Little Yellow Jacket was bred to succeed
Little Yellow Jacket is known as the most famous bucking bull in the world.
On Saturday, Aug.5, he is the first living animal to be inducted into the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame (CHF) in Medora in the rodeo livestock category.
LJ, as co-owner Joe Berger calls him, was an athletic calf and grew up to be an international celebrity with the Professional Bull Riders circuit and Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association. He is the only bull ever to have a $1 million ride.
"You can't train him to be a bucking bull," said Berger on LJ's natural talent. "It's about breeding and blood lines. He got it bred into him. The only thing you can train him is to not buck in the chute."
LJ's grandfather was a champion bucking bull that won 13 competitions. His father was a 1999 PRCA champion bucking bull and his cousin, Moody Blues, was a champion in 1998, so he has breeding on both sides of him, Berger added.
LJ is continuing the good breeding lines with about five sons competing as bucking bulls now. Red Jacket, Black Jacket, Joe's Jacket, Yellow Jacket Jr. and Dirty Harry are continuing the legacy for LJ, who Berger said would still like to compete.
"He wants to go along, he doesn't like staying home," said Berger. "When we load other bulls he wants on too.
LJ recently returned from a viewing ceremony in Cheyenne, Wyo., and will be at Saturday's induction.
Co-owner Darlene Berger with the Berger's Bucking Bulls wrote a book about LJ titled, "Little Yellow Jacket: King of the Bucking Bulls."
"Little Yellow Jacket's statistics include him being out 90 times, rode 14 times with an average score of 93.3 and a buck-off time of 2.4 seconds," Darlene said. "He was a world champion in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and I believe his biggest career highlight is the million dollar ride in Colorado Springs."
The ride was just one man and one bull for an eight-second ride, but the rider was bucked off after 1.8 seconds, she added.
"The hype with the event was unbelievable," Darlene said. "They had a pen with green carpet for Little Yellow Jacket, with chandeliers and a police escort to the pen."
LJ always shows himself to the crowd and has never hurt a rider, she added.
"He has a human personality and is kind of an actor," said Darlene. "He is also a great producer now having retired at 9-years-old because we believed he'd won everything he could with having the highest score in PBR the year he retired, 95.8, and his highest score ever was 96."