BECKLEY, WV (WVNS)– A local high school student is competing in this weekend’s SEBRA Bull Riding and Barrel Racing event at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.

John Gregory is a Junior at Woodrow Wilson High School.  After helping out on a ranch as a young teenager, Gregory fell in love with horses and soon after, bulls. 

At 14 he decided he wanted to learn how to ride bulls and through a friend of his dad, that’s what he did. He learned last summer in Upstate New York before returning home. From there, he joined the high school rodeo association and began pursuing his dream. Now, he is able to ride in front of his hometown crowd.

“It’s a blessing,” Gregory said. “I came here two years ago and I was up in the stands watching them and I was like, ‘Man, it’d be an honor to ride here.’ I’m making my dreams come true. It’s all I’ve wanted to do. I’m excited for this weekend.” 

His hometown debut, not his first competition.  

“This ain’t my first rodeo but it’s far from the last, hopefully,” he chuckled.

He describes riding as an adrenaline rush and tunnel vision whenever he’s in the arena

The young rider, still paving his way into the world of bull riding. However, he’s excited to bring experience to southern West Virginia.  He told us his goals for the future.

“I want to make money doing it, a lot the money,” Gregory added. “But also, I want to serve the Lord while doing it. I know not a lot of people from around here do this so It’s different.  Also serving the Lord that’s all that matters.” 

The event kicks off Friday, January 14, 2022, and runs through Saturday, January 15, 2022. For more information on the event and to purchase tickets, click here.