CREATED Feb. 15, 2014
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Some of the toughest, roughest cowboys in the world are in town this weekend to kick off the tucson rodeo.
Some of those cowboys are settling onto some of the biggest, baddest bulls in the business.
Nine On Your Side went behind the chutes to meet one talented cowboy: He is currently second in the world in bull riding. Last year he broke the record for money won in a season by a permit-holder in the professional rodeo ranks.
His name is Sage Steele Kimzey and he's taking the rodeo world by storm at the young age of 19.
He is quiet behind the chutes, relaxed and getting ready to ride.
But this Oklahoma cowboy's rise to the top has been anything but sleepy.
This year, the 19-year-old cowboy is second only to the reigning world champion.
"Growing up in this kind of environment just getting to hang around world champions all the time -- even when I was growing up, a little bitty kid -- it really lit a fire under me," Kimzey said.
His father was a rodeo clown at the Tucson rodeo for many years. But Sage has grown from being a kid behind the chutes to a professional athlete with one thing on his mind.
"I try to block everything out and focus on nothing but the ride," he said.
On Saturday he's locked and loaded on a bull called Price Buster, hoping for a paycheck.
"There's no greater feeling in the world just stepping off and being 90 points; It doesn't get any better.
On the first day in Tucson, he'll have to settle for a score of 78, and hopefully that'll be enough for him to compete in the finals next weekend.