Jimmy Jones: Black bull rider focuses on ‘the bull & the dirt’

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Jimmy Jones is totally animated when he describes bull riding:  “It’s an eight-second adrenaline rush that is unmatched in any other sport…All that’s on my mind when that shoot opens… is the bull and the dirt. Staying on top of a bull that can weigh as much as a luxury vehicle is what it takes to qualify and win on the professional rodeo circuit.” 

The Arrow H Cattle Ranch in Edwards, Mississippi, is the home of Jimmy Jones, a 24-year-old elite bull rider who’s been in the rodeo world since he was 15.  Jones attended Provine High School in Jackson and graduated from Hinds Community College/Utica campus with a STEM degree. He is a soon-to-be Alcorn State University graduate with a degree in Plant Soil Science. 

Additionally, Jones is a Head Research Technician with the Jackson Public School System at the Agriculture Research and Development Center. He is a Mason and a member of the Flaming Sword Lodge of Edwards, Mississippi. 

Jimmy’s parents, Vanessa and Clarence Jones, along with his siblings have always been very supportive of his love of riding high! He says, “I want to have an impact on young people so they can see me as an African American working in this sport. On the dirt, it’s life and death on the bull. I want others to know and see me as the best bull rider. I only know how to be the best. I want others to see me as a child of God utilizing my gift.”

According to Jones, “Joshua Perry from Utica, Mississippi, taught me the art of bull riding. I started out on a 1,000-pound bull and now the biggest bull I’ve ridden is 3,400 pounds.” At only 140 pounds, Jones is among a select group of Black bull riders that choose to take on bull riding as a profession.  At present, Jones rides as a member of the Justa Cowboy Association, Tri-State Rodeo Association, Southeastern Rodeo Association, and The Real Cowboy Association.  

“My goal is to ride in Las Vegas and become a Gold Buckle Rider. So far, I’ve ridden in Illinois, Missouri, Texas, and Georgia. I look forward to riding in Jackson, MS, especially when the Black Rodeo comes to Jackson and on the Gulf Coast. I’ve ridden for the Taste of the Dixie Nationals and plan to join the Professional Bull Riders Association,” says Jimmy.  “I’m definitely out to clinch a Gold Buckle, then settle down, have a ranch, and raise a family…I’m a simple guy.  I enjoy bull riding. I don’t do it for the money…I do it for the love of the sport. Right now, I’m focused on riding the baddest bulls out there for eight seconds to earn the best score while watching out for the bull and the dirt!”

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Jimmy Jones: Black bull rider focuses on ‘the bull & the dirt’

By Brinda Fuller Willis
June 3, 2024