Senior joins bull-riding community

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Senior Austin Breed started his bull-riding career last summer when his father and him made a bet for Breed to ride a bull.

“I had a fear of getting on the bull because it was big and weighed like 2000 pounds; I was just scared at first, then he told me to face my fears and just get on it,” Breed said. 

One person Breed looks up to is his mentor Brice Loyde who has taught him how to ride a bull. 

“I look up to him because he’s been doing it for a long time, he’s just really good at it,” Breed said.

When Breed practices for rodeos that are in different towns, he normally goes to a ranch in Arkansas. other times he goes to Club Rodeo and practices there.

“The ranch I practice on is just a ring with dirt and the stables, but at club rodeo it’s easier because it’s not actual bulls,” Breed said.

People can compete for money in rodeos; some of them choose the amount depending on how many people enter each competition. 

“Every weekend, Club Rodeo has a competition and the winnings are about $1,000,” Breed said.

“For me, to be a successful rider is to be able to get on the bull and ride those eight seconds, because those eight seconds are very long.”

— Senior Austin Breed

 

With the rodeos a round town the amount of money for prizes depends on how many people enter. Usually, it’s between $2,000 and $2,500.

With competitions, riders have to use different techniques. For people to enter in rodeos, they have to be mentally prepared for anything.

“When walking in the rodeo about to ride a bull, you have to be thinking ‘I’m going to ride this’, and you have to just feel it. It’s all just the technique; you can’t be afraid, or that’s how you get bucked off,” Breed said. 

When a rodeo is taking place, the riders will line up, pay a fee and sign a waiver. Then, rodeo staff will call the riders name, the riders name will then get put into a bucket.  Then each rider will be assigned to a bull

“It’s random picking; you don’t get to pick what bull you ride. After that, you just ride the bull,” Breed said.

All bull riders use different gear that suits their riding techniques.

“I use a Brazilian wrap, which is a rope that’s from Brazil. It’s braided and has a thicker pad for the handle and I wear a bull riding helmet, which has a bigger mask than usual. It looks like a football helmet, but it’s bigger and can take harder hits. All riders has to wear a vest,” Breed said.

One of Breed’s most memorable moments as a bull rider was when he got his head stepped on.

“I fell off, I looked up, and I just see the back end of the bull come up and his feet hit me,” Breed said. “My head hit hard on the ground my ear was bleeding, and I had to get stitches. I was wearing a helmet, too, I was lucky.”

Eight seconds is all it takes to possibly win a competition. Eight seconds to a person is a short amount of time, but when a rider is on a bull, those seconds take forever.

“For me, to be a successful rider is to be able to get on the bull and ride those eight seconds, because those eight seconds are very long,” Breed said.