If you know Shawn Wiese, Kyle Duren, or Jimmy Young, you might think that some men are bred for the rodeo too. Shawn, Kyle, and Jimmy are long-time collaborators and friends who were each professional bull riders before family responsibilities — and, perhaps, age — led them to raising bucking bulls rather than riding them.
In 2009, the trio formed Bovico Bucking Bulls (click link for Facebook page) to supply well-bred, rodeo bulls to local, regional, and national bull riding events. In the next few weeks, I will be featuring Shawn, Kyle, and Jimmy here on the D&B Blog as part of our People of Our West series.
In some sense, Bovico Bucking Bulls is a loose confederation. Shawn, Kyle, and Jimmy each raise their own bulls on their ranches in Payette, Nyssa and Melba respectively, but the trio crossbreed their stock. Professional bucking bulls are bred for four main characteristics: kick, speed, spin and intensity. Put simply, a good bloodline can make a bucking bull breeder like Bovico very successful.
If you can say “we have the offspring of Houdini and Wolfman,” chances are people are going to take notice. Glass Tiger, the son of Wolfman, a well-known bucking bull and a cowboy favorite, belonged to Shawn and now has offspring in the Bovico lineup.
The partners get together to train their bulls by putting mechanical dummy riders on the bulls when they are about two years old and continually test them to see if they have the characteristics of a great bucking bull.
As the bulls get older and their DNA roots start to show, this is when they get to go on the road to local rodeo’s and if they are good enough they get called up to the big league, the PBR Tour. The bulls are chosen by one of the original founders of the PBR, Cody Lambert, after seeing video or experiencing them in person at a bucking bull competition like the one put on by the Western States Bucking Bull Association.
Bovico goes to about four to five PBR events a year and takes a trailer full, about eight or nine bulls, around the Northwest almost every weekend of the bull riding season. Although no one would say that hauling around a trailer full of bulls every weekend isn’t a job, there is a point where too many bulls at one event becomes too much of a job — these guys still want to have fun, therefore they keep their events to one trailer, not two.
The “normal everyday stuff” that they purchase from D&B includes gates for their ranches which, unfortunately, does not include the request for “bull-proof” gates. As Shawn pointed out on Twitter, “Oh, well, it’s the life I chose. Anxiously waiting for that bull proof gate!”
Their western lifestyle roots are deep. Kyle and Jimmy both grew up in eastern Idaho and Shawn in Texas. Kyle and Jimmy both earned their PBR card in the late 1990’s, while all three rode bulls in the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) for years before their bodies and minds told them to stop. Although the Bovico partners are not about making huge profits, which they are fine with, it is a lifestyle choice that all three love and will continue to do so with their families support. The partners raise their bulls and cows on the side while holding down full time and very successful careers that we will touch on in future editions of People of Our West. Their lifestyle is about who they are, who they were and how they are raising their own offspring to live life to it’s fullest. They are real, hardworking individuals who are doing what they love for the pure reason that it makes them happy.
See more pictures on our Flickr site and more videos at the D&B YouTube site.