Interview With Jay Morrow

Jay Morrow has been one of the most popular riders in Championship Bull Riding over the last few years, but fans haven't seen him ride since the 2009 CBR Tour Finale.  He started the 2009 season on fire and led the CBR standings for a significant amount of time before injuries forced him to miss almost the entire second half of the season.  Those injuries also forced him to miss the entire 2010 season, but he is now on the comeback trail and is hopeful for a return in 2011.

I recently interviewed Morrow, and he updated me on his injury status, the rehab, his goals for 2011, and much more.  If you have anything to add, please visit the CBR Facebook page and give your input.  Also, you can always email me at:  Enjoy!

Cody:  Jay, thanks a lot for taking time to do this interview.  CBR fans haven't seen you ride since the 2009 Tour Finale.  Tell me a little about the numerous injuries that put you out of competition.

Jay:  The main injury occurred on May 3, 2009, in Del Rio.  I was released to ride six months later, and I entered a Horizon Series event in Carthage, TX.  I re-injured myself on the first jump out.  From the beginning, I broke my hip in Houston, TX, in early 2009.  I continued to ride because I was sitting number one in the CBR standings and couldn't afford time off.  Later in the year, I felt my abdominal tear in Guymon, OK, on May 1st.  A couple days later, I suffered the main injury in Del Rio.  

Dr. Tandy Freeman has been in charge of coordinating this process and has been sending me to the correct doctors.  Dr. Schrienberg, out of Dallas, repaired my hip on July 1st, 2009.  Dr. Meyers, out of Philadelphia, repaired my lower pubalia-pubic floor, both groins, and abdominal in August of 2009.  After being released, I re-injured myself at the event in Carthage the week before the Tour Finale in Kansas City.  

I was sent back to Philadelphia and underwent my third surgery on January 3, 2010.  Four months later, I still wasn't healing, so Tandy sent me to Dr. Alan Jones at Baylor University.  Dr. Jones took a three-inch bone graph out of my left hip, and he inserted it into my pelvis right down the center where I had a fracture.  He placed a six-inch plate and six screws to fuse together my pelvis.  More or less, I split my core right down the middle.  This caused a tearing of tendons, ligaments, and muscles.  Doctors were and still aren't sure this is something a person can come back from or that will ever be completely healed.  On the other hand, I'm more than optimistic and hopeful!

Cody:  You started the 2009 season on a roll and was a World Title contender before the injuries piled up.  Will that give you confidence when you return?

Jay:  The 2008 season was great in the CBR and PRCA.  I finished ninth in the CBR and 28th in the PRCA.  I had a lot of confidence heading into 2009 season, and I felt refreshed, confident, and more mature and seasoned.  Confidence is all about believing in yourself.  You have to believe in order to achieve.  I have always been very dedicated to this profession, and I take pride in being a professional athlete.  I want to be the best in the sport and work as hard as I can to achieve that.

Cody:  Tell me a little about your rehab so far because it sounds like you will be in better shape than ever upon your return to bull riding.

Jay:  I spend 10-12 hours a week in the gym training and have been rehabbing and doing physical therapy for many months.  I've also done acupuncture and deep massage therapy, in addition to taking Yoga and Kempo classes.  I moved to Montana in order to be at a higher elevation which increases stamina and endurance.  It also increases the amount of red blood cells in the body which helps healing.  I spent the last three months climbing up and down mountains, hiking or hunting, trying to get my legs and core in shape.  I've been averaging 25-30 miles per week.  A person who can't motivate himself will live a life of mediocrity, regardless of the skills and talents he has been given.  I refuse to lose at anything I do.  It's not an option.

Cody:  Once you return to riding, what are your goals for the 2011 CBR season?

Jay:  When I return, I expect nothing less than picking up right where I left off.  However, any person coming off injury or time off will be a little rusty.  That's inevitable, especially after being injured for nearly two years.  That being said, I plan on being a CBR World Champion contender in 2011.  Anything less is a disappointment.

Cody:  What has been your favorite memory and/or ride during your CBR career?

Jay:  Being a part of this organization and the people in it has created great memories and memorable moments.  The camaraderie among the riders, contractors, and staff is remarkable.  It's definitely a fun and exciting atmosphere every weekend.  Those are the things a guy really misses.  My most memorable ride was in Lubbock, TX, in 2008.  I rode Lyndal Hurst's bull Carney Man for 90 points to win the event!

Cody:  Who are some of the riders you enjoy watching?

Jay:  There are so many great riders out there, especially a lot of the young up-and-comers.  On any given day, anybody in the top 40 can jump out there and win an event.  The three who come to mind are Dustin Elliot, Douglas Duncan, and Wesley Silcox.  They are all great riders with a style similar to mine.

Cody:  List some bulls you haven't had a chance to get on but would like to.

Jay:  Dakota Magic's Double Scoop, Cowboy Casanova, and a young bull of Cody Ohl.  I can't remember the name off hand.  I honestly can't wait to climb back on!  I don't care what it is or what it does.

Cody:  Let's switch gears and get into your start into the sport.  Who introduced you to bull riding, and when did you get on your first bull?

Jay:  My dad Randy competed and rode bulls for nearly 19 years, so I grew up around the sport and competed in sheep and steer riding.  When I was 13, my dad was seriously injured after being stepped on and getting his chest crushed.  He nearly lost his life.  I didn't return to the sport until I was 17, and that's when I started high school rodeo.  My dad was the biggest influence and teacher for me.  He never pushed or wanted me to ride, but he was there at the drop of a hat with answers to any questions I had.  Both my parents were 100% behind me from day one.  Without their help and support, I wouldn't be where I am today.

Cody:  Who were some of your heroes growing up (in or out of rodeo)?

Jay:  I've always looked up to Jesus and my dad, Randy Morrow.  The real heroes out there are the people who have served or are serving our country or have lost their lives for our freedom.  They are the ones who spend time away from family, friends, and home along with risking their lives so we can continue on with our lives here in the United States.  Thank you to all these people!

Cody:  Did you pattern your riding style after anyone in particular?

Jay:  Since I idolized my father growing up and riding bulls, my style was similar to his.  It was an old-school style with the toes out, chest out, and chin down.  Take care of business and let your riding speak for itself.  If I had to say if my style patterns anyone else or someone I paid special attention to growing up, it would be Michael Gaffney, Jim Sharp, or Ty Murray.  These guys made it look effortless and pretty at the same time.

Cody:  What do you enjoy doing when you aren't riding bulls?

Jay:  I've been building houses trying to make a living since I've been hurt.  I enjoy construction, and when I'm done riding bulls for a living, I plan on owning my own construction business.  I enjoy anything outdoors or athletic, especially something that's new or I haven't done before.  I'm an avid fisherman and hunter, and I enjoy spending time backpacking in Montana.  Hunting kind of consumes me when the rodeo season is over.  I love to go back to Iowa and spend time with my family, friends, and my two younger brothers.

Cody:  If you weren't a bull rider, what other professional would you be in?

Jay:  If I didn't start riding bulls right after high school and professional shortly thereafter, I probably would have joined the armed services.  I probably would have leaned more towards the Marines or Navy SEALs and tried to make a career out of it.  There is so much out in the world to see and do, and I have a hard time sitting still.  I want to see and do it all.  I also have a degree in Small Business Management/Marketing, so that's always another option.

Cody:  Jay, thanks again for taking time to do this interview.  Everyone is looking forward to seeing you back in the CBR riding bulls.  If there is anyone you would like to thank, you can do that now.

Jay:  I have been very blessed with all the help and great doctors who have worked on me with short notice and great precision.  You can't find any better than the ones I've had.  I want to thank Dr. Tandy Freeman, Dr. Robert Schrienberg, Dr. Alan Jones, and Dr. William Meyers.  I also want to thank my family and friends for their support and prayers, and I especially want to thank the Good Lord above.  I've had great support from my sponsors:  CINCH jeans and Waggin' Train Dog Treats.  They have stuck with me and have been there for me with anything I need, keeping in close contact.  It's all greatly appreciated!