With a trip to the USA in his sights, rodeo star Toby Collins is heading in the right direction as he goes from strength to strength in the saddle
By JOEL PETERSON
You’d think horses might be a bit kinder to Toby Collins.
He works with them for a living, but has to stop them from bucking him off.
The 19-year-old rodeo star from Maldon recently made a trip up to the Gold Coast to contest the 2012 National Finals Rodeo, which was taken out by New South Wales’ Rhys Angland.
In in his second year of Open Class competition, Collins fared well at the national finals, leading the saddle bronc competition after four rounds while also competing in the bull ride.
The 2011 Australian Professional Rodeo Association rookie champion in both the saddle bronc and bull ride has had plenty of experience in the sport, with his parents leading the way.
“I’ve been doing it since I was a little kid, and my mum and dad have always been involved in it,” he said.
Competing against cowboys up to twice his age in the open division is certainly no easy feat for Collins, who works as a farrier in Longlea, but he says heading off to such big tournaments is quite rewarding.
“Going up to the Gold Coast and that kind of thing is good, you see a fair bit of country and make heaps of friends along the way.”
One of the APRA rising stars, Collins has plans to go to America, possibly next year.
“I’m hopefully going over to the States next year to check out the circuit there, which would be really good,” he said.
“No plans have been made yet, but I’d love to get over there and learn from the best.”
Collins said there are several cowboys he looks up to in international competition including nine-time world champion Ty Murray, but his biggest role model is a former Australian champion.
“My biggest role model would be my dad, he was the one who got me involved and was great to watch growing up.”
If he can secure the sponsorships, a dream trip to the home of rodeo, the USA, could become a reality.
One day he may even be able to buck the trend of USA domination in the sport, and instead of forging horseshoes, forge a career in the sport he loves.