Dakota Louis on her momentum to the PBR World Finals
EAST GLACIER – Bullfighting for a living can often be a race against time. It’s physically demanding, it takes a toll on your mind and body, and the pros often retire early. But as he gets older, Browning’s Dakota Louis wakes up every day better at sports than he was the day before.
He turned pro in 2011 and has steadily improved and climbed the rankings every year since.
“My outlook on life just keeps getting better every day, whether it’s in the arena, whether it’s being a father to my son, whether it’s tying my shoes,” Louis said. “If I can do better next time, then we are going in the right direction. I feel like God has a plan for us and He knows the right time. And he knew it had to take time to get to where I am today.
Where he is today, he is ranked No. 23 in the world on the PBR rankings, having earned his first Unleash the Beast Series win last week in Billings and heading to his second World Finals starting Friday at the Texas.
“I mean, it’s the Super Bowl of bull riding,” Louis said. “You know, it’s something I dreamed of when I was a kid.”
For good reason, he spent most of the past week at his family’s ranch in East Glacier, helping his family break up and train horses before leaving for Fort Worth Thursday morning.
“Being on horseback definitely allows me to decompress from everything I’ve been through,” he said. “And being where we live, we live at the base of the glacier mountains and see East Glacier Park. It was fun, just keeping it simple, getting ready to go.
And Louis will have a super fan in his corner. Her four-year-old son, Hayze, has been by her side for much of PBR’s touring season and is crazy about bull riding.
“He’s sure he loves it. I mean he talks about it 24/7, all day long. He puts his gear on about 10-15 times a day,” said Louis.” He made his debut about you about three weeks ago in Clovis, California. They had sheep to ride and he rode one there. He was so excited about it.”
Louis is a role model for his son, but also for countless children in the Native American community. It is not a responsibility he takes lightly.
“I just want to be that little bit of hope for some people who are looking for it,” he said. “And if my bull ride can give someone else a little hope or a little spirit or, you know, a little smile, that’s a good feeling for me.
The PBR World Finals begins Friday night at DIckie’s Arena in Fort Worth, Texas and runs through May 22. Louis is one of 40 runners competing.