PUEBLO, Colo. (June 28, 2022) – A new book written by a PBR insider with a Foreword from two-time PBR World Champion J. B. Mauney explores the heart and soul of a “beautiful yet brutal sport” while helping to support injured bull riders.
Proceeds from LOVE & TRY: Stories of Gratitude and Grit from Professional Bull Riding (Cedar Gate Publishing, $25), now available on amazon.com and PBRShop.com, are being donated to the Western Sports Foundation to help pay injured bull riders’ medical bills.
Love & Try introduces the rugged cast and crew behind sporting events that wrap 8-second bursts of man-versus-beast mayhem into an all-American celebration of faith, freedom, and family. It’s both a love letter to the sport as well as a vivid and unvarnished look into the trials and triumphs of those who bring it to fans every week.
“This book is just what our sport needs,” said 9-time World Champion Ty Murray. “It’s an inspiring, in-depth exploration of this life, culture, sport and its people that will take readers places they may not have known existed. Anyone who may not have even considered bull riding a sport will see it could be the ultimate challenge for the athlete. Love & Try brilliantly shares what has captivated me my whole life.”
As Mauney writes in the book’s first sentence: “If something’s not worth dying for, what’s the point of even living?”
The bull rider known as “The Dragonslayer” leads a group of unforgettable characters who make the sport and its surrounding culture their defining love and passion.
There’s the rider whose face was exploded by a bull and making a comeback, grateful for one more chance.
The stoic doctor patching up riders he’s unable to protect from injury.
The official entertainer serving up politically incorrect hilarity between rides and wrecks.
The jailed bullfighter who found sobriety and redemption to again protect fallen riders.
The fan who turns her hotel room into a rollicking makeshift restaurant and bar for hungry young riders.
The polite 13-year-old training hard to be the first girl to make it to the top of PBR.
Sisters from Brooklyn, NY and a photographer from France who see everything they love about America in a sport that still prays before every event.
Men and women waking before dawn to feed beloved bulls who are spared a death sentence to live a great life and compete in a sport that feels like a throwback to a simpler America.
These people are united by a love of one another, the sport, and its animals. The “try” behind every 8-second bull ride is their dogged purpose, carried into everything they do.
“This sport has been my life since I was 8 years old,” said two-time PBR World Champion Justin McBride who now coaches the Nashville Stampede in the PBR Team Series. “The love is real for me and these guys, and that’s why you see the try. These stories bring fans inside the gritty mindset and stubborn willingness of the few who put themselves through what most people won’t choose to endure.”
Love & Try was written by Andrew Giangola, who oversees public relations for PBR from Endeavor’s office in New York City and is also author of the critically acclaimed book, The Weekend Starts on Wednesday, published in 2011 while he was previously working for NASCAR.
Giangola hopes these stories of gratitude and grit can play into broader tail winds as Western culture is surging in popularity.
“A lot of people come to a bull riding believing it’s not for them, but they’ll check it out, and wind up loving it and becoming fans,” Giangola said. “How great if a book from the perspective of an awed newcomer to the culture can bring people to somewhere they’d never considered. Hopefully, we can educate those interested in learning about bull riding, put smiles on faces, bring new fans into the tent, and raise money for injured bull riders.”
“They slap themselves in the face or ram a fist into their chest then climb into a coffin-shaped steel bucking chute, mounting a muscular quivering beast ten times their size, as if strapping onto an unpredictable carnival ride, part rollercoaster, part roadside bomb. Professional bull riders approach their seemingly insane job with an icy-calm self-assurance that produces shivers in the rest of us – mere mortals who can only marvel at David trying to tame Goliath in the most audacious and dangerous game of chicken imaginable. But these cowboys aren’t crazy. They are alive.” – from Love & Try: Stories of Gratitude and Grit from Professional Bull Riding