Your Look Into The 2016 Burton Cattleman's Rail Jam

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posted by James Willmott

Under bright lights, clear skies and in front of one of the biggest crowds Burton’s annual Cattleman’s Rail Jam has ever seen, Byron Bay snowboarder Sam Neumann etched past 15 of Australia’s best riders to claim his first title and an impressive $4000 pay cheque.

The man, known to many in the industry simply as ‘Reddog’, finished ahead of close rival and good friend, four-time Cattleman’s champion Jye Kearney thanks to his impressive display of high technical spins on and off and the rail. His creativity and use of the entire stair set, including a series of never-been-done tricks, also helped him secure his maiden victory and impress fellow competitors, the excited crowds, sponsors and many more.

“I can’t believe it, this is what I’ve worked hard for all these seasons…  I’m so stoked!”

We were lucky enough to snag Reddog for a quick catch up to talk more on the contest, and how it feels to take home the prestigious title. Check out all the action!

Congrats on the win! How does it feel to take out the title and a 4 grand pay cheque?
Thanks guys, it feels incredible to come home with the win. It’s always great to ride with your friends too, especially in this contest. What made it even better was that everyone who made money tonight were all of my closest friends, so we are all stoked to take home good results. It’s a really special feeling to win this event though, the four grand just makes it even sweeter. I’m super stoked!

You defeated close rival and good friend, four-time Cattleman’s champion Jye Kearney who came in second. How did you celebrate?
Haha, yeah! Jye is one of my good homies, so he was super stoked for me which is cool. We all had a pretty loose night at the pub afterwards and spent a bit of the winnings. The after party is always fun, all your good friends and a heap of girls!  

Was there a certain time during the contest that you knew you had it in the bag or did it all come down to the names being called out at the end?
It was definitely tight, towards the end no one really knew, everyone obviously says this and that, but you never know until the judge’s call out the results. It was super close though, the riding that went down was just next level this year. Every year seems to just be getting better and better as far as event structure and the level of riding.

Give us a brief rundown of the contest.
The whole contest is based around the famous stairs and rails at Mt. Buller. Basically, the organisers do the qualifying round for half an hour on the actual event set up to begin with. The best 15 riders then go through to the Final, which goes for half an hour, focusing only on the down rail. After half an hour of that, they allow 45 minutes to pretty much go ham on the gaps and other rails. All in all, the structure allows for everyone to mix it up and have a good dig.

What’s the atmosphere like?
It’s normally really bad weather, though this year it was just perfect. The atmosphere was amazing, apparently the biggest crowd in the events history. All the boys are always roaring and screaming at one another to charge so it’s a good time. The crowd do the same. It almost doesn’t even feel like a contest because you are with 15 of your closest friends just throwing down hammers.

Birdman took out best trick with his switch front lip to front board transferring from rail to rail. What other tricks really stuck out in your mind?
Yeah, Birdman’s trick was next level. Rocco Rachiele’s 50/50 front board on the middle rail was pretty gnarly, Andy James tried a front board to switch up and ended up breaking his board which was also pretty up there. Everyone else was just throwing down big 360’s. It was all pretty mental to be there and watch it go down.

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