Young New Mexico bull rider becomes world champion
LOVINGTON, N.M. — A New Mexico bull rider is already a world champion at just nine years old – and he says this is just the beginning.
Nine-year-old Parker Hooks won at the Youth Bull Riders World Finals and became a world champion – a big milestone on a journey that started with a trip to the county fair.
“I watched the bull rider and I liked it and I wanted to hop on a bull but they didn’t let me, so I got mad and we had to leave,” Parker explained.
“He would literally place shoes around in a circle to make a rodeo pit,” his mom, LaToya Jackson-Hooks, said. “He gets his little bulls, bucks them, puts people on them. He would steal our daughter’s American Girl horse and put things on it and buck it. He bucks out dogs. He’s just loved it.”
Soon, Parker was competing and began riding when he was only five years old but it didn’t take long for him to ride a real bull.
“All we wanna do is encourage him to keep going,” his dad, Derrick Hooks, said, “and I think all parents should do that with their kids take the time out and live out their dreams.”
All the hard work paid off to where, last month, he became a world champion as he bested many participants from across the U.S. to claim the calf riding title at the Youth Bull Riders World Finals in Texas.
Parker rides small bulls now but he plans to go big and go pro one day.