Sixth Grader Takes A Pro’s Approach To Mini-Bull Riding

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Tucker Root, a sixth grade student at John Boise Middle School in Warsaw, began competing in rodeos at age three, engaging in mutton busting (riding sheep.) He has since moved up to riding in the Amped Up Pro Bull Riding, and this year began Junior PBR steer riding.  He won a championship at Riding For Our Veterans PBR, held at the Lathrop Antique Fairgrounds August 31 and September 1, and is preparing to ride again at Kleinschmidt’s PBR in Holden, Missouri, on September 7.
“Tucker is a mini-bull rider,” said Tucker’s mom, Amber Segar. “Mini-bulls are special kinds of bulls that are bred to weigh only 800 to 1,000 pounds compared to full-sized bulls weighing around 2,000 pounds.”
Segar said that Tucker had been attending rodeos all over Missouri most of his life, and also plans to go to one in Arkansas. She said that the family participates when he competes, and that his biggest fan, who attends all of his rodeos, is his seven-year-old brother. His 15-year-old sister also attends some of the time. Rodeo competition requires special equipment for Tucker including a helmet, vest, chaps, bull rope, spurs, and of course a cowboy hat! Rodeo competitors are required to be in full western wear.
“I love the adrenaline rush I get when I ride in rodeos,” said Tucker. “I really like it because I have friends I can count on and there are people who say that I am the best in the world at what I do! I remember having a buddy who helped me get ready to ride once and it helped a lot.”
Segar was asked if she was a little scared when her son competed, and she said that it didn’t scare her a bit.
“We are very proud of him, and know there is always danger in everything, so we enjoy seeing him live an exciting life!” said Segar.
According to, steer riding is a rodeo youth event that is an introductory form of bull riding for younger riders between the ages of seven and fourteen. Steers are used because they are known to have a less volatile temperament than bulls and many breeds weigh between 500 and 1,000 pounds. Steer riding usually follows mutton busting and calf riding as the contestant ages and grows. Many young and aspiring bull riders who train in steer riding compete in the National Bullriders Association that holds annual contests such as Mutton Busting for ages six and under; Calf Riding for eight and under; Steer Riding for 11 and under; Peewee Bullriding for 13 and under; Junior Bullriding for 15 and under; and Senior Bullriding for 19 and under. 
Tucker has a good friend his age who is also a sports enthusiast who competes in another field. Look for his story in a future article.