Declaring make or break rides at the last two rodeos of 2017, Boudreaux Campbell hung on to qualify for his first PRCA National Finals Rodeo. With one NFR on record, this year he finished significantly higher on the pecking order with $106,430.78 in qualifying dollars, and he arrives next week at the Thomas and Mack Arena as the number 8 ranked bull rider.
"I made one NFR, and I really wanted to go back again, and I want to win a world title," said Campbell in response to the question of what inspired him as he climbed 7 rungs on this year’s qualifying ladder.
At 19 years of age Campbell, the 2017 PRCA Ram Rookie of the Year, split round 9 of the 2017 NFR with Trey Benton. He finished 10th in the world, earning $37,712 at the NFR plus $88,062.84 in qualifying money which totaled $144,601 in total earnings during his rookie PRCA year.
Boudreaux Campbell, now 20 years old, is described by industry insiders as a tough as nails Southeast Texas cowboy with a completely focused attitude on the back of the bucking chutes.
Campbell's athletic ability and complete bull riding history indicate he is further ahead, much more than your average second-year athlete competing in Las Vegas.
“I love the adrenaline of getting on the back of a bull and conquering stuff that’s not easy to conquer,” he said. “I just love it deep down in my heart,” said Campbell in his first magazine cover story interview and photo shoot.
This team roping, basketball playing Dallas Cowboys fan is no stranger to 4-time World ChampionTuff Hedeman and the bull riding world. Twice Campbell accepted a jumbo check from Hedeman in front of the bucking chutes in Hobbs, New Mexico. The left-handed bull rider is a 3-time CBR World Finals qualifier who earned over $47,000 his CBR rookie year, rode for 90 points to finish second at the George Paul Memorial (Del Rio, TX) and finished third in the 2017 CBR World Standings after advancing to the Shoot Out round.
He is the 2015 Texas High School Rodeo Finals Bull Riding Champion and the 2013 Texas Junior High School Bull Riding Champ.
But success comes with a price and Campbell knows that first hand. He suffered his worst bull riding injury as an amateur youth rider when a cut to his forearm became infected, and after eleven days and five surgeries in a Dallas hospital, he and the arm were lucky to survive.
“Those ups and downs make bull riding a “very humbling sport, Boudreaux said. “One minute you can be on top of the world, and the next minute you can be at the very low end.”
Boudreaux suffered another potentially career-ending injury in 2017 in Louisiana when he was knocked unconscious. Subsequently, air pockets developed in his lungs, and scans showed lacerations to his liver. After being convinced to stay overnight in the hospital for observation, he not only recovered but rode two weeks later.
His advice to anyone interested in bull riding is simple…
“If you want to start bull riding, just know that’s what you want to do and put all the work that needs to go into bull riding. Follow your dream and don’t give up.”
Campbell’s dream began at four years old when he was watching the sheep riding in Liberty (Texas) with his Dad Jay Campbell. “After that, I told my Dad that’s what I wanted to do,” Boudreaux said. “I fell in love with it. And ever since then I wanted to be a world champion bull rider. I started out on calves and then moved up to steers and all of that.”
“I have to thank that man for everything, he might be hard on me when I buck off but he taught me to put it in the past and you got one tomorrow you are going to win the round on,” remembers Campbell.
Tuning up not timeout is Campbell's motto this year as he prepares riding bulls every other day. "I am spending more time in the gym too."
Campbell won ten pro rodeo titles this year on his way to the NFR including the Cody Wyoming Stampede Xtreme Bulls. He said his best ride was in Oakdale, California on Four Star Rodeo’s Yellow Fever where he scored 90 points and over $3,000. His bull riding skills and charisma off the chutes have not gone unnoticed as he now represents Barstow Rodeo Equipment, Rock N Roll Jeans, and Vexil Brands.
Campbell and company after his Round 9 win at the 2017 National Finals Rodeo.