Interview With Ardie Maier

Ardie Maier has become one of the most consistent bull riders in Championship Bull Riding over the last couple years.  In 2009, he finished fifth in the final season standings.  This past season, he improved on that and finished fourth.  If it wasn't for an injury that kept him out of Lubbock and Kansas City, he might have finished even higher.  In addition, Maier will be making his first trip to the National Finals Rodeo which begins later this week in Las Vegas.

I recently had the chance to interview Ardie Maier, and I asked him questions about his recent injury, his big CBR win in Hankinson, qualifying for his first NFR, and much more.  If you have anything to add, please visit our Facebook page and give your input.  Also, you can always email me at:  Enjoy!

Cody:  Ardie, thanks for taking the time to do this interview.  How exciting was it to win the Dakota Magic Tuff Hedeman CBR Challenge in Hankinson, ND, so close to home?  Also, is that the biggest CBR highlight of your career so far?

Ardie:  The Hankinson win was pretty cool.  Being in the race for the CBR World Title the last couple years is my biggest highlight so far.

Cody:  The win in Hankinson moved you to second in the season standings.  However, staph infection in your leg forced you to miss the last couple events, including the Tour Finale.  Explain the injury a little, and tell us how disappointed you were that it took you out of the CBR World Title picture.

Ardie:  I had been fighting a sore knee since the Fourth of July.  I either got hit with a horn or landed on my knee because it was swolen up for a few months.  I was riding about every day, and with all the strain I was putting on it, it finally got infected.  Tandy Freeman thought it started out as an abscess, and he fixed me up.  With my knee acting up, I missed Lubbock and the CBR Tour Finale.  I actually had surgery on the first day of the Tour Finale.  Overall, I'm still happy with the way the year went.  There are always going to be injuries in bull riding, and maybe 2011 will be my year to win the CBR World Title!

Cody:  On a more positive note, you will be riding in your first National Finals Rodeo next month.  How much does that great accomplishment mean to you?

Ardie:  Qualifying for the NFR this year is pretty cool.  I never thought it would take this long to make it there, but that's why it's such an honor going.  You realize how much you have to go through to get there.  The NFR starts later this week, and I'm ready!

Cody:  How is the injury healing, and will you be 100% when you get to the NFR?

Ardie:  The knee is healing well, and I'll be ready for Vegas.

Cody:  Let's switch gears to 2011.  You have finished in the top five in the CBR the past two seasons, and you are an NFR qualifier as well.  What are your goals for next year?

Ardie:  My goals for 2011 are pretty much going to be the same.  I'm going to do whatever it takes to put myself in a spot for a CBR and PRCA World Title and hopefully walk away with them.

Cody:  List a CBR bull you enjoy watching but haven't had the chance to get on yet.

Ardie:  I like Luca Brazzi.

Cody:  List a few riders you enjoy watching.

Ardie:  I like watching Steve Woolsey and Jake Littlefield.  I like watching a guy who likes to spur a bull, especially when they are on a bucker.  When a rider is in control enough to spur, that's the way it should be!

Cody:  Who introduced you to bull riding, and when did you get on your first bull?

Ardie:  I started calf riding at a very young age.  My uncle Justin, who was a few years older than me, would help me get on the bucket calves all the time for fun.  We had to be careful though not to get caught because we probably would have been in trouble.  I think we might have been running all the weight off those calves.  For my fourth birthday, I got my first bull rope.  And yeah, those poles in that pole barn hurt pretty bad when you get bucked off of one of them leading with your head.

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

Ardie:  No, I don't really pattern my riding style after anyone.  I just watch tapes of a lot of good riders, take what works for me, and use it.

Cody:  Who was your hero growing up (in or out of rodeo)?

Ardie:  My grandpa, Bud Day.

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

Ardie:  I am an outdoors person, and I enjoy hunting, fishing, riding horses, working on the ranch, and hanging out with friends.

Cody:  What profession would you be in if you weren't a bull rider?

Ardie:  I might be a professional hunter.

Cody:  Ardie, thanks a bunch for taking time to do this interview, and good luck at the NFR!  If you have anyone you want to thank, this is your chance.

Ardie:  I want to thank my sponsors for all they do for me, and that list includes Dakota Magic Casino, Waggin' Train Dog Treats, Dakota 2000, and Anipro Feed.  I also want to thank my family and all of my friends.