Glen Rose resident Cade Chatham is only 13 years old but is currently sitting at No. 1 in the world in the Miniature Bull Riders Association after competing in the Braxton Thompson MBR Invitational II in Lockney last weekend.
Cade, a seventh grader, got involved in bull riding five years ago after watching his dad and brother.
“I went to participate one day and just got on one of the bulls and fell in love with it,” he said.
Cade’s father, Rowdy Chatham, said they started buying mini bulls so Cade could practice in the backyard.
"We wound up buying three. The next thing you know, we had eight, 11, 21 and we got all the way up to 75 bulls,” he said. “We wound up contracting him and his sisters. They started a little rodeo company, a faith-based group.”
Rowdy said he enjoys hauling Cade to his competitions.
"The people we’re around, it’s one big family,” he said. “The parents, they root for anybody’s kids. If their kid does well or they do bad, they’re rooting for the next kid. It’s a pretty tight-knit community.”
In 2015, his first year riding bulls, Cade finished sixth in the world in the Miniature Rodeo Association World Tour. In 2016, he went to the finals in all the rough stock events – saddle bronc, bare backs and bulls – and won the saddle bronc world championship. In 2017, he finished sixth in the world in the Junior National Finals Rodeo Association (JNFRA). In 2018, he went back to the JNFRA and almost won the world championship by one bull.
“He’s sitting number one in the world right now,” Rowdy said. “It’s going to be exciting to hold that position to November when they hold the world finals in Las Vegas during the PBR world finals.”
Cade will compete in the Junior American Rodeo in Fort Worth at 9 a.m. on Friday.
When asked what he loves most about bull riding, Cade said, “getting to meet people and getting to have fun.”
His goal is to make it to the National Finals Rodeo and win a world championship.
“I get emotional when I see him succeed,” Rowdy said. “When he won the world championship in the saddle broncs, I couldn’t hold myself. I cried and was just happy and full of joy. The last few years, he’s competed in the top five in the nation. He’s been invited to Australia and Mexico and things like that but for him to finish in the top five in the world – the top three actually – that’s something within itself. It’s overwhelming.”