I did ride… and it was all Mike Lee’s fault. It was due to hanging out with him, Rocky MacDonald, and Aaron Roy in New York after Madison Square Garden’s 2010 Saturday night event. Mike asked if I had ever ridden a bull, and I told him I was from New York, and the closest I get to riding a bull is when I eat a steak. He invited me to come to Texas and said he would take me to the Lane Frost Memorial Ranch and teach me to ride. The timing never worked out, and then this year we moved to Nevada.

I have a friend, Jimmy Conway, who used to ride professionally “back in the day,” and knows a lot of the people involved, like Joe Baumgartner, Leah Garcia, Shorty Gorham, Cody Lambert, etc.; I’ve seen pix of him riding with Jim Sharpe in the background. Jimmy got me hooked up with a friend who has a bucking bull school, Pac-West Extreme Bull Riding School in California, not too far from here, and he helped make my dream come true!

If you watch RFD-TV’s PBR-NOW, J.W. Hart once had a caller who was 63 when he rode and wound up in the hospital. The look on J.W.’s face was priceless: What idiot would ride at 63??? I rode at 53 and couldn’t agree more. I am older than most of the fathers of the current bull riders, but wanted to ride after my conversation with Mike Lee that set the hook.

I asked Cody Campbell what he thought about me riding at my age. His very diplomatic quote to me was, “Well, sir, I don’t think it would be a very good idea.” He was right!!!! But, sometimes you do things you shouldn’t because you love them.

Cody knew there was no real polite way of saying “Hey there: old, tall, fat, out of shape, and very inexperienced dudes from NY should stay the hell off of bulls and leave that to professionals who are young enough and in shape enough and experienced enough to handle the extreme punishment most of the time!” So, he (like every bull rider I have ever met) was very polite and diplomatic and tried his best (unsuccessfully) to discourage me from the suicide mission. I was just letting those Mid-Westerners know that we New Yorkers are tough enough to wear blood, regardless of how foolish it was, and even if it was my blood!

But, the real lesson is that WE, the die hard fans of the PBR and bull riding in general, are THAT much involved that we will involve ourselves any way we can. I did !!!

And yup, my wife wanted me to die for riding at my age, height, weight, shape and inexperience… but I guess she figured the bull, Darth Vader, would do that for me.

It was an awesome experience and a huge adrenalin rush, and I am very happy I gave it a try. I was told I rode for about 3.5 seconds. As a matter of fact, I was told by Jimmy that he thought I rode like Bobby Delvecchio, another former New Yorker!

I hope it inspires others… as long as they realize the risks. I cannot recommend it highly enough. If I were young, healthy, thin, and had the opportunity, I would ride a lot more. I am soooo glad I rode (and survived) and would do it all again… but maybe not. One and done may be the best reality. And, there were no complaints of pain afterwards. As JB Mauney has said many times, “If you can’t take the pain, don’t play the game.”

I thank Mike Lee for his drive, determination, enthusiasm, encouragement, and hope to see him soon to talk to him about it and maybe make the trip to Lane’s Memorial Ranch and (maybe) try it again. I hope to see him in Sacramento at the end of January and talk further. And if I could work it out with Mike, I would ride again!

The really kewl part of this whole story is that the other person riding with me that day was the ranch owner’s son, Tyler Steuve, who is a great rider on the way to the pros. He has driven to Texas where he is going to compete in a number of events in the hopes of making it into the Touring Pro division and then hopefully to the PBR. He is a very kewl, honest, and very good rider… and to stay involved in the sport, soon I will become his first sponsor. I am really looking forward to helping him take the next step to find his way into the PBR! How’s them apples???

Buck 'im! Dr. Barks out of the chute on Darth Vader

Thanks for your involvement and love of the great sport of bull riding!!!!

Dr. Barks loses his "holts"

Didn't make 8, but that bull is looking good!

About Bull Riding Marketing

Creative services, marketing and public relations professional from entertainment industry background. Published in magazines and newspapers worldwide. I believe bull riders are the new rock stars.
This entry was posted in ABBI, Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, cowboys, PBR and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. S. says:

    I think it’s a product of living in a metro area where bull riding is not the norm. People I talk to are completely mystified by the whole thing.

    Now if the Killer Bs were there to catch one as one fell, that would be an incentive. 😉


  2. S. says:

    Thanks for sharing this post. I really enjoyed it. I can’t say I especially want to get on the back of a bull, but one always has that curiosity, I think.


    • I think I’d probably barf even on a mechanical bull. The Jesse cam makes me dizzy, and when the rider cam showed up, that was even worse. I can’t imagine being yanked all over kingdom come by a 1500-lb. (or worse) animal, hurled to earth at about 90 miles an hour, and then being crushed by various bull parts. Not to mention the smell.


      • S. says:

        When people find out that I follow the PBR, they almost always ask me if I have or want to ride a bull, and “Are you crazy?!” is usually my response. I think maybe if there were a mechanical bull in a setting that wasn’t hokey (and filled with drunk people), I might be willing to be flung off onto my butt, but it’s not high on my list of things to do.


      • LOL. You too? They think we’re crazy for watching in the first place, and apparently my friends think I’m crazy enough to want to get on a bull. Maybe after a year of gym training and in a private studio with cushions three feet deep all around and the Killer Bs there to coach me, I’d give a mechanical bull a try. V-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.


  3. PBR fan says:



  4. Kris D says:

    It’s atrocious. According to the schedule posted on the PBR website, they don’t even know which channel will broadcast Madison Square Garden’s final day. The CBS Sports Network website says it’ll be NBC Sports. The schedule on the PBR website doesn’t mention the one-hour Monday night HIghlight shows or the next day delay broadcasts on NBC Sports, which are listed on the CBS Sports Network website. On the PBR website, 19 dates say “TBA,” but the CBS Sports Network lists channels for all of them. Except for the Finals, some broadcasts are 1 hour, some are 1 1/2 hours, some are 2, and the random time slots give me a headache.
    On the PBR website broadcast schedule, are some of those repeat listings actually typos? Are there are no events on Jan. 14, 21, Feb. 5, 19, 26, Mar. 4, 11, 17, 24, 31, Apr. (7, 8), 14, 21, May 12, 19, Aug. 12, 19, 26, Sept. 2, 8, 15, 22, 29, Oct. 6, and 13? Also, according to the PBR website, there are no events from Memorial Day Weekend through Aug. 9. According to the CBS Sports Network website, July 16-29 is PBR Stunt Weeks. And I’m confused– are there mostly two-day events and just a few three-day events?
    Do they really think bull riding can compete with pro football, basketball, and baseball on the networks in those afternoon slots? A smarter move would be to keep all the Saturday night events, and broadcast Sunday events on Sunday night. If we have to sacrifice a day out of each 3-day weekend, make it Friday.
    In the effort to mainstream the PBR and acquire the “cachet” of network broadcasting─ and BTW this isn’t CBS, this is CBS lite, their Sports “Network,” a cable channel dedicated to college sports─ they’ve cut out a lot of what Versus would have broadcast (and even then, we missed a lot of the rides, and everything was delayed), including many Saturday nights. They’re also planning to increase the number of Pay Per View events. This is all about as smart as firing Justin McKee and not having an international event like the one broadcast from Brazil a couple of years ago.
    And how does all this square with Sean Gleason’s statement that “Our fans wanted more live programming, consistent timeslots and continued enhancements in how the events are presented on television”? IT DOESN’T. Doncha love when people tell you white is black and black is white?


  5. PBR fan says:

    What do you think of the new TV schedule? It sucks if you ask me.


Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s