How Much Does A Bull Rider Make?

How Much Does A Bull Rider Make

Bull riding is an exciting and dangerous rodeo sport in which athletes sit on top of bulls, only holding on with one hand, and attempt to stay on top for as long as possible. The sport is a mainstay of rodeos and is a popular event for spectators across the country. Fans of bull riding may wonder, how much do bull riders make?

There are a number of factors that determine bull rider payouts. Bull rider earnings can greatly vary due to the level of talent within the sport. On average, amateur bull riders make around $15,000 per year, whereas top professional riders can make around $190,000 per year. Though, top bull riders can make far more due to their popularity, talent, and brand partnerships.

How are Bull Riders Paid?

Unlike normal jobs with a guaranteed yearly salary, bull riders make money based on their skill level, the type of events they compete in, and the number of events they compete in. Usually, bull riders travel with their rodeo company, competing in events around the country for prize money. In order to ride for larger, more renowned rodeo organizations, riders must reach the professional level. To reach the professional level, they must first gain experience and success riding at the amateur level.

Bull riders that ride for popular rodeo shows will make more money than those that ride for smaller competitions. Additionally, the more events that bull riders compete in, the more money they can earn. As bull riders move on from amateur to professional status, they have more opportunities to ride for larger rodeos, bringing along a larger payout. Lastly, the greater the following that a bull rider has, the more opportunities for side incomes, such as marketing or branding partnerships with external companies.

Amateur Bull Rider Pay

The average pay from amateur bull riders can range from as little as $0 to around $15,000 per year. Amateur riders that only ride for leisure will make far less than riders who are determined to reach professional levels. Bull riding is a grueling and difficult sport. However, it can prove rewarding in the long run for amateurs who eventually reach the professional level, having more opportunities to earn more rodeo money and receive sponsorships.

Professional Bull Rider Pay

Like amateur bull riders, professional bull rider pay varies greatly due to the number of events they compete in, as well as the size of their events and prize money. Generally, top-level bull riders can make as much as $190,000 per year, though some have made far more throughout their careers. The bull rider with the highest total rodeo earnings to date is J.B. Mauney. Throughout his career, Mauney has amassed $7,419,474 in prize money. 

Alongside rodeo earnings, popular bull riders may have the opportunity to make income from brand sponsorships and advertising opportunities. Since rodeos are popular across the United States, many brands are keen on marketing their companies through these traveling shows.