Sean Willingham - Professional Bullrider

Categories: Overcoming
Date: 25 Mar 2015 13:08

Sean has been part of Team SAYiWON'T since the early 2000's. He’s been a great asset to the team and is always up for any challenge. Whether it’s wakeboarding, snowboarding, roping, basketball, surfing, etc… he’s the first one there and is usually the best one there. He’s an amazing athlete that played multiple sports growing up. He saw bull riding at the Summerville Rodeo in high school and had to try it. He was hooked from day one and, of course, he was good at it too. 

His fascination with the sport ultimately led him to give up basketball at Chattanooga High. He went to Western Texas College on a rodeo scholarship before leaving to join the PBR. In his first event, Willingham caught a bull horn in the temple and cracked his skull. He was out for two years. He was determined to come back and prove himself. He did just that. 

Sean proved to be not only the most talented, but also the most durable. He didn’t miss another event until nine years later when he was cut from the Built Ford Tough Series for performance reasons. Once getting cut from the tour, a lot of riders don’t make it back… Sean is not one of those riders. 

He states, “SAYiWON’T has been a big inspiration to my career and it’s how I live my life day to day… it’s a bull rider mentality. One of my biggest challenges I had to overcome in my career was being cut from the Built Ford Tough Series after nine years on tour and 229 consecutive events. I had to start from the bottom and earn my position back on tour.” 

Sean got that opportunity when he was asked to ride at a BFTS event in Oklahoma City as an alternate in 2013. He made the most of his opportunity by winning the event and cementing his place back on tour. He won the first event of the 2014 season in his home state of Georgia at the Duluth Invitational. Sean had a bad wreck at a touring pro that resulted in a dislocated hip and spent most of last year healing up. He returned to competition in the Fall only to break his leg. Sean limped through the World Finals in Las Vegas and went home to heal up again. As a veteran on tour and one of the older riders now, he realizes that he has to make the most of every opportunity. In 2015, Sean is doing just that. He is winning rounds and climbing the world standings. We look for Sean to break into the top 10 again before the summer break. 

When asked to describe himself in one word, Sean said “FEARLESS”.  SAY I WON’T! 

“I’m still here to win, and I still can win any given day.” - Sean Willingham


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