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Bourg bull rider set for National Finals Rodeo

December 9, 2018

HOUMA, La. (AP) — The grind of 2018 has landed a local bull rider in Las Vegas for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Bourg native Dustin Boquet competed in over 100 rodeos all around the country this past year and earned $114,587.51.

The amount of money he made qualified him for the National Finals Rodeo as one of the Top 15 bull riders in the world.

The National Finals Rodeo ends Dec. 15 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

The 24-year-old said competing on the top rodeo stage is something many thought he could never accomplish. But Boquet kept pushing.

“Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do it,” Boquet said. “Just chase your dream and never give up no matter how tough it is and always keep faith in our Lord.”

In 2017, Boquet was 50th in the world but rose to the Top 3 since then and winning the San Antonio rodeo and $21,000 in February kick started his stellar 2018 year of riding.

“This year was really my first fully healthy year,” Boquet said. “I had a couple bumps and bruises that kept me out but not for long. It was just a couple weeks. You have to get on some days beat up, banged up. You really just have to stay on. You have to stay on and win a bunch of money (to qualify for nationals).”

Boquet said one could compare the rigors of professional bull riding to professional football players competing despite injuries on Sundays, but he is quick to point out one major difference.

“The only thing different about us is that if we don’t get on, we don’t get paid,” Boquet said. “Those guys can sit the bench and they still get paid.”

Boquet started riding bulls when a friend urged him to give it a try when he was 12.

“I had always ridden horses,” Boquet said. “I had a buddy of mine ask me to start riding bulls because he knew I could ride horses. I started on steer and stayed on three of my first four and won by first belt buckle. I was hooked after that.”

Television coverage of the National Finals Rodeo will start at 9 p.m. on CBS Sports Network and events will also be shown at prorodeotv.com. There will be big money on the line.

“It pays $27,000 to win a round and it is 10 rounds long,” Boquet said. “Then if you win the average it pays $80,000. If you have a great final here you can win $200,000 or $300,000. Then there is the Top Gun Award in which you have to win the most money out of everybody here (all events featuring 120 contestants) and you get a brand new truck.”

Boquet said he is ready to ride and his faith continues to be a major factor in his success.

“I am excited. I am fired up,” Boquet said. “Being from (south Louisiana) not many people know about rodeos so for a guy like me to come from down there to where I am now means a lot. I don’t come from a lot of money or anything that but I just stuck with it and people who said I couldn’t do it fueled my fire. But you also want to prove to yourself that you belong here and when times get tough, I put a bunch of faith in Him. That’s what got me here.”

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Information from: The Courier, http://www.houmatoday.com

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