The Birth of a Bull Rider at PRCA Junior Rodeo Camp


Connie CaseyBaby bull rider

Since my youngest was still in diapers he has wanted to be a bull rider. At home he had to settle for horses but our mounts weren’t wild enough to match his need for speed. Not just speed though; this little adrenaline junkie wanted to ride a derailing crazy train. The Mutton Busting events he has participated in didn’t do much for him either except teach him that plowing the arena floor with your face is no fun. I’m not sure what it is that makes us so different right from birth but THIS son was born ready to take on every crazy challenge. If he couldn’t find an X Game type adventure he made one of his own. His nickname is “H Bomb”. I really should buy stock in mouth piece and helmet companies. We spent lots of time over the years going to Friday night bull riding practice watching all the young guys give it a try. About a year ago someone gave him a beautiful handmade bull rope that has been hanging in his room like a museum piece. It is his prized possession. My young son has been counting down the days until he was 8 and ready for some rough stock events in Junior Rodeo. That day has come. 

Anxiously waiting to leave for Rodeo Camp

Saturday the 19th of March was the PRCA Rodeo Camp in Coeur d’ Alene ID. The boy has never readied himself for the day with such urgency! He raced through breakfast and went to sit at the barns and wait for 9am to come. Upon arrival we were greeted by Julie Jutten, the Manager of Industry Outreach for the PRCA at check in. As the event organizer she did an awesome job juggling parents, kids and cowboys, getting everyone to the right place at the right time. The 34 participating kids ranging in age from 8 to 18 split into their groups ready to go! Bull, saddle bronc and bareback riding hopefuls gathered round their MORE than qualified instructors with rapt attention and our day got under way. 

Watching the instructor

I spent most of my time watching the bull rider class. The cowboy in charge of this group was Justin Andrade out of Hollister California. He is a past qualifier of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. I was especially impressed with his patience with such a young group of newbies. My little man Hunter had a blast. They reviewed safety equipment, learned how to tie bull ropes and practiced on a “dummy”. No buck outs in this clinic! I must admit I was pretty happy with that! I was pleasantly surprised at the lunch break that the cowboys each spoke with the entire group about health and fitness. Rodeo isn’t just about going for a wild ride, it is about becoming an athlete! At the end of the day they gathered at the bucking chutes and took turns sitting on a bull to practice chute procedures and livestock safety.  Much to Hunter's chagrin, this critter was uninterested in giving him any action! 

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