Behind the Chutes: Gay Unsure of Weekend Sickness

Gage Gay attempts to ride Fire Bender in Nashville, Tenn. Photo by Andy Watson /

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It wasn’t a pretty moment for Gage Gay on Friday night in the first round of the Jack Daniel’s Invitational after he got sick inside the bucking chute before attempting to ride Fire Bender.

The 20-year-old rookie began to feel overheated and could be seen sweating profusely on the back of the bucking chute.

After collecting himself from getting sick, Gay was able to last 6.35 seconds aboard the bull before running out of the arena feeling sick again.

“I don’t know what it is,” Gay said Saturday before the start of Round 2 at the Jack Daniel’s Invitational. “I am good until I go to put my bull rope on and I begin to start to feel real hot and sweating a whole lot. I usually don’t sweat a lot. I guess I am just overheating.”

It is not the first time Gay has felt sick near the chutes this season. It first happened in Billings, Mont., and it happened later again in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Gay also felt sick last week after a ride in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

“(Billings) was the first time it ever happened to me in my life,” Gay said. “It really scared me there because I didn’t know what was going on. It didn’t happen for a while and then it started happening again a few weeks ago I guess.”

Some have questioned if maybe it is his nerves acting up. Gay isn’t so sure about that though.

“No, I don’t think it’s my nerves, but I feel like it may have happened at the Iron Cowboy if it was nerves. That was the biggest stage of my life. I don’t think that is what it is.”

Gay has talked with sports medicine and there is no concrete answer as to what may have caused him to feel ill on Saturday night. Regardless, the young bull rider still nodded his head moments later despite looking white as a ghost.

“I don’t know,” Gay said. “I have to get it figured out. It can’t be healthy.”

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