Crowder Boy Rides Toward Career Goal, One Bull At A Time
PITTSBURG COUNTY, Oklahoma - An 11-year-old Oklahoma boy is riding into the new year as one of the best bull riders in the country - in his age class.
In the arena, Braxton Thompson is a rough and tumble bull rider.
"I've got hung up, hung up and drug...stepped on," Braxton Thompson said.
But even with all that grit, the 5th-grade cowboy from Crowder is as polite as they come.
Thompson's been riding almost all his life, starting with sheep and now he does a little bit of everything.
"I rope some, I've rode bareback, I've rode bulls," he said.
But riding mini-bulls is what seems to come most naturally to him.
"I really don't feel anything. When they open that gate it's just a reaction," Thompson said.
He's won nearly 40 buckles, 9 saddles and he's conquered the 8-second ride so many times, he's lost count.
"It just gets you pumped up, the adrenaline flowing. It's just unbelievable," Thompson said.
Thompson is the current Junior World Champion.
And because he led his age class all year, Thompson got to showcase his skills during four different PBR events.
Bull riding can be a pretty expensive sport and Thompson pays for most of it himself, using some of his winnings to pay for things like entry fees and then putting the rest into savings.
When asked if bull riding is about the money, Thompson said it wasn't.
"Just having fun," he said.
His dream is to become a professional bull-rider one day and each time he comes out of that chute on a bucking bull, he rides closer to making his dream come true.
"Toughest sport on dirt," Thompson said. "Hustle, never give up. Just keep trying."