Bull Rider Gets Birthday Gift in North Platte

by Jim Bainbridge | Jun 18, 2016
By Ruth Nicolaus/for the Buffalo Bill Rodeo committee

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. – A Nebraska bull rider got a birthday present June 17 at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo.

Bart Miller scored 85 points on Beutler and Son Rodeo’s Thumper to take the lead in North Platte.

“He gave me a big old fake out of there, and got my chin raised up,” said Miller, 29. “Thank the Lord I got it back down, and got him gathered back up. He went to the left, and shoot, we had him tapped off then. It was a good sell.”

Miller rode at the Reno (Nev.) Rodeo June 16, but got bucked off. “I flew all day, and drove all day, so I thought I’d better try to make something happen.”

The bull rider now lives in Pleasanton, Neb., but grew up in Oshkosh, 96 miles west of North Platte. He flew from Reno to Denver on Friday morning, stopping to visit his parents on his way to the rodeo.

“I used my mom and dad’s couch to get a good power nap,” he said. “She fed me a good birthday lunch, enchiladas and homemade guacamole, and shoot, it worked out good. She must have fed me something right.”

Miller comes from a long line of bull riders. His dad, uncles, and granddad all rode bulls, and he is a cousin to two-time PBR Champion Justin McBride. He and his wife Tana have a three-year-old son named Trigg, who loves bull riding.

“He’s chewed up with it,” Miller said. “He’s all over it. I try to put golf clubs in his hand, but I think it runs through our blood. It’s bred into us. It’s deep into us.”

The barrel racing lead changed on Friday night, with Hailey Kinsel, Cotulla, Texas, making a 17.37-second run. Kinsel just finished her junior year at Texas A&M University and competed at the College National Finals Rodeo this week.

Other fast times and high scores from the Friday night performance came from bareback rider J.R. Vezain, Cowley, Wyo. (81.5 points), steer wrestler Blare Romsa, Laramie, Wyo. (4.7 seconds), tie-down roper Luke Meier, Texhoma, Okla. (9.5), saddle bronc rider Zeke Thurston, Big Valley, Alb. (73), and team ropers Tad Sheets, Brewster, Kan. and Chase Boekhaus, Alva, Okla. (11.1).

The rodeo wraps up on Saturday, June 18 when champions will be crowned and custom engraved buckles awarded to winners. The big rodeo parade takes place on Saturday at 1 pm. For more information, visit

Courtesy of PRCA