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Love at first buck

Scappoose logger celebrates 50th birthday with inaugural ride on bucking bull
by: Submitted photo FOUR SECONDS — Dave Weston, from Scappoose, tries his best to stay on the bucking bull last Friday, but was unable to last the full eight seconds. It was Weston’s first time riding a professional bull, an adventure he undertook to celebrate his 50th birthday.

For nearly four seconds, Dave Weston was fulfilling a lifelong dream.

Of course, he would have preferred a full eight seconds, but the bull had other plans.

At the Columbia County Fair and Rodeo Friday evening, Weston took part in one of the Northwest Professional Rodeo Association's most challenging competitions: bull riding.

The kicker, so to speak: Weston just turned 50. The bull ride was a mid-century birthday gift from his friends, who knew of his desire to ride the animal.

Fulfilling his pre-ride promise Friday not to do it 'half-assed,' Weston bobbed and bounced like a professional. He considers his brief ride a success, considering that in the bull-riding world, eight seconds is the longest allowable ride.

But why did he decide to start riding bulls - long considered the most dangerous eight seconds in sports - at the age of 50, when most people start slowing down?

'I'm doing this just because I can and I want to,' Weston said, defiant that his age can't stop him from doing something he's wanted to do since he was younger.

His defiance didn't stop the stream of good-natured ribbing coming from those close to him, however. Both before and after the ride, friends and family razzed Weston, who was by far the oldest rider at the competition.

He attributes that age differential to his toughness of spirit.

A logger in Columbia County since 1986, currently with Berg Logging in Scappoose, Weston has a well-established toughness that comes from working a physically demanding job.

And he'd also ridden practice bulls before, for fun, while helping out on Larsen Farm, he said. But he'd never attempted a Northwest Professional Rodeo bull.

So when he got on the bull Friday - all 2,000 pounds of it - he was going on instincts.

'I didn't do [much] practicing,' Weston said, prior to his ride. 'I'm not your typical 50 year old, I guess.'

Afterwards, as soon as he got bucked off the bull, he wanted to get back up and do it all over again. He hopes to get up on some practice bulls and continue his riding in the future.

'You don't see too many 50-year-olds being this stupid,' he said, after the ride. 'But it was fun.'