ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE)- Some of the state’s youngest bull riders are getting ready to compete for a mini bull riding world title. These young riders have been training all year for the upcoming competition and it all comes down to how long they can hang on.
“Every time they open the gate I’m ready to ride my bull,” says Ruger Wimberly.
Next week, the 11-year-old is heading to Las Vegas, Nevada to compete in the International Miniature Bullriding Association World Finals.
“It’s a big thing for such a small kid,” said Wimberly.
He is one of 13 bull riders from the New Mexico chapter who qualified.
“There wasn’t an opportunity for any of our kids to be able to go to Las Vegas for the world title until this year,” says Cathy Valenzuela.
Ruben and Cathy Valenzuela started the chapter earlier this year.
“There’s no better adrenaline rush than watching your kid ride a bull for 8 seconds,” says Cathy Valenzuela.
Young riders, ages five to 16, travel from across the state come to their Valencia County home to train twice a month. The goal is to hang on for 6 to 8 seconds.
“Just trying to practice and keep my feet down all that good stuff so when we go to the world finals so we can win the whole thing,” says eight-year-old Lane Valenzuela.
These riders say they’ve all had their fair share of close calls.
“I’ve got stepped on a couple times, almost broke a couple ribs,” says 16-year-old Leonard Montoya.
But they say determination and focus is the key to success.
“Bull riding it’s a mental game in your head, you have to a mindset like what you’re going to and what you’re going to do when you do it,” Wimberly says.
The chance to bring a world title home to New Mexico would be the ride of a lifetime.
“It’s a good opportunity to meet a lot of new people and get myself out there and represent New Mexico and Belen,” said Montoya.
To qualify for the finals, these riders had to finish in the top five in IMBA events for their age group. The competition is held from December 5th to the 8th.
The competition will be televised on Ride TV. To watch it, click here.