- Associated Press - Sunday, February 8, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - It’s been 15 years since Chad Berger made his way onto the professional bull-riding scene. Even with his success, raising bulls remains a labor of love for the four-time PBR Stock Contractor of the Year.

Whether it was the genes or the teaching, Berger credits his father, Joe Berger, with much of his success.

“I grew up with cattle,” Chad Berger told The Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/1yJhsrq ). “It really complements my bucking-bull business because I know that much about cattle. My father was a great teacher. Better than I am.”

Joe Berger began by purchasing bulls for his two sons to ride, but by the mid-1960s he had enough to supply small events and the business grew.

The Berger name, though, was officially established in professional bull riding when Chad’s business, Bucking Bulls Inc., took off.

It started as a hobby for the former rodeo cowboy, but quickly expanded to reach across the country.

Chad Berger’s bulls are supplied to rodeos as far as Hawaii, Alaska and the East Coast. He travels 40 weekends a year and more during the summer.

Some of his best bulls include Cold Blue, a 2009 world champion, Big Tex and Smackdown, who was in the top five for four years in a row.

“I never thought we’d have that much success,” he said. “We’ve been pretty fortunate.”

Chad Berger was first named PBR Stock Contractor of the Year in 2007 and was third to be named contractor of the year three times and the first in North Dakota after winning again in 2008 and 2009.

He was named contractor of the year a fourth time in 2014.

Chad Berger said he’s developed a large fan base in the sport and has been asked to sign autographs.

“It’s a great honor,” he said. “When you’re around that, it feels really good, but there are times it’s overwhelming. Here I’m just a regular Joe, and it’s a whole different world out there.”

The most important things remain family and work, said Chad Berger, who calls Bucking Bulls a family affair. His wife and children each have a part in the business.

His wife, Sarah Berger, arranges the company’s yearly Challenger Tour event; his daughter, Lacey, takes care of the rodeo cows; his son, John, looks after the bulls; and his daughter, Sadie, manages the website and social media.

“It’s a lot of hours, but you go at it in the morning with a positive attitude and do everything you can,” Chad Berger said. “I tackle every day that way. That’s a big part of any success.”

He said his success also includes a passion for the work.

“I love being around cattle,” Chad Berger said. “You have to enjoy what you’re doing, or you don’t do a very good job.”

His goal is to keep working hard, he said, but he does want to break the record of PBR Stock Contractor of the Year by winning it seven times overall.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com


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