Kundabung's Levi Ward rides his way to a second place finish at World Finals

World stage: Levi Ward proudly shows off his new ring and buckle after a second place finish at the Youth Bull Riding World Finals. Photo: Callum McGregor
World stage: Levi Ward proudly shows off his new ring and buckle after a second place finish at the Youth Bull Riding World Finals. Photo: Callum McGregor

Levi Ward isn't fazed by much.

Minutes after completing an incredible first ride at the Youth Bull Riding World Finals in America last week, Levi was casually stuffing his face and looking forward to the second round.

Never mind the fact his ride had just put him into first position in the world rankings.

"Levi had just won the first round and he was sitting next to me eating popcorn like nothing had happened," Levi's mother Natasha Ward said.

"He turned to me and asked 'did I win that round' and I was like yeah, you're in first place in the world and he just said 'cool' and kept eating his popcorn."

Bull riding is Levi's passion and it's constantly on his mind; the 11-year-old wasn't concerned and didn't feel any pressure because he had been preparing for the World Finals since the first time he competed at a rodeo many years ago.

After the first three rounds, Levi was sitting in second position out of a total of 82 competitors and advanced through to the final round with the top 15 riders.

Levi Ward holds on to the bucking bull at the Youth Bull Riding World Finals in America. Photo: Supplied

Levi Ward holds on to the bucking bull at the Youth Bull Riding World Finals in America. Photo: Supplied

The Telegraph Point Public School student had nerves of steel before his last ride.

"I just went into my final ride the same as I do with every other round," Levi said.

"I am excited, want to do my best and have fun, I never feel nervous."

Levi did his best but fell agonisingly short of a world title but accomplished the remarkable feat of second in the Junior Riding Under-8 to 11 division.

While the bull riding prodigy celebrated the result, Levi has already declared he wants to capture the world title in 2020 and if not, he will keep pursuing one for as long as he lives.

"It was a good feeling, better than when I finished 11th last year that's for sure," Levi said.

"I am looking forward to going back to improve by one more spot. My goal is to win a world title one day and I will never retire until I win one."

Despite turning 12 ahead of the World Finals next year, Levi will remain in the Under-8 to 11 division because he is still 11 after January 1, 2020.

Levi is hoping it's third time lucky in the division but is also looking forward to stepping up an age group.

"I wish I could go into the higher class, rider the bigger and better bulls and challenge myself more," Levi said.

Levi expressed his gratitude to all of his sponsors and those who have donated to give him the opportunity to pursue his dreams.

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