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Detroit Lakes native and pro bull rider has stellar weekend

Detroit Lakes native Brett Stall always had a feeling he'd be a professional bull rider one day.

"I don't know, it's just something I've always loved since I was a little kid," said Stall, "I just knew I'd be a world champion bull rider."

Those dreams are now coming true for the 2008 Detroit Lakes graduate, as he just won the Black Hills Xtreme Bulls Tour in Rapid City last weekend, which now ranks him No. 2 in the world.

The 22-year-old, who went professional in 2009, won both the long round with 90.5 points and the Wrangler Champion round at 89 points.

"It was crazy," said Stall. "It was a shock -- all of a sudden TV cameras were following me around. I got a really cool buckle out of the deal, though."

He also got $13,500 to boot, a lucrative payday for Stall, whose bull riding career netted him around $15,000 for the entire year last year, winning in local rodeos such as Park Rapids and Hawley.

His old stamping grounds proved to be just the kind of training he needed to launch his career.

Stall grew up on a cattle ranch just off of Highway 34 and Richwood Road.

He rode his first bull at the age of eight at a bull riding school down in southern Minnesota.

"My parents always took me to rodeos, so I've wanted to do this ever since I can remember," said Stall, who says he'd watch the professionals on television and imagine the day it would be him.

"Some of those old guys I watched still ride to this day, too, so it's kind of cool to think that now I'm stealing some of their money," Stall joked.

Now, his full-time job is to travel around the country, hitting up the big rodeos.

"I travel with four other guys who ride," said Stall, but I do have a place in Texas because most of the rodeos are down south right now."

Stall says every other day he's either driving or riding, sometimes hitting two or three different shows a day.

He says the traveling life is fun, but when it comes to rodeo groupies and all that comes with the fast-paced life, he tries to stay on the straight and narrow.

"We've all got girlfriends," he says, "We keep it straight."

But it isn't all fun and games for Stall or any bull rider, who inevitably feels the pain of a one-ton bull.

Stall says he's had his share of broken bones -- from ribs, to the face to a bad break in his leg last summer.

"The bull came out of the gate and I caught my toe on the post," said Stall, "My leg went all the way backwards -- and then he ran me over after that. That was a good day," he laughed sarcastically.

That "good day" put him out for three months, but it apparently didn't keep him down.

He says the fear of injury doesn't enter his brain.

"If you think about it then that's when it happens," said Stall, "And really, you can get hurt walking down the street --some just walk on the edge a little further than others. I know some think we're crazy, though."

With momentum on his side, Stall is now heading to another rodeo before making a quick pit stop in his hometown on Saturday, where he'll visit his father, Bradley Stall and older sister, Sam, along with lots of other relatives.

"There's a lot of Stalls running around there, so I'll head home for a few days, but then I've got to be in Dalton, Texas on the 7th and then to Jackson, Mississippi on the 9th," said Stall, who has his sights set as far as they can possibly go in the world of bull riding.

"I want to make it to the NFR (the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, which happens in December)," said Stall, adding that the top 15 in the world get to participate in the competition.

"So my goal is to just stay healthy and stay on top of things," said Stall, who is enjoying the No. 2 spot and says he's lucky to be seeing his dreams become reality.

And now that they are, he says he plans on going along for the ride as long as possible.

"I can't ride forever, but I will until my body just can't take it no more," said Stall, "and that'll be a time and a place that'll be tougher than heck to see."

Stall's big win from the PRCA Xtreme Bulls Tour in Rapid City on January 28 will be aired on Feb. 21 on Great American Country (GAC) at 10 p.m.