Cut Bank, MT
“Set your goals and stick to them,” is the advice Dale Bird from Cut Bank, Mont., gives to the younger generation. Bird won the Indian National Finals Bull Riding title on two occasions, in 1987 and 1980. He says the three main ingredients that made him successful were being mentally alert, staying physically fit, and having self-confidence.
“You must react to the bull,” he said. “It must be a reflex – if you think about it you are too late.”
Bird has been retired from the rodeo arena for ten years and makes his living ranching. He is also an independent contractor. He is married to Brenda Bird and has two children, Richard and Mandi.
Dale comes from a rodeo family and tried to encourage his son Richard to become a timed event cowboy. He did not want his son to go through the pain and physical stress he had endured on his body. However, as Richard grew up, it was clear that he would follow in his father’s footsteps. With his father’s help and advice, Richard also became an INFR Champion Bull Rider in 1994. The advice that Bird gives to his son and other up and coming bull riders, is to not over use your free arm and to be aggressive with your feet.
Bird would like to see the crowds at the INFR get the same sort of feelings that a cowboy would get during an adrenaline rush of a bull ride. If somebody can get the motor running at the INFR, there will be big crowds. Dale is a strong supporter of rodeo in general, but the INFR has a special place in his heart. He hopes that the INFR will become a rodeo every cowboy can be proud to be a part of and feel as honored as he does to be a past Indian National Finals Champion.