After Father’s Premature Exit, 18 Year Old Bull Riding Icon John Crimber Vows to Honor His Legacy

Published 01/31/2024, 7:30 AM EST

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The 2023 season of bull riding saw the rise of John Crimber as a promising talent for the industry. Not one year into his career, the 18-year-old has accumulated titles worthy of reminiscing and worthy of the tag ‘Teenage phenomenon’. Challenger Series, Canada World Cup, or Unleash the Beast, Crimber has risen to showcase his repeated excellence for the past few months.

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“He is more to PBR than Bedard is to the NHL right now,” suggested a PBR Canada Cup Series event promotor when Crimber won his Canada bull riding debut. This exciting prospect, however, can all be attributed to one bull rider – Paulo Crimber; a father and an inspiration for what came next.

John Crimber holds a vision for his career

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PBR recently released a YouTube documentary series named, “Rise To Greatness: The John Crimber Story.” The story traced the 18-year-old’s life and all that came along from the views of bull riding experts around him. “The real great ones, you know before they even arrive and John Crimber now is kinda kicking everybody’s b*tt,” says PBR entertainer, Flint Rasmussen. However, for the 18-year-old, the goal is to be like his dad who instilled a love for the sport since age 2. “He gets that fireman going. It’s crazy. He’s like a superhero. And really helped me with that mentality,” he states.

Paulo Crimber, named one of the initial finest of Brazil bull riding champions, was an inspiration to many. Throughout his career, the 10-time PBR World finalist had been a fan favorite until an injury pulled a stop for his career. “I want to be like him,” John Crimber says recalling his father’s journey hinting at his greatness.

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A bull riding spectacle cut short

Paulo Crimber can be considered through his many feats as a ‘world champion without a buckle’. The icon had held a steady path on his journey with nineteen 90-point rides, and two BFTS event wins. However, in June 2008, Paulo, a 10-year veteran suffered a neck injury that pulled him off the grounds. A broken C1 vertebra in his neck and a broken right collarbone followed by a displaced bone brought along an end to his bull riding reign. “Paulo has been a great athlete and role model on the PBR tour and my prayers are out to him for a speedy recovery,” the PBR CEO said during the injury.

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But the bull riding star never returned. Instead, he instilled his sporting spirit in John Crimber, further coaching Arizona Ridge Riders. Paulo may not have retired a World Champion but he did present his skills like one, shaping the dreams of many riders from Brazil.

Watch this story: 39-Year-Old Bull-Riding Champ Creates Rodeo History Notching 100 Qualified Rides

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Written by:

Shivatmika Manvi

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One take at a time

I was a little kid when my dad brought home a second horse out of his sheer love for the creatures. The excitement to ride and care for one from the first moment still gets to me as I watch the horses in action today; covering the intensity on the field. However, along the way of being immersed in the wider ground of equestrian sports, rodeo and bull riding lingered in the sight.
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Edited by:

Suman Varandani

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