Meet the Member Magdalena Lujan
story by Lindsay Humphrey Before Magdalena Lujan was ever born, she already had her first horse. She was destined to love horses from the very […]
story by Kyle Eustice
In a lot of ways, 19-year-old Blaise Milligan is a typical New Mexican teenager. Growing up in Artesia, a small town between Roswell and Carlsbad, he acquired a taste for Blake’s Lotta Burger hamburgers and green chile. He loves listening to old country music like Johnny Cash and just hanging out with his friends.
Underneath it all, Blaise has his sights set high. As he enters his senior year at Artesia High School, he can’t wait to go to college, participate in college rodeo and eventually enter the PRCA. Currently a member of the NMHSRA, he’s gravitated to riding bulls and saddle broncs. “Ever since I could ride a horse, we did play days when I was little,” explained Blaise. “I started riding rough stock when I was 8 or 9.”
Blaise’s father, Kelly, used to ride bulls, too, but now at 49 years old, he’s been laying low, but loves to help out his son. His mother, Della, is an RN Director and as a nurse, naturally has some concerns about potential injuries. Thankfully, he’s remained relatively unscathed.
“My mom likes it and everything, but I don’t think that would be the first pick of sport she’d want us to do,” admitted Blaise. “I’ve been really lucky. I haven’t faced any injuries that have stopped me for long periods of time.”
Believe it or not, Blaise’s older brother Blake, 23, is more of a daredevil and fights bulls. He wasn’t so lucky.
“My brother broke his back at his first high school rodeo in New Mexico in March,” said Blaise. “He’s good now and back at work.”
Blaise’s brother inspired him to join the NMJHS in 7th grade, which ultimately led him to the NMHSRA in 9th grade. For the past few years, he’s been practicing more than ever and it’s paid off.
“I won state this year in bull riding and that was a pretty big accomplishment for me,” said Blaise. “It’s hard to describe what that felt like. It’s everything you worked for all year and when something like that finally happens, it’s an awesome feeling.”
Blaise still practices riding bulls two to three times a week, usually for a couple of hours. He wants to win the NFR one day and has a firm grasp on what it takes to get there.
“I think it takes someone with a lot of heart to be a good rodeo contestant,” said Blaise. “You have to have a passion for it and I definitely do.”
Blaise spent the majority of the summer traveling from rodeo to rodeo, something he looks forward to every season.
“This summer, we had one weekend off, but other than that we are on the road,” said Blaise. “We stay in our area for the most part, but in the summer, we will go down to Texas, hit the IFYR in Shawnee, and the IPRAs in Ada and Stratford, then head to Wyoming. It usually ends up being about a 3500 mile trip.”
In the future, he plans on studying agricultural economics, but until then, he’s going to keep rodeoing, studying and riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles with his dad. He’s the proud owner of a black 883 Sportster and member of the Los Prodondos Motorcycle Club. He says riding motorcycles is akin to riding horses.
“I love the feeling of riding a motorcycle,” said Blaise. “It’s just fun. The feeling is just like riding a horse across the pasture. It’s relaxing. I love it.”
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