Airdate: Outback Ringer

New ABC series Outback Ringer is coming to ABC next month.

The 10 part factual series follows a handful of brave men and women making a living catching feral bulls and buffalo in the outback.

It’s described as a dangerous job – high-risk, but with high-reward and a hell of a lot of deal-making.

Produced by Ben Davies, the creator of the hit series Bondi Rescue, with Territorian Thomas Lawrence, the gripping 10-part series tracks the highs and lows of four teams of ‘ringers’ – feral bull catchers. Liz and Willie Cook are a husband and wife team, Kurt Hammer is a master bull catcher worth around 40 million dollars, young gun Lach McClymont is looking to make his mark and Indigenous Australian Clary Shadforth is a 3rd generation bull catcher training up his 17-year-old son Francis.

Bull catching is big business, with some 300 thousand feral bulls and buffalo wandering Australia’s outback unclaimed. If caught, these animals are worth up to a staggering 150 million dollars. It’s a major industry, especially for Indigenous Australians.

Each year, the Ringers strike a deal with the top-end landowners – in exchange for access to their land, they’ll share the profits from selling the bulls in the livestock market. But it’s not easy work – these animals have never seen humans and will try to avoid capture. In extreme isolation the Ringers accept they can be gored by bulls or killed in vehicle or chopper accidents. In a high stakes world of boom or bust, they drive modified Mad Max style 4WDs at breakneck speeds as they seek their fortunes.

Cattle and buffalo were imported into Australia during early British settlement and with no real restrictions, their herds grew to massive numbers. They are now feral animals, large pests which destroy the natural environment. If they’re not caught by Ringers they’re “shot-out” in culling programs, so catching these feral animals not only benefits the land, but is also more humane.

This October join the Outback Ringers on a thrilling journey into the land that time forgot.

Production credit: Outback Ringer is a Ronde Production for the ABC. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with the ABC. Financed with support from Screen NSW with Screen Territory. Executive Producer: Ben Davies (Ronde), Producer: Thomas Lawrence (Ronde), ABC Manager of Documentaries: Stephen Oliver.

Tuesday October 20 at 8.00pm on ABC.

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