Dirteater returns to PBR after recovering from injury

BY D. SEAN ROWLEY
Senior Reporter
09/04/2020 10:30 AM
Audio Clip
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Ryan Dirteater hopes to manage a top-10 finish during his farewell season of Professional Bull Riders competition. PBR.COM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Ryan Dirteater attempts to ride the bull, Code Blue, during the 2009 Troy-Bilt Invitational in Tallahassee, Florida. The 2020 season is Dirteater’s last, as he plans to retire. ANDY WATSON/BULL STOCK MEDIA
HULBERT – After a three-month break to convalesce, Cherokee Nation citizen and professional bull rider Ryan Dirteater is back in the saddle – or the rigging, rather.

Dirteater said on June 3 he was ready to compete in the June 5-7 Professional Bull Riders Team Challenge in Las Vegas. “I got released (medically) a week ago, and now it’s on to the next big one.”

PBR also returned after an interruption due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Team Challenge allowed no fans and competition was limited to a dozen teams with four participants each. All riders had to pass a COVID-19 test and remain with their teams. Dirteater has competed with the all-Native Team USA Wolves.

The 11-time PBR World Finals qualifier and 2016 World Finals event winner announced in January his intention to retire after the PBR World Finals on Nov. 4-8 in Las Vegas. However, the injury derailed Dirteater’s hope to lead the all-Native Team USA Wolves to the Global Cup USA in Arlington, Texas.

Dirteater was thrown by a bull at the Feb. 7-8 Iron Cowboy in Los Angeles. He sustained three thoracic fractures due to a spine compression.

He predicted he would still be ranked in the PBR’s top 30 upon returning, and re-entered competition ranked 27th.

“I feel great,” Dirteater said. “I’ve been working out, and my nutrition is good. Physically and mentally, I’ve been waiting for a long time to come back, but I’ve been enjoying the time home with my family. The key in this sport is to be in the zone and do the best you can, and try to stay healthy because it is dangerous. If I can ride and stay healthy until the PBR Finals, I can finish in the top 10.”

Dirteater called bull riding “a young man’s sport,” and said he wants to retire while among the prime competitors. He always wanted to be off the bulls by age 30, and he turned 31 in April.

“I’ve been doing this since 2008, when I graduated from Hulbert High School,” he said. “I’ll have been doing this for 12 or 13 years. It’s like being in a fantasy world, being able to step up to the big stages in bull riding history. I was able to reach the elite level and make a career out of it. Most of my heroes have retired.” 

Dirteater would love to leave the sport with a world title – he has finished as high as fourth – but he knew he would need to catch fire to make up the points lost while injured. Achievable goals include a top 10 finish in the standings and getting his 10th win in a televised event.

“As you get older, the ground gets harder, and you see these 18-, 19-year-olds coming up who are hungry,” he said. “You have to perform at the very best level every year. If you don’t, you get cut and have to work your way back up. To do that every season, you need to be a self-starter and go-getter. I’m taking it in and enjoying every moment that I get because nothing lasts forever.”

He said he has many plans for retirement, among them is enhancing his ties to the CN and its people.

“When I am done riding, I am going to keep learning,” Dirteater said. “I’ve been gone weekends with PBR, but pretty soon I’ll be able to go to the Cherokee National Holiday. I can see my family and friends and be around the community. I love talking to the elders and hearing the stories they tell. I want to learn more. I enjoy my land, being around the cattle – that is where I feel at peace. This is where my heart is and always will be.”

Dirteater said he’s grateful to all who supported him through the years of competition.

“I thank my family and friends, and all my fans in Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation and the community,” he said. “There have been so many phone calls – some wishing I wouldn’t retire, others saying I’ve made a great career out of it. It’s been inspiring for me to know how many people offer their care and support.”
ᏣᎳᎩ

ᎦᏚᏏ - ᏦᎢᏃ ᎢᏱᏅᏓ ᏓᏟᏱᎵᏙᎲᎢ ᏙᎯ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗᎢ, ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎨᎳ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏓᎪᎾᏛᏅᎢ ᏩᎦ ᏧᎧᏅᏍᏕᎾ ᏗᎩᎸᏗᏍᎩ Ryan Dirteater ᎢᎨᎳᏗᏙᎠ ᏃᏊ - ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᏓᎩᎸᏗᎭ, ᏴᏛ’ᏛᏎ.

ᎦᏓᎠᎩᏍᎩ ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᏕᎭᎷᏱ ᏥᎧᎸᎢ 3Ꮑ ᎤᏛᏅᎢᏍᏔᏅᏃ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎥᎿ ᏓᎾᎵᎪᏂᏍᎬᎢ ᎤᏪᎳᏗᏍᏗᎢ ᎾᎯᏳ ᏕᎭᎷᏱ 5-7 ᏩᎦ ᏓᏅᎩᎸᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ Las Vegas. “ᎠᏂᎦᎾᎦᏘᎢ ᏛᎬᎩᏲᏒᎢ ᏒᎾᏙᏓᏩᏍᎩ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ, ᎠᎴᏃ ᎾᏊ ᏥᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᎭ ᏔᎵᏁ ᎡᏆ ᎠᏍᏆᎸᎲᎢ.”

PBR ᎤᏂᎷᏣ ᏞᎦ ᎤᏂᏲᎯᏍᏔᏅ COVID -19 ᎠᎯᎵᏙᎲᎢ ᎢᏳᏰᎵᏗ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏚᎾᏓᏡᎬᎢ ᎥᏝᏃ ᏯᎵᏍᎪᎵᏕᎢ ᎠᎾᏓᏩᏛᎯᏙᎯ ᎠᎴ ᏓᎾᎵᎪᏂᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᏂᎦᏲᏟᏊ ᏢᏃ ᏔᎵᏚ ᎢᏳᎾᏓᏡᎩ ᎢᏳᏂᏨᎢ ᏅᎩ ᎠᏁᎳ. ᏂᎦᏓᏃ ᏗᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᏎᎢ ᎤᏂᎶᎯᏍᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ ᏕᎨᏥᎬᏓᎾᏁᎲᎢ Ꮎ COVID-19 ᎤᏂᎦᏛᎲᏍᎬ ᏳᏁᎭ ᎠᎴ ᏂᎬᏩᎾᎵᎪᎯ ᏚᎾᎵᎪᏒᎢ. ᎦᏓᎩᏍᎩᏃ ᏚᎾᎵᎪᏅᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏅᏁᎯᏴᎢ ᏚᎾᏓᏡᎬᎢ USA Wolves.

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ 11- ᎢᏳᏩᎫᏗ PBR ᎡᎶᎯ ᏂᎬᎾᏛ ᏓᎵᏍᏆᏗᎲᎢ ᎤᏂᏯᏅᏛ ᎠᎴ 2016 ᎡᎶᎯ ᏂᎬᎾᏛ ᏓᎵᏍᏆᏐᎲ ᎠᏍᏆᎵᎲᎢ ᎤᏠᏒᎢ ᎬᏂᎨᏒᎢ ᏄᏮᏁᎸᎢ ᎤᏃᎸᏔᏂ ᎧᎸᎢ ᏙᎢ ᎢᏳᏛᏁᏗᎢ ᏚᏭᎪᏛᎢ ᎦᎶᏐᏅᎢ Ꮎ PBR ᎡᎶᎯ ᎢᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᏓᎵᏍᏆᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᏅᏓᏕᏆ. 4-8 ᎥᎿᎾᏂ Las Vegas. ᎠᏗᎾ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᎩᏢᏅᎢ ᎤᏁᏟᏴᏒᎢ ᎤᏚᎩ ᎤᏮᏒᎢ ᎦᏓᎩᏍᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎩᏍᏙᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮎ ᏂᎦᏓ-ᏅᏁᎯᏯ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬᎢ USA Wolves ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮓ Ꮎ Global cup ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᎠᎵᏔᏂ, ᏅᏓᎩ.

ᎦᏓᎩᏍᎩᏃ ᏩᎦ ᏧᎧᏅᏍᏕᎾ ᎤᎶᏔᏅᎢ ᎥᎿ ᎠᏍᏆᎵᎲᎢ ᎧᎦᎵ.7-8 ᏥᎧᎸᎢ ᎥᎿ Iron Cowboy ᎥᎿᎾᏂ Los Angeles. ᎦᏖᏍᎨ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎤᎩᏢᏅᎢ. ᏦᎢᏃ ᎤᏙᏢᎲᎢ ᎥᎿ ᎦᏖᏍᎨ ᎤᏓᏲᎤᎸᏅᎢ.

ᎤᏕᎶᎰᏎᏃ ᎠᏏᏊ ᏰᎵᎢ ᎤᏪᎳᏗᏍᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ PBR ᏩᎦᎸᎳᏗᏴᎢ 30 ᎢᏳᏂᏨᎢ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᏫᎦᎷᏨᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎢᎤᏖᎳᏗᏍᏗᎢ 27thᏁ ᎠᎦᏎᏢᎢ.

“ᎣᏍᏓᏃ ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏔ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎦᏓᎩᏍᎩ. ᎦᎵᏏᎾᎯᏍᏗᎲᏃ, ᎦᎵᏍᏓᏴᎲᏍᎬᏃ ᎣᏍᏓ, ᏥᏰᎸᎢᏃ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏛᎢ, ᎪᎯᎩᏃ ᏂᏥᎦᏘᏲᎢ ᎠᎩᎷᎯᏍᏗᎢ, ᎣᏍᏓᏃ ᎠᎩᏰᎸᏒᎢ Ꮩ ᎾᏆᏛᏅᎢ ᎠᏉᏝᏩᏕᎬᎢ ᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ,ᎣᎦᎵᎪᎯ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏩᎦ ᏛᎩᎸᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏫᏓᏤᏢᎢ ᏱᎬᏛᏁᏗ ᎢᏯᏛᏁᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᎥᏰᎸᎢ ᏙᎯ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ ᎦᎾᏰᎩᏳᎢ. ᎢᏳᏃ ᏗᎬᎩ’ᎩᎸᏙᏗ ᏱᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏙᎯ ᎠᎩᏛᎴᎯᏍᏗ ᏱᎩ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᎠᏟᎠᎶᏢ ᎾᏍᎩ PBR ᎠᏍᏆᎸᎲᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏰᎵᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ 10 ᎢᏳᏂᏨᎢ ᏱᏥᏍᏆᏗᏍᏗ.”

ᎦᏗᎩᏍᎩ’Ꮓ ᏩᎦ ᏧᎾᎧᏅᏍᏕᎾ ᏗᎩᎸᏙᏗ “ᎠᏂᏫᎾ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᏗ ᎪᏎᎯ” ᎠᎴ ᎤᏚᎵᎭ ᏙᎢ ᎢᏳᏛᏁᏗᎢ ᎾᎯᏳ ᎨᎳᏕᎬᎢ ᎥᎿ ᎠᏂᏫᎾᎯᎨᎢ ᏓᏅᎵᎪᏂᏍᎬᎢ. ᏂᎪᎯᎸᏃ ᎤᏚᎵᏍᎩ ᏙᎢ ᎢᏳᏛᏁᎸᎢ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗᎢ ᎠᏏᏅ 30Ꭿ ᏫᏄᏕᏘᏴᎭ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩᏊ ᎧᏬᏂ ᏥᎧᎸᎢ 31 ᏄᏕᏘᏴᎲᎢ.

“2008 ᎯᎠ ᏂᏂᎬᎦᏛᏁᎰᎢ ᎯᎠ, ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᎦᏚᏏ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᏓᎩᏍᏆᏓ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. 12 ᎠᎴ 13 ᏂᏂᎬᎦᏛᏁᎰᎢ. ᎠᎴ ᏨᏓᏅᏖᎯᎶᏍᎪᏊ ᏱᎦᎢ ᏅᏮᏍᏙᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏫᎦᎷᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᎥᎿ ᏃᏊ ᏥᎨᏙᎠ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏰᎵᎢ ᏩᎦᎸᎳᏗᏴᎢᏃ ᏫᎦᎷᎯᏍᏗ ᎾᏆᏛᏁᎳ ᎠᎴ ᎥᏍᎩ ᏱᎪᎯᏓ ᏗᎬᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᏥᏄᎵᏍᏔ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏂᎦᏛᏁᎲᎢ. ᏭᏂᎪᏛᏃ ᎦᏥᎸᏉᏗ ᎦᏳᎳ Ꮩ ᏄᎾᏛᏁᎳ.”

ᎦᏓᎩᏍᎩᏃ ᏱᎦᎸᏉᏗ ᎤᏂᎩᏍᏗᎢ ᏩᎦᎸᎳᏗᏴᎢ ᎠᏓᏒᎲᏍᏗ ᎤᏴᏍᏗ ᎠᏏ ᏄᏂᎩᏓ - ᏅᎩᏁᏃ ᏩᎦᎸᎳᏗᏴᎢ ᎤᎵᏍᏆᏓ - ᎠᏎᏅ ᎤᏩᏂᏔ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏢᏔᎯᏍᏗ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ ᏞᎦ Ꮩ ᏄᏛᏁᎸᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᏍᏆᏗᏍᏗ ᎠᏠᏯᏍᏓ 10Ꭿ ᎢᏯᏍᏆᏗᏍᏗ ᎬᎴ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ 10th ᎤᏓᏠᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᏓᏴᎳᏛᏍᎩ ᎬᏂ ᎠᏅᏁᎲᎢ.

“ᎥᎦᏴᎳᏤᎬᏃ, ᎠᏍᏓᏲᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏗᎪᏩᏛᏗ 18-, 19 - ᎢᏳᎾᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎠᏂᎷᎬᎢ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᏍᎩ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏫᏓᏤᏢᎢ ᏱᎬᏛᏁᏗ ᎢᏯᏛᏁᏗ ᏂᏓᏕᏘᏴᎯᏒᎢ. ᎥᏍᎩᏂᎨᏒ ᏱᎩ, ᏯᎾᏓᏃᎯᏯ ᎠᎴ ᎢᎠᏓᏎᎪᎩᏍᏗ ᎠᏏᏉ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏓᏓᏁᏟᏴᏎᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏯᏛᏁᏗ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎣᏮᏌ ᎠᏢᏅᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏩᎩᏍᏗ. ᎣᏍᏓᏃ ᎠᎩᏰᎸᎭ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ ᏞᏍᏗᎮᏅ ᏂᎪᎯᎸᎢ ᏱᎩ.”

ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᏃ ᎤᎪᏗ ᏚᏭᎪᏓ ᎢᏳᏛᏁᏗ Ꮩ ᎾᏛᏁᎸᎢ, ᏌᏉᏃ ᎨᏒ ᎤᏁᏉᎢᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎲᎢ ᎤᏚᏓᎸᎢ ᎥᎿ CN ᎠᎴ ᏧᏤᎵᎢ ᏴᏫ.

“ᏥᏍᏆᏛᏃ ᏕᎦᎩᎸᏗᎲᎢ, ᎠᏏᏉ ᎦᏕᎶᏆᏍᎨᏍᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎦᏓᎩᏍᎩ. “ᎤᎾᏙᏓᏈᏕᎾ ᏂᏕᎦᎵᏍᏗᎲᎢ ᎨᎪᎢ ᎪᎦᎵᎪᎯ PBR, ᎠᏎᏍᎩᏂ ᏞᎩ ᏰᎵᎢ ᎬᏇᏅᏍᏗ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ ᎥᎿ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏕᏘᏱᏍᎬᎢ. ᏴᎦᏥᎪᏩᏔᏃ ᎣᏥᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏦᎦᎵᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎬᏇᏓᏍᏗ ᏱᎩ ᎥᎿ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ. ᎠᎩᎧᏉᏙᏗ ᎦᏥᎵᏃᎮᏙᏗᎢ ᏧᎾᏔᎾ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏆᏛᎪᏗᎢ ᎠᏂᏃᎮᏢᏍᎬᎢ. ᎠᏆᏚᎵᎭ ᎤᎪᏗ ᎠᏆᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ. ᎣᏍᏓᏃ ᎠᎩᏰᎸᏐᎢ ᎦᏓ ᎠᎩᎲᎢ, ᏩᎦ ᎠᏁᏙᎲᎢ ᎨᏙᎲᎢ- ᎥᎾᏃ ᎨᏙᎲ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᎩᏰᎸᏐᎢ. ᎥᎿᏃ ᏩᎩᎰᎢ ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏙᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏂᎪᎯᎸᎢ ᏩᎮᏍᏗ.”

ᎦᏓᎠᎩᏍᎩ ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎣᏍᏓᏃ ᎤᏰᎸᎭ ᎾᏂᎥᎢ ᎬᏩᎫᏍᏓᎥᎢ ᏂᏓᏕᏘᏱᏒᎢ ᎨᎳᏗᏙᎲᎢ ᏓᎾᎵᎪᏂᏍᎬᎢ.

“ᎦᏥᎵᎮᎵᎪᎢ ᎣᏥᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏦᎦᎵᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏂᎥᎢ ᎬᎩᎸᏉᏗ ᎥᎿ ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ ᎠᏁᎯ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᎴ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. ᎤᏛᏍᏈᏍᏙᏒᏃ ᏗᏟᏃᎮᏗᎢ ᏙᏗᎾᎵᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ - ᎢᎦᏓᏃ ᎤᏚᎩ ᎤᏅᏌ ᏙᎢ ᎢᏯᏆᏛᏁᏗᎢ, ᎠᏂᏐᎢᏃ ᎠᏂᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᎩᏱᎸᏒᎢ ᏓᎩᎸᏫᏓᏁᎸ. ᎠᎴ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᎩᏰᎸᎭ ᏣᏆᏂᏔ ᎾᏂᎥᎢ ᏴᏫ ᎬᎩᎨᏳᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎬᎩᎫᏍᏓᎥᎢ.

– TRANSLATED BY DAVID CRAWLER

About the Author
Sean Rowley was hired by the Cherokee Phoenix at the beginning of 2019. Sean was born a long time ago in Tulsa, where he grew up and attended Booker T. Washington High School as a freshman before moving to Pawnee County and graduating from Cleveland High School in 1987. 

He graduated sans honors from Northeastern State University in 1992 with a bachelor of arts in mass communication with emphases in advertising and public relati ...
david-rowley@cherokee.org • 918-453-5560
Sean Rowley was hired by the Cherokee Phoenix at the beginning of 2019. Sean was born a long time ago in Tulsa, where he grew up and attended Booker T. Washington High School as a freshman before moving to Pawnee County and graduating from Cleveland High School in 1987. He graduated sans honors from Northeastern State University in 1992 with a bachelor of arts in mass communication with emphases in advertising and public relati ...

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Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
09/15/2020 08:40 AM
Cherokee Nation citizen Billy ...

BY CHAD HUNTER
Reporter
09/14/2020 10:05 AM
Cherokee Nation citizen Danny Baker is ...

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
09/04/2020 04:34 PM
Cherokee Nation Wings member Mae Dean Johnson Erb t...