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At the rodeo, animals are athletes too

Animals are athletes too
Posted at 4:40 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 22:12:54-04

ROBSTOWN, Texas — When they are not competing, you can find rodeo bulls relaxing, eating and sleeping at the hotel for bulls that is the Richard Borchard Fairgrounds in Robstown.

Just like the riders they challenge, these bulls are athletes in their own right.

"The PBR is made up of two athletes," said stock contractor LJ Jenkins. "You have the bull rider and the bucking bull."

We spent the afternoon with Jenkins, a former rodeo rider. He showed us that the athletes and the animals are really a lot alike.

His bulls that he has brought down to South Texas for the rodeo are like members of his family.

"They're as much as a pet as our dog," said Jenkins. "You can scratch them, you can do whatever you want to them."

Jenkins hops into one of the stables to feed and pet his bull. The bull was not happy.

"There's going to be some that always have a bad attitude," Jenkins says, laughing. "They are like a little kindergarten kid that is always causing trouble."

But like the best athletes such as LeBron James or Tom Brady, diet matters to these animals.

"We get them the best food possible," Jenkins said. "Some bulls are eating 20 pounds of grain a day because we are trying to keep them muscular."

Jenkins is almost like their personal trainer.

"They know that I am the one who feeds them," he chuckled.

And like our favorite human athletes, all good careers eventually will come to an end. The rodeo animals someday will pass their prime.

"Whenever they get past 6 (years old), they start to go downhill," Jenkins said.

But after retirement, life only gets better for them, according to Jenkins.

You can see the bulls and all the other animals at the WCRA Buc Days Rodeo beginning tomorrow night at the American Bank Center.