TUSCUMBIA, Ala. — Bull riding is an intense sport that requires extreme focus and nerves of steel. Sometimes referred to as the most dangerous eight seconds in sports, it’s not for the faint of heart. In the case of Mathew Seahorn, it does require a heart of gold.
His sights weren’t always set on the arena, however.
“I had a buddy a few years back,” Seahorn said. “He come up to me one day, he said, ‘man, you played football, you played everything else, but you want to play something that’s more athletic?’ I said, ‘what do you mean?’ He said, ‘you want to join the rodeo world?’”
Seahorn quickly fell in love with the sport. It’s his passion for riding combined with another calling that sparked a new mission, Bucking for a Cure.
“I wanted to do something that kind of meant more to me and more to the public,” Seahorn said. “I wanted to kind of get the word out for people that can’t get the word out for their selves, so that’s why I started bull riding for cancer.”
In the arena, Seahorn’s gear is covered with the names of people who are fighting cancer, have beaten it, and have passed away—including his grandmother.
“That kind of hit me on a personal level and that’s kind of what inspired me to go and chase and raise money for the people with cancer,” Seahorn said.
As a part of his mission, Seahorn has pledged to donate the majority of his winnings from bull riding to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
At a rodeo on Saturday, things didn’t work out the way Seahorn had planned, with him falling off the bull just moments after entering the arena. However, that didn’t mean the children of St. Jude were at a loss. Seahorn auctioned off a quilt donated to him from Team Tucker Tough, started by the family of a young boy battling cancer.
“All the proceeds from the quilt, all of that will be going straight to St. Jude,” Seahorn said. “There’s a family out of Illinois; they donated the quilt, or his grandmother made it. She’s an 84-year-old—made the quilt to get it auctioned off and they wanted to send it to me to auction it off.” The quilt sold for $350.
Seahorn said this is just the beginning of his journey. He plans to continue riding and raising money for those affected by cancer for as long as he’s able.
To follow Mathew on his journey, connect with him on Facebook.