Osterling makes it to nationals
Spencer Osterling never imagined qualifying for the state finals, let alone nationals.
But the 14-year-old Carson High freshman has done just that, making it all the way to the National Bull Riders Association Junior Finals to be held in Oklahoma Nov. 8-13. Osterling is the only bull rider from Nevada to qualify for nationals.
He made it to nationals be taking third in the California State Finals recently held near Grass Valley, Calif.
“I never thought I would actually make it to the state finals,” Osterling said. “When I knew I made it to the finals I was bouncing off the walls.”
At the state event, Osterling was able to successfully ride his bull for eight seconds, scoring a 64. He was unable to stay on his second bull. “He was dragging me around for a little bit,” said Osterling about his second ride.
But Osterling’s performance was good enough for third. The top three advanced to nationals. The highest score he’s ever had on a bull is 78.
“It didn’t really sink in right away,” said Osterling about making nationals. “I’ve always dreamed of it, but I never thought it would happen. Especially to represent the great state of Nevada, too, being the only one.”
Among other highlights for Osterling is winning the junior bullriding at the Dayton Rodeo two straight years and taking second at an event in Lincoln, Calif. Osterling qualified for the state finals through his finishes in the Northern California Bull Riders Association Series.
“It’s pretty much like a miniature PBR,” said Osterling, comparing the series to the Professional Bull Riders series. “It’s like a kids PBR.”
Osterling competes in a division for 14-16-year-olds obviously making him among the younger bull riders in the series. In junior rodeo, Osterling rides on smaller bulls about 1,200 to 1,600 pounds.
He’s also the treasurer for the Carson-Douglas Rodeo Club and had a chance to compete in his first high school rodeo recently in Ely where he rode full-sized bulls ranging from 1,800-2,200 pounds.
At Ely, Osterling didn’t have a successful ride as he stayed on a bull named Vertigo for 3.6 seconds. He then was able to stay on a PBR bull for four seconds.
“He was powerful,” Osterling said. “He gives it all his heart to get you off his back and sure enough he did.”
Osterling has been riding bulls for three years. He said he first got the itch when watching a friend ride a bull. “I just thought this is something I’ve got to do,” he said.
At 6-0, 142 pounds, Osterling doesn’t have the typical frame for a bullrider and admits his height works as a disadvantage. “Everyone told me you’re not going to be a good bull rider,” he said.
But now, Osterling can at least start entertaining thoughts about someday competing in the PBR or Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
“Those are dreams that are almost impossible to accomplish,” he said. “But I hvae a lot of support from my family, so some day it might happen if I just keep thinking positive and stay healthy.”
Osterling also has plenty of sponsors to help him with his trip to Oklahoma. They include Carson Dodge, Reno Mazda Kia, Sugar Pine Cove, Sierra Air and employees, Warren Pheasant, Sandra Mullet of Reality Executives, Engine Builders Supply, Hunter Engineering, Corral West, Gary and Leslie Bale, Mike’s Pharmacy, Carson River Community Bank, Stukes, Burkey and Corona families, Southwest Builders and Steve Reynolds.
An account has also been set up at the Wells Fargo branch at Carson City’s Safeway for anyone who wants to make donations. The account number is 6304615156.