RODEO: Bull rider draws numerous supporters from Odessa

Riggin Shippy was in a familiar setting when he competed during the third night of the SandHills Stock Show and Rodeo Saturday at the Ector County Coliseum.

Even though he is far from his original home in Colome, S.D., the bull rider knew he had support as he currently competes as part of the Odessa College rodeo team.

“It feels good to kind of have a lot of people around you that support you and just knowing everybody that’s kind of running everything around here,” Shippy said. “A lot of my teammates were able to be there and my coach Tom Kelly was there watching and helping me out.”

This year marks Shippy’s first competing at the SandHills Stock Show and Rodeo, but it wasn’t his first time in the Ector County Coliseum as he has taken part in the Odessa College Rodeo before.

Shippy felt he didn’t have his strongest performance Saturday, but he did learn a lot from drawing a tough bull.

Some of the lessons he has learned in his time at Odessa College have helped him in situations like the one he recently faced.

“With things like that, you’ve just got to really keep your head up and just remember all the great things you’ve accomplished and don’t let it get you down,” Shippy said. “You go and look at the guy that won the world championship this year and stuff like that, even they fall off bulls and have bad days.

“You can’t just get caught up on one bad performance and let it snowball and ruin your whole season.”

Shippy won’t dwell on the showing for too long, as he is currently one of the top college bull riders in the country.

In the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s November rankings, Shippy was ranked 22nd in the nation in the bull riding category.

He has dreams of going on to be a national champion at some point in his riding career, working on his craft since he was young.

Shippy said he took up bull riding when he was around 13, as he grew up on his family’s ranch where they raise bucking bulls.

“It’s kind of all I’ve ever known,” Shippy said.

He plans on turning his focus to the rest of the rodeos on the Odessa College rodeo team’s 2022 schedule, with the goal of reaching the college finals.

One of the things that has pushed Shippy through his young career as a bull rider is the fun he has competing in the sport.

Continuing to have fun has helped him maintain consistent growth since he joined the squad at Odessa College.

Since making his way to Odessa, Shippy has emphasized finding learning situations in every competition.

“Don’t put too much pressure on yourself in any one situation,” Shippy said.

Shippy competed alongside 13 other bull riders in the SandHills Stock Show and Rodeo’s third night.

Before competing in his most recent rodeo, he had picked up strong showings at other collegiate rodeos over the fall.

At the Sul Ross Rodeo in September, Shippy finished third in the bull riding category with a 71 point ride in the long round and a 77 in the finals.

“I’ve got my college rodeos here the rest of the year, we’ve got five of those left this spring,” Shippy said. “I’m sitting pretty good in the college standings right now, so I’m looking forward to making the college finals here this year and soon here down the road, the National Finals Rodeo.”

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