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Country Jones, 37

What I Do

Everybody in Richmond know Country. I ride bulls. You must stay on for eight seconds. Eight seconds feels like an hour when you are on the back of a 2500-pound black Brahma bull. That eight seconds is better than sex if you enjoy your work.

I do it for the money and for the love of the sport. In 1997 a bull did the Watusi on me. That's when he does a dance on you, dances all over you. I was crushed from the waist down. Broke both legs. Doctor said I would never walk again. My brother told him he was wrong. Pins and rods in my legs now. I just kept thinking, When can I get back on a bull? I did all home therapy. Took a year to recover.

I retrained myself to get my legs to bend again. I started off with a horse and worked my way up to a cow from my own pasture. I rode that until I get back on the big bull. Broke pins to do it.

I started riding when I was 16. I was showing off for a girlfriend. I was bound and determined to ride her — the cow, that is. I just jumped off the fence onto the cow's back. Ended up marrying the girl.

Riding can carry you from 10 to 30 states a year, depending on how much you want to ride. It gets old. One wrong ride and I could be paralyzed for life. But I love it, and I will keep getting back up. I'll probably ride two more times before December this year because of hunting season starting. Lord, I love to hunt and throw darts.

Any kid who wants to be a cowboy should try it. But they should start on a mechanical bull before they go to the real McCoy. If the right man operates a mechanical bull it feels like the real thing. You can work on style on a mechanical bull. Lane Frost is my hero. He's the youngest man to win and to win big. He's dead today because of eight seconds. Dead because of a bull.

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