It started at age 3 when Tucson resident, Tyler McVay, started dreaming about becoming a professional bull rider. “I'd ride the couch cushion, and pretend to be like the guys,” says McVay. “I'd fall off really dramatically.”
Once he graduated from furniture, McVay moved on to riding sheep to help him train as a young kid to one day move onto his dream of being a professional bull rider. “The idea of conquering something, or besting something for 8 seconds has always been kind of appealing,” says McVay.
The Amphi high school senior has become one of the best bull riders in the country, ranking third in the region, and 42nd in the world. Though McVay saw little success in junior rodeo, he continued to fight his way up the ranks.
“Again, it is a wild animal. He could go out and do a backflip for all you know,” says McVay. But McVay wanted to challenge himself and entered an amateur pro show. He didn't end up placing, but quickly understood failure is part of the process.
“You fail about 60% of the time, you have to learn to fail, more times than not.” Just a month into his pro career, McVay will get to compete in this weekend’s Tucson rodeo. An event he's been idolizing since he was pretending to bull ride with the couch cushions. “I've been going to this rodeo ever since I can remember,” says McVay. “It's just really exciting. I've been wanting to ride here for a long time.”