Rodeo clown Simon Batts (in yellow), aka Batman, slams into a bull to allow its rider to get to safety.
Rodeo clown Simon Batts (in yellow), aka Batman, slams into a bull to allow its rider to get to safety. Mike Richards

Clowning around a serious business at rodeo

LEAPING over fallen rider Ky Hamilton, Batman tucked himself into a ball before slamming Hamilton's bull.

The force was enough force to tip the bucking bull away from the rider who scrambled safely to his feet.

The body slam was one of many close calls on Saturday night where the crowd at Miriam Vale Rodeo sighed in collective relief.

Batman is Simon Batts, a 24-year old protection athlete or rodeo clown.

His career only began last year at the Calliope Rodeo, but is quickly making a name for himself.

"I've got a mate who has bucking stock and I gave it a go," he said. "An opportunity came up at Calliope I was hooked."

He's had a few cracked ribs and bruises but said it is not that dangerous if you're smart.

"We work as team and you have to have faith your partner will do what he needs to," he said.

"It takes teamwork to read the cattle and know where you have to be."

"We are here to save lives, it's a serious job and you have to be clearheaded."

He said time slows down when you are in front of the bulls.

"It's hectic, but it's not fast," he said.

"You have time to see what unfolds in front of you and react."

Mr Batts said he never has a plan before going in, but keeps things simple to make sure he can do the job.

"You can't predict what they are going to do, you can only be relaxed and focused," he said.

"I travel with one or two guys, get here an hour before, chill out a bit and then get in the ring."

"My travel mate just drove to Bundy for the PBR with my wallet and keys though so the rest of the night will be quiet!"



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