In it for the bucks

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By Sue Hughes | For The Times-Post

PENDLETON — Riley Borgman said he was watching a rodeo on TV when he had the sudden thought he wanted to be a rodeo rider.
“The idea just popped into my head, and I decided that’s what I wanted to do,” said Borgman, 16, a sophomore at Pendleton Heights High School.
He’s made headway toward his goal the past year and a half, but the first hurdle he had to clear at the start was telling his parents, Clint and Kellie Borgman.
“We were driving down the road in the truck, and he said, ‘I want to bronc ride,’” Kellie said. “I had no clue, so when I got into this, I thought, ‘What is this?’”
Kellie soon learned what bronc riding was all about.
Riley would be riding specially trained bucking broncs, where the goal in competition is to stay on a horse for 8 seconds and achieve as high a point total as possible.
Riley went to Bareback and Saddle Bronc School in Murray, Kentucky. The school ran for one weekend and used bucking machines and horses to teach fundamentals of the sport.
“I learned a lot and got some riding in,” Riley said.
His first event was in Danville, Indiana.
“It was kind of rough,” Kellie said, stating he fell off his horse, was knocked out and suffered a concussion.
Kellie goes to every event but said it’s sometimes nerve-wracking to watch.
Grandmother Carol Riley feels even stronger about it.
“I can’t watch him,” she said with a laugh.

Riley has participated in rodeos in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.
He does saddle bronc riding, as opposed to the other form, bareback.
“It’s easier with a saddle because you have more to hold onto,” Riley said.
Riley has a bucking machine set up in his living room to practice with.
He is in the high school age group, which is 14-18.
Horses used in bronc riding are provided by contractors who raise horses specifically to ride bronc.
Riley has been to about 30 rodeos so far and is still in the learning phase, Kellie said.
He hasn’t received points yet, she said.
On Feb. 3-4, Riley and Kellie went to Cloverdale to participate in the Midwest Youth Rodeo Association event. The rodeo is open to riders from 4 to 18.
His next event is in Liberty, Kentucky, on March 8-9.
Looking toward the future, Riley said he would like to become a professional rodeo rider.
He would need to become a member of International Professional Rodeo Association, which sanctions rodeos in the United States.
Riley said he would love to ride in the rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Called Cheyenne Frontier Days, the event he was referring to markets itself online as “The daddy of ’em all: Kickin’ up dust since 1897, Cheyenne Frontier Days is the world’s largest outdoor rodeo and western celebration.”
“I’m really proud of him,” Kellie said. “It’s scary but it’s fun — we travel together.”