Why one professional bull rider keeps on riding

JOPLIN, Mo. – The LJ Jenkins Bull Riding Finals are in Joplin this weekend. We introduce you to one bull rider who’s been bucking bulls since he was 12.

Zane Cook is a nationally recognized, award winning Professional Bull Rider and was performing at the show at Memorial Hall Friday night. For him, he says he feels like it was what he was born to do. “I started when I was 12 years old, so whenever I was 12, I got on two steers, and I’ve been on bulls ever since then.”

Now, he’s 26, and while that’s still young for most of us, Zane says it’s different in his profession. “I’m not one of the young guys anymore in this sport, you know, 26, is probably more of the veteran to older guys.”

Zane says there’s a lot of stress and danger to riding bulls, but it’s those you meet along the way that help keep you strong. “My very best friends I’ve met through riding bulls, you know what I mean? It’s not the people I grew up with in high school or things like that, my very best friends are the guys I’ve rode bulls with for years that me and them are more or less living with each other for a month at a time going city to city and town to town.”

And the main reason he gets out in the arena each night: “Without the fans we wouldn’t be able to do what we do, it would just be us out here riding farm animals for free, you know what I mean? So, the fans make it a sport, and the bigger and louder that they are the more excited and pumped up we get.”

And if you yourself or your kids are looking to dabble into bull riding, he’s got some advice. “Just go after your dreams, if it’s something you want to do, chase it, but be smart about it, don’t just go and jump on a bull, kinda do your homework do your studying, there’s bull schools out there, there’s things out there for beginners there’s junior associations and things like that, so be smart about it, but I’m all for it, go try it.”

There’s one more show tomorrow night at 7:30.