Adrenaline Junkies

Published 12:03 am Friday, February 24, 2012

Bull rider Seth Brown of Montgomery (left) and bullfighter Cody Parks of Ripley, Miss., check out one the bulls before the 25th annual Civitan Rodeo production on Thursday. | Kendra Bolling/Star-News


For bull rider Seth Brown and bullfighter Cade Parks, every weekend is truly about bulls and blood, dust and mud, and a roar of a Sunday crowd.

Weekend-in and weekend-out the young men take to the road for one to prove he’ll win in the next round and the other to make sure his friend comes out alive, should the bull get the upper hand.

Both have been in the rodeo business for the last two years.

For Brown, he said bull riding just “happened one day.”

“A friend of mine asked me if I wanted to try it and I did,” he said. “I wasn’t very good to begin with, but now it’s all I do.”

“You have to know how to stay off your pockets,” he said. “It takes lots of heart. I’ve broken my jaw, had my teeth knocked out and had my face reconstructed.”

But none of those injuries were enough for Montgomery native to dare think about not getting back on a bull.

“I love it,” he said. “You can say we’re adrenaline junkies. It’s what we live for. We wake up on Mondays waiting on Wednesdays.”

For Parks who is from Ripley, Miss., he said his job doesn’t start until the riders fall off.

“I lay my life on the line for the bull riders,” he said. “I distract the bull and sometimes grab his horns. When riders get into what’s called a hang up, I’m their only hope. That’s when they are completely caught up in the rope.

“They tell me thank you,” he said.

Beginning Wednesday of every week, the boys hit the trail, going from rodeo to rodeo, city to city.

“Sometimes we luck up and have a rodeo in the same state,” Parks said. “Other times we’re on the road.”

Both said that rodeo participants are “like family.”

“We travel with them every weekend,” Parks said. “We’ve known each other for two years. If you don’t like someone you suck it up, but if you do like them you travel with them.”

Sometimes Parks’ mother, who is a rodeo secretary, travels with them, but other times, they just “hop in the truck with whoever is going.”

“It’s such a family atmosphere,” Brown said. “No one really understands it, until someone gets hurt, and everyone comes to the hospital to see you.”

Parks was this year’s PCA Bullfighter of the Year, and Brown was a high school national finalist bull rider.

“I’ve just started going hard in pro rodeo,” Brown said.

The boys can be seen during the bull riding events of the 25th annual Civitan Rodeo this weekend.

Gates open at 6 p.m. at the Covington Arena.

Tickets are $12 at the gate. All seats are first come, first serve. There will be no reserved seating.