Tag Archives: Frank Newsome

JESSE BYRNE – Age is not a factor!!!

Jesse ByrneAge is not a factor!!

The PBR has a great team of bull fighters to protect our riders on the BFTS.  Jesse Bryne is the youngest of the group at the age of 25.  We had a laugh about his encounter with a flight attendant earlier this year that had asked Jesse if he was old enough to sit in the seat next to the emergency exit.  Jesse asked the attendant how old do you have to be, and was told 16 years old!  Jesse may not look like a 25 year old, or old enough to be a world class bull fighter.  However, he has the skills way beyond his years! 

Jesse didn’t get into bull fighting by accident.  As a kid he grew up going to rodeos.  His mom was a barrel racer, and his dad a bull fighter.  “Once school was out we would load up the camper, and hit the road for a couple of months.”  Jesse said watching his dad is what sparked his interest in bull riding, and bull fighting.  “I just watched him do his thing for years, and years, and that was always my favorite part of the rodeo, was the bull riding, and especially the bull fighting.” 

Jesse tried his hand at bull riding when he was 15.  He rode for a year in junior bull riding, and competed in high school.  “Tried that and actually didn’t mind it at all.  It was going decent, but I would have been pretty picky.  There were some bulls I liked, and some bulls you weren’t going to get me on.  But once I tried bull fighting, I knew right then and there that it was for me.”  Joking with Jesse, I commented that he didn’t want to ride them, but didn’t mind getting run over by them.  Laughing Jesse replied “Exactly, I felt like I had a better chance down in front of them, than being tied to them.  So I always feel like I can get away at some point.”

Jesse began to focus on bull fighting, and had the benefit of a full time school at home.  “People always ask if I went to a bull fighting school, or how I started, but it was kind of an everyday school.  I fought bulls at home with my dad and stuff, so I was very fortunate to have him as a teacher for sure.”

What started at home has turned into a career as one of the best bull fighters in the world.  This is Jesse’s 7th year fighting bulls.  He started his career when he was 16, and did 2 or 3 years within the amateur ranks in Canada, and then focused on PBR Canada for 2 or 3 years, before coming to the US.  “I guess it was probably 4 years ago when I really started, 4 or 5 years ago, when I started focusing on the US PBR events, and basically tried to acquire as many of the challenger tour events that I could, and get to those.   And kind of like a bull rider, we’ve got to start there, and work our way up.  So I got to a lot of those events, and got the exposure from that, and slowly worked my way into the BFTS series.”   

The BFTS had a few months off during the summer; however, Jesse did not have much of a break.  Instead, he went straight from the BFTS events to rodeoing in Canada.  He went to 6 rodeos, and the Calgary Stampede.   From the middle of June, he was at a rodeo a total of 26 out of 28 days.  “It has been a full schedule, but it is kind of like one of those things, you just take advantage of it while you can.  You want to be as busy as possible, and you just never know how long this is going to last, so you gotta make it count while you can.” 

As we all know injuries can play a huge part in the sport of bull riding; however, Jesse has been very fortunate in this area.  “The longest I’ve ever stayed out was four weeks with some right knee issues.  I had to get orthoscopic surgery done on it.  Other than that, I think the most painful injury I’ve had is I broke a few ribs, and bruised my kidneys.”  Jesse said that was the one with the most pain because no matter what you do they affect you.   He said “I’ll definitely take my list of injuries compared to some others.”

This year also brought something new into Jesse’s life.  Jesse, and his long-time girlfriend Lauren, got married this past New Year’s Eve.  “We have known each other for a long time.  I was probably 16 when I met Lauren, about 7 years together before we got married.”  Lauren also participates in rodeos as a barrel racer.   We talked about him being on the road so much, and how it affects his marriage.  “Well in the summer she rodeos as well . . . so we go to lots of rodeos in the summer together, and get to spend a lot of time together.”  He did admit it is a little tougher during the winter being gone so much, and said “we get our 3 or 4 days at home in between every week and stuff.  And we try to get her to an event once a month at least, which kind of breaks things up, and we get to go together.”

A lot of people in the sport of bull riding invest in ranches, raising bulls, etc. for when their career is over.  Jesse said that while he has not put much thought into it, his back-up plan is his schooling.  “I’ve taken courses for four years now I guess, slowly to work toward a degree.  I’ve been just picking away at it on the road, taking it with me, so it’s been a slow process.  But, I’ll have it in the end, in case something ever does happen where I have to shut the bull fighting down.”  He is planning on getting a business degree, and says that he hopes that he will be able to apply it in some way to bull riding.  Jesse said he is sure he will have some sort of involvement in it for the rest of his life.  “I mean it’s a lifestyle, it’s just something that gets into your blood.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to walk away from the sport all together.”

I asked Jesse if there was anything that he would like to share with the fans:

“I guess just the main thing about our job is people tend to think that as bull fighters that if you get hooked, you’re doing your job.  And that’s a big misconception in our sport.  If all goes as planned we shouldn’t really be noticed out there.  It should be just smooth, and everybody gets in, and everybody gets out.  The special thing about what we’ve got going on here right now is the team aspect of me, Shorty [Gorham] and Frank [Newsome].  It’s kinda funny to think that I come from Canada, Frank’s from Oklahoma, and Shorty’s from California/Texas.   So we come from all different backgrounds, and lifestyles, but for some reason or another, when the three of us get together, it’s just a real team atmosphere.  It’s something that you don’t even have to think about.  I can know, without ever looking up, where Shorty and Frank are at all times, and it just works for some reason or another.  So it’s pretty special to be a part of that.”

A few more shots of Jesse in action: