BALANCE: Tully rider Sam O’Connor holds on to Bumble Bee in Toowoomba.
BALANCE: Tully rider Sam O’Connor holds on to Bumble Bee in Toowoomba. FILE

O’Connor to get Playful at Rural Weekly bull ride

TORN muscles, event wins and a confidence boost.

A lot has happened to Sam O'Connor since he last wrapped a rope around a bull in Hervey Bay.

O'Connor will return to the Seafront Oval arena tonight for the Hervey Bay Rural Weekly Live Series bull ride.

The man from Tully is nearing the end of a recovery following a disastrous riding accident late last year.

"I tore my thigh muscle which put me out of it for a while," he said.

His voice softly talks about the incident with no indication of how painful it was.

O'Connor instead focuses on the painstaking time he spent on the sidelines - something that would prolong his stay off bulls.

"I tried to come back a bit too early and that didn't work too well," he said.

"I was out for three months the first time then when I tried to get on early I ended up being out for two more.

"It took my confidence down a fair bit at the start of the season."

A lack of confidence is one of the last things a rider wants when he is about to sit on the back of a 500kg bull, O'Connor admits.

Through persistence and sheer courage the man from the north is back and sitting pretty in the season point standings.

"Coming back after an injury and I'm doing better than last year in the points," he joked.

"I am feeling pretty good going into Hervey Bay - it's a pretty good event."

O'Connor's confidence has been boosted following the bull draw.

In the first round he will jump on Brian King's bull, Just A Little Playful - which O'Connor confirms will not be an easy one.

"I've been looking to get a ride on this bull," he said.

"He's no walk in the park, he's a bucking little thing but will suit the style I ride."

In round two O'Connor hopes to go one-up on old nemesis Smugglers Ghost.

"He's bucked me off twice and I've rode him twice," O'Connor said.