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18-year-old John Crimber hopes to ride to victory as PBR World Finals start May 9

John Crimber rides Dozier Cattle Co and Martinez Bucking Bulls' Doze You Down for 91 points during day two of the Jacksonville UTB.
Josh Homer
Bull Stock Media
John Crimber rides Dozier Cattle Co and Martinez Bucking Bulls' Doze You Down for 91 points during day two of the Jacksonville UTB.

When John Crimber walks into Cowtown Coliseum, the 18-year-old will have the chance to make history as the youngest PBR world champion.

The challenge is not a longshot for the rookie. Crimber is ranked No. 2 heading into the world finals, less than one year into his professional debut.

“I really don’t see it much different as just another bull ride, you know?” he said in an interview with the Fort Worth Report. “I’m going to go out there and stay on the bulls and do the same thing I’ve always been doing.”

For Crimber, the sport is in his blood.

My dad rode bulls. And I’ve always kind of looked up to him when I was a kid and always want to be like him. He’s my hero,” Crimber said. “He is the one who showed me the right way to go and put me on that path to be a bull rider. I’ve just never seen myself being something different.”

The competition begins May 9 at the historic Cowtown Coliseum, 121 E. Exchange Ave. Between May 9-12, the field will narrow from 45 of the world’s best riders to 20.

Athletes who are eliminated will have another shot to move ahead with the Ride for Redemption May 15-16 at Cowtown Coliseum. Riders with the top five aggregate scores will have the chance to join the original top 20 and compete in the championship rounds May 18-19 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

A gold belt buckle and $1 million bonus are on the line for the first place finisher.

PBR World Finals at a glance

Eliminations: May 9-12 at Cowtown Coliseum
Ride for Redemption: May 15-16 at Cowtown Coliseum
Championship rounds: May 18-19 at AT&T Stadium

More information about times and ticket prices here.

The competition is a way for Crimber to carry on his father Paulo’s legacy, whose career was cut short at age 28 after breaking his neck twice in the same season.

As for John, the prospect of an injury doesn’t phase him.

“You’ve got to think that with bull riding, you’re going to get hurt. (It’s) just when and how bad,” he explained.

But Crimber tries not to dwell on that prospect or on the mounting pressure and attention of competing on the big stage.

“You can’t think about those things,” he said. “It’s a sport that I love, and I wouldn’t want to do nothing else.”

Marcheta Fornoff covers arts and culture for the Fort Worth Report. Reach her at At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board. Read more about our editorial independence policyhere.

This article first appeared on Fort Worth Report and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.