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New documentary about professional bull rider Stetson Lawrence, a Native American from North Dakota

FARGO, ND (KVRR) — Stetson Lawrence was among the top 25 bull riders in the world until a second serious injury ended his career.

He was one of the few Indian professional riders.

The life of the Chippewa Sioux rodeo star, who grew up near Williston, North Dakota, is covered in a new documentary called “Another Eight Seconds.”

“Honestly, I take it for granted most of the time until I come back and see it and the land and how vast it is and how quiet and peaceful it is here,” Stetson said in the documentary.

We chatted with him via Zoom from his home in Montana.

“I thought it was pretty good, just a normal childhood, just a small town in Trenton, just growing up. Nothing unusual that I could think of then or now, I thought it was a pretty good, normal childhood.”

“And Stetson Lawrence goes on a wild ride!”

This is where Stetson Lawrence’s love for rodeo began.

“I've always been interested in bull riding, my dad was a bull rider, so we grew up with rodeo.”

“Another Eight Seconds” takes you through Stetson’s life, including the sudden loss of his biggest fan.

“When Stetson was in high school, he suffered perhaps the hardest blow of his life: the loss of his mother, Leva.”

The highlight of his professional career was qualifying for the PBR World Championship nine times.

Oh my God, that was a terrible landing for Stetson!

Until the lowest point, which initially caused his career to fail.

Oh no. Oh boy!

A second blow ended his career as a bull rider.

“If I land on my head again the second time, I'll be paralyzed from the ears down. I'd rather live a normal life. I've had a great career and wish I could do more, but I'd rather go away and live a normal life for the rest of my life.”

Stetson has recovered and now lives with his family in Belgrade, Montana. He runs a gutter business and is still very active in rodeos.

“Here at MSU College, at Montana State College, helping out at some college rodeos. I'm the college coach for the bull riders there.”

You have to be a daredevil, right?

“Yes, definitely a daredevil and a little crazy at the same time.

He rides! He rides, go on! He rides!

“I think it shows that with a little determination you can achieve a lot.”

And you have a great story to tell.

“Yes, of couse.”

805 Beer, the makers of the documentary, sponsored Stetson for about six years.

He says they stood by him even after he broke his neck.

You can watch “Another Eight Seconds” streaming now on YouTube.

Anna Harden

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