CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's Thursday night at El Toro Bravo Arena in Fresno. The local media has tabbed this spot the "underground rodeo" - a place for up-and-coming bull riders like Preston Jordan to practice and prepare for big events.
"As soon as I stepped in the shoots I fell in love with the feeling, the chaos, everything," recalls Preston.
Preston grew up playing traditional sports but two years ago he found a new passion. It all started when he rode a mechanical bull at his older brother's birthday party.
"They spun him around, they couldn't knock him off, they spun him faster and he wasn't going off. So everyone said he maybe you should try riding a bull," says mom Roxanne Jordan.
Adds his coach Doug Ferrare:
"From where he started to now. I started picking bulls for him, and he started riding bulls and started believing in himself more"
The young bull rider won the District 6 high school rodeo championship and has qualified for the national high school finals in Guthrie Oklahoma. Preston is just one of four bull riders in the state who will represent Team California.
"It's a tough mental sport so it's a lot of satisfaction to make it to something that big," says Preston.
It's been difficult for the soon-to-be senior to practice during Quarantine, but he is preparing to face the best in the country.
Preston says that bull riding is an addiction.
"The main thing I like is you're there, everyone's screaming, there's music playing, but it's dead silent. The only thing you hear is your heartbeat, the bull's heartbeat, it's a surreal feeling. A high you can't get anywhere else but bull riding," he says.
Coach Ferrare says that the eight seconds' ride is 90% mental and 10% physical.
"If you're in the zone, it's like slow motion, it's like dancing. You have to be in the right frame of mind, otherwise you're going to get hurt. "
Preston wants to become a professional bull rider and make it to the Clovis Rodeo by the time he turns 19. The national high school finals rodeo begins July 17th, but the biggest fear he'll have to overcome is flying on a plane for the first time.
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