November 3, 2010) - Years ago, Mike White’s older brother had a hard time keeping his sibling out of the bull pen.
Almost 30 years later, the younger White still spends his days there. But now, the recently retired bull rider is raising Futurity and Classic bulls. And chasing after his 6-year-old son, Logan.
“I’ve been around bucking bulls my entire life, and now I’m paying for it, because my son’s just like I was,” said White, who was recently named ABBI Horizon Breeder of the Year.
“He’s hardheaded and won’t stay out of the pen when we’re trying to buck bulls. … He’s a little scared and he knows they can hurt him, but he still craws into the darn arena. He’s not by the bucking chutes – he’s on the other side of the pen – but that little son-of-a-gun won’t crawl through the fence until one’s coming his way.”
White, who announced his retirement earlier this year, hung up his bull rope in favor of a flank strap, and has focused on his breeding program.
Instead of traveling from one bull riding to another – he entered 223 Built Ford Tough Series events in his career and won 12 of them to go along with a PRCA world title – he spends most of his days on horseback on his ranch outside of DeKalb, Texas.
He currently tends to 20 yearlings, 25 two-year-olds, 15 three-year-olds, and handful of older bulls. He raised Ragin J.T., the 2010 World Champion Futurity Bull, and subsequently earned the breeder award.
“To be able to win that award is something really special,” he said, “but furthermore, a bull that you’ve raised and has achieved something like that is outstanding, for me.”
White said a great deal of the success with his breeding program is due to the help he’s received from fellow contractors Jim Anderson and H.D. Page.
“Jim has bent over backwards helping me with breeding bulls and crossing up my genetics with some of his cows,” White explained. “H.D. has helped me by sending me some breeding bulls to use.
“Without them I don’t feel like I’d be where I’m at now.”
White started “playing around” with bucking bulls 11 years ago, when he bought a bull named Pretty Boy Floyd from Don Kish.
But it wasn’t until five years ago that be began the eventual transition from bull rider to stock contractor. Originally he wanted nothing more than to raise “a few good bulls,” but then he started incorporating different genetics into his long-term plan.
Recently, his plan has evolved yet again.
“Now I want to raise a bunch of good bulls,” White said. “I never was into the Futurity and Classics too much, and now I’m trying to get into it a lot more. I never realized how much money was tied up in these competitions.
“I don’t know if you could call it training, but everybody calls it that. I’m training Futurity and Classic bulls and hauling them up and down the road.”
White is glad to have an opportunity to “stay involved” in the only industry he’s ever known – even if it means being extra careful to watch out for a curious 6-year-old boy.
“It’s part of my life,” he said. “I get on my horse in the morning and ride around the bulls, feed the bulls in the morning. I have a hired hand who helps me, but I get out there and feed the bulls and look at the bulls every day. That’s part of my job.”
NEWS AND NOTES
J.B. MAUNEY AND HIS BROTHER-IN-LAW SHANE PROCTOR will be featured tonight in the season finale of “L.A. Ink.” The episode, which airs on TLC, was filmed last summer in Los Angeles. Both received a tattoo at American Electric. The episode will also feature Kat Von D and boyfriend Jesse James. Check local listings for show times.
FORD TRUCKS brought Guillermo Rodriguez to the Finals to film a special segment for “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Guillermo came to Las Vegas with the intention of riding a bull, but after a rough go of it with Travis Briscoe and Super Duty, he thought better of the idea. He spent time with bullfighter Shorty Gorham before getting on stage with Flint Rasmussen during one of the commercial breaks. The segment can be seen on ABC on Tuesday, Nov. 9 (Please note this is an updated air date). Check local listings for show times.