Goliad bull rider hopes bull riding comes back to Crossroads (video)
Nov. 6, 2013 at 5:06 a.m.
While sitting in the bucking chute preparing for his ride, Lane Wenske says he's got one thing on his mind - nothing.
"It's a mental game," he said. "You have to stay focused."
According to Wenske, 21, that time in the chute atop a 1,200-pound bull can be the most dangerous for a rider. Competitors are just inches from the sides of the pen, and if the bull puts up a fight before the door opens, there's the front and rear sides they have to worry about, too.
The best thing for him to do, he says, is to push the rideto the back of his mind until he's dusting off the dirt from his fall or celebrating a successful ride.
He'll have a chance to watch how the pros do it at the Touring Pro Division PBR event Saturday at the Goliad County Fairgrounds in Goliad.
Wenske plans to be there to help in any capacity he can. The Goliad bull rider says it's a step in the right direction to bring bull riding back to the Crossroads.
Goliad County hosts its county fair and rodeo every year in March, but he said he's glad to see the tour stop in his hometown.
A few years ago, he used to ride bulls owned by Kevin Buesing, of Goliad County, but Buesing sold most of his bulls, saying it took a toll on him.
Buesing said the men who raise bulls part time own anywhere from 13 to 15 bulls, and those who raise bulls for a living own about 30 to 40 at a time.
"It's expensive and takes a lot of time," he said.
Nowadays, he says there are only a few ranchers in the Crossroads left who still raise bulls for bucking.
Wenske said that if he wants to practice, he and his friends might make a trip to San Antonio to get in some time before a competition.
Wenske grew up around the rodeo with a mom who raced barrels and a brother and dad who roped. He calls himself the oddball because he chose bull riding as his knack.
His parents even named him after the legendary champion bull rider Lane Frost.
Frost was a PRCA World Champion bull rider in 1987, according to a biography on the Lane Frost website. He died from injuries sustained in Cheyenne, Wyo., after completing a ride at Frontier Days in 1989. After his dismount, the bull, "Taking Care of Business," hit him in the side, breaking of his several ribs. As he ran from the bull, he fell to the ground, causing a rib to puncture his lung and heart.
Wenske wears a vest during each ride to prevent from injuries like Frost's, and despite the broken bones and wear and tear on his body, he continues to stick with it.
"It's the adrenaline and the rush you get from holding 1,200 pounds in your hand," he said.
He's been bull riding for seven years and says he's been on a bull hundreds of times and is going to continue the journey. He plans on filing for his PBR permit, which would allow him to compete in other PBR sanctioned events. Eventually, he's hoping his ability to ride will earn him a shot at the world championships - just like Frost did in in 1987.
Wenske hopes the show will have a great turnout to encourage other riders to push for more shows like it in the area.
"It would be a good start and help put Goliad on the map and raise the interest for the sport," he said.
After he's built a name for himself, his goal is to raise his own bulls to buck and give other bull riders a chance to practice.
Buesing did keep one bull on his property after selling the others. The 10-year-old bull's PRCA name was Scream, and these days, he's a little testy around people he doesn't recognize. He and Wenske spent some time together and have gotten to know each other over a few years. One day, Wenske wants to buy Scream and make him hos first bull.
"Just let me know when you're ready to sell him," Wenske said to Buesing.
Each bull at every rodeo will differ from the next, so a clear mind is what helps Wenske feel his way through what can seem like the longest eight seconds of his life.
"You're trying to do everything you can to stay with him - to match his moves to your moves; it's like a dance - you just have to find the right partner," he said.