Cole Bass

by Siri Stevens
Cole Bass

Kansas Professional Rodeo Association (KPRA) bull rider, Cole Bass, is looking forward to his third year within the organization and has his sights set on qualifying for the finals and ultimately winning the year-end title…that is, after he regains full health. Competing in the extreme event of bull riding often sees injury and Cole has been dealing with his since 2012. While traveling to the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) in Rock Springs, Wyo., Cole dropped in for one more eight-second ride at the 26th annual KPRA rodeo in McCracken, Kans., but ended up tearing a ligament in his riding hand. He went on to compete at the NHSFR and finished his 2012 season out as the KPRA rough stock Rookie of the Year and fifth in the year-end standings.

Finally deciding to get things fixed, Cole has undergone two surgeries to repair the ligament, but the set back cost him a year in the KPRA, where he was only able to hit a small number of rodeos in 2013. “I would like to get healed up and go at it hard. The KPRA has good people and good money in the bull riding,” he said, but included that the two things that sets the organization apart from any other association he has competed in is, “Better bulls and more wind.”

The 19-year old southpaw has been climbing on the beast since he was nine years old. Following in his dad’s (Butch) footsteps, Cole says that it runs in the family. While his mom (Linda) was not fond of the idea of her only child riding bulls, she has overcome her fears and is now supportive of his decisions. “Both of my parents have been supportive through it all and I could not have done it without them,” he said.

Competing in “Young Gun” events allowed Cole to gain the experience needed to compete in the NHSRA, where he was crowned the Missouri reserve state champion his junior year, followed by a 12th place finish at the NHSFR the same year. He then went on to winning the state championship his senior year. Alongside of the KPRA, Cole continues his progression in the National Federation of Professional Bull Riders, where he finished 15th in the nation his rookie year and is currently sitting ninth in the 2013 season. “After I get healed up, I would like to go pro as well. Doing a little of both of the PBR and PRCA,” he said of a 2014 goal.

Growing up on a ranch in Jonesburg, Mo., Cole has decided to continue in the business through a major in farm and ranch management. He started his collegiate career through a rodeo scholarship in Miami, Okla., but transferred to Moberly Area Community College to be closer to doctors through his recovery period. The student-athlete has also been found on the baseball field, where he played the pitcher and first-base positions, but declares that rodeo is where his future lies. “It is something that I’ve done for quite awhile and the only thing I’m really good at,“ he said of why he likes the sport. He plans on returning to Oklahoma in the fall, where he will continue rodeoing.

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