Sunday, February 10, 2002

Hamilton bullrider ranks high in rodeos

Diminutive champ fourth in the nation in money winnings

By David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

        HAMILTON — Brian Seebock is only about 5-feet-2, but what he may lack in stature he makes up for with guts — particularly when he's on the back of a 2,000-pound bucking bull.

    • What: Longhorn World Championship Rodeo.
    • When: 2 p.m. today.
    • Where: Cincinnati Gardens.
    • Tickets: $15 and $20; half-price to children under 12 and senior citizens' tickets are half-price on Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster and the Gardens.
        Mr. Seebock, 25, of Hamilton works as a landscaper during the week, but come Thursday he hits the rodeo circuit. As a bullrider, he has set scoring records in arenas from New England to Columbus, and was rated fourth in the nation in money winnings last season for bullriders.

        This weekend, he performed in the Longhorn World Championship Rodeo at the Cincinnati Gardens.

        “I started when I was young,” he said, standing outside a orral of mean-looking bulls. “My first time I got on, I blacked out.”

        A native of Vandalia, Mr. Seebock got a job working at a horse farm while in high school. From there he was introduced to the rodeo, and he was soon on his way to becoming a cowboy.

        He says he's lucky.

        “I'm doing what I love, and making a living,” he said. “My body's just built ... to do bullriding, now.”

        Staying in shape and being muscular helps him survive the eight- second rides. Quick reflexes also are key.

        “Once you get bullriding figured out, it's all in the head,” he said. “It's a big old game.”

        As for toughness, Mr. Seebock feels that his sport deals out as many hard hits as the biggest NFL linemen.

        “You take a lot of beatings. That's all part of it.”

        Knocking on a wooden windowsill, Mr. Seebock says his only injury was a broken jaw.

        But it's the ride that continues to push him.

        “I (always) want to be ready,” he said. “I've only got one shot at it. And I've got eight seconds, which isn't a lot of time.”

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