Meet the Member

by Rodeo News

story by Lindsay Humphrey

“Every bull I’ve gotten on my dad has pulled my rope for me,” said Kyle Campbell. “I like him being behind the chutes with me because it makes me less nervous and it’s just what we do at every rodeo.” Kyle only started riding bulls three years ago and he’s the first generation in his family to try the toughest sport on dirt. Neither of his parents – David and Jessica – nor his 20-year-old sister, Kaycee, ever dabbled in it. “When I was younger, I always thought I’d be a bull rider, but I didn’t follow through until my sophomore year.” Kyle was helping at the high school rodeo in his hometown of Phillipsburg, Kansas, when he was struck by the idea that he wanted to try bull riding.
“It seemed like it would be fun. I like the challenge of seeing if I can ride a bull or not. And I’ve met a lot of good people in the rodeo community.” Kyle’s cousin married a bull rider – Matt McClain – who taught him the basics of the event. And he has a good buddy – Dan Zurr of No Excuses Bull Riding – in Lexington, Nebraska, with a whole pen of practice bulls that he can get on. “I’ve never really liked horses, so everything was completely brand new for me. Matt started me on a horse with a bull rope. It wasn’t scary but it was intimidating because I’d never been on a horse before.” Luckily, Lexington is only two hours from Kyle, so he tries to make it up there to practice every weekend that he isn’t working on the family farm.
Kyle started helping his grandparents – Melvin and Connie Capps – on their farm when he was 9 years old. He’s been swathing hay and running the combine through corn, wheat and soybeans ever since. He also helps them with their small cow herd. It’s something the Phillipsburg High School senior plans to continue after he graduates this spring. “I’m going to stick around Phillipsburg and start my own cow herd and eventually farm on my own, but I’ll still help my grandparents and then truck a little too.” When Kyle has time, he’s hoping to continue getting on bulls. He’s tossed around the idea of buying his own bulls and having open practices. Until then, Kyle has a few more rodeos left to finish out his third and final KHSRA season.
“When I joined the KHSRA it was the spring season and COVID hit, so all the rodeos got canceled except state finals. That was literally my very first rodeo.” Prior to state finals, Kyle was in Manhattan at the Cody Custer and Dave Sampson clinic. “They really helped boost my confidence going into state finals.” The biggest bull Kyle had ever climbed on was at state finals and he stomped him into the ground. It was the first time he realized just how dangerous and exhilarating the sport could be. “On the way home, my dad asked if I was ready for another one and I said yes. It’s just part of the game. When I first started, I didn’t think it was going to be quite this hard.”
He’s continued to lean into the hard work despite his tough luck at KHSRA events so far. “Going into the season I really want to get at least one bull rode at a rodeo and get a score. I’ve gotten really close a couple of times.” Backed by his parents and sister, Kyle doesn’t let anything discourage him. “All the odds are stacked against you; you’re going against a 1,500-pound bull and you don’t get to outmuscle him.”

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

Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?
-
00:00
00:00
Update Required Flash plugin
-
00:00
00:00