Port Arthur News
PORT NECHES —
To a bull rider, eight seconds seems like an eternity.
The bucking of a muscle bound bull weighing in at around 1,800 pounds matched against the strength and agility of the rider is more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle.
Hagen Brown, 17, of Port Neches dons a helmet once worn by professional bull rider Beau Schroeder and gets lessons on the sporting event from his dad and former pro rider, John Michael Brown.
But it’s Brown’s own tenacity and talent that has helped him qualify for the Texas High School Rodeo Association State Finals.
“To me it’s an adrenaline rush,” Brown said. I’ve been around it my whole life and it’s something I love to do . It may be the longest eight seconds ever, like you may have heard, but to me it’s fun.”
Brown will head to competition June 8, dad John Michael Brown said.
Bull riding requires skill and many hours of training. Hagen Brown spends several days a week in the gym, attends practice pins, rides a bucking barrel daily and watches videos of bull riding.
“This is my first year and I’m pretty excited,” the Port Neches-Groves High School junior said. “It’s something that not everybody can say they have done. I feel I’ve accomplished something in my book.”
Besides bull riding, Brown also excels in academics which is a requirement for the rodeo association. His father said he makes sure Hagen keeps his grades up in order to participate in rodeo.
As the school year comes to a close and the date of the rodeo finals approaches, the father and son will soon be making a lot more trips to Mutt Newman’s Arena in Dayton, a well known arena among the rodeo circuit, they said.
The Texas High School Rodeo Association sponsors more than 125 rodeos per year throughout 10 regions across Texas, according to the website. The rodeo year begins in August and concludes with the finals in June when the “The Elite Compete.” The cowboys and cowgirls compete for numerous awards, scholarships as well as the honor of representing the State of Texas at the National High School finals rodeo held each July.