Sanborn Central senior-to-be Mason Moody earns Professional Bull Riders card

Jun. 23—LETCHER — Mason Moody wasted little time purchasing his Professional Bull Riders card.

The Letcher bull rider turned 18 years old — the required age for PBR membership — on April 3 and one day later, he purchased his tour card. Soon after, he competed in his first PBR event on May 21-22 in Sioux City, Iowa, continuing his dream of becoming a professional bull rider.

“I kind of grew into it and started on steers, junior bulls, senior bulls and now we are onto professional bulls,” Moody said. “I kind of started as a toddler and worked my way up.”

He’s worked his way up the PBR ladder, too. PBR has three stages — Touring Pro (entry level), Velocity Tour (mid-level) and Unleash the Beast (premier level) — of competition.

Moody tried to enter some entry level events, but said it didn’t work out and was an alternate for one in Missouri. Instead, his first PBR event was the Velocity Tour event in Sioux City.

“It is kind of rare to get your first invite to one of them,” said Moody, who will be a senior this fall at Sanborn Central High School. “Because usually you start out at the lower levels and work your way up, but it just worked out that I got into Sioux City at a velocity.”

In Sioux City, he failed to finish the required eight-second rides both nights. He admits the bright lights may have gotten the better of him, but he also gained experience in the setting.

“It wasn’t very good for my confidence, I guess,” Moody said. “But it was at the same time, because you belong there I guess is the way I looked at it. In a way you have to look at it as another bull riding.”

As far as the bulls, Moody wasn’t overwhelmed by them and said he wasn’t intimidated riding bulls of that stature.

“I didn’t get too nervous,” Moody said. “The bulls didn’t scare you because I have been on bulls of that caliber before and I have seen some of those guys before. I would say in a way they were bigger and more powerful, but they weren’t nothing I shouldn’t be able to ride.”

Up next, Moody plans to ride at PBR, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and South Dakota Rodeo Association events. In the immediate future, he will ride at Clear Lake on Thursday, Irene on Friday, Benford, North Dakota on Saturday and Paris, Tennessee, on July 2-3. He also recently qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo on July 18-24 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Moody will travel with seven-time PBR World Finals qualifier, Matt Triplett, for the PBR events in North Dakota and Tennessee. The Montana native currently lives in Canton and that led to the pair forming a friendship.

“I decided to go with the PBR for the most part because that’s what Triplett is currently in and he is able to travel with me,” Moody said. “He kind of knows everything and everywhere for that. He’s kind of been a great role model for me to get my start.”

Moody’s sisters — Logan, Bailey and Madi — are also active in rodeo, while their parents, Perry and Tracy Moody, have been instrumental in fostering the family sport.

“They don’t deserve enough credit,” Mason said. “I have got a lot of bucking bulls standing here that I practice on in the arena.”