More SportsRodeo


Surging Florida cowboy Clayton Sellars weighs in on beaches, bull riding

Clayton Sellars Red Lodge Xtreme Bulls
Posted at 3:01 PM, Jul 02, 2024

RED LODGE — It’s a Monday night on the first day of July and Clayton Sellars is fully engaged in his bull riding routine underneath the grandstands of the Red Lodge Fairgrounds.

In a sport where money isn’t guaranteed, his next couple hours may be worth thousands of dollars.

“Today, we’re in Red Lodge, Montana, at 5:45 p.m. and in Livingston, Montana, at 8 p.m,” Sellars said of his next two rodeos separated by a two-lane highway and a stretch of Interstate 90.

Sellars scored 80 on his Red Lodge ride to win $539, then raced over to split fourth place in Livingston with hopes that his 82-point score will hold for another paycheck.

It's safe to say the Florida cowboy is back — and logging more miles than a delivery truck.

In 2019 he was on his way to three straight National Finals Rodeo appearances. But after missing the last two NFRs, “I have some big goals for a while that I’ve kind of been staring down,” he told MTN Sports.

His reason's for missing out include trying the Professional Bull Riders Tour in 2022, before dealing with injuries most of last season.

“I had to sit there, I had to watch two NFRs … but, I won’t be watching this one,” he said confidently.

Translation: Sellars doesn't want to just ride at this December’s NFR, he wants to win a bull riding world title. And he’s in solid position at the moment ranked No. 3 in the world. Plus, he’s healthy and laser focused, already winning seven rodeos entering this week.

So, how does a kid who grew up playing baseball, football and racing motorcycles in Florida pick up the bug for bull riding?

“Most people don’t think of cowboys when they think Florida, but, for me, I can’t help but think of Florida without thinking cowboy,” Sellars said.

That's because Florida is where he was born and grew up on a ranch. Just a couple years ago married a California girl, so it was a matter of shifting from one beach to another. Sellars says he's even tried surfing and has a take on which sport is tougher.

“I’d say it’s tougher to ride a bull, but it’s tougher to be a professional surfer than a professional bull rider,” he said.

Right now, he’s sure making the latter look easy.