Chris Skeeters: National Armed Forces Rodeo Association Champion Interview
Read what professional bull rider and Marine Corps veteran, Chris Skeeters, is involved in now that allows him to be a part of rodeo and honored for his service and also get to know about a great rodeo association that is giving back!
Talk a little about you and your rodeo background and armed forces background.
I spent 7.5 years in the Marine Corps stationed in Camp Lejeune, NC. Deployed 3 times 2 to Afghanistan and 1 out at sea. Received a Purple Heart on my final deployment in 2012. I started riding bulls while in the Marines back in 2008. Competed in the Southern Rodeo Association, International Professional Rodeo Association, American Bull Riders Tour, Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association, and Professional Armed Forces Rodeo Association.
What is the PAFRA and what does it mean to you and the members involved and how is it unique? Also, what supporters and sponsors stand behind this great association?
PAFRA stands for Professional Armed Forces Rodeo Association. This Association is unique because it is comprised of men and women who have served or a currently serving this nation at home and abroad. It’s a different feeling going to a PAFRA rodeo than most because of the instant brotherhood. Every member has given their life to serve our country. Companies, groups, and nonprofits are all great supporters of this association and believe in what we do. One that PAFRA works closely with, WARRIORS AND RODEO, is another nonprofit that is military minded and helps bring competitors to the PAFRA Rodeos.
What is involved with being a bull riding competitor in the PAFRA and what is it like to rodeo with armed forces contestants only? Also, talk about how finals went for you and let us know about your big win!
Being a bull rider is fun, having a brother who has had your back when your thousands of miles from home pull your rope gives the same feeling as being deployed. Competing against other service members is always my favorite time of the year because it’s not just about rodeo but about building on the comrade that was shared while still putting on the uniform. Just this past October the PAFRA World championship rodeo was held in Topeka, Ks for the 1st year and we received great support from Ft. Riley. I was lucky enough to be able to win the average and come away with the bull riding world title against a tough group of guys from all corners of the US and some guys currently stationed around the world.
What is your favorite part of bull riding?
My favorite part of bull riding would have to be just being lucky enough to tie my hand in my bull rope and compete against some of the best guys in the world week in and week out.
Talk about your plans now for rodeoing and what is your biggest goal and biggest success so far.
The 2018 season has already started, I’m looking for another big year riding in multiple associations. I want to continue to win rodeos and make as many finals as I can. I defiantly want to try and repeat this year’s feat and win another title come October when PAFRA returns to Topeka.
Just a fun question, as many of us watch Dale Brisby and you being a bull rider you must hear about him a lot; do you think he gives a close presentation of how real bull riders are?
Dale Brisby is a character for sure but he has it just about right, bull riding is a mental game and if you’re not having a good time then you won’t ever do well. Sometimes the joke may be on you, but you got to have fun anyways.
If you had one thing to say about rodeo to people that may not know much about the sport, what would you tell them about rodeo and bull riding?
Bull Riding and rodeo in general is not just a sport, it’s a way of life. It’s how some people make their living. It’s not for everybody but we care about the animals involved more than we do ourselves most times and without them we wouldn’t be able to live the life we do.
Chris Facebook - @chrisskeetersprobullrider
PAFRA Website - http://rodeopafra.com/
PAFRA Facebook - @letsrodeopafra
Warriors in Rodeo Facebook - @warriorsandrodeo