Youth Bull Riding: Teaching Young Athletes More Than a Sport

Photo by Phillip Kitts.

By Phillip Kitts

Nearly all sports have a starting platform in the youth environment. Baseball has little league, football has Pop Warner, and the list goes on.
Much like all other sports, bull riding has their youth leagues through junior rodeo, junior high and high school rodeo. However, the sport of bull riding has taken it a bit further than most. The Miniature Bull Riders have taken it a large step further. They have created an association that not only provides young athletes with a platform to compete in the sport, but they have done so on a grand scale.

Traditionally, youth bull riders start by competing on calves and steers, and as they grow, eventually move up to full size bulls. Over the years it has been a common conversation that the bull riding youth were not getting a fair shot in the development process. Since calves and steers are not built the same and their sequence of movement was different, it has been commonly said when the time to move to bulls came, young athletes were at a disadvantage.

Enter MBR with Chris Shivers and the Leal family. Shrivers and the Leal family took this issue to heart. Seeing that the Leal family owns a large herd of miniature bulls, the choice came quickly. Now, along with several other organizations, the era of MBR has come. MBR has taken the youth sport to a whole new level.

To read more pick up a copy of the June 2019 NTFR issue. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.