Ryan Dirteater to retire from professional bull riding at end of season
PUEBLO, Colo. — Ryan Dirteater (Hulbert, Oklahoma), an eleven-time PBR World Finals qualifier and 2016 World Finals event winner, has announced that he will retire from professional bull riding at the conclusion of the 2020 season.
With the goal of capturing his career-first PBR World Championship in 2020, Dirteater’s accomplished career of more than 14 years will come to a conclusion Nov. 4-8 in Las Vegas at the end of the 2020 PBR Unleash The Beast World Finals inside T-Mobile Arena.
“I always have said I would ride until I am 30 and I will be 31 in April,” Dirteater explained. “It’s been great. I love the sport. It’s why I am doing it right now. I just love being home. I love my cattle. I love my family. I love my friends. I feel like I have accomplished a lot of my goals, but I haven’t accomplished the No. 1 goal I always went for, which is to win the world.
Dirteater’s announcement comes just days prior to the 2020 PBR Unleash The Beast event in Oklahoma City, which he won in both 2018 and 2019. This season’s Express Ranches Invitational (Jan. 31-Feb. 1) will mark the last opportunity fans have to see the popular rider known as “The Cherokee Kid” compete inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“This is not a hard decision,” Dirteater said. “I knew I wanted to ride until I was 30 and make a career out of bull riding. I am doing it. I am living my dream right now. I haven’t second guessed it. I am still here because I love what I do.”
Following his retirement from the PBR, fans can still expect to see the newly engaged Dirteater in the arena, as he looks to team rope and compete at Indian Rodeos and Region 8 events, while simultaneously planning a wedding with his fiancé, April.
“I am going to rope with my dad,” Dirteater said. “I want to enjoy time with my dad, my mom, grandma, my aunts, uncles, my nieces and nephew. Being on the road all the time, you miss a lot of that stuff. My future, she is at home. I want to spend time with [April] and support her and her goals. Just being at home on my land, enjoying my cattle and enjoying that. That is where I am happy.”
Dirteater made his PBR debut on the developmental Touring Pro Division (TPD) in 2007, before making his Unleash The Beast debut in Dallas, Texas, in June 2008.
His successes in 2019 also earned him an early selection to Team USA Wolves for the upcoming 2020 WinStar World Casino and Resort PBR Global Cup USA, presented by Monster Energy, in Arlington, Texas. Dirteater will make his final appearance at the event akin to the “Olympics of bull riding,” Feb. 15-16 when it returns to AT&T Stadium.
Thus far in 2020, Dirteater has been typically consistent. Recording back-to-back Top 10 efforts at the most recent Unleash The Beast events in Chicago and Manchester, New Hampshire, he is now No. 9 in the world standings.
“I would like to thank my family, friends, fans and all my sponsors, Cooper Tires, Ariat, Cherokee Casinos, Sheppard Hills Cutlery, Cactus Ropes, Mechanical Bull Sales and XD Sports, that believed in me and still currently believing in me throughout this season,” he said. “I am going to give it all I’ve got. I plan on making this the best year of my career. Thank you.”
Information provided by Professional Bull Riders