“Shotgun Bo Rivers”
“One Crazy 8 Second Ride”
As a child, I could only dream of it. Climbing onto the back of a crazy two thousand pound animal, in the midst of fear and adversity, I had to do it.
I have always loved the rodeo, and wished that I could be a cowboy; but what I was in for, was a lot more than I had bargained for, at least in the beginning.
It all began when I was sixteen-years- old. Some friends asked me to watch them ride, and I said, “yes”. I watched them behind the chutes gear up, rosin their ropes, and decided I had to try this at least once. That was what I told myself back then, just once.
Two weeks later, I convinced my dad that it would be OK to ride and needed him to sign a release form because I was under eighteen. With any gear, I made my way to the rodeo for the first time. I was going to ride, just once, I told myself, just once.
“Climbing into chute number four comes a brand new cowboy, Ritchie White, from Danby Vermont.” I went nuts. He called me a cowboy, Yeehaw, I thought. As instructed, I gently placed a loaner rope down over the side of the bull and looped it around. Here we go, the blood in my body boiled from excitement, and the hair on the back of my neck stood up as I sat down on the back of #465 Johnny Reb. A two thousand pound Brahma bull with the biggest hump I had ever seen on a bull.
Finally set in my rope I nodded, and the Brooks and Dunn blared through the speakers as my chute gate opened. Johnny Reb jumped out, first right, then left, flinging me in every direction but loose. I got back to my seat, gripped hard with my legs, and spurred him in his enormous side, which made him madder and meaner. He spun in circles to my left, which was great. It was a perfect seating arrangement as most boys would say. The buzzer sounded, and I made it to eight. My first time on, and I made it to eight. The rush I felt from the bottom of my boots all the way to my neck was unbelievable. Shaking from the experience, I needed to get off my bull. I yanked the rope with my free hand and leaped off, running for all of my might. The crowd cheered, and the sound echoed across the mountaintop.
“That’s a 60 point ride for that cowboy, give him a hand, he sure deserves it tonight,” the announcer exclaimed.
I could never really explain the rush I felt that day. It fueled my soul. I wanted more, and I needed more. I had the time of my life, freedom with just one crazy eight-second ride and me. I spent the next nine years riding Bulls and eventually Bareback Broncs.
Every time I ride, I remember trying the impossible, just once, and how it turned into something I was born to do. This changed my life forever as it pumped through my veins. If I could turn back time I wouldn’t change a thing. I have met some of the most gracious people in the rodeo circuits, and hold a very special place in my heart for each, and every one of them.
Richard White Bio:
My name is Richard White, AKA (Pen Name) Shotgun Bo Rivers, and I grew up in a little town called Danby, VT. At the age of thirty-one, I looked back at all the places I’ve traveled to while in the U.S. Armed Forces: Germany, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and realized what a great journey it has been. After returning home and recovering from injuries in the Army, I became a Professional Bull rider, and amateur Bareback Bronc rider. I found love and passion in the sport of rodeo, where I not only gained respect, but also gave it in return to fellow cowboys, and cowgirls in the rodeo circuit. I have learned to respect and love the animals of the sport. In Rodeo, bulls are my favorite, but as an everyday cowboy, I’m also passionate about horses. I was once told that I had mustang blood in me, which led to the poem that I wrote Wild Horse in my book: Pages Full of Memories.
In 2007, my fiancé, now wife, and I had a little girl, Madison Jean White. This led to my semi-retirement from rodeo. I still hope to ride bulls for at least one more year.
I have been writing for eighteen years, and after two years of research and lots of coffee, I self-published my first two books: Pages Full of Memories, and Rodeo Dayz. I am currently writing a western novel Laramie’s Thunder The Collins’ Crew. I hope to make a difference, and help the western genre come back to the top. I have enjoyed writing stories and poems, and my readers tell me they enjoy them. Please visit my website, and join me on Facebook and my Twitter handle is @shotgunborivers.
Sonia Marsh says:
Richard White, or should I call you Shotgun Bo Rivers, thanks for sharing your enthusiasm for rodeo with us, and how your amazing eight-second ride, impacted your life. I also want to thank you for your years of service in the U.S. Armed forces. All the best with your future stories.
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