Bull Riding: Nicholas Jackson Maryland cowboy Junior World champ – Riverside, California

Riverside, California 2021-06-14 03:43:49 –

Popular cowboy stories often exclude blacks from American folklore on horseback riding. However, historians estimate that one in four cowboys is black.

Upper Marlboro, Maryland — No one would have expected the 2020 Junior World Bull Riding Champion to be from Prince George’s County. The county is known for creating the talent of the top NBA. But now, according to his family, 13-year-old Nicholas Jackson has put the area at the center of bull riding as the first champion from Maryland.

Jackson is a fifth-generation cowboy living in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. His grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-grandfather are all cowboys, inheriting the legacy of the country life and training family in Maryland.

The popular cowboy story excludes blacks from horseback riding on American folklore, which is fascinated by movies and books. However, historians estimate that one in four cowboys is black, according to Smithsonian magazine. Nick’s success has helped break down the racial barriers to what cowboys look like and where they come from.

Nick started riding the minibull at the age of seven. As he grew older, the bull grew and his skill set continued to grow with the help of his dad, Corey Jackson. Corey and Nick have a special relationship not only as father and son, but also as trainers and trainees. The two work together every day to hone Nick’s riding skills.

“Our philosophy is that we need to beat our competitors when practicing at home, not just in competition,” Corey said.

The challenge to becoming a Bull Rider in Prince George’s County is that there are no training facilities nearby. Nick and his dad travel up to 10 hours back and forth to practice a live bull once a week. The other day he practices with a tin barrel on a locker. Corey pushes the rocker from behind, simulating the backing of a bull while Nick is riding.

After riding the barrel, Nick stands on an old deflated basketball for two minutes to balance. Then he rides his horse for 30 minutes without a condom.

“We have a pretty good” bull-away “practice regimen and routine,” Corey said. A rare routine that won the championship for Nick.

Bull riding is not a big sport in Maryland. Nick got so good that he won all the tournaments in the area. Corey soon realized that his son had become a big fish in a small pond.

“As an athlete, I tell myself,’You’re good here in Maryland, you’re good here in the northeast, you’re good here on the Mid-Atlantic … where are we? The boys you need to take are as good as or better than seeing how good you really are, “said Corey.

The father and son duo began traveling to states such as Texas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. There, the boys were always riding bulls. Nick’s first tournament in the south was bust. He wasn’t used to big stages and lighting. They returned to Maryland and coordinated their practice plans.

The following year, Nick returned to fifth place in the world. And in 2020, Nick returned to his third challenge and became the Junior World Bull Riding Champion.

“Their faces are a little surprised when asked where I came from and say’Maryland’. They didn’t know there was a cowboy here, “Nick said.

“When they announce him, they will say,’Nicholas Jackson … from Maryland?’ And they usually make funny comments like’Is there a cowboy in Maryland?'” Said Corey.

The Jackson family put Maryland on a map of Bull Riding. Nick’s younger brother Dylan is also on board.

“It’s clear that he’s black,” Corey said. “But the thing about that is that if you go to Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, California, there are a lot of young black rodeo competitors. But what we don’t see is those bigger stages. Many of us in. “

Competing in rodeos is expensive. Many black competitors lack sponsorship and have to pay the competition fee at their own expense. Some charges are over $ 400. Billing can be quite high, taking into account travel and accommodation costs. Nick’s mom, Robin, homeschools him so he can compete.

“I got the novelty. That’s why Nick is one of the few, if not the only ones, when we travel to these events,” Robin said. “But on the other side, looking at my pedigree, a horse and a black man are holding hands towards me.”

Robin’s cowboy family history dates back to the liberation of slaves in the Upper Marlboro region.

Nick’s grandfather was a jockey. His great-grandfather was a peasant in southern Maryland, known for his ability to train horses and mules. And his great-grandfather was a famous blacksmith in Upper Marlboro.

Robin also grew up on horseback. She met Corey at the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo, All Black Rodeo at Prince George’s County Equestrian Center. She directly knows how fun and dangerous it is to ride a living animal.

“Of course I’m his mom. I’m nervous before he rides,” Robin said.

Her prayer is to leave the arena just as Nick entered. There are inherent risks to riding a bull, but she is doing her best to minimize them as much as possible. She doesn’t allow Nick to ride any bull, she needs to know the history of the animals he rides.

“His riding ability goes far beyond his age and strength, so he’s still 13 while he’s talented and proven to be successful while working hard. I’m old, “Robin said.

Nick has just begun his bull riding career. After graduating from high school, he wants to attend Rodeo University and earn a degree in horse and cattle research. After that, he wants to participate in professional bull riding and pro rodeo cowboy association competitions.

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