The NFPB All Started With $34 Worth of Advertisements
NFPB bullriding will be taking place this weekend at the Matthewson Exhibition Center. The NFPB (National Federation of Professional Bullriders) has been coming to Sedalia for over 20 years. The group now has events in over 30 states and Canada, but it started out in southern Missouri with an idea, and $34 worth of photocopies.
"None of this was ever intended to be how it's ended up being," said Clint Jackson, president of the NFPB. "In 1995, we were out one night checking livestock. My partner and I were talking and he said, 'Why don't we start a bull riding association?'" Jackson said that the NFPB was created because there were no finals, and no organization behind local bull riding events in southwest Missouri. "The next day I went to the computer and designed a logo, communicated with a stock contractor down in the south that recommended a name, we took $34, went to the printer and printed it [fliers] up and it just kind of took off from there."
The first NFPB event was held in Houston, Missouri, and Sedalia has been hosting NFPB bull riding since the early days of the federation. "We were compiling a list this last year of where all we've been," said Jackson. "Thirty-some states, Canada, and the list of guys that we've had that have gone on that are the guys you see now on the PBR finals, the NFR, the IFR...it's kind of overwhelming what it's actually accomplished."
Jackson describes the NFPB as sort of the "minor leagues" for bull riders. "We strive to make sure it's a professional event. We have always made sure that we bring in the stock that these guys can compete on, and they're going to be able to go to the next level. We get these guys ready to go on and become superstars."
2018 will mark the 23rd year of NFPB bull riding and pro rodeo at the Matthewson Exhibition Center. The first two years featured bull riding only, and then expanded to its current format of back-to-back weekends: bull riding one weekend, followed by a full professional rodeo the next.
Jackson says that the NFPB looks forward to visiting Sedalia, and catching up with spectators that have been there since the very beginning. "There's a neat story, I think it was about two years ago. I had a lady contact me and she said that the very first year we were here, her husband and her, their first date was the night of the bull riding, and they've come every year, and now they're bringing their teenage kids and they've never missed a year."