Love and a rodeo dream brings Italian bull rider to Isa

Talented Italian bull rider Pietro Perri is taking the first steps to his dream of winning a major Australian rodeo title at this weekend’s Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo, the largest in the southern hemisphere.

The 30 year old from Milan is so passionate about bull riding success his arm is tattooed with “8 second di gloria” – translating to “8 seconds of glory”, the bone-crunching time bull riders need to stay on the bull for a qualifying ride. Pietro will ride in the Isa Rodeo 2nd Division bull ride, on the path to breaking Open.

He and his beautiful girlfriend, Cristina Maccani said they had the good fortune to meet renowned stock contractor Garry McPhee in Taroom recently and have travelled with the McPhee camp to Mount Isa, where Gary will supply the bucking broncs to this weekend’s rodeo.

The couple will feature in a news story filmed by Tourism and Events Queensland earlier this week which will be distributed globally via the Thomson Reuters news agency in London.

It was Cristina’s encouragement that led them to Australia to chase success in the international bull riding scene.

Although the couple initially met in 2011 and kept in touch through letters and eventually skype, things happened quickly when they met up again in person two years later. “We met in November, 2013 and decided to come to Australia in December to follow his dream,” said Cristina. Adds Pietro: “Thank you to my girlfriend, it was your idea.”

The couple share a passion for horses, with Cristina working as a race horse trainer based in Pisa before joining Pietro in nearby Milan, where he worked with horses in various capacities including as a track rider, steeple chase jockey and horse breaker.

“He likes riding difficult horses that buck a lot,” says Cristina. “He’s a natural. When the animal makes some signs, he can understand, his instinct is very good.”

After seeing a newspaper story on bull riding in Italy, Pietro decided to give it a go, and he was named the Italian Rodeo Cowboy Association Champion 2012 Rookie of the Year shortly after. There are 12 bull rides in Italy per year.

Explains Cristina: “When his first teacher asked him why wanted to try bull riding, he said I want to win the professional bull riding title in Australia.”

After Pietro competes this weekend, the couple will travel back to Victoria with the McPhees, where he will concentrate on honing his bull and bronc riding skills.

“He really wants to ride on the professional rodeo circuit,” says Cristina. “If he wins an Australian title, he has said in front of other people “I will marry you”,” she laughed.

Buona fortuna – good luck and here’s hoping both dreams come true! This year’s Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo will be held from this Friday to Sunday, August 8 to 10.

For more information visit www.isarodeo.com.au or phone (07) 4743 2706.  Follow us on www.facebook.com/isarodeowww.twitter.com/isarodeo and www.youtube.com/mountisarotaryrodeo     For accommodation and holiday ideas visit http://www.queenslandholidays.com.au/destinations/outback/

For media information and assistance, please contact:

Susan Fuller, Synergy Marketing & Public Relations,

Ph (07) 3303 9966 or Mob: 0411 463 693  Email: susan.fuller@synergypr.net.au