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Gary Leffew Part 2: Discovering Champions

Read this exclusive story in anticipation of the 2017 Wrangler NFR in Las Vegas, including Gary Leffew’s Proven Training Techniques for Riding Rank Bulls!

What I love most about sharing stories with CLN Fans, is sharing those about people whom I’ve known and admired for years.
Gary Leffew is one such person. People are naturally drawn to the man. He’s an entertaining speaker, a visionary, and attracts positivity. You know when you meet him, that he is not  “putting on airs”. When he tells you something, you could literally take it to the bank.
In CLN’s first article on Mr. Leffew, we focused on his visionary way of thinking and how he developed Gary Leffew’s Bucking Ball℠
over a 43 year period into “the place to be” nightly, during the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Vegas at the Tropicana.”
I’d like to expand upon that story and go into how Gary, now accompanied by his son Judd,  have developed a bull riding empire based upon the principles of positivity, visualization, and persistence.
Judd Leffew has followed in his father’s footsteps;  also utilizing his time and talents to maximize opportunities within the world of Bull Riding. Judd raises bucking bulls, many from embryos. He has performed as a stunt double on an episode of the series “House”; appeared in a Super Bowl commercial for KIA and worked on the movies “Jackass 2.5”,  “Jackass 3D” and “The Jackass Movie”. He’s also been the guest host on MTV’s “Ridiculousness”; and was the Wrangler for the CMT show “Cowboy U” (2003-2007).

Three generations of “Brahmer Tamers”! Gary, Lane Paul, and Judd Paul Leffew

Judd himself had started a brilliant bull riding career, winning the 1999 and 2000 California Circuit Bull Riding Championships, and barely missed qualifying for the 1999 WNFR. His competitive career was cut short by knee and shoulder surgeries in 2001 – but that hasn’t stopped him from staying involved and being successful at what he loves.

Judd Leffew presenting at the CMT Video Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee

Gary Leffew’s Proven Training Techniques for Riding Rank Bulls
Gary Leffew’s web site beams with pride over having trained 13 students who’ve gone on to win World Championships; as well as two 19 year olds who went on to win PBR World Finals titles.

Students from the New River, Arizona Gary Leffew Bull Riding School

He enjoys teaching – and looks forward to each “new crop” of students. At the core of his bull riding curriculum is his passion with “Psycho-Cybernetics”, a book written in the 1960’s, by Maxwell Maltz.
He has concentrated on perfecting his mental game; and has even used this technique to train actors such as Luke Perry, who played the role of the great Lane Frost in the movie “8 Seconds”, to actually ride a bull. Perry, who only had mere weeks to train before riding in front of the movie camera, was prepared mainly through mental and visual skill development before lowering himself into the chute.
“Actors are trained mimics”, stated Leffew, “…so they are naturals when it comes to visualization and mental preparedness”.

“When you clear your head of all conscious thought, you access the experience of 10,000 lifetimes”, explains the former World Champion. He went on to explain, “The state of being out of the conscious and into the unconscious side – there’s nothing like it – you will amaze yourself once it happens”.
“There’s a spot on that bull – one that someone else found. If you find that advantage, then you take the power away from that bull” – Gary Leffew, from the short documentary “The Bull Rider – Life of a Real American Cowboy”.
“Of the hundreds of 1st Place wins I had throughout the US and Canada – there is one thing I am most proud of….I competed at the top 25 Rodeos, where the pressure is the most intense, the stock is the toughest, [and] riding against the greatest bull riders in the business…After a positive thinking program taught me how to keep my mental attitude and riding mechanics at a peak performance level; I ended up making 24 trips to the winner’s circle at those elite rodeos…I rode 9 out of 10 bulls, to win the NFR average; and I won the World’s Championship.” – Gary Leffew – Web Site –
There’s the physical side to learning, and of course Gary Leffew believes and instills in all future champions that there’s nothing like good, hard work and practice to accompany a strong mental game. He has specific types of equipment that he prefers, and there’s always plenty of good practice bulls and, of course, a mechanical bull of some sort.  

He believes that a good bull ride is like learning to dance. “Try to pick a rhythm – one in which the bull leads”.
“When you’re doing it right, it’s a euphoric experience”….”Get in a different mind-set”…[stay away from] “self-sabotage and start to worry about success – visualize what it looks, sounds, and feels like to win – going to the office to pick up a check” – Gary Leffew, on April 18, 2005, Dave Davies’ “Fresh Air” on NPR.
Upcoming Gary Leffew Bull Riding schools near you:
October 27-29                Philadelphia, Mississippi
November 3-5                Montpelier, Louisiana
November 10-12           Weatherford, Oklahoma
Other interesting, and related links: – “The Bull Rider – Life of a Real American Cowboy” Documentary – Interview with Dave Davies, on “Fresh Air” – NPR Radio – hilarious, motivational speech given by Gary Leffew on July 24, 2014 for the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce.

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Born and raised on a cattle ranch on the Flathead Indian Reservation in northwest Montana, Eileen graduated from University of Montana - Western with a Business Degree. She is the mother of two grown children - Sydnee, and Billy Quade; and grandmother of two, Lillian and Rocky Rex. Eileen draws from personal, life experiences; as she has held many positions over the years including heavy equipment operator, member of a survey crew for Independence Mining, veterinary technician, Bud Girl for Anheuser-Busch, PR Director for the Idaho Cowboys Association, feed manager for Midland Bull Test Station in Columbus, Montana, National Event Coordinator for Montana Silversmiths, security guard for the Muskogee Creek Nation One Fire Casino, Marketing Director for the Tulsa RV Ranch, and freelance writer for various publications - including a weekly column for three years in the "Elko Daily Free Press" in Elko, Nevada. She enjoys training barrel horses and singing - and has sung the National Anthem for rodeos such as the Reno Rodeo in Reno, Nevada, the College National Finals, and the New Year's Eve Bull Bash in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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