Dallas County bull rider is among top in the nationPublished 10:27pm Friday, February 15, 2013
On television, professional bull riders seem larger than life. Their prize belt buckles seem even larger.
But one 15-year-old Dallas County High School student is not quite as large yet accomplishments and passion for bull riding certainly match up to the big contenders who compete worldwide.
Kaleb Cooke started bull riding with the Alabama Youth and Junior Bull Rider’s Association a year ago when he discovered his newfound talent and started attending Cowboy Church, a weekly service for those in the AYJBRA.
“Over the summer Mr. Jimmy [Boswell] started his own Cowboy Church and what started as a couple of kids sitting around and listening to him has now grown to around 30 people after every bull riding practice coming to hear him speak about the Lord and what is right and what is not,” Cooke said about his mentor’s program and association. “I thoroughly enjoy riding bulls for the association because of the rodeo family I have made and how much it has showed me the mistakes in life I have made.”
After Cooke started riding bulls in January of 2012, he quickly picked up major titles and will be competing in the annual state finals rodeo at the Dallas County Horse Arena March 14-17, the largest winter outdoor bucking bulls final event in the world.
Since his start, Cooke has won 15 rodeos and collected more than $1,300 in prize money.
Cooke remembers last year’s state finals competition where he won first place.
“The first night I bucked [the bull] at around 5 seconds,” Cooke said. “The next night I rode 8 seconds and made a 71 point ride. On the last day of the rodeo I bucked off at right around 6 seconds.”
He said his total of 464 points throughout the competition combined won him first in the state and a large belt buckle to prove it. Weeks later the top six bull riders from the competition traveled to Colorado with Boswell for a national finals competition. Cooke came out as 10th in the nation.
Those that are looking to learn to ride or those looking to help with the program and rodeos can contact Jimmy Boswell, 334-874-6640 or 334-525-0436.