Burnett rider competes for his late uncle Brian King
BULL RIDING: As the gates open and the audience begins to cheer for Lane Mellers at this weekend's Professional Bull Riding Grand Final, the Mundubbera rider said he would have a legend on his mind.
Mellers' uncle Brian "Kingy" King was killed in a freak accident at the Woodford Showgrounds in June this year, and Mellers said the loss has fuelled his hunger to succeed even more.
"He wanted to see me do well, almost more so than I do, so I definitely have it in the back of my mind that I'm doing this for him," Mellers said.
Last night the 19-year-old scored 87.25 to win round two of the PBR Grand Final.
Mellers said King was a huge influence on his career from day one, sparking his passion for riding in the North Burnett.
He started out riding calves as a child then matured to riding open bull rides when he was 15 years old.
"Brian and Kerri had BK Bucking Bulls at Mundubbera and I was always interested in them so thought I would give it a go, and once I did I never looked back," Mellers said.
"Brian tried to help me wherever he could and because he had bucking bulls he would always let me practise on them."
Mellers has spent the past few months in the United States on a bull riding scholarship with Western Texas College.
He was surprised to qualify for the Professional Bull Riding Grand Final because he had missed so many PBR events while overseas.
"It felt great, especially because I just got back from overseas and I thought, because I had been away and was only here for about half of the events, I wouldn't have been able to get in," he said.
"You could go to all of them and still not make it, so it's a big achievement.
"Before I went to America, Brian helped me practise at Mundubbera twice a week every week- it would be hours out of his day that he took to make sure I could be the best I could be."
King was heavily involved with the National Rodeo Association and local shows.
He and his family own BK Bucking Bulls and helped in hosting the Burnett Buckle Series throughout the North Burnett earlier this year.
A passion for bulls runs in the family as Mellers said there is nothing he would rather be doing than riding.
"I love all of it," Mellers said.
"It's a big adrenaline rush the whole time and you're with your mates doing something that you love, and when you get off after a good ride they're all just as happy to see you win as they would be for themselves."
After this weekend he will be straight back into PBR events, before returning to school in the United States in late January.
"Being in Texas was definitely an eye-opener to the world I want to be in," he said.
"The money over there is unreal compared to here, and you're making money doing what you love.
"I'm most looking forward to the quality of bulls over there, they all buck, the money is so great and I enjoy the experience of just being somewhere new."
Mellers said PBR events are on a similar scale to the events in Texas, and he enjoys both circuits for different reasons.
"The events aren't much different except for the money," he said.
"But in Texas you're up against stronger competition and you're on great bulls."