by Laura Drake
This is always an exciting time for me, since the venue is less than ten miles from my house. Even more so this year, because my debut bull riding book will be out in May! I had to share some photos.
Love the color and action in this one.
We had tickets for all three nights, and I got to see a bunch of my Twitter bull riding buds. Who says social media doesn’t work? ‘The Tweet hearts’ are a dedicated group of bull riding fans, and we try to meet up at any events we can get to, and have a Tweet heart lunch in Vegas at the PBR Finals in October.
Sunday, my crit partner and good friend, Fae Rowen came along. After reading my books, she was curious about this sport. We had great seats — a bull just about came through the fence in front of us, we got dirt in our laps from one that bucked right by, and Fae brought her awesome camera for some great action shots!
Great seats, huh?
But the highlight, for me, was working with Jory Markiss, the #10 rider in the world, on a project for the book. Can’t give details yet, but how cool is this photo?
Having a bull rider want to read your debut book? PRICELESS!
By Laura Drake
If you’ve followed our blogs here at ENALR very long, you’ve seen that there’s a lot more to us than the stories we write. We all have other interests; Shawna is a new Mom, Cyndi’s decorating, a bunch of us have been traveling this summer. Well, not me, but I’m not bitter.
I’ve got other interests as well. The past months, I’ve written about bicycling (you can read it here,) motorcycling (here,) and fly fishing (here.) I realized I haven’t shared my biggest obsession. No, not food.
Pro Bull Riding!
Why? I’m not a country girl; I grew up in Detroit. I don’t much like country music — to me, a steel guitar sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard. So how could I have gotten so wrapped up in a sport that I wrote a three book series set in that world?
- I’m fascinated by young men who, through courage, craziness, or under the influence of large quantities of testosterone, get on the back of two thousand pounds of attitude that wants to throw them in the dirt and dance on their dangly parts.
- The athleticism. Bull riders have more in common with gymnasts than wrestlers. The mechanics require more balance than brute strength.
- These aren’t media savvy, spoiled athletes. They’re mostly kids off farms, and ranches. Watching their wide-eyed interviews on camera, and talking to them in person, gives me hope for the future of America. They remind me with their gentlemanly “Ma’am’s” and “Sir’s” that mothers somewhere are still raising kids right.
- I’ve watched this sport grow over the past ten years, and have enjoyed watching events that are real — not slickly orchestrated and Hollywood perfect.
These men represent the American Cowboy; a rare breed in today’s society of political correctness and metrosexuals. They still live by the belief that their handshake is a scared promise, and integrity isn’t what you talk about, it’s what you live. They live a code that they’re willing to die by. How many people do you know like that?
Do yourself a favor. Check out their website. Tune in to a PBR event some weekend (TV schedule is here.) I dare you not to get sucked into the drama. Maybe I’ll see you at the finals in Las Vegas some November!
Let ‘er buck!
Laura has written three books set in the world of Pro Bull Riding. The first, The Sweet Spot, is due out next May, from Grand Central.