On Thursday night winning a buckle was a big deal for 14-year-old Jake Zserdin, but by Sunday evening he finished as the second best in the world. In the world!
Zserdin competed in his first National Little Britches Rodeo Association (NLBRA) this past week inside the Lazy E Arena. A year ago, he was a volunteer for the event.
NLBRA is the standard bearer of junior rodeo in the United States. Each year some 2,000 kids from 21 states compete in more than 275 Little Britches rodeos. These events take place in 16 states across the nation.
On Sunday afternoon, Zserdin was crowned as the 2017 National Finals Rodeo Junior Bull Riding champion. The event witness the top 20-plus bull riders from across the world.
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Throughout each of the four rounds, he continued to get better by capturing sixth place, to fourth place, to second place and when it counted the most finished first place on his final ride.
Zserdin was the only rider to cover all three bulls on his way of taking first place in the overall finals.
Pretty remarkable considering Zserdin had only ridden less than 25 bulls entering the competition. Not sure if that counts the bull he rode on Friday night when he went out for a “practice ride” in Edmond.
Naturally, like most athletes, Zserdin was a touch bummed out that he missed being World Champion by 10 points.
For his accomplishments, Zserdin collected prize money, a $700 scholarship, four belt buckles and a pair of spurs.
Jake is the son of Mike and Tracy Zserdin.