Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Stock Contractor D&R Mini Bucking Bulls
story by Michele Toberer
D & R Mini Bucking Bulls can hardly pull into an International Miniature Rodeo Association event, without being swarmed by excited 9-to-11-year-old boys wanting to see Dirty Harry. The 7-year-old Whitepark and Hereford cross bull may be miniature in size, but he is big in reputation and has become a favorite draw at rodeos across Oklahoma. He’s one of the nearly 40 head of stock that Denise and Rick Rector breed, raise, train, and buck in their stock contracting business. “Everyone loves Dirty Harry and his calves are selling like hotcakes; all the boys can’t wait to see if he’s on the trailer when we arrive,” says Denise.
Denise, originally from Wyoming, started out raising miniature cattle 15 years ago while living in Texas, although she standard-sized cattle have been a part of her entire life. She was also very familiar with rodeo, although the timed event side, as she competed as a barrel racer. She had bought a black bald-faced calf that turned out to be a miniature, and then convinced her friend DeeDee Crawford, to sell her a lowline Red Angus bull she had. “When I saw Roscoe, I fell in love; so, I convinced DeeDee to sell him to me, along with a little black cow. I bred him to both cows and things really just grew from there. Most people then were using Zebus and Zebu-Longhorn crosses, but I looked for smaller built cows with good bone on them. Most of my herd came from a handful of bulls that I collected and artificially inseminated my cows.” Denise was able to spot many of the smaller bred cows as she worked at livestock sale barns to perform Coggin’s tests on horses. “I’d watch the cattle go through as I was collecting blood samples on the horses, and most of the time buyers weren’t looking for those smaller built cows, so I’d buy them.”
Six years ago, Denise married Rick Rector, and moved to his home state of Oklahoma where he’s a self-employed rancher. Denise also has D’s Diagnostic Services, where she pregnancy tests blood samples for cattle ranchers. Although Denise was raising the miniature bucking stock, she was mostly selling the offspring and wasn’t hauling them to rodeos at the time. As a prior bull rider, Rick felt the itch for the adrenaline of bucking bulls and rodeo, and soon, D & R Mini Bucking Bulls was on the road. “Once Rick got behind the chutes to help flank the bulls, his passion for it all came back out. He loves helping the kids and is very excited to see the opportunities these miniatures give them to progress in the sport.” Now, besides raising the stock for their own stock contracting business, the couple also sells rodeo ready bucking bulls. “We are very fortunate to have a waiting list when they hit the ground. We raise them up and train them to be broke to the chutes, and then when they are about two years old, we start bucking them. Our customers can buy them, and they’re ready to haul to the rodeos. It takes a lot of time to prepare them during those first two years. We put the weanlings in a pasture right by the house, so they see us twice a day and are handled often. All this time we put on them while they are young makes such a difference.”
“In January 2020, it will be our third time to the IMRA finals during the IFR in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and it’s been a wonderful experience. It was really exciting to watch our grandson, Tiltin Johnson, win the 2018 IMRA Champion Pee Wee Bull Rider title last year on one of our own bulls, Rusty. He started out riding our walk-out bulls when he was just three years old.”
Denise and Rick couldn’t be more pleased with their relationship with the IMRA the past three years and are thoroughly impressed with the level of professionalism and dedication that the association shows to the sport. Keith Wooten and Mike Lattig are both incredible assets to the sport, and super people to work with.”