Missouri Amish-raised Bullrider

Not a 100% Amish story, but interesting nonetheless. Willy Ropp was raised Amish in Missouri and has gone on to become a champion bullrider.

In an interview with ABC Australia, Willy discusses his Amish upbringing for about the first 6-8 minutes, including what life was like growing up the youngest of 12 children, how he first became interested in bullriding (sneaking away to watch the local rodeo), and what his Amish parents think of his career choice.

amish bullriderThe remainder of the podcast is a discussion on bullriding, which I found fascinating (as Willy explains, there are 2 kinds of bull–the “ornery bull” and “the bull that loves his job”).

I think you’ll find Willy a great interview subject and quite entertaining to listen to.  His accent is more bullrider than Amish, if you ask me, though some Amish have twangy accents too.  Have a listen here: Willy Ropp bullrider podcast.

Photo credit: Herman Von Petri

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    1. Richard

      All i can say Erik is “this story was 100% bull” as in bull riding of course,lol. Richard from the Amish settlement of Lebanon,Pa

    2. Debbie Welsh

      Just listened to the podcast with Willy Ropp. He seems like a very nice, well-mannered and well-adjusted young man, who still has alot of love and respect for his Amish family and upbringing. He didn’t say in the interview but I’m assuming he never got baptized, since he can still go back and visit his family often.

      My husband and I follow the PBR ( Professional Bullriders Association ) so this was a real interesting post Erik!

    3. Christina

      I love bull riding and when we had tv, I used to follow the PBR. Very interesting interview. And, yes, his accent sounds more like a cowboy than Amish…LOL!

    4. Shooting some bull

      Christina, so you agree with me–it’s funny, to begin with, he sounded more Amish, at least for his first few comments–then he’s definitely more cowboy. Having grown up southern, I appreciate the accent, that’s for sure 🙂

      Debbie, glad you liked it too–and I’m glad you brought up what he had to say about his parents, that is one thing I noticed. He didn’t go into a ton of detail but sounds like it is a fairly healthy situation. Though it also sounds like his folks would have liked for him to have been baptized, which doesn’t surprise.

      Richard, every now and then I like to shoot a little bull, so consider this that 😉

    5. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      Fowl language in this post, be warned.

      My favorite low brow Monty Python’s Flying Circus joke [Eric Idle]: “What’s brown and sounds like a bell? Dung!”

      In my family people like to use adaptations on “cut the happy horse ****”, particularly my previously-confirmed-bachelor-but-now-married uncle. He’s never told me however that I was “full of it” because of my real life first and second initials. BS (imagine being stuck with them when you’re entering the world of the Teenager..).

      I’m not ashamed of my initials, I like them, it can give me leeway, but not as much as people with initials that make for cool names, like a Major League pitchers AJ, or CC. or even my favorite team’s catcher JP.

    6. Alice Mary

      Thanks for this one, Erik. Who’d-a-thought, huh? I had the same reaction as Debbie, regarding baptism and such.

      Now, SHOM, do you have a middle initial, I wonder? Sometimes that makes a difference, too, like a nephew of ours with the initials “MNM”—whenever I think about it, I crave M & M’s (NOT the rapper)!

      Erik, is there anything (book, article, etc.) about other “former Amish” success stories (other than “Auntie Anne”)? I’ll bet you mention some in your book which, I must confess, I haven’t read—YET!

      Keep ’em comin’!

      Alice Mary

    7. Alice Mary

      OK, I see them!

      Erik, I neglected to see/read the “links” you provided (former Amish in the English world), so ignore my request…thanks!

      Alice Mary

    8. Fun with initials

      Sure thing Alice, glad you enjoyed it. Yes there are a few related links at the bottom and the med school one is interesting. There are others as well including scholar John Hostetler who was raised Amish.

      Shom, I was recently re-reading an interview on this site with Sherry Gore, editor of the Florida plain newspaper Pinecraft Pauper (link in the sidebar). I didn’t realize it at the time but one of the questions I asked was along the lines of “now Sherry, tell us what we can find in the PP”. Or maybe that was just my subconscious trying to be lowest-common-denominator funny 🙂

    9. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      Erik, that is funny, but they probably refer to the newspaper as the PP all the time and never find it lewd.
      I noticed that the cruder word for horse waste was starred out in my above post. I’m okay with it, but I just noticed.

      Mary Alice, the S is my second initial, but luckily I’ve never got any bathroom jokes over the letter P for my last name.
      I like my initials.