Bob Holder is Australia’s oldest cowboy – and possibly the world’s.
He began riding in 1936 when he was five, and since taking out his first rodeo at the age of 14, he hasn’t looked back.
Speaking at the Tumut Rodeo, which was coincidentally the site of his first competition, Mr Holder, 89, said he still loves getting in the saddle.
“It’s the thrills you get out of it, and to be able to conquer a bull or a bronc takes a lot,” he said.
Despite plenty of broken bones over the years, it hasn’t deterred him from doing what he loves.
“You know damn well there’s a lot of danger in it, but that doesn’t worry you, you either want to do it or you don’t want to do it, and I just love doing it,” he said.
Throughout his long and storied career, Mr Holder has competed in rodeos all over the globe.
“I’m the first Australian to ever win money in professional rodeo over in America,” Holder said.
The cowboy, from Cootamundra, isn’t just making up the numbers at events either. His competitive drive still pushes him to win.
“My feeling (is) to go out and win, that’s my feeling (when) the horse is ready and the steer’s alright, I want to win,” he said.
Gus Malone, one of the organisers of the Tumut Rodeo, said Mr Holder’s passion and drive are infectious to younger riders.
“Bloke’s like that, he’s an icon of the rodeo world,” he said.
“Competing at this level, as fit as he is, it’s a credit to him and it’s great to have a bloke like that here.”
The quietly confident Mr Holder said he’s still a little uneasy with how the title of the world’s oldest cowboy sits with him.
“That’s what they told me, but I don’t know,” he said.
When asked what keeps him going, he laughed, saying “cause I want to win, that’s why … but mainly the thrill and honour of doing it.”
As for retirement, Mr Holder said don’t even think about it.
“I’d be lost (without it)… whenever I can get on a horse I will, I hope I can go another ten years.”