By: Darci Miller
DENVER – PBR fans may not yet be familiar with the name Boudreaux Campbell, but if he has anything to say about it, it won’t be long before they are.
The three-time NFR qualifier has decided to make the leap and begin to focus on a PBR career.
At 21 years old, Campbell could’ve easily decided to do so sooner, but instead chose to wait a few years.
Rather than just jumping right in, he wanted to make sure that he was ready to make an impact.
“I wanted to pro rodeo and definitely make the NFR,” Campbell said. “I was able to do that three times, and I’m glad I did that, because I feel like I grew up, I got mature, and I haven’t been hurt. I’ve stayed healthy, for the most part.
“I think it’s a maturity game, for me. I just had to get my feet wet, know what it’s like to get on real big bucking bulls. I got on a few of them, and now the PBR’s got them all.”
Campbell’s first Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour event was in November of 2018 in Ontario, California, where he finished eighth.
He returned to the Velocity Tour in the fall of 2019. While his first four events had rather lackluster finishes, he seems to have hit his stride.
Campbell finished fifth at the Reno Rumble in Reno, Nevada, on Jan. 10, going 2-for-3.
This week, at the Denver PBR Chute Out at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado, Campbell earned his best Velocity Tour finish to date, taking second place with a 2-for-3 showing.
Campbell finished second in Round 1, riding Redman for 88.5 points, while in Round 2 he bested Smokin’ Gun for 87.5 points.
“I knew that bull was going to go away from my hand,” Campbell said following his Round 2 ride. “I’m a right-handed guy, and I knew he was going to turn back to the right. So I just had to keep the weight on my feet, keep my hips down and control my free arm, and I did that, and it worked out.”
Though he was bucked off by Let’s Gamble in the championship round in 5.16 seconds, thus far in 2020, Campbell is 4-for-7 on the Velocity Tour.
It’s an impressive follow-up to what was an impressive fall for the Crockett, Texas, native. Campbell not only qualified for the NFR, but won two round and took home $220,000.
“It wasn’t bad at all,” he said with a laugh. “I finished second in the world, and couldn’t be more happy.”
While Campbell is awed by the history of rodeo and honored to have competed at the NFR, his first PBR events haven’t disappointed.
“These events are electric,” Campbell said. “They’ve got pyro and everyone, the fans come here just to watch bull riding, so they’re crazy about bull riding. So yeah, I’d have to say the electricity in this building right now is pretty awesome.”
Campbell will next be in action at the Portland Classic in Portland, Oregon, on Jan. 18. He has drawn Whirly Bird for Round 1, which fans can watch exclusively on RidePass at 10 p.m. ET.
Campbell began getting on sheep when he was 4 years old, and says he’s been in love with the sport ever since. Raised by a single father who rode bulls but “he’d always tell you he was never good,” the two traveled to rodeos together as Boudreaux began working his way up.
He got on his first big bull when he was around 12 years old, and was impressing right away.
“I got on this big red bull,” Campbell said. “And I didn’t ride him, but I almost did, and an old PBR bull rider was there, Brian Herman – they used to call him Peewee – he was there, and he was like, ‘That was so cool!’ because I was the smallest kid on the biggest bull.”
Though he’s a little taller these days, he still has the same fearless attitude he did when he was a kid.
“I just like to get bulls rode,” he said. “I don’t quit. I’m not going to let go, that’s one thing.”
While Denver didn’t end the way he’d hoped – runner-up to Taylor Toves by a mere 1.5 points – he did earn 27.5 points towards the world standings and is ranked No. 29.
He also has some big goals for the season.
“Make the NFR and the PBR Finals, but don’t just make them, be in contention for that world title at both of them,” he said.
Even without that first Velocity Tour event win under his belt, Campbell’s early results this season have been promising, and he recognizes the importance of his fast start.
“It’s a big, big impact,” Campbell said. “Definitely a good confidence-booster. And I’m new to the PBR, so I’m glad to be making a name for myself over here, and I’m ready to get on tour.”
© 2020 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.