bull riding

Miniature Bull Rider Hopes to Make History in PBR

Najiah Knight, 14, looks to become the first female to compete in the PBR "Unleash the Beast"

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They start 'em young at the rodeo. Both boys and girls.

"A lot of people think it's a male-dominated sport," 14-year-old competitor Najiah Knight said. "But anyone can do it. Girls can do anything, you know just follow your dreams, don't let anyone hold you back."

Arlington, Oregon native Knight is hoping to become the first female professional bull rider in the PBR. But for now, miniature bull riding will have to do.

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"I just love how the adrenaline comes at you, just everything kind of rushed into you, it was just a good feeling so I just kind of kept on going and just kind of got better and better," she said.

Knight's father Andrew introduced her to the sport at the age of 9, after years of practice on sheep.

"You never think starting to ride sheep you'll end up in mini bull riding finals as they get older," Andrew Knight said. "But she's made it and she's making a pretty good trail as she goes."

People have certainly taken notice. An HBO camera crew followed Najiah around this weekend at the PBR World Finals and so did countless young fans of hers.

"I consider myself a role model for girls, I guess because a lot of them, they look up to me and some of them come up to me and said I encourage them to start riding bulls," Najiah said.

Even if it can lead to bumps and bruises at times, like the ones Najiah received this weekend at the end of one of her rides. They are moments that lead to an obvious question -- why take the risk?

"It's a lifestyle," Andrew said. "You grow up around it, you don't really realize any different. That's what you do, just like riding a bike."

"At first you don't really feel it until you end up starting to get up, you know my leg is a little scratched up but you know it's good. My head's good. Everything else is perfectly fine, ready to ride in the next round," Najiah said.

So don't look for Najiah to call it a night any time soon. She's determined to make history in the PBR and enjoy the ride.

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