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Suzanne Alexander: No Bull, Part 1

GAC host Suzanne Alexander.

Our very own Suzanne Alexander has been immersing herself into the bull riding culture lately — and now she’s blogging about it! Here’s Part 1 of her web series called “No Bull.” And don’t forget to tune in to GAC beginning in May to catch Championship Bull Riding every Tuesday Night!

Lufkin TX

I find myself flying into Texas quite a bit. This time was different – I flew into Houston instead of DFW. I don’t think I’ve ever been to that airport. It was like a mall! And on the plane there were some familiar faces, like Lee Ann Womack and her family, who must’ve been coming in for the Livestock Show and Rodeo (major event in Houston right now).

Also on the plane was Stokes Nielsen of the band The Lost Trailers. He was going to Texas to check out a new duo who I believe we’ll be hearing more of in the future.

So off to Lufkin from Houston – 2 ½-hour drive north. Not bad. During the drive I listened to a few new albums: Sara EvansStronger and Josh Kelley’s Georgia Clay. Both are really good. You’ll be hearing more about them and from them on GAC very soon.

Back to bull riding. This is the 3rd televised event for the 2011 Cinch CBR Tour. When the crew and I get into town, there’s one agenda: find a restaurant we all like! Dinner is usually 7 guys and me – and you could usually tell that we’re not from “these parts.”

I’m amazed, though – no matter where we are, from the outskirts of New Mexico to the end of Texas, there’s still a Home Depot, a Bed Bath & Beyond…and a Logan’s, IHOP and an Applebee’s. We wound up at a BBQ joint, then at a Chili’s.

Lufkin is the 2nd TX event. There is $10,000 up grabs for whichever rider brings in the highest total score after all 5 Texas events. It’s called the Texas Swing.

You wanna see tough – you have to watch Craig Jackson ride. He won the first Texas event in El Paso. This guy is like The Hulk! He’s a Houston kid, but unlike many of the riders, he didn’t grow up on a ranch. He’s a city guy – but look out – he doesn’t go down easy! He’s amazing to watch, even when he gets bucked. And that’s exactly how his little girl feels, getting to watch her daddy. She’s only two years old but she is Craig’s whole world.

The event itself was a packed house once again. Unfortunately, having to make my way from the venue to outside to the bullpens for interviews wasn’t the best for my hair since it was a light rain and extremely humid. It’s the big reason I had to wear a ball cap for the shooting of the show.

Bull Rider Craig Sasse.

While there, I met up with Craig Sasse. He hails from Illinois and joined up with CBR late in the season last year, but so far he’s a mainstay on the circuit this year. The guy can ride..but he hasn’t had the best luck so far this season. And I’m tellin’ you – if anyone in country music needs a love interest for their music video, this is their guy! He is easy on the eyes. If he wasn’t a bull rider, I think he should be a model. I’m sure he hates me saying that. And ladies…he’s single!

Here are my 5 Questions with Craig Sasse from CBR in Lufkin, TX.

1) When did you start riding?
“[I started bullriding when I was ] 11 yrs old. My neighbors had a rodeo company and I started going to the rodeos and just got hooked.”

2) What’s the 1 thing you like having on the road with you?
“My friends and cellphone.”

3) If you weren’t a bullrider, what would you be doing?
“If I wasn’t a bullrider I’d probably be a 40-hour a week worker..just like that Alabama song.”

4) What’s your favorite way to listen to music?
“My favorite way to listen to music is on the radio — but it’s my friends that take over what to listen to.”

5) When you’re on the road, what’s your favorite place to stop & eat?
“Olive Garden”

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