Connellsville Township boy making a name in bull riding, budding as entrepreneur
A Connellsville Township boy has not only proved himself to be a champion mini bull rider but also a budding entrepreneur at the tender age of 9.
The sport of rodeo has always come naturally to Riley Mastowski, who lives in the mountains of Connellsville Township with his parents, Bob and AJ Mastowski. At the age of 5, he began competing in the sport of mutton bustin'. By the age of 6 he had won five belt buckles, was ranked 13th in the nation and had competed in the World Finals in Las Vegas.
“We followed the professional sport of bull riding, and he kept bugging us to ride. He kept riding the furniture all over the house, so we decided to let him try it,” said AJ Mastowski.
The next year young Mastowski decided to try his hand at riding mini bucking bulls. The mini bucking bull division is open to riders 6-14 years of age and under the weight of 145 pounds. The first year he finished in the top 10 in his normal rodeo circuit, Cowboy Boy Up Youth Rodeo in Lisbon, Ohio.
That circuit runs from June through September. He also competed in the winter circuit at Armstrong Arena in Salem, Ohio where he finished in first place with three qualified rides in the mini bucking bull division with a total of 172 points.
“The bulls are a lot harder to ride because a sheep will just run, but a bull will buck,” Riley said.
Two years later, the Springfield Elementary School third-grader is still the reigning champion mini bull rider at the Armstrong Arena. In addition to bull riding, Riley participates in goat tail tying, dummy roping and sometimes stick races to earn points.
Not only does Riley ride the mini bucking bulls, he is the owner of Bad Boyz Mini Bucking Bullz. Mini bucking bulls are a smaller version of the bigger bulls ranging in size from 600 to 800 pounds.
AJ Mastowski said she and her husband decided two years ago to help their son invest in the business of raising the animals.
“We just started this for the youth rodeo when Riley stopped riding sheep because there wasn't anybody to bring the bulls to the rodeo. No one had them on the East Coast,” she said. “Riley put in money, and we matched it.”
Riley has eight of the mini bucking bulls, which he raises on his parent's farm. The young boy said he takes care of the feeding and watering of the animals. He also runs the bulls to condition them and build their muscles for competition.
The family hauls the bulls twice a month to Armstrong Arena for competitions.
“It's big in the West, but we are trying to get it going on the East Coast,” AJ Mastowski said.
When Riley is not on the back of a mini bull, you can find him at the ice arena playing hockey for the Allegheny Badgers AA Squirt Team as a goalie, or in the rink playing for the championship winning Professional Inferno Traveling Inline Hockey 8U Team as a goalie.
Cowboy Up is a youth rodeo that also offers barrel racing, poles, goat tying, roping, sheep riding, and chute doggin'. For more information call Randy Moore at 330-503-3924, email AJ Mastowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit cowboyupyouthrodeo.com.
Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Connellsville Area’s $4.8M budget gap raises specter of layoffs
- Young Connellsville maestro composes, conducts
- Connellsville Area School District rethinks grading
- Lineup set for Lions Club’s annual Kids Fest in Connellsville
- Connellsville Area Senior High School students work on mural in East Park
- Police in Fayette County seek witnesses to motorcycle accident
- Fayette County area graduates gather for Golden Reunion
- Vietnam vets from Fayette recall service — and those who didn’t make it home
- Gulf War veteran restores Uniontown mansion
- Fayette man challenges charges filed by Connellsville police officer, now under indictment
- Brownsville Boy Scouts make sure vets are not forgotten