A bull rider’s journey to win his first national champion title in Kissimmee
We had the privilege to watch Luke Gee compete at the Montana Circuit Finals Rodeo back in January as he earned the champion bull riding title. He has punched his ticket for a chance to ride in Kissimmee at the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo!
Speaking of watching Luke earn his title, he most definitely did just that – earned it! Night one of competition, he drew the bull Blueberry Smoke of New West Pro Rodeo and did not ride and had no score. Night two of competition, he drew Short Fuse of Kesler Pro Rodeo and got bucked off with another no score. On the third and final round, Luke went to mount the bull he drew, Can’t Get Right of New West Pro Rodeo, but the bull wasn’t wanting to participate. Luke mounted him and the bull sat down on him in the chute. The PRCA officials said he would have to ride a different one instead. Oftentimes when this kind of decision gets made by a PRCA judge, it can really play a factor in the overall score the contestant receives. Since the bull and the rider have the potential to score 100 points combined (50 each), a contestant likes to know which one he has drawn for the night to analyze his odds of a great score on that animal.
In a matter of minutes, Luke was getting ready to mount his second bull of the night that he drew, Long-Haired Outlaw of New West Pro Rodeo. He got situated on the new bull, the chute flew open, and he rode till he heard that :08 second buzzer, scoring 90 points. The crowd erupted! We can assure you a 90-point ride doesn’t happen often! However, at the end of the ride, Luke found himself getting head butted square in the face by the bull. Being face to face – literally – with a bull is not a cowboy’s idea of fun! Luke got hit and stepped on. Despite what seemed to have silenced the crowd, Luke managed to pop back to his feet limping out of harm’s way.
Going into night three of competition in the circuit standings, all Luke needed was to ride the bull for eight seconds to take the year-end title. He was in the lead with his earnings, but only $400 ahead of Parker Breding, the reigning 2016 RNCFR bull riding champion.
So what motivated Luke to keep going? “It was still super close between me and Parker. We both had good bulls drawn that final night. I knew if I just rode, I could win the year-end title to head to the RNCFR,” Gee explains.
Since 1979, someone from Luke Gee’s family has been participating in the Montana Circuit Finals Rodeo. The very first year the Montana Circuit Finals rodeo was held, his grandfather, John Gee Sr., was the first ever steer wrestling champion. His father, John Gee Jr., was also a steer wrestler and a 17-time Montana Circuit Finals Rodeo qualifier. His aunt, Maria Taylor, even competed in barrel racing and won the year-end title two times. Luke has qualified seven times himself, and to date he has qualified three times for the RNCFR.
“I really enjoyed the rodeo in Kissimmee. The stock was great, and I am really glad to be going back. My goal is to ride four bulls in Kissimmee and see what happens. Most guys don’t get to ride four bulls,” says Gee.
It takes guts, courage, grit, passion, and a talented cowboy to be able to get on a 2,000-pound bull and ride for eight seconds. You can watch Luke Gee compete this April in Kissimmee as he tries to win what could be his first ever RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo bull riding title!