Ariat Texas Rattlers and Odessa College Wranglers compete in first of its kind bull riding event

The event brought Professional Bull Riding to Odessa and the Ector County Coliseum.

ECTOR COUNTY, Texas — Professional Bull Riding made it’s way to Odessa on Thursday as the Ariat Texas Rattlers came to the Ector County Coliseum.

The Rattlers, who won the PBR Championship in 2023, competed alongside the Odessa College Wranglers team. 

While the Rattlers walked away from the competition with more overall points than the Wranglers, Odessa College’s Hayden Welsh had a fine day of bull riding, winning himself the High Point Ride and MVP awards for the overall rodeo and MVP of the college section.

Calling himself “The Wild Child,” Welsh said that whenever he gets on a bull, he always wants to give the crowd as much energy as he can.

“Normally I’m just having a whole bunch of fun, thinking how pretty I can make it and how much of a smile I can have on my face just having fun doing what I love. Today it was a little different being around Cody Lambert and all them boys,” Welsh said. “They made me kind of open my eyes up on how bull riding is a choice you know. It’s everything that you do in that eight seconds to 10 seconds, it’s all up to you. No matter how hard that bull bucks if he’s doing a backflip or what if you get back to where you’re supposed to be it don’t matter.”

Welsh has been riding bulls ever since he was four years old, but he’s only been bull riding professionally for a year.

Riding with the rattlers, however, made him realize that deep down all riders are more or less the same, no matter whose jersey they put on.

“It just opens up your eyes to how we’re all pretty much the same. We’re all bucking bull riders with the same dream of being the best, and so just having them always around, it just kind of lights that feeling of being able to really get your confidence and just knowing that hey, I’m with the big boys,” Welsh said. “All I gotta do is do my job and if anything, nobody knows my name as much as them, so if all else fails, I can move on and live the next day.”

100% of the profits made went towards the Odessa College Wranglers.

The event’s sponsor, Chevron, also donated funds to several local non-profits, including Midland Children’s Rehabilitation Center Hippotherapy Program, MISD and ECISD FFA programs and the Reeves County Junior Livestock Show.

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