UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (BVM) — Nicholas Jackson has been riding bulls since he was seven years old and now at the age of 12 is one of the best junior bull riders in the country. After winning the 2020 Junior World Finals Bull Riding Championship on Dec. 7, the 5-foot-9, 115-pound cowboy has a busy upcoming year.
His riding average in 2020 was 85% since that is the number of bulls he successfully held onto for eight seconds. He won the Junior Championships — which had over 700 entries in nine different categories — after averaging at 100% since he covered all three rounds of bulls.
“For the short go round bull I rode in the championships, I didn’t let the moment or what was on the line, winning the title, play in my head,” Jackson said. “If you think while you’re riding, you’ll get bucked off. I just always react to the bull and make counter moves.”
Coming off of the most important bull ride of his life last month, Jackson said 2021 is going to be a busy year for him since he already plans on training for and competing at several bull riding events. From winning the junior championship, Jackson is invited to the Junior National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Fort Worth, Texas that will happen in March.
Before then he plans to start competing again this February at a National Junior High School Rodeo Association event. He said he will be traveling back and forth to Texas since he will also compete at the Junior American in Fort Worth prior to the NFR.
Later this summer, he will compete at the Maryland High School Rodeo Association State Rodeo Finals and the National Junior High School Finals Rodeo.
With a busy training year ahead, Jackson said he is simply preparing himself for some of his professional long-term career goals. He said once he is old enough, he wants to win multiple championships by riding with the PBR, the highest body in the sport of professional bull riding.
— PBR PR (@InsidePBRPR) December 13, 2020
“It feels like it was just yesterday when Nic was just getting started riding mutton bustin sheep and progressing to the mini bulls,” said Nicholas’ mother, Robyn Jackson. “He’s come a long way in a short amount of time. I’m his biggest fan, and it’s great to see him accomplishing his dreams.”
Nicholas acknowledged that bull riding has been described as the most dangerous eight seconds in sports. He said he has been hurt before, but is thankful that it was never anything that prevented him from competing.
“We try to take all of the safety precautions possible with all of the technology that goes into the helmets [instead of cowboy hats] and riding vests,” Nicholas said. “In bull riding, you have to be tough and you can’t ride with fear of getting hurt.”
Nicholas’ desire to ride bulls at a young age without fear of getting hurt along with his goals of bull riding at the professional level one day may actually be in his blood, considering that he is a fifth generation cowboy.
“I love the intensity of bull riding, I love the challenge of covering a bull,” Nicholas said. “It’s a fight and a dance all in the same breath.”