September 20, 2019
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BY GAIL M. WILLIAMS
Muleshoe Journal Correspondent

At age 20 Dalton Kasel is quickly earning respect from his peers and fans of professional rodeo. Recently, he could be seen riding his way to second place at the Music City Knockout in Nashville, which was broadcast on CBS.
While competing in Nashville, Dalton rode the No. 3 bull in the world, Fearless from D&H Cattle/Buck Cattle/Tommy Julian, for 93 points. Since June 7, Kasel has earned 1000 world points, propelling him from last to No. 21 in the world. The son of Tim and Kristin Kasel of Muleshoe, Kasel graduated from Farwell High School. Although he grew up on a farm and had a horse, he didn’t come from a rodeo family.
“It’s something I always enjoyed,” Kasel said. “I wanted to ride things before I knew there was bull riding.”
Kasel rode in his first competition at age 14 and says he has been riding seriously for about 5 years.
In competition, judges award 50 points to the rider and 50 points to the bull. In Kasel’s short career, he has already put together three 90-point or better rides. Kasel is currently in 6th place in the 2019 Rookie of the Year race, just 398 points behind the leader Daylon Swearingen.
During competition, the rider mounts the bull in the chute, and at the rider’s signal, the bull charges out and attempts to throw the rider with a series of churning motions, bucking, jumping, turning and twisting. The rougher the bull, the higher the score.
For a ride to qualify, the rider must stay on the bull for 8 seconds. One hand grasps the rope, but the free hand must stay in the air. Touching the bull or any part of himself or his clothing with his free hand results in disqualification.
Once the rider has dismounted or been thrown off, radio clowns, also called bullfighters, get between the bull and the rider so that the rider can exit without injury.
Bull riding has been called the most dangerous sport in the world.
“I’ve been injured a little bit, not too bad,” Kasel said. “I’ve been pretty blessed. I’m staying healthy.”
Prize money for top riders can be good. For his second place finish in the Music City Knockout, Kasel earned $47,410. Ranking No. 1 in the Big Sky PBR in Montana in July garnered $24,237 (figures found at https://www.pbr.com/rider/3810792/kasel-dalton).
However, there are expenses involved in traveling across the country to climb on the back of a bull.
“There’s tons of expenses,” Kasel said. “If you’re blessed with riding well, you can get sponsors to help you get down the road. They give help in whatever you need help in.”
Kasel says that bull riding season is pretty much year-round. “In December, there’s a little break, but it starts right up again in January.”
Bull riders need to be in great physical shape to hang on using one hand plus their knees while keeping the other hand high in the air. Kasel says he works out a little bit, but most of his training involves getting on a lot of bulls.
“I worked part time with some good friends who own bucking bulls in McCamey, Texas,” Kasel said. “Sammy and Nina Hooper are like grandparents to me.”
Working with bulls, training them to buck, has taught Kasel respect for the animals.
“They’re athletes too,” he said. “They have to be fed a certain way. You train them to buck with dummies. You can’t buck them with riders until they’re almost 3.”
Kasel expects to keep on working with bulls once his riding career is over.
“I’ll stay in the same kind of business, but instead of getting on them, I’ll train them for other people to get on,” he said. “I enjoy just working with bulls.”

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