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NSPRA Meet the Member Jon BuchertMeet the Member
story by Terry Rhodes
Jon Buchert has been competing in the Senior Pro Rodeo Association since his first year of eligibility in 2006. He says that he, “…just rides bulls. People ask me if I compete in anything else and I tell them it’s hard enough to just figure out how to do that.” He enjoys the NSPRA rodeos and says, “It’s a little more laid back. It’s not as strict, regulated and rushed as the pros. The people are not as serious and you can have a good time just being around them. I’d like to thank the NSPRA for making these opportunities available. I’d like to thank the guys I compete against, too for that opportunity. ” He is a former PRCA, and IPRA card holder.
He made his start into rodeo with the help of his friend and now wife, Kris. “She had some friends that were bull riders in the Arizona-California circuit and I asked to her to introduce me to them. And once I started hanging around with them, I started bull riding. I was 32 when I started and I knew that I was going to have to go at it pretty hard to get ready to rodeo. It was six months later I entered my first rodeo.” Looking back, Jon says that it probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do but he got plenty of experience, quick. “I did go to Gary Laffew’s several times and his way of teaching helped me learn it before actually doing it. Gary and his sons, Brett and Judd helped me the most.” From that beginning, Jon has amassed an impressive list of accomplishments including the PRCA California Circuit Finalist, Four Time Region IPRA Finalist, Senior Reserve World Champion, Two Time Canadian Champion, and Five Time Senior Average Finals Champion.
He takes preparation for bull riding seriously and says, “It’s like a bank account. If you don’t put anything into the account, then there is nothing to draw on when the time comes. You’re only ‘hoping’ you ride. I’m pretty big on working out and I eat right. I get on practice bulls between rodeos. I think that’s all part of the game. When you’re ready, you know you’re ready. I don’t just go get on bulls without that preparation. I don’t think you can be successful that way.” With his diligence to training, he has a confidence going to any rodeo and knowing that he is capable of riding his bull.
Jon readily acknowledges the many influences in his life. “I think that you can learn something from just about everybody. In rodeo today, guys like Russell Friend, Julius Begay, Eddie Jacques and the guys I travel with have been that influence. Years ago it was guys like Jim Leatherberry, Wayne Alderman, Kevin Spence and Jesse Grimes that showed you the ropes.”
Originally from Washington State, Jon now makes his home in Riverside, California. He and his wife have three children; Chase 13, Brodie, 11, and daughter, Riley, 4. He has a pen of bulls at his home to practice on. “We raise some bulls here and we buck them twice a week and we put on schools for some of the kids to help them out.” Leisure time is spent chasing kids and their activities, doing some woodworking, or smoking some ribs.
During the week Jon is a logistics manager for Apria Healthcare. His company travel has made it possible for him to rodeo more here and in Central America. “I’ve been to El Salvador and got to ride bulls there. They buck just as hard, but they are calmer. They may lead the bull in on a halter and say, ‘There’s your bull.’ I’ve been in some commercials and videos. All of this was possible because of bull riding. It’s been a blast.”