Bronc Rider Bobby Mote
We caught up with four-time bareback champ Bobby Mote in early August to talk rodeo.
Standing in a patch of shade, a stone’s throw from the arena at the Farm-City Pro Rodeo in Hermiston, Oregon, Hammer is nibbling on an afternoon snack. “He’s my head horse,” says four-time PRCA world champion Bobby Mote, on the other end of the rope. His “a-string” team roping horse seems more impressed with the grass than with Mote’s bareback bronc riding accolades. First up on the performance slate tonight, Mote will ride another eight seconds closer to his goal: the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
Cowboys & Indians: How do you get qualified for NFR?
Bobby Mote: To qualify for the National Finals you get one point per dollar earned. The top 15 in the world standings in each category go to Las Vegas. I’m currently ranked fourth in bareback riding, with about 20 more events to go.
C&I: What or who is your biggest inspiration/influence?
Mote: I’ve had lots of people who have inspired me at different points in my career. Right now it’s my family. With them being able to rodeo with me, and depending on me, they are my biggest inspiration.
C&I: Do you have any pre-ride rituals or good luck charms?
Mote: I’m not superstitious. I do a routine before I ride that helps me get my mind focused on the task at hand. I like to be behind the chutes an hour before. I get my equipment ready, I stretch out, and I clear my head of distractions so I can focus on my job.
C&I: How do you unwind when you're not rodeoing?
Mote: I stay at home — no phone, no leaving. I like it when I don’t have to get in my truck and drive anywhere, not even into town.
C&I: What are the things you can't live without?
Mote: My family and Jesus Christ. Those would be it.
C&I: If you weren't a cowboy, you’d probably be ... what?
Mote: I’d be doing something competitive, physically. It’s just my nature.
We first caught up with Mote as he was saddling two roping horses for a practice session in the small town of Culver, Oregon, where he lives with his wife and three children, and then later at a rodeo in Hermiston, Oregon. Shortly after our interviews, Mote was badly injured when he was smashed up against the bucking chutes before his August 27 ride at the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo in San Juan Capistrano, California. Not knowing the extent of his injury, he toughed it out and rode, earning 76 points. On the plane back to Seattle, he passed out from pain from what turned out to be broken ribs and a lacerated pancreas. After surgery to repair his pancreas, Mote was released from the hospital on September 3. According to his website, “he is targeting a return to competition at the Wrangler NFR in December and he says he is up for the challenge.”
Read the C&I feature on Bobby Mote in our December issue.