JP GILL & SONS
The official stock contractor for Rodeo 4 Life.
Rodeo 4 Life will star some of Australia’s mightiest rodeo bulls, bred and trained by legendary JP Gill & Sons, our official stock contractor.
“Happy” John P Gill, and his sons – John, Jason and Jarrod could easily be considered Australia’s “Rodeo Royalty” with a family bloodline of western-style performers dating back to the early days of Australia’s Wild West Buck Jumping Shows.
Like his father and grandfather before him, Happy (now in his 80s) was born on the road when his parents travelled from town to town on the old Wild West circuit, living out of humble wagons and eating meals served with stories told around camp fires of horseman and steer-riding legends.
Beginning his career in entertainment as a 7-year-old, Happy worked six nights a week riding a miniature bull in a travelling Wild West Exhibition Show. It wasn’t an easy life, but it was the life they loved – it was in their blood.
In 1948, Jack Gill Senior brought the first Brahman cattle to NSW from Queensland. In 1962, the Gill family became Australia’s pioneers in purposefully breeding bulls for rodeo sports. By cross-breeding Brahman bulls for their agility and athleticism with English bulls for their core strength, the legend of JP Gill & Sons champion rodeo bulls was born.
From humble beginnings JP Gill & Sons have bred a bloodline of champion rodeo bulls beginning with Dr Jekyll and 007 purchased from Noel Cook of the Running N Quarter Horse Ranch at Nathalia, Victoria.
JP Gill & Son’s – The Secret of Breeding Champion Rodeo Bulls
What stands JP Gill & Sons’ prized rodeo bulls apart from other breeders is the Gill family philosophy that’s been handed down from generation to generation. Every bull born on the Gill family property at The Rock is loved, nurtured, and educated from birth which is why at just 3-to-4 weeks of age, the calves will run up to Happy and Sons looking for affection, attention and their supper. They grow up smart and accustomed to working with people. And they grow up surrounded by their great uncles and aunts, cousins, brothers and sisters. They’re more than a herd, they’re a family, and each of them has their own personality and characteristics just like people.
JP Gill & Sons’ bulls start their performance career at approximately 3-4 years of age and are ridden in the rodeo arena for around 2 minutes each year, retiring at around 10-12 years of age. These bulls live comfortable, stress-free lives roaming and grazing the green pastures where they were born. Each are individually hand fed daily with good quality oats, lucerne hay and molasses licks for additional vitamins to ensure they remain content and in peak condition.
When these pampered bulls travel for rodeos, they travel in style and comfort in their own purpose built semi-trailer standing on special soft bedding (a mixture of sawdust and sand) rather than standing on a cold steel floor.
When on longer trips, the bulls are unloaded at specific intervals and rested to stretch their legs and shoot the breeze in readiness for their 8 seconds of stardom in the rodeo arena.
According to Happy, if a bull doesn’t want to buck, they simply won’t, but most seem to love the rodeo and seeing the cowboys flying through the air – it’s a game to them and one they love to play.
Currently, JP Gill & Sons have around 60 rodeo bulls and over 100 cows, young bulls and calves who live a good, free and easy life and when they retire, they live out their twilight years in the paddocks of their birth being handfed and watching over the next generation of JP Gill & Sons rodeo champions.