Abrahamson Rodeo Company: Breeding bucking bulls

When not bursting from chutes at area rodeos these Abrahamson bucking bulls are at home in the pasture near Berthold. Kim Fundingsland/MDN

BERTHOLD – Some are starring at area rodeos.

Others are waiting their turn. They are bucking bulls bred and raised by the Abrahamson Rodeo Company.

“They are not longhorns. They are not Brahmas,” said Kyle Abrahamson, breeder. “They are bucking bulls. They are bred specifically for that.”

Some are gentle enough to pet, if you dare. Others are what cowboys call “rank,” too ornery for human contact.

“It’s not so much their attitude as their athletic ability,” said Abrahamson. “They can be some of the nicest bulls, but once you crack that gate on the chute, that’s what matters.”

Some spin left. Some spin right. Some buck with great extension. Some do all in an effort to get rid of a rider who only hopes to stay on eight seconds. Good bulls make for good rodeo and that’s the name of the game for the Abrahamson Rodeo Company.

“We try to make rodeos entertaining. That’s what rodeo is for, for families to be entertained for two hours,” said Abrahamson.

“It’s a family show put on by a family, basically,” said Judy Abrahamson, Kyle’s mother. “People that work for us become part of the family.

Kyle Abrahamson’s father, Kelly, is a former bullrider who is an integral part of the Abrahamson Rodeo Company. So too are his brothers, Kevin and Kacey. All can be found wherever Abrahamson stock is featured. Recently Abrahamson bucking bulls thrilled spectators at the Watford City rodeo.

“Number 110, Darth Vader, was in Watford City and sent a rider flying probably 25 feet. He’s one of the bulls riders would rather not get on,” said Kyle Abrahamson with a hint of a smile.

While athletic bucking bulls can deliver the unexpected against the best of cowboys, top bulls are not suited for every rodeo. The Abrahamson Rodeo Company provides bulls for Little Britches rodeos and high school rodeos where young competitors need to be matched up with bulls they can challenge.

“You have to have a diverse pen of bulls in this state. That’s the hardest part for us,” explained Kyle Abrahamson. “It’s hard to match everybody to the perfect bull, but we try our best. We take a lot of pride in being able to help any kind of event and giving that kid a chance for a qualified ride on a bull that matches his ability.”

Crosby, Underwood, Plaza, Maddock, Watford City and Minot are just a few of the stops made each year by the Abrahamson Rodeo Company. During the off season for rodeo competitors the company hosts a bullriding and clown school in March at Minot’s All Seasons Arena. Some of the state’s best riders are graduates of the school.

“Bullriding is a tough sport. Tough on your body and tough on your pocketbook if you are not staying on,” stated Kyle Abrahamson. “That’s why we have our bullriding schools. Our business is bullriding and we need to have bullriders.”

Former professional bullriders are brought in to mentor prospective bullriders and those that are looking to improve their skills. For those interested in becoming a rodeo clown, instructor Hollywood Harris provides advice. Harris is a professional rodeo clown from Florida.

“There hasn’t been an influx of rodeo clowns, funnymen, in a long time,” said Kyle Abrahamson. “People want to see bullriding but they want to hear a funny joke or see a clown do something funny in the arena. There’s definitely a need. We can put them to work the next year if they have what it takes.”

Further information on the Abrahamson Rodeo Company can be found on Facebook or at http://abrahamsonrodeo.com.