COLAC bull rider Adam Hinkley has his sights set on a world title following his breakout season in the sport last year.
Hinkley tackled the world’s best International Professional Rodeo Association rodeos across North America in 2015, finishing seventh in his rookie season.
The 30-year-old also claimed a national title on his return to Australia in November, winning the Australian Open Bull Riding Champion title in Queensland.
The stellar year earned Hinkley the title of Sports Star of the Year at the Colac Sportsmen’s Club’s annual awards night, beating national junior netballer Brooke Allan, and Australian champions Aaron Simpson, darts, and Martin Bramley, shooting, to win the top honours.
Sportsmen’s club officials interviewed the nominees before voting on a winner, with Hinkley also pocketing the $500 prize.
A humble Hinkley said he was honoured to receive recognition for his achievements in the sport, which he conceded was “not your average everyday sport”.
“It’s always good to have a win in front of a home crowd,” Hinkley said.
“You never forget where you come from, it was fantastic to be nominated let alone to win,” he said.
Hinkley’s passion began while working on Graeme and Irene Kenneady’s dairy farm at Gerangamete 15 years ago.
He started pursuing the sport seriously five years later, and is currently based in Ontario in Canada, where he travels to compete in IPRA-sanctioned events.
Hinkley said he would return to Canada at the start of May, with the goal of improving on last year’s breakout season.
“I plan on making the world finals again and hopefully I can get that world title, that’d be fantastic,” he said.
“I was seventh leading into the world championships in 2015, so hopefully I can better that this year.”
Meanwhile, the Colac Sportsmen’s Club also awarded Lavers Hill athlete Amy Brauer with the Bruce Fry Memorial Award for top sportsperson aged between 16 and 21 in 2015, while state representative cricketer Josh Garner won the under-16 Bill Amezdroz Award.