A good mood: High school junior Mason Moody to ride in PBR events
The day after he turned 18–the age at which one can compete professionally–Mason Moody purchased his Professional Bull Riders card. Shortly thereafter, he was called to compete in his first PBR event: a Velocity Tour PBR in Sioux City, Iowa. “The night before, I was trying to fall asleep and it kind of hit me: I’ve been trying to do this for 18 years and it’s finally happening,” Moody said.
Moody is only just competing in his junior year of South Dakota High School Rodeo. He made a clean sweep of his regionals, winning all four rounds and taking his maximum 30 points to the state finals in Fort Pierre June 15-19th.
Though jumping back and forth between professional and high school bulls, Moody says his mentality is the same. “The difference is the bull power, obviously, but you’ve got to approach it the same every time because you never know exactly what the bull is going to do. Whether it’s a PBR or at the high school level, you’re trying to win. You have to go for the win, or you’re not doing it for the right reasons. Give it all you got,” he said.
PBR events consist of three levels. Touring Pro is the entry level, then Velocity Tour, and Unleash the Beast (UTB) PBR events consist of the rankest bulls and bull riders in the world. Moody’s first PBR was actually a Velocity Tour––mid-level competition. “I just got lucky, I guess. You just call in and pray and hope they call you,” he says.
Of course, his prowess in youth rodeo hasn’t gone unnoticed, and a friendship with 7-time PBR World Finals qualifier, Matt Triplett, has guided him on the path to bigger bulls and bigger events. At the PBR Velocity Tour in Sioux City, Iowa on May 21st, he did not quite make the whistle. Yet, he rode long enough to come back to the second round, where he was bucked off. “I accomplished my goal, in a way, even though I was a little disappointed in myself,” Moody said.
Currently topping the field of 17 high school bull riders going into state finals, Moody has positioned himself well for his first state title and national qualification. He placed fifth his freshman year and last year sat out with an ACL injury. Taking it one step at a time, Moody’s plans for the summer won’t end at his hopeful nationals qualification. He also purchased his Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association card, planning to enter both PBR and PRCA events just one week after state finals. “Once high school is wrapped up, I can get into the pro level and get some confidence going there,” he says.
Moody would like to thank his great uncle, Marty Moody, for his start in steer riding; his neighbor, Charlie Zoss for helping him translate to bulls; his parents for the sacrifices they make for him; and our Lord. “It’s a dangerous game, and His protection over you is huge,” he says.
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