While it may be Hudson Bolton’s first trip to the International Finals Rodeo, the 17-year-old rookie status didn't faze the 2023 International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA) World Champion Bull Rider. The Milan, Tennessee native etched his name in the history books, riding all four of his International Finals Rodeo (IFR) bulls and claiming the prestigious title.
Reaching nearly $80,000 in season earnings, the standout bull rider ended his 2023 in a big way. Winning three of the four rounds, Bolton was quick to dominate the leaderboards. Entering the season as a rookie, the Tennesee native set his sights high on qualifying for the IFR and leading the world champion race.
Winning three out of four rounds (and placing second in round 4), Bolton also accredited the IFR stock for providing first-class opportunities. Bolton found success atop “Taco Casa’s Crunchy, as well as “Air BNB” and “Ever Ready” to capture the title. Bolton accredited the first-class stock for creating opportunities to rise to the top of the competitive pack of bull riders.
“I entered the IFR with the goal of wanting to win. I knew I could do it; I just had to focus on riding my best and staying healthy,” said Bolton, who spends his days practicing at home and perfecting his craft.
The high school senior has big dreams and already has the 2024 IPRA season on his mind. Coming off of a record-breaking rookie season, the 17-year-old plans to continue his successful momentum into the new season.
“This week [at the IFR] has been super exciting. I feel very blessed; it has been a dream come true this week, and I can't wait to see what is in store this year,” said Bolton.
Bolton explained that he had prepared for the week of solid competition by focusing on his mental game, practicing controlled breathing, and praying before each ride.
“Being in the right head space is important in situations like the IFR. This stage has allowed me to gain valuable experience before graduating high school,” explained Bolton, who intends to pursue his bull riding passions full-time upon graduation.
Bolton also graciously accredited his parents for their unwavering support.
“My parents have been so supportive every step of the way, and I wouldn’t be anywhere without them.”