June 22, 2017
This week over 1,000 6th, 7th, and 8th grade rodeo athletes have made their way to Lebanon, Tennessee for the 13th annual National Junior High Finals Rodeo. Although performance is top of mind, the event presents priceless learning opportunities throughout the competition. Contestants are developing crucial skills that will lead them down the professional rodeo road, and one pro rodeo athlete is helping a young bull rider find his way – inside and outside the bucking chute.
Bull rider John Young has had his fair share of rodeo fame throughout the years, but like any pro rodeo athlete, he had to start somewhere.
“I made the finals seven years in a row, the seven years I was in high school and junior high rodeo. It prepared me mostly for the big rodeos we go to – the big performances and things like that,” Young said. "It kind of gets the nerves away at a young age.”
Young grew up in the same town as NJHFR contestant Corbyn Vicker. “He had an interest in rodeo and bull riding, and ever since then we've taken off,” Young explained. “He’s at my house or I’m at his house about every night that I’m in Iowa.”
“Not every kid gets to have a PRCA professional bull rider on their side,” said Vicker. Young has been helping the Iowa cowboy in saddle bronc, bareback, and bull riding.
Watch the video above to hear the full story.