Bull rider breaks neck, screws put in, then rides again. See story in Fort Worth premiere

Getting thrown off a bucking bull then breaking a neck will end careers. But this professional bull rider got right back on a bull. His legendary story has been captured in film and will premiere in Fort Worth next week.

“Another Eight Seconds” chronicles the career and life of professional bull rider Stetson Lawrence, a nine-time qualifier for the PBR World Finals. The 16-minute film is premiering at Tulips Fort Worth on May 16.

Hailing from North Dakota and of Chippewa Sioux Native American heritage, Lawrence competed as a professional bull rider for over a decade, amassing nearly $900,000 in career earnings. He retired in 2022 after sustaining his second neck injury in as many years.

Lawrence, 35, told the Star-Telegram that the film came about through his partnership with 805 Beer and wanting to shed light on his hard-earned life.

“I have a pretty good story to tell,” Lawrence said. “I’m not very vocal on social media or in person to be honest, so it was good to get the story out there.”

Professional bull rider Stetson Lawrence is the subject of the documentary film, “Another Eight Seconds”. Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Professional bull rider Stetson Lawrence is the subject of the documentary film, “Another Eight Seconds”. Firestone Walker Brewing Company

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Despite his experience atop a raging bull, Lawrence said making the documentary was “a little scary and nerve wracking”.

Getting in front of the camera and talking about his personal history may look easy to the viewer, but internally it was tough for Lawrence. He said he has endured numerous challenges over his career, chief among them is fracturing his neck twice.

In 2021, Lawrence landed on his neck while bull riding and ended up with a metal plate and screws in his collar. After recovering and getting back on a bull in 2022, Lawrence again landed badly on his neck.

With two injuries in as many years, Lawrence’s doctor told him that another impact on his neck would more than certainly paralyze him. He retired shortly after in 2022.

“I’ve been able to get through them and move forward in life and not let that hold me down,” Lawrence said. “I think that’s the main part of this story.”

“Another Eight Seconds” is premiering at a private party in Fort Worth on May 16, but will release on 805 Beer’s YouTube channel shortly thereafter.

Lawrence is looking forward to the premiere and said he has family and friends coming in to celebrate. North Texas is sure to be a hot spot for bull riding fans this month as the PBR World Finals rolls into town.

As a bull rider with Native American heritage, Lawrence is hoping to inspire others with his story and to show what’s possible in the sport.

“You’re not limited to what you think you are,” Lawrence said. “You’re gonna fail. But if you keep trying, you’ll start seeing your dream come true.”