ARCHDALE, NC — Jerome Davis knows what he speaks of when it comes to bull riding. So when the former world champion points to a bull and begins opining, well, his words carry significant weight.
The bull Davis is talking about now is primarily white in color with black spots and, thankfully, securely inside a pen located on Davis’ ranch a little more than an hour north of Charlotte. The bull has an ornery disposition, to the point that anytime someone walks by his pen, he begins to huff, then charges to kick up dirt at the passerby. The only thing this bull lacks is a name, something that will come soon enough.
“It just happens. There ain’t a special way,” Davis said. “Sometimes it’s based off of something they do. Like if that (white bull with the black spots) keeps digging in that pen and pawing at everybody, his name may become ‘Digger.’ You never know. This bull is just not happy.”
Standing nearby Davis as he discusses the young bull is NASCAR Cup Series driver Austin Dillon. And as Davis speaks, Dillon nods his head processing what Davis is saying.
This is an educational moment for Dillon. He is the general manager for the Carolina Cowboys, one of eight franchises in the Professional Bull Riders Team Series, and he’s intently taking in everything Davis, the team’s head coach, is saying about what characteristics define a good bull and what nuances are required of someone to stay on a bull for a full eight seconds. He admits he has a lot to learn.
“I know enough about bull riding to just get myself in trouble,” Dillon said. “But you can see different guys and how they’re riding, like if they’re riding loose or tight, or if he clamped down right there a little much and had he loosened up he probably even made it eight (seconds).