Beemer to defend title at Carson Rodeo

Remember the line uttered in the sort-of-true story "Rudy" by Charles S. Dutton's character to the diminuitive Notre Dame folk hero:

"You're five-foot nothin', a 100-and-nothin'." That phrase could describe Austin Beemer, who doesn't mind being called the Rudy of bull riding.

Even though Beemer weighs just 123 pounds, he's willing to take on the challenge of riding bulls that are 1,500 to 2,000 pounds. But the size of Rudy and Beemer are where the similarities end.

Beemer has earned a scholarship to ride bulls at Cochise Junior College in Douglas, Ariz. Cochise is one of the top rodeo colleges in the nation.

The Douglas High senior who competes for the Carson High Rodeo Club was also one of two bull riders from Nevada to be named to the Wrangler National All-Star team.

Beemer also plans to begin competition in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, also known as PRCA, next year. After competing at Cochise, Beemer will likely transfer to a four-year school to continue to compete on the college level.

His ultimate goal is to make the PRCA National Finals Rodeo and to compete on the Professional Bull Riders tour.

First, Beemer will defend the title he won last year at the Carson High Rodeo to be held Saturday, March 29 and Sunday, March 30 at Fuji Park. Competition begins at 9 a.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday. "I'm just looking to defend my title in Carson," Beemer said.

High school rodeo participants from across the state will compete in the event. The state's high school rodeo participants are gearing up for the State Championships to be held June 19-22 in Wells. The top four finishers in each event at state will advance to the National Finals to be held July 21-27 in Farmington, N.M.

Beemer has some unfinished business when it comes to qualifying for nationals. Beemer just missed qualifying for nationals at last year's state event in Winnemucca when he finished fifth.

He was bucked off a PRCA bull in the first round and as a result ended up on crutches. But against doctor's orders, he came back to successfully ride another PRCA bull in his second round and nearly qualified for nationals in the process.

He told me not to ride," said Beemer about what the doctor told him. "But I was like I've got to go after it. I was hurting pretty bad."

Beemer showed his toughness again this year at Pahrump. After splitting his chin open when he was bucked off his first ride, Beemer came back to successfully ride his second bull.

"Beemer rides anything he gets on," said Jeremy Porter, Beemer's teammate on the Carson Rodeo Club. "He's a bull riding machine."

Among the other colleges interested in Beemer were Montana State, Texas A and M, Panhandle State in Texas, Lassen Community College, Southwestern Oklahoma State and Idaho State.

"If I keep riding the way I am and state healthy, I'll make it with no problem," said Beemer about nationals. "But I have a lot of competition out there and they'll give me a ride for my money. Everybody who's riding has a chance to make nationals."

But Beemer also said, "As good as I'm riding, there's no doubt I'll make nationals."

The bulls have been challenging this year, Beemer said. "We have to earn it to go to nationals," he said. "That's what I like. I like to have good bulls."

Beemer said the challenge of bull riding is mostly mental. "You've got to go at it with a positive attitude, like there's nothing that can buck you off," he said.

"I get a little nervous. You're going to get nervous. You're going to get a little scared."

Porter, a Carson High sophomore, also picked a challenging event. Along with team roping, he competes in steer wrestling. Even though he weighs just 160 pounds, he's willing to jump off a horse going 35 to 40 miles an hour and then take down a steer that weighs 400 to 700 pounds.

"It takes a lot of technique," Porter said. "I just wanted a challenge and it's been challenging."

Rid n For the Cross Ministries will hold a Cowboy Church service at 7 a.m. before Sunday's competition at the rodeo.

Charles Whisnand is the Nevada Appeal Sports Editor.


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