By Barbie Porter
Every day is a rodeo for Blaine Beaty, and it is one sweet life.
The 2017 Frazee High School graduate has joined the professional rodeo circuit and in doing so, achieved a life-long dream.
Beaty explained that when he was a child his goal was to ride bulls in a pro arena. While in college, he was able to join the rodeo team, and that experience made him realize that his childhood dream was worth chasing.
“When you ride in amateur rodeos there is not much money in it,” he said. “So, you go pro when you can if you have wits about you.”
Going pro in bull riding is available to those that are 18 years of age and purchase a permit. Once the permit card is filled by riding at smaller events, then the rider is handed a rookie card. The rookie card means points can be collected and earned toward an invite to the finals competitions.
Beaty, who is in his rookie year, said there are many rodeo circuits. He is part of the Great Lakes Circuit, which includes Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.
“You need to compete in at least 15 a year to make the circuit final, but you can go to as many as you want,” he said, adding some compete in up to 90. “You can basically rodeo from January to December.”
Beaty noticed familiar faces at many of the events. And while he is a rookie he enters the ring at the same level as the seasoned pros.
In the early events, he noticed a difference in the bulls he rode when he was starting out, and the ones the pros tackle.
“The bulls didn’t buck as hard, they are a different caliber now,” he said. “Some turn, others jump and others spin. They all have a different trip.”
Reconnaissance helps riders understand the bull they are about to ride, as they are told prior to the event. Beaty said he finds videos of past events featuring the bull to create a game plan. But, some bulls are not consistent with their methods to rid the rider from its back, so he never goes in expecting his plan to be fool proof.
Once someone learns to ride, Beaty said the real challenge becomes the mental game.
“A lot of guys do things before they ride,” he said. “I just hang and chill.”
In the young season Beaty’s best placement was in Odessa, Texas during a week-long rodeo. With a top score of 100, he secured 78 points.
“There are two scores,” he said. “The bull is scored by two judges based on if he bucks good. Then the rider is scored by two judges, too.”
In addition to an adrenaline rush every time he suits up to take on a bull, Beaty is enjoying life on the road and seeing places he’s never visited.
“So far in my rookie year I’ve been to Odessa, Texas, Forth Worth and in February I’m going to Mississippi, back to Texas and then to Florida to compete,” he said.
The 21-year-old son of Deer Creek residents Chad and Marcy Beaty is also heading to Rapid City, S.D. on Feb. 6.
The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the rodeo events and options of ones to attend. Beaty said instead of the handful he has been too, he had planned to compete in at least 20 events by now.
Beaty knows the hard falls to the body put a term limit on bull riders. When the time comes, he may utilize his degree in ag. tech.