The House that Built Me

Ardie Maier was born into a family of rodeo athletes on July 20, 1980 in Rapid City, South Dakota. With 1,454 bull riding outs chronicled on, it is obvious Maier, one of three bull riding brothers, has earned his place on the family wall of fame.

His grandfather and mentor, Bud Day, has been inducted in the South Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame; World Champion bareback riders Marvin and Mark Garrett are his cousins; and his brothers Corey and Rorey are both professional bull riders.

Ardie has qualified three times for the College National Finals Rodeo as a bareback rider, earned his way to two National Finals Rodeos (2010, 2012) in bull riding, and is making his tenth appearance at a Championship Bull Riding World Finals on July 20-21, in Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

Maier’s career high was riding Sammy Andrew’s 513 Cyclone, a grandson of Bodacious, for 94 points to win the 2010 San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo. He would win the 2011 San Antonio title as well.

This 5’10, 175-pound cowboy, now from Timber Lake, South Dakota, has been a mainstay on the CBR Mahindra Road to Cheyenne since 2005, winning multiple event championships.

After attending a one-room schoolhouse until the eighth grade and playing running back on his high school football team, Maier graduated from Panhandle State in Goodwell, Oklahoma with an Ag Business degree.

So how did this 35 year old begin his rodeo career?

“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.”

Helmets were not part of the cowboy uniform in those days, but as for Maier in 2015, a helmet is a valuable part of his attire.

Maier has broken his back, suffered staph infection from a knee injury, but the worst was in Omaha at a PRCA, recalls the eldest Maier bull rider, “That bull hit me so hard in Omaha and there was so much blood, immediately when I got out of there, my eye was looking kitty-corner and up in the air,” said Maier. “I just tried to put it back up in my head. I asked the bullfighter Quirt (Hunt), I said, ‘Quirt, is my eye still in my head?’”

“I’ve broken my back in Cheyenne and things like that, but that moment was the scariest thing that’s happened to me.”

But amongst the injuries, Maier has racked up a stellar list of over 30, 90 point plus rides including a 93 in 2009 at the CBR in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Maier’s 2015 career highlight was a 91.5 round winning ride on Black Betty in Las Vegas. Maier posted qualified rides at five Mahindra Road to Cheyenne tour stops. He rides into Cheyenne on the inside of the top 20 at #18.  Maier’s best CBR finish was 3rd in 2013. 

Ardie is a fan favorite who can be seen at numerous locations across the country signing autographs, taking pictures with fans, and lending his words of wisdom to the next generation as part of the mentoring program sponsored by Cowboy Outfitters USA.

Ardie will be joined at the 2015 CBR World Finals by his brother Corey who qualified in the number 15th slot.