One of my favorite things to do is watch Professional Bull Riding Championships (PBR) and to my pleasant surprise i found out tonight that at least 4 professional Bull Riders are Christians (or at least identify themselves as such). Here is a cool article on PBR champion Ryan Dirteater and three other Christian Professional Bull Riders, found at pbr.com, in which he talks about being a Christian and the Christian services and prayer, they hold after & before competing, and some of his beliefs:
DIRTEATER RIDES IN
September 05, 2008@ 10:15:00 AM
The Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series always features fresh faces, and the latest one is Ryan Dirteater, who finished second at the Aug. 29-30 tour stop in Nashville, Tenn.
Dirteater, 19, who lives in Hulbert, Okla., said he came up through the junior ranks. He began riding calves and steers at nine and honed his skills at the abundance of junior bull riding shows near his home.
Dirteater said he has benefited from the support from his father, Randy, who was an amateur bull rider. He also grew up watching the top PBR riders on TV and aspired to compete against them.
Dirteater has competed in four BFTS shows in Dallas; Edmonton, Alberta; Glendale, Ariz.; and Nashville.
In Nashville, Dirteater stayed on all three bulls and earned $16,380 after finishing runner-up behind two-time World Champion Justin McBride. He ranks 38th in the Finals Qualifier Standings with $54,298 and hes on pace to qualify for the PBR World Finals thats scheduled for Oct. 31-Nov. 2 and Nov. 6-9 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
The younster has earned a remarkable $54,298.77 this season, placing him third in the standings for Daisy Rookie of the Year.
Dirteater answered eight questions about his career and his goals:
Question: How did you prepare yourself to become so competitive at a younger age?
Answer: Its always been what Ive wanted to do. My dad has helped me out tremendously. Hes kind of my coach and his way of thinking is that if youre going to do it, you should get out there and work hard. My dad mainly tells me that I have to stay focused to go out there and get what I want. My mom and dad and I go to church together a lot and that helps. I wrestled through high school and that taught me how to work out hard and stay in shape because you really have to be an athlete to do this sport. I also got on a lot of bulls when I was younger and I still do. Another thing that I do is ride my horse bareback. I just ride around a lot.
Q. How does riding a horse without a saddle help you become a better bull rider?
A. Its just the feel of getting on an animal. Its the second best thing when you want to practice without getting on the real thing. Most all of the bull riders ride horses bareback a lot because it helps you with your balance and with getting a hold with your feet.
Q. Youre now riding against some very legendary cowboys such as Guilherme Marchi, Adriano Moraes and Justin McBride. How does it feel to go in there and compete against those guys?
A. Theyre my heroes and I grew up watching them ride on TV. I met Adriano five years ago at a Challenger Tour bull riding in Springdale, Ark., and I also saw him after that at a junior bull riding. He was really nice to me and he has remembered me. That made me feel really great because he told me that I would be on there (the PBR tour). He said, Give it five years and youll be riding with me. And I now am doing that and it feels really great.
Q. Who are your biggest heroes on the PBR tour?
A. Adriano Moraes, Mike Lee and Wiley Peterson. They all three ride really good, theyre all Christians and they talk to me when Im there. Adriano has won the world title three times, I like the way that way Mike rides and Wiley is a really great guy who is a good Christian. We have Christian services after we ride and Wiley is always in there and he always talks to me.
Q. Were you nervous when you finally had a chance to compete against the worlds top bull riders?
A. I was nervous at my first event in Dallas. I got in that locker room and I looked around and asked myself: "Should I be here?" But I started thinking about how I worked my way up onto the Built Ford Tough Series and that I really should be here. I overcame my being nervous by praying and telling myself that its just another bull riding. So, the Lord gave me strength and I just went out and rode like it was another bull riding. It got my adrenaline going when all of the fire works went off (during the opening ceremonies of the performance) and it got me fired up.
Q. Why do you like riding in the PBR?
A. Its really great because you can win a lot of money. Its a great organization to ride bulls in because youre competing against the best riders in the world and youre always facing a lot of great bulls.
Q. What are your goals as a bull rider?
A. My goal this season is to qualify for the PBR World Finals. My goal next year is to finish in the top 10. My ultimate goal is to win the world title. You have to set little goals to get to your big goals and you have to give God all of the glory for your success.
Q. You keep alluding to your Christian faith as a driving force. How has your faith helped you succeed?
A. It helps me tremendously. The Lord is always there helping me and watching out for me. In other words, it helps me feel safe. I just know that if anything happens to me, I know where Im going.
-by Brett Hoffman