Rodeo High Rides


Kyler Getman poses with a cancer survivor for a Pink Out Night.

Dirt crunches as Freshmen Kyler Getman steps towards the chute, heart racing and palms sweaty as the bull calmly waits for the show to begin. A prayer is said for both bull and rider, and a gentle pat is given to the bull’s head before the rider mounts. “Give it up for this brave cowboy!” an announcer yells as cheers fill the air. Getman nods his head, rope in hand as he’s finally ready to be released with the 1,000+ pound animal. 

A tight pull of a rope and the chute opens, the large beast bucking out as the rider holds on, shifting their weight opposite of the bull. After what feels like forever, although it was 10 seconds, the rider’s balance brings him off the bull, a buzzer ringing to announce it’s over. 

Getman knows this routine all too well, being involved with rodeo since the end of 2020. After his dad checked off his bucket list with bull riding, both father and son became hooked on the adrenaline rush and the community that came with it. 

“The fairs are like one big family,’ Getman said, “you’re gonna rodeo with guys you rodeo with your whole life.”

Even with a family feel, rodeo is still highly competitive as riders continue to try and improve their scores for the season. With Getman riding in open bull, it’s even more competitive as he’s trying to prove himself to the older guys.

“I’d describe it as brotherly love,” Getman said, “We’re really competitive with each other, especially towards the end of the year because everyone is trying to get that last position in the finals.”

Bull riding has more to offer than just excitement as scholarships, cash prizes and sponsorships are all available to riders. After only two years of riding, Getman has earned over $5,000, has received a Podcast sponsorship, and has won against adults almost twice his age. 

“Alongside the cash, there are colleges that have their own bull riding programs and give out scholarships,” Getman said.

Apart from the monetary value and stiff competition, there is a love for the fans. During a cancer awareness night, Getman who placed first, and another rider who placed second, gave a cancer survivor both an autograph and a picture to commemorate the night. 

While Getman got his start in the St. Charles County Fair, there are shows every weekend starting Feb. 21 to Nov. 21 and they don’t just include bull riding. Fair food, tractor pulls, livestock shows and live entertainment can be seen throughout the fair. 

If you’re looking for a hobby filled with adrenaline and a sense of community, bull riding may just be the activity for you.

“ If you ever need a side job the money is worth it, but it’s an amazing sport that you’ll fall in love with it,” Getman said, “the rush, the fans, the other riders, and the college scholarships all made me fall in love.”