Cowboy Diaries: Clayton Savage -- Stepped On "Down There" by a Bull

Categories: Rodeo

steven peebles.jpg
Clayton Savage, bull rider
True cowboys and cowgirls are hard to find, but not at the Houston Rodeo. Life on the road leads them here this time every year for the biggest rodeo in the world, where they'll ride and wrangle livestock for cash and glory. Each day, Hair Balls will spotlight one person with enough dirt on their boots to call themselves a cowboy -- and mean it.

Name: Clayton Savage
Age: 24
Hometown: Casper, Wyoming
Event: Bull riding

I got on my first bull when I was about 15. Rode steers when I was a little kid. It's the only thing I've ever wanted to do, and I'm still doing it.

I love bull-riding because you lay everything on the line. You don't know what's going to happen...there's no other feeling you can get. The rush of a lifetime.

Them mechanical bulls don't chase you down and step on you.

Injurywise, I broke four ribs last year and was supposed to take three months off. I took about three weeks and kept on riding. I've been knocked out a bunch. I got hit in the head, horned in the face, stepped on...kicked in the face, the back, the chest. I've been stepped on "down there" a couple times. I got some chipped teeth. I haven't lost any, but I have some buddies who have.

My parents don't worry about me. They've been helping me my whole life get down the road. When I was little they encouraged me. It's the only thing I know, so I'm doing it. And they're fine with that.

Cowboys live a whole different lifestyle. And not an easy one, that's for sure. But I plan on doing it as long as I can, I guess. If I'm 60 and can still do it, I'll still be doing it.

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Clayton doesn't bother most people with his story. Which is why he didn't mention that his Dad, (Vaun Savage) is rootin' for him from heaven. He 'rode off into the sunset' a few years ago, when he was killed by his horse in a roping accident on a Wyoming ranch, w`hile tagging calves with Clay's Grandpa (Larry 'Max' Savage). While the tragedy seemed like something more out of a Louis L'Amour novel than real life, it was certainly a sad reality in the Savage family... but a true testament to the cowboy way of life, and the heritage that has been passed on through Clayton.

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