My dad got his first bulls in 1976 and started producing open rodeos - that’s how I got hooked on bucking bulls. My name is Beth Miller and I am the wife of PBR Stock Contractor, Mike Miller.
When you raise bucking bulls you get to do a lot of traveling and meet a lot of new people, which I always enjoy. You end up making friends all over the country. Raising these animals is also a family affair, as our son Troop, age 13, and daughter, Saige, age 11, are also involved. We all own some of our own bulls and we are partners with each other on some. The kids love having their own stock. Our children have learned some very valuable lessons by being involved with the bulls. It teaches them responsibility by having to care for the livestock, they also learn how to manage the money they make. They are figuring out that it doesn’t always come easy.
Beth and daughter Saige.
My brother, Jeff, my father and I, own a farm in central Pennsylvania. Jeff and I were raised on the farm that my parents started in 1972. As the demand grew for bulls, my brother and I decided to start a cowherd and raise some bulls of our own. My parents are both from the Jersey Shore, PA., area. My Dad, Max, was raised on a dairy farm and started barrel racing in his early 20’s. My mom, Sue, was also raised on a farm and always rode horses, but never competed. Many people think that bulls are only raised in the south, but not in our family!
Beth is also an avid barrel racer.
When it comes to raising bucking bulls, there is a lot of time involved getting them trained to be handled before we buck them. They need to learn to stand in the chutes so the rider can get a fair start. We put them through the chutes three or four times as yearlings. Some of them don’t want to cooperate but we never give up on them, unless they just don’t perform well enough. They need to learn to come out of the arena when the out-gate opens. I’ve found that they are a lot like kids. They each have their own personality. The training involves a lot of trial and error until you figure out which delivery (left or right chute) they will perform best out of.
We start bucking them at 2 years old. The first few times we buck the bulls we use the riding dummy that can be removed with a remote control. This introduces them to weight on their back and standing in the chute while it is put on. Just like the bull rider putting on the rope. If he really bucks, stands good in the chute and comes out of the arena when he’s done, then we will only buck him two or three times with the dummy. Some of them just need more handling and some of them just don’t make it at all. Once they turn three year old, we start hauling them to events. It is fun watching them progress in hopes that you raised one that makes it to the PBR.
We have had several bulls that have been to Built Ford Tough Series events over the years, but some stand outs were #76 Law Dog, who was born and raised here and then we sold him to Terry Williams and he went to the World Finals. #45 Slippery was hauled to the World Finals by Mark Reed, #5 Road Daddy was also born and raised here and we sold him to Chad Berger. We are hauling some now to the BFTS: #9T Black Thunder that belongs to my son, #600 Disco Stick, #532 American Ride and #6 Instant Karma, just to name a few. We have a few more we are hoping will get to the BFTS. I guess time will tell…
The PBR has brought a whole new dynamic not only for bull riders, but also for bull owners. With the bull registry and the breeding programs the bull business has come a long way!
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