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For Columbia Fall’s Matt Triplett, bull riding is a family affair

Posted at 8:54 PM, Jul 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-30 13:56:56-04

BIG SKY — In professional bull riding, the points from a ride are awarded to both the bull and the rider. For the Triplett family, this can mean that world-renowned professional bull rider Matt Triplett can win a share of money for his performance, and his father Pat Triplett can win a share for his stock.

Pat Triplett was a bull rider when he was his son’s age at 27 and fueled the passion for Matt Triplett to hop on a bull in high school, which happened to be right around the time his father started raising them.

“It’s kind of a dream come true to have your own bulls and raise them,” Pat Triplett said. “But to get them at this level, it’s just awesome.”

Pat’s bulls have made it all over the west to some of the most prestigious rodeos, but the best part about his journey is getting to watch his son compete, as well.

“It happens quite often,” Matt Triplett said of his father’s stock appearances. “He goes to about five or six events a year and takes some to the world finals, so there’s some good chances we might pair up.”

Matt rode a total of five bulls during the weekend at the Big Sky PBR, but his father’s nine weren’t in the mix. As slim as the chances are, though, it has happened before.

“I’ve only drew one once and it bucked me off,” Matt said. “But I’m looking to get even when I draw another one.”

“I was cheering for both of them, but I didn’t know who to cheer for the most,” Pat said. “The bull prevailed that time and I felt bad that he got bucked off, but I still had to stick a feather in my hat for bucking someone of that caliber off. It’s all good.”

After an injury-ridden season for Matt, he’s back in the saddle setting goals for this year, as are Pat and his bulls.

“Just finish the summer in the top 35. I think I’m 37th,” Matt said of his national standings. A top-35 finish would seal a spot in the World PBR Finals.

Pat has a similar goal for his stock: “My goal right now is just to get as many bulls as I can to the World Finals and grow as a stock contractor.”

But the question still remains: In the Triplett family, who should take home the money?

“That’s a tough deal,” Pat said with a laugh, “because I got a kid that needs the money and I need the money too. Whoever wins, wins, you know?”