Xavier Gilbert is among the best bull riders in the world. Most recently he qualified for the bull-riding competition at the Pendleton Roundup.
He will compete on September 16 at the Roundup. Only 56 bull riders from around the world qualified for the competition.
Xavier is a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. He grew up in Warm Springs. “As a youth I started out riding calves and steers,” Xavier was saying this week.
Growing up was a challenge, he says, because of the poverty, alcoholism and drug abuse that many around him were struggling with.
“But I told myself that if I could stay away from drugs and alcohol, I could follow my dream,” he says. Qualifying to ride in the most prestigious rodeo is a big part of that dream. “And I thank God for getting me where I am today.”
Young people in Warm Springs have the potential to do anything they set their mind to, Xavier says. “I see many young people here with talent. All they need is a positive role model,” he says.
“And just remember, It’s never too late. If you keep dreaming, then anything is possible.”