FFA Member Competes in Bull Riding at the Junior Rodeo World Finals
By: Megan Clark
A strong work ethic and determination is what it takes to be among the top bull riders in the world, and 15-year-old Marco Rizzo proved that he had both of these qualities this past week as he competed in the Junior World Finals held in the Fort Worth Stockyards. The Junior World Finals is for young riders from the ages of 10-18 and takes place during the 12 Days of the NFR.
After wrapping up his 77-point ride in the second round, Rizzo sat down with us and explained that bull riding is in his blood.
His father was a bull rider and in Brazil, his family’s home country, “It’s either soccer or rodeo and my dad didn’t like soccer, so here I am,” said Rizzo with a grin.
Rizzo has been around the sport of rodeo his entire life and grew up watching his father and father’s friends’ practice in their home arena and traveled with this group to rodeos all over the South. These experiences led him to try roping and bareback before settling into his role as a bull rider.
Rodeoing full-time is demanding and Rizzo decided to make the switch to homeschooling when he entered high school. Even though he is not attending regular classes, he still makes time to participate in his local FFA Chapter. Rizzo is a member of the Brooks County FFA Chapter in Quitman, Georgia, and has been involved since he was in middle school. His older sister even served as the chapter secretary until she graduated.
Like other FFA members Rizzo has an SAE, he raises and shows Holsteins, and he tries to participate in as many activities as his travel schedule will allow. He credits FFA with helping him with his schoolwork and giving him something to focus on besides bull riding.
Rizzo placed second overall at the junior finals with a final score of 227 points and earned a gold belt buckle for his efforts. For more about Marco Rizzo, you can follow him on Instagram @marco.rizzo1.
-- Megan Clark is a junior at Central DeWitt High School in DeWitt, Iowa. She is also part of the CAC Media Group, a student media team that does agricultural media coverage at events across the country.