Meet the Member Paxton Clark
story by Lindsay Humphrey It was during the HYRA Winter Series in Kingman, Kansas, that Paxton Clark nabbed his highest score to date. The 78-point […]
story by Lily Weinacht
Tate Pollmeier is the 2018 and 2017 KJHSRA Bull Riding Champion. “Last year was my first state title. I came into the second half of the season in eighth place and slowly worked my way up in the standings and went into state finals sitting third,” says Tate of his rookie year. “I really wanted to make Nationals, and I won the first and second rounds and fourth in the short-go, and I won the state title by one point. It was a pretty good jump for the second half of the season!” Tate rode both his bulls at the NJHFR, and with the exception of his bull rope blowing out of the truck on the way home, he was pleased with his Nationals debut. He’s ready to go back this year.
Bull riding runs true in the Pollmeier family—Tate’s dad, Mark, rode bulls in the PRCA and Tate’s brother, Coy, rides bulls in the KHSRA. Tate started out with wooly-fisted sheep riding when he was 4, followed by calves, then bulls. He also competes in the saddle bronc steer riding and bareback steer riding. Both events are new to him this season, and he’s leading the bareback and sitting third in the saddle bronc. “I’ve been riding bulls my whole life, so it’s probably what I’m best at. I’m trying to do my best in the saddle bronc and bareback—it’s a lot different using riggings and saddles, and they’re a really different style,” Tate explains. “I focus on staying in shape, going to the gym, and getting on practice bulls. Some of my role models are Sage Kimzey and Cooper Davis, and I look up to my dad and my brother. Also a big supporter of me is my friend and neighbor, Trey Holston, the 2017 National High School Champion. Jackson Ward had also helped me get started with the bareback and saddle bronc riding, letting me use his equipment. All the kids on the Fort Scott Community College rodeo team help me out a lot too.”
Tate, who is a two-time Kansas Junior Bull Riders Association Champion, also helps his dad raise bucking bulls. Mark started the business when he was in his 20s, and several of the family’s bulls have gone on to the PBR circuit and professional stock contractors. “We have a junior rodeo association in Fort Scott that we take bulls to, and the college guys will come get on some practice bulls,” says Tate. “My dad went to college at Fort Scott, and we’ve gotten to be good friends with the coach and the kids. We try to raise the best—some of them are a little wild—and we’ll buy some practice bulls. I help feed, and when we buck them, I help load and put dummies on them, or flank bulls—anything my dad needs help with.”
Since finishing eighth grade at Fort Scott Middle School, Tate is enjoying the extra time to go to the gym with his brother. The brothers also like to ride four-wheelers together or go fishing, and both plan to travel to the NJHFR and NHSFR along with their parents, Mark and Jamie. “Coy and I are going to try to go to Iowa and rodeo up there because there are some pretty good bull ridings, and Coy might go to some amateur rodeos. They’re open bull ridings with an 18 and under division, but you get to pick your bull, and you can really challenge yourself if you want to,” says Tate. “I’d like to hopefully win state in the bareback and bull riding, and win Nationals in the bull riding.”
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