Meet the Member Denton Fugate

by Rodeo News

story by Lindsay Whelchel

Being a rookie is not going to stop Denton Fugate from dominating the rodeo circuit. The 20-year-old bull rider from Dixon, Mo., was Rookie of the Year several years ago in the Arkansas Cowboys Association, and now he’s going for the same title in pro rodeos with the PRCA. At press time he was in the top-10 and is definitely in the running heading into the busiest part of summer.
Being on the rodeo road is a learning experience for Denton.
“You have to know what your body can handle, from being hurt, to which places you need to enter. I’ve learned that being able to plan stuff is the main part of rodeo, because you’ve got to know where you’re going, when you’re going there, being able to budget your rodeos to where you can afford to go,” he explains.
But rodeo is something Denton has grown up with, so he’s no stranger to the lessons.
“Both of my parents, my mom ran barrels, and my dad team roped, and I got started getting on sheep, and it kind of stuck with me,” he says of climbing through the ranks up to bull riding. Riding bulls is his main focus currently, but Denton also team ropes.
It’s Denton’s fourth year in ACA as well, and before focusing on the pro circuit he attended Three Rivers College and was on the rodeo team.
In 2011, Denton won the Youth Bull Riding World Finals. He then took his Rookie of the Year honors for the ACA. He was reserve champ in the year-end for ACA last year and won the finals. Denton was also able to go to the Permit Holders’ Challenge during the NFR for 2014.
His sister Bailey rodeos as well, and they have the support of mom Keitta and dad, Michael.
When he’s home from the road, Denton focuses on stock contracting.
“I like raising bulls whenever I’m home, bucking futurity bulls and raising up one so I can see if I can have one that can go to bigger shows one day,” he says.
In the meantime, it’s Denton who is going to big shows, and that comes with both challenges and rewards.
“The biggest challenge would probably be entering and staying healthy. You’ve got to enter the right dates to be able to go to the biggest rodeos. The biggest reward is being able to ride an 1800 pound beast that there’s no possible way that you should be able to ride.”
Spoken like a true bull rider.

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