Grass Roots is the only place to be, says retired bull rider

KICKER: Ray White Redland Bay real estate agent Jesse James and Jesse van Nek hope to see you at Grass Roots Bull Riding 2018. Photo:
KICKER: Ray White Redland Bay real estate agent Jesse James and Jesse van Nek hope to see you at Grass Roots Bull Riding 2018. Photo:

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At just 12-years-old Jesse van Nek knew what he wanted to be when he grew up. 

After attending his first bull riding event and being told he couldn’t ride because he couldn’t afford the $30 entry fee, a fire was lit deep in his belly. 

Fast forward just a few short years and this cowboy was well on his way to belt buckle glory with a Professional Bull Riding (PBR) 2011 Australian Rookie title under his belt, and making it on to the world stage in the American PBR Velocity bull riding circuit signing hundreds of autographs at every event. 

Now Mr van Nek will be taking a different place in the bull riding arena as Redland Bay’s Grass Roots Bull Riding festival returns in January 2018, going from participant to supporter. 

Now retired from professional bull riding, Mr van Nek is a real estate agent with Grass Roots event sponsor Ray White Redland Bay.

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He won’t be out in the arena, but he will have a keen eye on the riders and bulls as they take their turn kicking up the dust and stirring up the excitement of the crowd at the Redland Bay Hotel. 

“These events are great fun for kids and families,” he said. “It draws in all the best rider’s in Australia; we’ll easily have five to 10 of the best in the country.”

It was this type of event which spurred Mr van Nek into the professional bull riding circuit, and the 2018 event might just be the start of another young gun’s passion and career in the business. 

“There will be some young kids there, and everyone’s got the chance to shine; you never know what you might see,” he said. 

Grass Roots Bull Riding promises to be a great day out for the family with free kids rides all day, cowboy auctions, giveaways and live entertainment. Ticket holders will witness more than 100 cowboys ride some of the fiercest bulls in the country.

While the day is all about fun, it is also about community. Proceeds from the event will go to help young kids build relationships and engage with the community in a positive way through The Cage Youth Foundation. 

The event is made possible with the sponsorship of the Redland Bay business community including major sponsors Ray White Redland Bay, The Cage, Shoreline and the National Rodeo Association. 

Event details

  • When: Saturday, January 20 from 11am to 7pm
  • Where: Redland Bay Hotel
  • Gate prices: Adult $25; children (under 17) and concessions $15; family (two adults, three kids) $75
  • Tickets: Online at Use promo code ‘PREBULL’ for single tickets or ‘PREBULLFAM’ to save 30 per cent online.