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PBR rookie John Crimber red hot with World Finals looming

Posted at 10:43 AM, Apr 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-13 14:56:56-04

BILLINGS — John Crimber isn’t like most 18-year-old kids.

The Professional Bull Riders rookie phenom has banked nearly $200,000 so far this year and was No. 2 in the PBR Unleash The Beast world standings entering this weekend's UTB event at First Interstate Arena at MetraPark.

So what kinds of things does a kid yet to graduate from high school spend his money on?

“Practice bulls," Crimber said. "That's what I've been blowing my money on. Trying to save a little bit but I've been really using that money to invest in something that's going to help me. Buying me some bulls and buying an arena, so that's what I've been doing."

Those practice bulls are paying off. Crimber, from Decatur, Texas, has been red hot of late, picking up several second-place finishes before finally breaking through for an event win in Jacksonville, Fla. — though he points to a stop earlier in the schedule for flipping the script.

“When it really started clicking was in Tulsa, Oklahoma. That's when I was kind of on the borderline of getting cut. I was 35th in the world and that's when everything started to turn around for me," Crimber said.

Crimber has grown up around bull riding, as his father Paolo rode more than 250 bulls on the PBR. Still, to be 18 years old and on the biggest stage but be unfazed by the moment shows his maturity.

“Just kind of knowing all of those guys in the locker room and being around them," Crimber said. "It's kind of like when I went to my first PBR. It's kind of like I was already there. I've been there already, so it was nothing like, 'Wow. I'm sitting next to Sage Kimzey.'"

Just a few weeks remain for Crimber to chase down world No. 1 Cassio Dias, but the future is bright.

The Wrangler PBR Billings event continues through Sunday at First Interstate Arena. Saturday's performance begins at 6:45 p.m. while Sunday's event starts at 1:45.