2012 CBR World Champion- 2012 CBR Horizon Champion
All season long, Josh Barentine was touted as one of CBR’s “hot, new, young riders,” but truth be told, at 27, Josh is considered neither young nor new to bull riding. He was, however, the hottest rider on the CINCH Tour. Josh is one of a crop of riders who busted onto the CINCH CBR Tour through the Horizon Series, ten of whom made up the top fifteen cowboys in the CINCH CBR standings, not to mention all of whom were serious contenders for this year’s Championship Buckle.
An accomplished and talented rider during his high school years, Josh was forced to put his riding career on hold because of unexpected personal tragedies. A humble and modest cowboy, Josh shares his story of triumph through tragedy, “When you don’t have much, and you lose everything, there isn’t much to brag about,” Josh remarks. “But, I figure if I can come from where I did and stand where I am now, it’s proof that with hard work and determination you can make anything happen, which is why I share my story.”
Tragedy struck twice for the proud Louisiana native, with Hurricane Rita and Ike devastating his entire family’s livelihood, and an already meager living situation turned from bad to worse. Josh soon found himself aimless and destitute.
“I didn’t want to take a break from riding, but I had to do other things just to survive,” remembers Josh, “My dad had my two sisters he was putting through college, so it was just me. I had to do what I could to get by.”
Josh continued to flounder for the next few years, attempting to put the pieces of his life back together, until his attention came to focus on the birth of his son, Kayson.
“I knew when Kayson came I was going to have to focus and straighten myself out. I was going to be a father, and I now had to provide for my family,” Josh states.
It wasn’t long before Josh found his way back to riding bulls, determined to make some money. Not soon after, Don Gay, the infamous eight-time PRCA World Champion, took a liking to the young man’s style.
“Don really helped me; he coached me and gave me advice, and I listened, continuing to improve,” Josh recalls. “When someone like Don Gay takes an interest in you, you take it seriously.”
Josh developed a momentum riding in small rodeos, but with time and the help of Don Gay and Jerry Nelson, he eventually made his way to the CBR Horizon Series where he racked up enough points to land him on the CINCH CBR Tour. It took only four 2012 “Road to Cheyenne” events, before Josh took the lead in the standings. Josh has earned the respect of all the staff and riders on the CINCH CBR Tour and has even caught the eye of Tuff Hedeman, who recently remarked, “I have never seen a bull rider try harder than this cowboy does every time he gets on a bull. He is extremely talented and has lots of try.” Truly big words from a true legend.
The hard work really paid off for this cowboy who experienced a fairy tale ending to his inaugural season. As Josh was getting ready to leave for the 2012 CBR World Championships at Cheyenne Frontier Days, he received word that he had enough points in the Horizon Standings to clench the Championship on that tour. Coming into Cheyenne in the second place position, Josh kept a distance from the other riders and crowd in order to avoid distraction and maintain a focus on the job that was left for him two do. On the first night of bull riding, he scored a 90.5, inching him closer to the title. He came back the second night to score a 91 in the short round, which left him on 14 points behind the leader. He then followed it up with his third ninety plus ride for the competition, 92.5 which sealed the deal for the World Championship title. An unprecedented ending to an incredible season. Josh rode eighty percent of his bulls this season more than half were 90 points or better.
Josh is quietly taking it all in, “When I look back from where I was to where I am today, it is worlds apart. I really couldn’t ask for anything more….except a World Championship, ” he stated earlier in the year, and now he has it.
It has definitely been a journey for this young man, but we are confident that there will be many more chapters to add to his story. Right now, Josh is reveling in his two championships, and will spend some time going to rodeos until the start of the 2013 CBR season. One thing is for sure: this cowboy has the talent, heart, and determination of a world champion and it will be exciting to watch the rest of his story unfold.