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 Lindsay King
Leading the NMHSRA bull riding almost the entire season was Stanley, New Mexico, native Caleb Griego. Things got a little rocky in the spring season, but Caleb managed to turn it around, in a big way. “I lost focus towards the middle of the spring season and I got bumped down to second. I pulled through and went into state in first place,” said the 16 year old. Even though it wasn’t the performance Caleb wanted to give, he still took home the state championship buckle. “I was expecting to ride a lot better at state finals. Going into it I was riding really good so I felt confident.”
While in Rock Springs for Nationals, Caleb drew some rank bulls. “I drew a really good bull in the second round and I would’ve scored really high, but I got a little behind and I bucked off around the seven second mark.” Caleb ended up with a mild concussion from that ride. “In the end, Wyoming was a great experience and I learned a lot. I will come back strong next year and God willing I will make a better showing in Nebraska.”
Bull riding skills run deep in the Griego family as his 15-year-old brother Cade won the bull riding in the NMJHSRA finals this year. “Cade is very good competition, he is always keeping me on my toes.” The brothers got into bull riding at about the same time and as Caleb enters his junior year of high school he is now competing against his brother. “We are always after each other so it makes it fun. I am excited that he’s in high school. He is fun to be around.”
A practice arena sits on the Griego property and is regularly buzzing with activity. “A lot of people in the community come to our house to get on practice bulls every week.” One of those community members is PBR bull rider Scottie Knapp. “It’s easy to get excited about a sport when a professional is in your backyard. He always gives us great advice and words of encouragement.” For Caleb, his parents (Robert and Tammi) are the ones who truly inspire him each and every day to be his very best. “They are great role models and they set the bar high for me. They influence a lot of what I do or don’t do both in and out of the arena.”
As Caleb enters his last two years at Moriarty High School, he is beginning to think about making plans for the future. “It would be nice to become a professional bull rider, but I will probably do some sort of trade.” For now, Caleb is fully immersed in sports: football, basketball, track and rodeo.
“I have always wanted to try bareback, it looks like fun and I enjoy watching it. There are not alot broncs where I live for me to try out.”
For now, strapping into a suitcase handle will remain a pipe dream. It’s no matter to Caleb though, he puts his heart and soul into riding bulls. “The fun rides always go by way too fast. I love the thrill of making a good one. My favorite part is when I hit the 5 or 6 second mark and I know that I have him rode.”
As for the ride that seems to drag on, Caleb has fine-tuned his short-term memory skills. “When I have a bad weekend, I do my best not to let it hold me down. I shift my focus to the next one.” This is some of the wisdom Caleb passed on to the large number of new bull riders in the NMHSRA. “We had maybe two bull riders last year and we had around 17 this year. The bulls started the season off slow but they just got better and better all year long because they were being ridden so much more.”
Rodeo Newstm (ISSN 1934-5224) is published 12 times a year, semi-monthly May-Nov; once in Dec Jan, Feb., March, and April by Publication Printers, 2001 S. Platte River Drive, Denver, Colo., 80223. Iris Ink, Inc., parent company of Rodeo News is located at 3604 WCR 54G, Laporte, Colo., 80535. Subscriptions are $30 per year. Periodicals postage paid at LaPorte, Colo., and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Rodeo News, PO Box 842, LaPorte, Colo., 80535.
Canada Post (CPC) publication #40798037. Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without permission. Rodeo News carries advertising and editorials as a service to the readers. However, publication of advertisements and editorials in Rodeo News does not commit Rodeo News to agree with or guarantee any of the merchandise or livestock advertised.