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Features

  • Shane Proctor Interview

    2009 Built Ford Tough Series Rank: 11

    Calling from: Driving home in North Carolina, late afternoon, November 2009

    If you weren't a bull rider, what do you think you would be doing?
    Never really pictured myself doing anything else, but I did go to college to teach health fitness education, like my parents.

    You were a championship bull rider in high school in Washington. Did you grow up around bull riding?
    I did not grow up around it. Grew up around rodeo. My dad was a calf roper, and my mom was in events, pretty much everyone in my family. My dad used to do clinics in the summer. I never thought I'd get into bulls, and I didn't get on a bull till I was 16. But I tried it one day and was hooked. By the time I was done with high school, I was competing in every event I could.

    Were most of your friends bull riders?
    Yep. Grew up roping in the amateur association --started when I was 12 years old.

    Who are you close to now out of your competitors?
    I'm good friends with a lot of the guys, hang out different groups: Brian Canter, J.B. -- the wild guys, then Skeeter and Ryan -- I'm friends with them, too. Travis Briscoe -- Jessie is good friends with his wife. You'll see them in the crowd together in almost every event.

    What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
    Greatest ride was on bull called Stony, He killed one of my friends, and I rode him in Portland in front of a lot of family and friends -- people who knew Stony and knew how much it meant.

    The bull's name was Stony or your friend's name was Stony?
    The bull's name used to be Snake Eyes. My friend Anthony Covington got on him in an amateur rodeo in Newport, Wash. It was same night as I entered my first event in the pro circuit. The bull stepped on his chest -- punctured it. They changed bull's name to Stony in honor of my friend. That's what we used to call Anthony -- Anthony "Stony" Covington. I have two bull brands (the bulls numbers) tattooed on my wrists. Both are bulls that have killed friends of mine. They're a reminder of what I'm going for and what I'm doing -- also so I know what bulls I'm going up against. I can remember their numbers and know them when I see them. It's a way of conquering. When they took so much away from my friend and the families, it gave us a lot of closure to have me ride Stony that day.

    Does that change the goals you have set for bull riding? What's your ultimate goal for the sport?
    Same as everyone else's. Want to win the world championship. This was my best year. I placed 11th. I think I've matured. I'm 24 now -- think that has helped. There's no luck in bull riding. I guess you could get the right draw, but the guys at the top, they ride so well. They've perfected the never-say-die attitude to fit their style. For those guys, it's 90 or highlight reel, every time, one way or another. They just don't care if they get bucked off or what. The money -- they just want to ride bulls.

    Do you care?
    I support a family. I love riding bulls, but yes, obviously I care more because I have more responsibility. I think about everything more.

    What was it like having the CMT cameras follow you around?
    Wasn't bad. A little annoying when you're trying to concentrate and you have three or four cameras following you around trying to catch everything, but that's the job.

    What do you think the CMT audience and your fans will get out of watching the show?
    I think you'll enjoy seeing cowboys in a new light. They're not all bald with no brain. A lot of these guys have been taking care of themselves since they were 15, 16 years old, booking tickets, renting cars, getting themselves up and down the road. When I turned 21, it was more exciting to be able to rent a car than to buy a drink. You learn how to plan quick.

Features

  • Skeeter Kingsolver Interview

    2009 Built Ford Tough Series Rank: 31

    Calling from: His family home in Kansas, mid-afternoon, late November 2009

    With all the potential of physical damage, what is the thing that motivates you to get back on the bull?
    Well, basically just the love of the sport. There's nothing better than riding the bull and beating 90 points. There's no better feeling in the world.

    What is the worst injury you've acquired?
    A broken ankle

    Was that because it hurt the worst, or it took the longest to recover from?
    Not the one that hurt the worst. It put me out in the heat of the season. Events were running strong. Really put a damper in my step, things were moving and I had to stop. But ya know, everything happens for a reason -- have to go on.

    Who do you look up to in the sport?
    Well, he's been around a while. I watched him on TV when I was little. He always just made it look easy, like he didn't have to try, and he's still riding bulls. Now I'm riding with him -- Chris Shivers. Now that I'm riding with him, I know him. I know he really is a professional and a good guy.

    If you weren't a rider, what would you be doing?
    Racing dirt bikes. I mean I wasn't serious, but I rode when I was younger -- always liked it. I wasn't racing, but I had a little KX 80 that I used to ride all around. I sold it when I was 12 for some chaps, steer rope and bull riding gear. That's how I got started.

    What is your ultimate goal you want to achieve in your career?
    Well, to be a world champion. Have a crib that I can retire to when I want to -- a nice spread. I want to retire when I want to, not when the sport makes me retire, like Justin McBride. Stop before you have to and hunt, bass fish -- do what you want.

    What do you consider your greatest achievement so far?
    I've been pretty successful since I started, riding steers, when I did the youth rodeo. It's kinda always come to me. I wouldn't say it's been easy, not at all, but I work to do what I do. I've been busy all day on the barrel. I'll go work out in a bit.

    So is that what an average day consists of for you?
    Yeah, for sure: workouts, practice. When I'm at home, I can work out at the gym. I try to get there at least once a day. On the road it's harder, but I try to get in the gym at hotels if I can. If I can't, I'll do something.

    Is your family involved in your career?
    Yes, every one is behind me 100 percent. I don't think any one of them thought I would really be doing this for a living. Ya know, I mean they always supported me, were always there, but now that I am, they're behind me 100 percent.

    Is it hard to be on the road all the time?
    Well, I try to take it easy in between. It's busy. It's good to be home, but after all that, I get bored when I'm not on the road.

    So how do you deal with all the attention you receive, especially from female fans?
    Well, it's funny. I don't think of myself as famous. I'm just lucky to be able to get paid to do what I love. Now that I'm on TV, there's girls, Facebook is crazy -- a girl asked me once if that was really me on Facebook or a machine (laughing). It's me! I guess when the attention comes I try not to ignore them, but can I leave it at that? (Asks with a laugh)

    Who are you close to out of your competitors?
    Ryan (Dirteater), Austin (Meier), but all the riders, we're pretty close. We all hang out together and have fun together.

    Do you have a pre-ride ritual?
    Right before I get on, I usually slap my thighs. I'll probably yell a few times.

    What runs through your head those few seconds before the gate opens?
    Well, I don't know. I try to clear my mind before the gate opens. I don't know -- adrenaline's going. You're not thinking. You don't want to think about anything.

    What has it been like having the CMT cameras with you on tour?
    CMT has been great, ya know. It's not hard at all. They know when to give you your space, let you do your thing.

    Regarding Posse. What do you think about it? What do you think bull riding fans will get out of watching the show?
    I think it's great. The fans will get all kinds of new stuff. They'll get to see us on the road, behind the scenes -- things they don't usually get to see, the backstage.

Features

  • Austin Meier

    2009 Build Ford Tough Series Rank: 6

    Calling from: On the road, driving back to his home in Kinta, Okla. Mid-morning, late November 2009

    Austin, you come from a bull riding family. Was there ever a question in your mind that you were going to follow in your family's footsteps?
    Well ... everyone in the family has rode bulls -- my grandfather, uncles, brothers, cousins, even kids coming up in the family are getting into it. Most of the women run barrels or ride horses on a daily basis. My wife rides barrels. It goes back in her family generations, her mother, all of them.

    Sounds like it was a given then. If you weren't going to be a bull rider, what do you think you would have done?
    It was definitely obvious that I would be a bull rider. But I was good at sports, probably could have gotten a scholarship to go to college for something. I played football, baseball, track, basketball. I fouled out a lot in basketball. I was one of the guys on the team that could dunk, but I never got to play because of fouls. I was obviously meant to be in a rougher sport. Baseball and football were my two main sports.

    Do you still play?
    I haven't played in a while. Every once in a while -- there's not too much going on here, I'm from a small town -- but sometimes I do see the Friday night lights.

    Small town ... how small?
    Small like one-small-stop-sign town. That's it. If you turn left, you won't see the town. If you turn right, you'll see a little. If you live here, you're an oil rig worker, retired or ranching.

    What is a normal day at home like?
    Well, it depends on time of year. About Oct. 1 to now, I get up before sunlight, get out to the woods, hunt, come back, get some food, go back out and hunt again. Hunting season is about over for me. Tags are gettin' full so now it's back to the ranch, feeding, making sure animals are taken care of, always something to do. Springtime means bass fishing. But like I said, this time of year, I eat and breathe hunting. As soon as I get home now, I'm going to change clothes and go back out to check hog traps. At church this time of year, sometimes people show up still wearing their camo in service. It's serious out here.

    How about when you're on the road?
    On the road? Oh, on the road it's BUSY. You're going from hotel to hotel, rental car to rental car, trying to work out when you can get out to do something, when you need to take a few days off to rest your muscles. I try to eat as healthy as I can when I'm on the road to keep fit, but every once in a while you have to have a cheeseburger. I've been with my wife four years, together five. I wish I could go home sometimes. It's hard being away, but you realize that you have only a few events that you have to do so that you can go home.

    Can you tell us how you met your wife?
    My mother put on a weekly barrel racing event, and when I was younger, I went to one of the events. I met her there through a buddy. Then I ran into her a few weeks later and kept running into her. I was 17 when we met. We got married at 18. We've loved every minute of it, and we hope we can be married another 60 years.

    How often does your wife come out to events?
    Whenever she can, but it's hard. She stays really busy with her horses, training and going to her own events. She goes to the events that are close, and every once in a while she will fly out. Actually she just came to Atlanta.

    Did you do anything special there?
    Well, we were going to see New Moon, but I almost got knocked out the night before we were going to see it, so we didn't think it was a good idea. We couldn't go, but we had a good time together.

    Any spots that you can't miss when you're on the road?
    There are a couple spots that have go-cart tracks with cars that go really fast. Me, Skeeter and Ryan will go out and go wild. You gotta watch Dirteater though, 'cause he'll knock you out on the track.

    Are there any restaurants you can't miss?
    Not too much. There are a couple towns that have Dave and Busters. We really like hanging out there and playing pool, relaxing, having fun.

    So what is the end goal of bull riding? What do you strive for in your career?
    Honestly, I hope that my career has been more than me going out and showing people how great I am. I'm a Christian, and I hope that people see that you can be a mighty person and be a good Christian at the same time. You don't have to be the quiet churchgoer -- you can be a bull rider. Sure, I'd like to have one or more buckles that have world champion across, and I think I'm capable of attaining them. We'll see when I retire.

    When will you know that it is time to retire?
    When you wake up and decide it's not worth it anymore or you don't have the drive. It's something you can't set a timeline on. In a sense, you can't look forward to it but can't dread it either.

    What do you consider your greatest achievement so far?
    The win in Chicago my rookie year. (Austin was the Built Ford Tough Series Event Champion in April of 2006.) It was a big event for me and I'd won second before. I wanted to win first and I did. It's hard to say because it seems like new ones come every day -- things you're proud of -- but that's the one that affected me the most personally. Also, definitely the challenger tour finals in 2007. Paid $50,000. Not bad for one ride.

    What do you think bull riding fans will get out of watching the show?
    I hope our fans get that there's more to us than famous guys that ride bulls, or whatever people think. For some guys they're single wild guys, but for others of us, we're normal guys that have families, ride bulls, live a simple life. If you ran into us you'd think I was another normal guy. I hope they enjoy it, and get a deeper look at us as people and as bull riders.

Features

  • Sean Willingham Interview

    2009 Built Ford Tough Series Rank: 12

    Calling from: In car driving home from Atlanta event

    I've heard you are involved in a number of other sports. What else do you do besides bull riding?
    I'm always into something -- snowboarding, wakeboarding -- been wakeboarding for four years. I believe that I could probably go amateur, but I'm definitely not pro yet. I also play golf a lot.

    How did you get started riding bulls? How old were you?
    I started at 15 years old. I come from a small town. Pretty much the biggest event every year was the rodeo. When I was a kid, I didn't pay much attention to what went on inside the ring. I was there to have fun, but then I saw that these guys were trying to stay on a bull for only eight seconds. I thought, "I could do that." I told my dad I think I can stay on a bull for eight seconds, especially if they're going to pay us. I kept at him. We kept begging him to take us to ride bulls. So one day we all loaded up and went to a place in Alabama. I don't really remember the first bull I got on, but I remember I liked the way it made me feel -- the adrenaline of getting on an animal that was 10 times the size of me. But I wasn't very good at it at first. I think that's why it stuck. I wanted to be good at it, and I couldn't figure it out. I had a pretty easy time with most other sports, so it made me determined to conquer the bull. That and the fact that when you're in high school making $500 a weekend, it really keeps you going. I knew I didn't want a day job -- wasn't cut out for it.

    If you weren't a bull rider, what would you be doing?
    I'm pretty sure I would be playing basketball. Not sure if I would have made it to the NBA but was pretty good, and it was the only other sport I stuck with after I started riding bulls. You could still play basketball and ride bulls. The schedule is kind of opposite. When I was in college, I was playing ball with my friends, and one of the basketball coaches saw me playing and asked if I would want to play basketball, and I was on a bull riding scholarship.

    Where did you go to college?
    Western Texas College, Snyder, Texas. It was OK -- really small.

    What does your average day consist of now that you are a bull rider?
    Well, it depends on what time of year it is. In the summer, I spend most of my time on the lake or playing golf every day. Golf is another hard sport (laughs), not bull riding hard, but one day you feel like you're doing good, and the next day you're totally off. I also do a lot of hunting, and I try to go to the gym at least a few times a week, but sometimes that gets thrown out for fun. Always gotta be moving -- definitely not a homebody.

    What is your ultimate goal you want to achieve in your career?
    Be the world champion -- the No. 1 goal for every bull rider. Money's good, but you won't see any bull rider saying they want to be a millionaire. You just want to be the best bull rider in the world -- every year.

    What do you feel like your greatest achievement is thus far?
    Don't really have one. A lot of people are different. I have just set my goals so high. I want to be the best. The top 10 is good, the top five is good, but it's not good enough for me.

    Who do you look up to in the sport?
    Guys like Tuff Hedeman and Ty Murray were hot stuff when I first started watching bull riding. I never got to compete against those guys, wish I had, but they were already gone. When I got into the circuit it was Justin McBride and Ross Coleman. They were always at the top of their game.

    Who are you close to now out of your competitors?
    Kasey Hayes, Brian Canter, J.B. Mauney, Matt Bohon, L.J. Jenkins. There's a lot of guys. We're together every weekend, it's like a family. But ya know, everybody gets along. There's no enemies.

    How about a girlfriend?
    I do have a girlfriend. We're going on three years. She lives with me. I try to spend as much time with her as I can when I'm at home.

    Does she come and meet you on the road?
    Well, it depends on school schedule. If I can drive, she definitely goes with me. When she signs up for classes, she tries to work her schedule around mine, so we can see each other, and she doesn't have to miss any school.

    What are the spots she wants to come to the most?
    She likes to come to New York, Las Vegas and definitely Calgary, Canada, for the stampede every year.

    Do you have a pre-ride ritual?
    Well, kind of. I guess I put the attire on the same way every time. I always put my clothes on the same way -- left boot first, then right, then ropes. It's not necessarily the same time every day, but it's the same system.

    What are you thinking when you're in the chute?
    I don't really know what goes through my head. Most of the time just "hang on" and "I'm better than this bull, he's not going to get me." But basically just: "Hang the hell on." Really.

    What has it been like having the CMT follow you around?
    It was fun. We showed them what we do on a regular basis. They basically lived our lives. They could see what kind of a person we really are outside of the ring.

    What do you think bull riding fans will get out of watching the show?
    Well, I'm interested to see what happens myself. I think I'm going to become a fan of the show, too. I think they'll get to see what it's really like -- what it's like to be a bull rider.

Features

  • Jessi Proctor Interview

    PBR Connection: Wife of Shane Proctor, who in 2009 ranked No. 11 in the Built Ford Tough Series

    Calling from: Shane and Jessi are together in the parking lot outside a tanning salon in their home town, N.C., late November 2009. Halfway through this interview, they leave in separate cars.

    You two travel together quite a lot to different cities. What's your favorite? New York. We get to walk down to Times Square after the rides. That's fun. Jessi: Vegas

    What are your favorite things to do in Vegas? (Giggling in the way that says ... that's obvious, isn't it?) Gambling

    What games do you guys like to play?
    Together: Blackjack
    Jessi:The penny slots. I've pumped a lot of coins into those machines.

    What about restaurants? (Strong pause)
    Shane: Well, in California and Nevada: In and Out Burger.
    Jessi: That's disgusting.

    Are there any places that you make sure you go back to in each town?
    In Fort Worth, Texas we like to go to the same shops, stock yards -- boot shopping.

    You travel with your dog right? What's her name?
    Jessi: Yes, she's a yorkie mix. Her name is Bebe -- like the store.

    When you get home, what's the first thing on list?
    Together: Laundry Shane: Unpack and pick up the dogs. Jessi: We have five dogs -- Bebe (she's actually a porkie), we also have a yorkie, an Australian shepherd, a pit bull and a Saint Bernard/rottweiler mix.

    What's your usual routine when you get there?
    Feed cows, bulls, hens have feed every day, fences to dig and any other work around the ranch. There's always something to be done.

    Does your family live close?
    (Giggling) Jessi: You could say that. We all live on the same property (Mauney Ranch). Shane: My family is all in Washington, except for my sister.

    Jessi, you've been around bull riding your whole life. Did you ever barrel race or did you participate in the rodeos?
    Yeah, all my life. I ran barrels, poles, cutting horses.

    What did you do after high school?
    I went to college in Charlotte, and after that, I went to dental assistant school. I quit rodeo for a couple years, but I missed it so I started back.

    What are your essential items to take on the road?
    My flat iron. I'd die without it. My makeup, and I always have a bunch of shoes in a variety of styles. I love my closet at home -- it's a bedroom.

    Who are your favorite designers or clothing brands?
    Love J brand jeans, Mercedes western boots, the store Bebe, BB Simon -- love their purses and belts. But I'm not a snob about belts. If I like it, I'll buy it no matter if it's cheap or expensive. But I get dirty, I love heels and dresses, but when I'm home I get dirty and I'm working on the ranch. I hope viewers will get to see more of that -- that I'm not afraid to work. Someone said to me once (I was wearing heels), "I bet you don't go in the cow field with those on." It made me angry. I'm not afraid to get dirty or go in the cow field, but no, I don't do it in heels.

    What's the hardest thing about being on the road all the time?
    Trying not to pack too much. Trying to pack light but having enough clothes. I don't like to wear the same shirt twice at the events, so it's hard.

    If Shane were not a bull rider, what do you think he would be doing?
    I can't see him doing anything else. I think rodeo is his true love.

    How did you think your family history in the sport prepared you to be the wife of a bull rider?
    Well, I know I couldn't be the wife of a business type guy. It's just not my lifestyle. My brother also has a hard time dating girls who didn't grow up around it. They just get bored. They don't understand it.

    You say you couldn't be the wife of a business type guy, but on the show we hear you say that you never thought you'd end up with a bull rider. Why?
    Because bull riders and rodeo guys have a bad reputation. Shane's different.

    What did Shane do differently?
    He's just different. Not the typical bull rider.

    So what do you think CMT viewers will get from the show?
    They'll get to see a different side of bull riding -- that they (the riders) have lives, too. With Shane, they will see him away from the arena. He's a real person. With me, the fans that have seen me for years with my brother and now with Shane, I hope they will see the other side of me -- the side that gets dirty in the pasture.

Features

  • Brian Canter Interview

    2009 Build Ford Tough Series Rank Rank: 18

    Calling from: Driving back to his winter home in North Carolina, he has just left a friend's house.

    You do lots of traveling. What is the spot you love to go back to?
    Hawaii. We went one time. I'd like to go back.

    What's the best part of being on the road?
    Riding bulls. That's the best part, winning a lot of money.

    You seem to get a lot of attention on the tour from the ladies, how do you deal with that?
    Easy

    Do you think your reputation as a party guy is deserved?
    A party guy? I don't know ... is that what I am?

    Do you have a girlfriend now?
    Nope, no girlfriend

    What do you like to spend your free time doing?
    A lot of deer hunting and summertime I do a bunch of wake boarding. I have a lake house and a winter house. My winter place has almost 200 acres, lots to do.

    What's on your land?
    Cows, bulls -- not the kind you use for practice.

    If you weren't a bull rider, what would you be doing?
    I ain't got a clue. I don't even know. Probably working somewhere. I don't know.

    This was what you always wanted to do?
    Oh yeah, for sure.

    How did you get in to bull riding?
    My cousins rode bulls, and I hung out with Jerome Davis. He's a friend of mine.

    How old were you when you started?
    10 years old

    How much bigger was the bull than you then?
    A lot bigger than I am

    Was it scary?
    Nah

    How did it feel then?
    What I felt? Didn't feel nothing.

    How long did you stay on?
    Probably about four or five seconds

    Was it easier then to fall? They say kids are made of rubber ...
    Probably

    Were most of your friends growing up bull riders?
    Oh, yeah, all of them was.

    How involved was your family when you were younger?
    Not other than my cousins. They just liked to watch.

    Do you have a pre-ride ritual?
    Don't even think about it. Just go get on what I gotta get on. Don't think about anything else.

    What's going through your head in the chute?
    Riding, staying on. Just gotta hit the whistle.

    What do you consider your worst injury?
    In California, I got stepped on (by the bull) on the back of my head, had to get 20 staples in my head, broke my jaw, gave me a concussion.

    Leave a scar?
    Yeah, on the back of my head, and I have a plate in my jaw.

    What motivates you to get back on?
    Just like riding bulls and winning money. Only thing I know how to do really.

    What is it like having the CMT cameras follow you around on tour?
    Well, it's a bunch of cameras, I know that. A bunch of us getting mad and getting bucked off and the camera's there to see it.

    What will viewers get from watching Posse?
    I don't know. I've heard a lot of people talking about it.

    Is there anything that you would like CMT fans to know about you?
    Nah.

    What are you doing with the rest of your day?
    Watch it rain.

    What would you be doing if it wasn't raining?
    Fixing a fence.

Features

  • Kasey Hayes Interview

    2009 Built Ford Tough Series rank: 29

    Calling from: Driving with girlfriend to another event, they are outside of Atlanta. It is mid-afternoon.

    You started riding bulls at a young age, right Kasey?
    Yes, I was15 years old.

    I read that you sustained a pretty bad injury when you were younger but that didn't slow you down from riding bulls? What motivates you?
    Yep, I fractured my skull. No, I just love to do it, that's it. Used to be all for the ride. Now it's my job. I go to work.

    What does your average day consist of? On the road? At home?
    Well, it used to consist of waking up, sometimes late, and playing golf, fishing and hunting -- taking it easy with my friends -- when I was staying at Sean's place. Now I'm back at home working on the oil wells, checking meters, working.

    How much ground do you usually cover in a day? I've heard checking oil rigs can mean a lot of driving.
    Yeah, sometimes we can go as much as 150 miles in a day. But you know with all the driving I do on the road for bull riding I'm used to it. It really doesn't feel like a lot. I'm used to driving long distances.

    How involved is your family? How many events do they get to come to?
    Well, it's hard because my parents are busy. They're behind me all the way, and they come when they can get away from work. Probably two or three events a year, I'd say.

    Would your family say you were meant to be in this profession? What would you do if you weren't a bull rider?
    Don't know. I guess I always knew I would be a professional bull rider. I used to write papers in class about it. My teachers would be like you really think you're going to be a bull rider. You're crazy. But my family was involved. My dad rides bulls. He never pushed me into it, but now he is totally behind me. He was always all about whatever I was involved in. He'd say, "If you're going to do this, and I'm going to spend money on it, you're going to be good at it." And mostly, I was.

    What is your ultimate goal you want to achieve in your career?
    Be world champion. That's what everyone will say.

    Is there anyone in the sport you look up to?
    Justin McBride. Greatest bull rider there ever was. But I think he quit too early.

    How do you categorize "quitting too early"?
    He quit, and he could still do it as good or better than anyone else, probably could now, even.

    What do you do before you get on the bull to prepare? What runs through your head those few seconds before the gate opens?
    I pray. You have to be right with God, especially in this line of business. I have a positive mind frame. I try to tell myself every time, "You're the best, you're going to win." Sometimes it doesn't pan out but sometimes it does. When the gate opens, second nature kicks in. I just let it take over.

Features

  • Ryan Dirteater Interview

    2009 Built Ford Tough Series Rank: 25

    Calling from: His couch at home, in Hulbert, Okla. Late November 2009

    First of all Ryan, we know you've had a tough time lately. Can you tell me about your injury?
    Well. I tore my knee up pretty bad. Dislocated the left knee, tore all the CLs you could, but I have had my first surgery (last week of October), and I'm walking on it now. It's been three weeks. In January I get the ACL fixed. If everything goes right in four or five months, I'll be back.

    What are you doing now on your down time?
    Well now, it's all about hunting. I'm at the camp now. We're going out tomorrow. Maybe I can get a wall hanger. Right now concentrating on healing up, getting movement in the knee. Maybe in a month or two I can go team roping. That's another thing I like to do. That and I'm really happy to be hanging out with old friends that I don't usually get to see too much anymore.

    Is there a certain event or time period you are shooting to come back in?
    Well, I'm shooting for July. I'll hit the smaller events first: Challenger events, Discovery, Enterprise events -- the smaller ones. Once I feel like I can compete with the top 40, I'll be ready to jump back in (BFTS).

    What kind of bulls do you start back on? I'm assuming you don't go for the big guys straight out of the gate.
    Yeah, I'll start practicing with jump kickers. Good timing bulls -- nothing that really ranks. Nice bulls, bulls I can get some good time on, get a feel for again. Once I feel good on them, I'll be ready for the big guys.

    Ryan pauses and then asks, "Can I mention something about the fans?"
    I just really want to thank them for all their support, all the letters and e-mails, all of their prayers. I have a Facebook account, and it's really nice to see what everyone is saying. People ask sometimes if it's really me on there. It is. I really like to keep in touch and see what everyone has to say. I really appreciate all the support. Thanks so much to my fans.

    I know you're injured and probably don't want to consider an alternative now, but have you ever thought about what you would be doing if you weren't a bull rider?
    Well, that's true. Right now I'm just focused on getting back. It has crossed my mind. I guess I would be a normal kid and go to college. But bull riding is all I ever wanted to do, and I'm really ready to get back and hit the road again. I miss it.

    What is your ultimate goal you want to achieve in your career?
    I want to be world champion and get back to riding. I hope I never have another injury. I've had a bad year. I just want to stay healthy and ride in the PBR. That's it. Then retire.

    What do you think your greatest achievement is so far?
    Winning Dallas (January 2009), a Built Ford Tough Series event this year, and basically just making it to the Built Ford Tough Series is really a big achievement. That and going to the World Cup in Brazil. I was one of five guys that got to go --and we won.

    What was Brazil like? A lot different than here?
    Brazil was crazy. It was such a huge event -- 90,000 people (an average arena in the U.S. holds 15,000 - 25,000 people) were there each day. It was crazy loud, and the Brazilian fans are so loud for the riders. It was hard with none of the fans rooting for you. When they say your name, it's just silent, but we won. And being there with all the pressure and everyone riding so good, it was great.

    What is your pre-ride ritual? What runs through your head those few seconds before the gate opens?
    I try to stretch good, stay focused. What's going through my mind when in chute? "Stay on, hang on, don't let go!"

    And then after the gate opens?
    When gate opens ... hmmm ... when the gate opens, I don't know what happens. It happens so fast. When he bucks, it feels amazing, you just hang on. Can't think much, you just react, don't have much time to think.

    Can I ask you about another subject? Are you still in a relationship?
    No, we broke up. It's official. I'm single.

    How do you deal with all the attention you receive, especially from female fans?
    Well, it's interesting.

    Let's talk about Posse. What has it been like having CMT follow you around?
    Well, it's been pretty cool. They're all a good group of guys. It feels pretty cool to say I'm going to be on CMT. I watch it a lot. In mornings. I drink coffee and watch CMT.

    What do you think bull riding fans will get out of watching the show?
    I think they'll love it. I think I'd love it.

Show Info

CMT - Get country.