When the Professional Bull Riders Global Cup kicks off at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, next week, a Trenton native will be among those vying for international bragging rights against some of the best bull riders in the world.
Stetson Lawrence, a 2007 graduate of Trenton High School, is slated to be one of those participants in the Global Cup. He has been a professional bull rider for the last seven years, and during that span, Lawrence has been ranked as one of the top 35 riders in the world. In 2015, Lawrence was ranked as high as ninth in the world.
As the professional bull rider and former oil worker shares, being regarded as one of the top riders in world took plenty of practice. Lawrence says some of his first experience with animals as a youngster in Whitehorse, South Dakota, where his grandfather owned a ranch. As early as 5 years old, Lawrence got started in the sport of mutton busting; a rodeo style competition where children ride sheep. “That was a lot of fun. Then from there, I moved up to calves and steers, and kept at it,” Lawrence states. “It’s such a great sport, I’ve had a chance to travel the world doing something that I love and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Lawrence’s father, Troy, and older brother, Clinton, also served as key role models in his early years as they also enjoyed bull riding. Additionally, Lawrence says he was extremely fond of the 1994 cowboy movie “8 Seconds,” a film depicting the life of former world champion bull rider Lane Frost. “I would watch that movie all the darn time, so when I had the opportunity to make this my profession, I just had to give it a shot,” Lawrence adds.
In a similar format to the Olympics, the Global Cup will feature teams of cowboys who represent different countries. Teams of riders representing Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States will all be part of the competition. Launched in 2017, the Global Cup happens to be the only bull riding tournament of its kind which pits teams of riders from different nations against one another.
Meanwhile, Team USA will be split into two teams. The USA squad which Lawrence will be a part of, whose nickname is the Wolves, is comprised exclusively of Native American athletes. In fact, Lawrence was one of the Wolves’ first selections when he made his Global Cup debut in Sydney, Australia, last summer.
In order to perform at an optimum level during the international competition, Lawrence believes the mental preparation is the most important aspect of all. “Believe it or not, only about 10 percent of bull riding is the physical part,” Lawrence shared. “Having a positive mindset before you go out there to compete takes up the other 90 percent.”