Head down, top 10 in sight for Herden
COWBOY Damian Herden will remember this PBR season as the one he knuckled down and put everything into taming those ferocious bulls.
Juggling shift work and a hectic training schedule is difficult but Herden's hard yards have been rewarded, earning him his current fifth place.
"My goal is to finish well inside the top 10, we are about halfway through the season so I am on track," the 24-year-old said.
"Last year I finished just inside the top 20 so I have improved quite a lot over this season.
"I have jumped quite a bit in the rankings.
"I am a diesel fitter by trade and do shift work in the mines.
"It is very hard to do both and this is the first year I have really applied myself to bull riding. Guess that's why I have done so well.
"Every time I ride I take 30 minutes to visualise the situation, I find that helps.
"The leader Cody Heffernan is pretty much unstoppable at the moment but I will give it everything to catch him. Train and practice as hard as I can."
Training with the Paton brothers, Mitch and Justin has had a profound influence on Herden.
"I live in Mackay now so I get to practice with at the Paton boy's house all the time," the former Emerald local said.
"We all travel to rodeos together and it helps that we all have the right attitude.
"We have a really great travelling crew and them doing well rubs off on me and vice versa.
"We have been good mates since our days at St Brendan's together."
Herden plans to do some of the APRA Emerald rodeos and, of course, the PBR.
He finished in fifth place at the December event.
With two second place finishes under his belt in Toowoomba and Bundaberg, Herden is clearly on track to achieve his yearly goal.