Callum Miller Begins 2024 Season Strong with Event Win on Velocity Tour in Reno, Nevada
By: Covy Moore Friday, January 26, 2024 @ 3:58 PM
AIRDRIE, Alta. – It was a perfect weekend for Aussie Callum Miller in Reno, Nevada, winning the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour event, leading the contingent of PBR Canada campaigners to the first event title of 2024.
Miller has been a mainstay on the PBR Canada Cup Series roster the past couple season and has qualified for the PBR Canada National Finals. He was also a member of the Missouri Thunder during the inaugural season of PBR Teams in 2022.
Rolling with a convoy of Canadians, Miller says escaping the cold to Reno turned out well.
“Flew down to Reno after being back, probably just to get out of the cold, and it worked out pretty good,” Miller explained. “Got on some good bulls down there.”
Winning in Reno also earned Miller two invites to the premiere PBR Unleash The Beast, in both Houston, Texas, and Sacramento, California, the next two weekends. He admitted that missing the PBR Canada National Finals last season by two spots motivated him to get this year started off on the right foot.
“I want to just keep rolling with consistency,” Miller said. “I think missing the Finals in Canada last year really lit a fire under me to just be better and do better.”
And to start the season, Miller, who has been riding bulls professionally for an entire decade, went back to basics partaking in the Troy Dunn Bull Riding School in Brooks, Alberta, on New Years.
“It did amazing things for me mentally and my confidence in my own ability. I saw the opportunity that he was coming over to Canada, and that I would be in Canada for it. You can't miss out on it, with a guy with that much knowledge. He has been a PBR World Champion, he is from Australia. There was a lot to relate back to, even relating to some sports back home.”
“It would be silly to miss that opportunity to get some knowledge and start the year off at a school like that, get on practice bulls and get the year rolling,” Miller continued. “The biggest one was being calm and relaxed in the chute, calm and relaxed in any situation really. It has really helped me and put a lot of belief into yourself that you can ride anything and do anything.”
Miller added that it’s those stay calming techniques that are helping with his confidence, and he will be relying on that skillset in his first opportunities at the Unleash The Beast events.
Historically, Australian bull riders have been a massive part of the PBR in North America. Miller has been a mainstay in Canada the past several seasons, and that, coupled with the years he spent in school and rodeo bull riding in the United States, he says he feels at home almost anywhere he goes.
But there is one familiar Canadian face who Miller admits was a welcome surprise in Reno, as PBR Canada Cup Series announcer Brett Gardiner announced all three of his rides and was the man to hand him the event buckle.
“I was pretty excited to have that particular familiar face down there, hearing that voice while you're getting on, having him present me the buckle,” Miller said. “It was a very cool deal. Ole Brett is a really good fellow, he is good for your mindset as well. He always keeps you positive, no matter what you're talking to him about, everything is always positive with him.”
“He came by the locker room before the deal, and in a couple of the breaks he stopped by, said good work to all of us and had a bit of a chat. I saw him the second day in the hotel lobby and had a bit of a chat with him. He is just a good dude.”
As for his goals in 2024, Miller says he wants to make the most of his Unleash The Beast opportunities and make the PBR World Finals in May.
Beyond that, he is happy to examine any opportunities to get back onto a PBR team, but said no matter what happens he will be headed back to Canada to make another run at a PBR Canada Championship.
“The goal this year is to be mainstay on the Unleash The Beast until May and then make the World Finals. Then see if any opportunities come up for the Teams, and I will see what they have to offer. I definitely want to come back and make another run at the Canadian title again, even do some Pro Rodeos up there and see if I can make the CFR.”
“I like this style with the World Finals being in May,” Miller continued. “You can start off and make a good run at that, keep things rolling cause you only have half a year to make those Finals. Then once Finals are made, you have that confidence for coming back to Canada, or if the opportunity arises back onto a PBR team. It brings a lot more where you can go, travel a bit more and not be stuck focusing on one tour as such. You can go to a lot of places and get on a lot of bulls.”
As for the PBR Canada schedule, Miller said he is most excited to go out East, and back to St. Tite, Quebec, where he had a runner-up finish last season, along with competing to win as many PBR Canada Cup Series events as he can.
“I seem to do well out East,” Miller concluded. “Win all those Canadian Cup Series events, that's the goal after the World Finals.”