Cowboys Talk About Taking On 2,000 pound Animal

Brittany Nicholson

EAST JACKSON -- Cowboys visiting Jackson, Saturday, take the phrase "taking the bull by the horns" literally.

Saturday night was the Bud Light Bull Riding Championship at Oman Arena, where riders from all over the country compete for a $30,000 prize.

Professional bull rider Corey Maier, from South Dakota, said he trains to take on the animal that weighs one ton.

"When you get on a 2,000 pound bull and he's outmatched you by how many times your weight, your adrenaline's pumping, the hair stands up on the back of your neck," Maier said.

He said he has been doing this since he was a little boy, alongside his brother Ardie.

"I got my first bull rope when I was 4, started on calves then went to college. Since then I've been riding full time, 12 years," Ardie Maier said.

Ardie went to college on a full rodeo scholarship. He agrees with another rider, J.W. Harris, that he grew up around bull riding, and it's all they've ever known.

"I grew up in the sport. My dad, my grandad 'rodeoed' and so its kinda second nature for me," Harris said.

Saturday night was just another competition. Bull riding is their everyday job.

The riders must stay on the bull for 8 seconds to receive a score, holding on with only one hand. The cowboys say it is not easy, but the challenge is what they live for.

"To do something you love to do for a living. That's what life's about you know? its just really fun, you get to travel, compete, and that's about as good as it gets," Corey Maier said.

The cowboys ride bulls regularly, but they each say there is no way to prepare for what happens when that gate, where they release the bull, opens

"You're riding an animal and he can have a pattern and he can change it up. You practice and you know how to ride and when its time you can't think you just gotta react," Ardie Maier said.

The three have each suffered from serious injuries and undergone surgeries. But Corey added the feeling they get from this joy ride, makes it all worth it.

"The funny thing about it is, if you're in the right spot at the right time, you can take that 2,000 pound bull and make him feel like nothing," Corey said.

The competition started with 24 riders and ends with one winner.

Cooper Davis from Jasper, Texas took the title home Saturday night.


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