Meet the Member Jake Horton

by Rodeo News

story by Kyle Eustice

Twenty-four-year-old Jake Horton was born and raised in Ash Flat, Arkansas. He graduated from Highland High School, but at this point, had already fallen in love with rodeo. Since 2003, Jake has been a member of the ATRA, IPRA and now the ACA.
“Ever since I was 3 years old, I wanted to be involved in rodeo,” said Jake. “I would wake up my mom at 5 a.m. to watch reruns of Mesquite Rodeo with me. As I grew up, I would always ask my parents to take me to rodeos, but they were hesitant because they knew the consequences of rodeo.”
As he reached his adolescent years, he became somewhat defiant towards his parents. Eventually he told them, “I’m going to do it [rodeo] with you knowing or behind your back.” They finally (albeit unwillingly) let him.
“I started riding bulls when I was about 10 years old,” explained Jake. “Around then, I met Cline Hall. He raises bucking bulls and some dang good ones. He not only taught me how to ride bulls, but he also showed me how to live the life of a cowboy. He taught me horsemanship, how to take care of cattle and just the way a cowboy is supposed to live.”
In Jake’s eyes, he owes everything to Cline. “He will always be a very dear friend to me,” said Jake.
Jake HortonJake rode bulls until he was 21, but he still wanted to participate in rodeo. As a kid, his Uncle Ken (Warden) was a bull fighter and according to Jake, he “had quite the reputation” as being one of the best in the area. One fateful day, he was at Cline’s house and another guy was there practicing on some of the bulls.
“One guy got in a bind so I stepped in and pulled the bull off of him,” said Jake. “The next week I was hired to fight my first bull with a guy named Eric Welch, who taught me in one day more than I could soak in. He even gave me a shirt and a pair of shorts I still fight in today. Bull fighting is my favorite event.”
Jake has been voted in two consecutive times to fight in the ACA finals, his biggest accomplishment.
“Even though I made the finals riding bulls many times, I hope that I can make it a third time fighting bulls. That feeling is just awesome—knowing that the top guys voted for me to protect them is something I take to heart, knowing they trust me to take care of them after they do their job means the world to me. I take it very seriously.”
One day, Jake hopes to be the best bull fighter since Rob Smets, and to fight in the PBR and PRCA. In between time, he likes to hunt, fish and raise rodeo stock, but mainly, it gives everything he has in him to rodeo.
“You need to be dedicated,” said Jake. “You have to be willing to listen and learn. You have to follow your gut and be willing to pay the price for whatever it is you love.”


© Rodeo Life Media Corporation | All Rights Reserved • Laramie, Wyoming • 307.761.9053

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