Murray County 13-year-old qualifies for national bull riding championship
Officials say it is the world's largest Junior High Rodeo. Contestants will also be vying for more than $200,000 in college scholarships.
A young man from Murray County hopes to bring home the championship in his sport of bull riding.
He says it's a tough sport with lots of highs and lows and rough riding.
"I started last August and you get an adrenaline rush you can't get from anything else," said Hayden Lanier. " I just like doing it because it's fun."
The 13-year-old cowboy is set to compete in the 13th annual National Junior High Finals Rodeo (NJHFR) in Lebanon, Tennessee, on June 18.
Officials say the championship will be televised nationally.
Lanier who attends Gladden Middle School, recently qualified for nationals after securing 2nd place in the State of Georgia for bull riding in his junior age division.
"I was really nervous but then after that the nervousness goes away and you get used to it," said Lanier.
More than a 1,000 contestants from 43 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia will compete for the chance to be named the "National Junior High Finals Rodeo World Champion." Officials say it is the world's largest Junior High Rodeo. Contestants will also be vying for more than $200,000 in college scholarships.
"My dad he don't get nervous, he's the one that helps me in the shoots, but my mom gets really nervous because she's the one videoing and the camera is always shaking," said Lanier.
Lanier has fallen quite a few times, but he always gets back up. He says he knows that bull riding can be dangerous and that's why he trains every week.
Hayden's dad says his son also has to keep straight A's in school in order to compete, which isn't a problem.
Lanier says he just hopes he can hang on long enough to get a good score.
"That would mean a lot to me, this being my first year but there's a lot of really good guys out there. There's guys from like Texas and Oklahoma and Wyoming," said Lanier.
His advice to the competition and anyone else wanting to give bull riding a try, "Just do the best you can, yea I mean just keep your head high and your hopes bigger."