Story by Riata Cummings Denim Wilson is the 13-year-old daughter of Dave and Tracina Wilson of Tabiona, Utah. She has a younger brother, Ryker, and […]
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Meet the Members: Bull Riders
By Ruth Nicolaus
Brek Sanderson (above) competes in the bareback steer riding, saddle bronc steer riding, goat tying, chute dogging, ribbon roping, team roping, breakaway roping, and bull riding.
The Utah Junior High School Rodeo member loves bull riding best of all, because “when I get on a bull, it’s never going to be the same thing,” he said. “It’s going to be a different trip every time and I love the adrenaline rush.”
Brek, who lives in Cedar City, Utah, is an eighth grade student at Canyon View Middle School. He plays basketball and is on his school’s honor roll.
He loves to ride horses and gather cows off the Cedar Mountain. Twice a year, he and his dad, with some help, head up the mountain, to take cows up for the summer, and bring them back down in the fall. He loves the trip, which takes a couple days. They usually come home each night, but a few times they’ve camped out on the mountain, with a Dutch oven for cooking and the back of the pickup for bedding down.
Brek has qualified for state finals each year of his junior high career, including this year. He also competes in the Little Britches Rodeo Association and has been to the National Little Britches Finals, where he finished in the top ten in the world in the bull riding and goat tying this year.
When he grows up, he’d like to be a diesel mechanic like his dad, and continue to rodeo.
He has a younger sister, Charli, who is ten. He is the son of Rick and Nikki Sanderson.
Justice Hopper is a member of the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Association. The fourteen-year-old cowboy competes in the bull riding, bareback steer riding, team roping (as a header for Byron Christiansen), breakaway roping, goat tying, and ribbon roping (as the roper for Madison Phillips).
For the goat tying and heading, he rides Velvet, a paint mare who is fourteen years old. Velvet is his favorite horse, he says. “She’s a great horse. I think she’s amazing. She can run fast, and she can whoop some butt sometimes.” Everybody in the family loves Velvet and has ridden her at some point in the past.
The Tooele, Utah resident is an eighth grade student at Clarke N. Johnsen Junior High, where he loves wood shop, where students are making mousetrap and CO2 cars. He’s not crazy about studying history, however. He is a wrestler and a member of the Bit and Spur Riding Club.
When he grows up, he’d like to be a professional bull rider. He looks up to J.B. Mauney who he predicted would win the PBR World Finals this year.
The Hopper family has several pets: four dogs, four chickens, twenty cows, ten horses, a bunny and a salamander. Of the pets, Justice lays claim to one of the dogs, a three year old mutt named Rango who is fluffy, white and speckled.
Justice also competes in the Little Buckaroo Rodeo Association and the Legacy Junior Rodeo Association, and has since he was nine years old.
He has an older sister Alyssa, who is sixteen and a high school rodeo contestant, and a younger brother, Noah, who is eight. He is the son of Robbie and Julie Hopper.
Ladd Coyne knows, if you play the sport, you have to take the pain.
And the Elmo, Utah bull rider can handle it. He got on his first bull (a steer, actually) when he was nine years old. He’d seen his friends ride, and he thought it would be fun to do it as well.
Ladd, a member of the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Association, has wrestled since he was in first grade, but riding bulls is his favorite sport.
He’s had a few injuries throughout his career. A bull stepped on his jaw, but his face guard saved it and it just left a bruise. He got hooked once, scraping his chest and leaving another bruise.
The 14-year-old cowboy is an eighth grade student at Canyon View Junior High in Huntington, where history is his favorite subject. He loves to learn about wars. Language arts is his least favorite subject, mostly because he’s not a big fan of reading books that don’t interest him.
For fun, Ladd likes to hunt, fish (for rainbow trout), ride horses and drive ATVs.
When he grows up, he’d like to be a professional bull rider in the PBR and a helicopter pilot.
He has an older brother, Cooper, who is fifteen, and two sisters: Izabell, who is seven, and Payslee, age five. He is the son of Clinton and Liberty Coyne.