BILLINGS — Jordan’s Connor Murnion nearly ran college track but opted for rodeo at Montana Western instead.
It’s proven to be a wise, and fruitful, decision. Murnion cashes checks as both a saddle bronc and bull rider, which puts his body through quite the test.
“I don’t know if you get used to it or what, but the bull riding is the most dangerous in rodeo," Murnion said. "The bull fighters, we’ve got such good bull fighters anymore that once you get off you hardly ever get touched by a bull. The saddle bronc riding, if you do things correct, it’s the easiest on your body. You can ride them until you’re 45.”
Murnion has excelled at both. On Friday night at the Yellowstone River Roundup, Murnion rode Tuca’s Warsong for 76.5 points. He tried to double up in the bull riding but was bucked. He says that the saddle bronc helps prepare him for the back of the bull.
“I think a bucking horse is faster than a bull. So it kind of helps for the bull riding and slows it down a bit," Murnion said. "They’re two different events. Bronc riding you’ve got to lean back and spur, that’s part of the score. In bull riding you just really hang on. More or less just try to make the whistle, make the eight seconds.”
There’s a method to the madness for Murnion, as he’s the top bull rider in the state of Montana this year.