitar winner and back-to-back CMC Male Artist of the Year, Travis Collins performing some of his greatest hits including Just Another Girl, Call Me Crazy, and Hard Light.
A dynamic guitarist, vocalist and live performer, Travis Collins has established himself as a leading artist in the Australian music industry. Travis is a multiple CMAA and CMC Award winner with a growing string of hit albums, #1 songs, awards and a decade of winning fans all across the country under his belt. Well-known for his masterful guitar playing and powerhouse vocals as he is for his depth of song-writing and high energy live performances, Travis Collins continues to cement his footprint as a mainstay on the Australian music landscape.
GLEN MORGAN - RODEO ANNOUNCER
Glen Morgan is a name synonymous with Australian rodeo sports. Glen rode saddle broncs for more than 15 years winning 13 Australian titles. Glen also and competed in Canada and the U.S.A in the 1980s and 1990s before retiring from championship rodeo competition to become one of the best rodeo announcers in the business.
GENE MCDONALD - RODEO PROTECTION CLOWN
Rodeo protection clowns are risk takers who do more than entertain the audience during bull riding rodeo sports - they put their life on the line to distract the bulls away from grounded riders. Gene will have one of the most important and dangerous roles in the Rodeo 4 Life arena - to protect the star cowboys from the bulls when they hit the ground so they can get back to the chutes in safety.
BIG AL WILSON - RODEO CLOWN
It wouldn’t be a Rodeo spectacular without Big Al Wilson, Australia’s class act Rodeo Clown. A former pro bull rider and a seasoned veteran of rodeo entertainment, Big Al Wilson has won the title of Australia’s Rodeo Clown of the Year, 15 times. For 20 years, Big Al Wilson has performed at Australia's largest rodeos including at all the National Finals in Australia and New Zealand, the National Finals for ABCRA, NRCA, APRA and NZPRA, and will be the star Clown again this year at all National Finals Rodeos.
JP GILL & SONS CHAMPION RODEO BULLS
Rodeo 4 Life will star some of Australia’s mightiest rodeo bulls, bred and trained by legendary JP Gill & Sons, our official stock contractor. “Happy” John P Gill, and his sons - John, Jason and Jarrod could easily be considered Australia’s “Rodeo Royalty” with a family bloodline of western-style performers dating back to the early days of Australia’s Wild West Buck Jumping Shows.
From humble beginnings JP Gill & Sons have bred a bloodline of champion rodeo bulls beginning with Dr Jekyll and 007 purchased from Noel Cook of the Running N Quarter Horse Ranch at Nathalia, Victoria.
RPA TRANSPLANT INSTITUTE
The RPA Transplant Institute was founded in 2006 to promote and support transplant research projects undertaken by scientists and transplant clinicians at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA), the University of Sydney and the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. The RPA Transplant Institute is part of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA), Australia’s pioneers in kidney and liver transplantation research and surgery with organ transplantation one of the many miracles of modern medicine created at RPA.