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'There's No More Guessing': Brady Sims On The Sport — And The Science — Of Bull Riding

Missouri native Brady Sims is ranked No. 27 in the world among professional bull riders.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Often referred to as the most dangerous eight seconds in sports, bull riding is not for the faint of heart. In fact, the medical director for the international organization Professional Bull Riders estimates that about 1 in 15 rides results in injury. Yet, the sport is gaining popularity.

Since PBR was founded in 1992, the sport has grown into a global phenomenon. Over the course of a weeklong competition, riders can earn up to six figures in prize money.

This weekend, PBR is hosting a competition at the Enterprise Center. Riders and their bulls will be coming to St. Louis with several events already under their belt, and competition this year has been tough.

One of the riders competing is Brady Sims. The Missouri native is currently ranked 27th in the world.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, we talked with Sims about his career and his road to recovery following an injury he suffered in 2017.

“You kind of have to have that mentality that there’s a huge possibility you might get hurt, but that doesn’t mean you can quit or be done,” Sims said. “If that was the case, you shouldn’t even start it to begin with.”

As bulls have become harder to ride in the past decade, Sims said bull riding has become a science for riders as they struggle to stay on the bull for eight seconds. 

“There’s no more guessing. It’s kind of like racing horses bred to run — hunting dogs are bred to hunt,” Sims added. “These bulls are specifically bred to go out and buck, and they absolutely love it.”

The conversation also touched on PBR’s connections to the U.S. Border Patrol, which is a major sponsor of the organization. 

“I stay out of politics,” Sims said. “I don’t mess with it. I just come to ride bulls, and I’m just happy to have people support us.” 

Listen to the full discussion:

Related Event
What: Professional Bull Riders’ Unleash the Beast tour
When: Feb. 22-23, 2020
Where: Enterprise Center (1401 Clark Ave., St. Louis, MO 63103)

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Joshua Phelps. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

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Emily is the senior producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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