BY LINDSAY MCCOY

Times Bulletin News Writer

lmccoy@timesbulletin.com

VAN WERT - Hat Creek Arena in Van Wert brings bull riders from a variety of states surrounding Ohio, but the rodeo has brought out the daredevil and adventurist in many locals as well. Last year Crestview High School graduate and Convoy local, Tyler Torrey, fulfilled his long-time wish to ride a bull.
"I've been interested in riding since I was old enough to know what bull riding was," said Torrey. His uncle, Denny Kreischer, is a part owner of Hat Creek which allowed Torrey a special opportunity to be around this sport from a young age. Spending time with his uncle allowed the young boy to fall in love with the lifestyle.

Growing up watching Professional Bull Riders (PBR), such as Ty Murray and J.W. Hart, and riders at Hat Creek, only inspired Torrey further to do his own riding someday.

Kreischer urged his nephew to go through schooling before his first ride, but when Torrey was finally old enough to ride he accompanied two other riders, Blaise and Chaise May, to another rodeo arena. The two understood Torrey's desire and helped him to complete his first ride in June of 2012.

"The first time I ever got on a bull was exhilarating," remarked Torrey. "I didn't feel the adrenaline rush that others speak of, maybe because I've been around riding since I was young. I was just wanting to have a good time and see what I thought of it. It made me feel good to do something that I've been wanting to do ever since I was a little kid."

Torrey rode as many times as possible in 2012. When his uncle found out, Torrey was finally permitted to ride at Hat Creek without schooling. Now bull riding has become a way of life for this young adult. He can be seen riding the large, bucking bulls every Saturday at Hat Creek and hopes to be traveling to outside competitions beginning this upcoming summer.

"Bull riding isn't for everybody," said Torrey. "I would recommend people try it if they have a strong desire to but I would never push someone to try it."

Living in the Convoy area allows Torrey to help sort bulls at the arena before the bull rides on Saturday nights. When Torrey isn't fulfilling his passion for riding, he is busy at work at Century Trading Company.

The young bull rider has also begun riding horses bareback and plans to make a drop barrel to work on his riding skills. Torrey said he would like to progress in his riding and he is eager to see how far he can get in this extreme sport.