story by Lily Landreth Jaytyn Hash took home his first NLBRA world title at the 2019 NLBFR last summer in the team roping, a victory […]
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World Champion Brody Nelson
story by Lily Landreth
“I don’t remember a day when I didn’t want to be a world champion bull rider. I’ve always wanted to be a cowboy and ride bulls,” says Brody Nelson. The 15-year-old from Minot, North Dakota, clinched his first world title last summer when he won 2019 NLBRA Junior Boy World Champion Bull Rider. He won the first round and took second in the second round, then took the re-ride he was offered in the short round. “I knew it was my make it or break it moment. I started on the bull really good, and towards the end I was hanging off the side and I got stomped out of my bull rope, but it was all worth it,” says Brody, who won the average by one point.
A second-generation bull rider following after his dad, he joined the NLBRA in 2017. Brody had watched many NLBRA rodeos on RFD-TV, and when Northern Plains Little Britches was started, he was quick to join. He also competed in junior high rodeo and competed in the 2019 NJHFR in bull riding before going to the NLBFR. He didn’t ride as well as he hoped at the NJHFR, but a pep talk from his friend Tyrel Fitzgerald gave him confidence for the NLBFR. “As my dad and I were walking into the Lazy E, he told me, ‘Believe in yourself and that you belong here,’ and that’s what really motivated me to go in there and win,” Brody explains. “During the junior high nationals, my great-grandpa Finn, who was 99, passed away, and that also made me want to ride better. I’d say there was somebody with me for all those rides.”
Brody has also tried his hand at other roughstock events and even qualified for the NLBFR in saddle steer riding in 2017, but bull riding is his passion. “I love the bulls, and there’s nothing prettier in my mind than a solid bull ride.” He practices at Hooker Heaven Arena to stay sharp, as well as working out. “I punch my punching bag and that helps me get my motor running and get aggressive.” Along with the NLBRA, where he’s a senior boy this season, Brody competes in North Dakota high school rodeo, Western Edge BullRiders, the Rough Rider Rodeos, and other open bull ridings. “I hope to qualify for the NLBRA Finals again and hopefully win another national title.
“I want to thank Roger Sundsbak, Tyrel Fitzgerald, Stephanie Fitzgerald, Riley Blankenship, Beni Paulson, Coleman Entze, David Feickert, Zach Peterson, the Berg Brothers, Reese Berg, Keenan Kvamme, Jake Benson, Kyle Keplin, and Robby Villarreal for all their guidance and support since the beginning of my career,” says Brody. “I want to also thank some of my biggest fans for always believing in me, starting with my mom, Heather, Aunt Lorie, Uncle Mark, Aunt Eece, Uncle Dane and the rest of my friends and family up here in North Dakota.” Brody travels to many of his rodeos with his parents, Randy and Heather, and his 10-year-old sister, Sava, joins them as well. She enjoys playing volleyball and painting.
A freshman at Minot High Central Campus, Brody enjoyed his current events and speech classes, and he’s excited for welding and farm mechanics this semester. If his hand isn’t in his bull rope, it’s holding a bow during deer hunting season. Brody also likes coon hunting with his cousins Cody and Brooke, and spending time with his immediate and extended family.
“My long-term goal is to be a PRCA world champion and PBR world champion, and to make a living off bull riding,” he finishes. “My short-term goal is to hopefully make the high school finals, and win state here for North Dakota.”