Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Young bull riders dare to ride the best athletes in the world

With no bull riders completing a qualifying ride by staying atop their animals during the weekend, it could be said that the bulls were the winners at this year’s Rodeo de Taos. Both Saturday and Sunday saw rider after rider get tossed about and thrown down onto the tilled turf of the Taos County Sheriff’s Posse Arena. And although the bulls seemed to have had enough of the corrals in Taos and were hot and angry during the final hours of the rodeo, three young teens were more than willing to give it a go to try riding these one-ton beasts. These are the nearly impossible demands that are put on all bull riders, and it’s a lifestyle that only the bravest of performers choose to fulfill. But, during the lead-up to the bull riding on June 26, Kyle Cordova, Javon Maestas and Eddie Maestas coolly accepted the challenge to put on a show for the fans who stayed to see man versus beef. Cordova, a 14-year-old local rider from Taos, claims to have close to 100 rides under his belt in recent years and showed no signs of worry, though he was selected to ride a full-sized, Pro Bull Riders (PBR) bull. Focused and sure, Cordova knowingly tipped his cowboy hat to his elders and respectfully listened to their advice as he prepared for his Sunday ride. Much like Cordova, Eddie Maestas is a passionate 14-year-old bull rider from Canjilon, New Mexico, who also has no qualms about his craft. Eddie Maestas was inspired by cousins who also ride bulls and has friends that own practice bulls for working on different techniques. “I go over to my friend’s place every Sunday when we’re not at rodeo to practice,” said Maestas. Javon Maestas, a 15-year-old from Mora (no relation to Eddie Maestas), had a different kind of experience on Sunday, in that he got on a full-sized bull for the very first time in his life. It was a “hold-your-breath moment” for rodeo fans attending the 49th Rodeo de Taos as the gate flew open and the rookie set out to try his luck. In less than a second, Javon was thrown from his bull...more

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