PBR Australia has a new champion and he's a Queenslander. On a huge Saturday night in Townsville where bulls had the upper hand, 22-year-old Macaulie Leather made good his 2018 promise as the best young bull rider in the world, being crowned the 2023 PBR Australia champion. The Calliope cowboy was leading the national standings coming into the grand final at Townsville and outbucked the fierce competition over two nights to claim the win and over $170,000 in prizes. He did it the hard way, having to front up for the championship round in fourth place for the event, carrying an injury after being bucked off after 5.66 seconds in the fourth round and receiving a mauling from his bull, Rockabilly Rebel on the way past. "That second last bull got me pretty good but you've just got to push forward," he said afterwards. "You don't recognise it much (when you get hurt), there's so much adrenalin, it doesn't really hit you til you're out of the arena. "You just try and shut it out, try your best." Still trying to take the win in, Macaulie said he was looking forward to just relaxing for a bit, but his excited mother, Nikki Leather has already booked her airline tickets to North America for the PBR Canada championship at Edmonton on November 17-18. As the Australian champion, Macaulie receives an automatic invitation. He'll be backed by plenty of credentials, beginning with the Youth Bull Rider world champion in Texas in 2018, then the 2019/20 New Zealand Rodeo Cowboys Association bull riding championship, followed by the PBR Australia 2021 Rookie of the Year. After competing in the National Rodeo Association circuit last year, he got his 2023 PBR season off to a flying start, winning the Meatstock Toowoomba event in April, putting him at second on the national leader board, where he never looked back. He's one of 13 siblings, most of whom were on hand to watch him presented with the PBR 2023 championship buckle. According to his mum Nikki, his eldest brother Elijah broke the ice and Macaulie followed, "and the rest is history". Younger brother Boston won the Mount Isa Rodeo open bull ride in August at 18 years and two months of age. "Little Raglan's probably the next most passionate," she said. "He's nine, and Zeke's in the middle but he's 12, and he pretty much wants to be the truck driver and the bull contractor, more than the rider, and we're happy for that." Macaulie's sisters do barrel racing and Nikki said that all 13 had competed at a rodeo at one stage. Another 22-year-old, Zane Hall from Athol, south of Toowoomba, was named the 2023 Rookie of the Year and took home a $15,000 bonus for his efforts. Both his grandfather and father were bull-riders so it's in his blood, and he started trying the sport out when he was six years old. "It's unreal, being rookie of the year," he said. "Lost for words, really. It's been a tough year but I couldn't have done it without my best mates beside me. "Just getting down the road every weekend, getting on these bulls that are the best in Australia." Like Macaulie, Zane's a builder, which gives him the dollars to travel and participate in the sport. As for 2024, the Australian title is in his sights. Taking out the 2023 YETI Bull of the Year was Cattle King Boogers Beach (Dittmann Bucking Bulls), who overtook Roid Rage (Dittmann Bucking Bulls), who was in the No.1 spot heading into the grand finals. Jason Dittmann also took out the 2023 Contractor of the Year, whilst Dittmann Bucking Bulls and TNR Bucking Bulls tied for the YETI Bull Team of the Event. The 2023 Rookie Bull of the Year was Mr T from Wallace Bucking Bulls. PBR Australia general manager Glen Young said the event, which was sold out across both nights, saw a record $240,000 in grand finals payouts. "This year's event was bigger and better than ever before. It was a two-night sell out inside the Entertainment Centre with around 10,000 fans from across Australia tuning in for an incredible weekend of adrenaline-fueled action," he said. "The performances from both the riders and bovine athletes were incredible, and it certainly had the crowd on the edge of their seats. "This year's prize pool was the largest we've ever had for the PBR Australia Grand Finals, marking a new record for the sport here in Australia. "We love hosting the PBR Australia Monster Energy Grand Finals here in Townsville, and we're looking forward to bringing it back again next year and seeing what the new season brings."