His mother called him Jesse because she figured he’d get that anyway, given his surname was James.
But she didn’t realise how prophetic that name would be as her son grew up with a love of everything to do with cowboys.
“As a little tyke, he grew up with a little pair of six shooters in his bassinet. He wore them out,” Lorraine James said.
Ironically, Mrs James considered calling his brother Frank but instead named him Clint.
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“Guess what nickname Clint got?” Mrs James asked. “Everyone called him Frank and Jesse was called Jingles because of the spurs.”
Jesse grew up in Logan, going to school at Waterford West.
The family moved to Crows Nest by by the time he was 12 and it was there that his love for rodeo flourished.
It is a love shared by other cowboys who came to Redland Bay on Saturday, January 20 to compete at the Grass Roots Bull Riding event.
Senior bull rider Paul Osborne of Thagoona said the day he gave away bull riding would be the day he stopped enjoying it.
“It’s the adrenaline rush,” he said.
Mrs James said the more fierce the bull, the more coveted it was to the rider.
“If they come off early, the riders never talk about how bad they were but always how magnificent the bull is,” she said.
This is the sixth time Mr James has run the event and this year was particularly significant –it was the first it hadn’t rained on the day and also the first time his son Cooper, 9, competed in the mini bull ride.
“I back him 100 per cent,” Mr James said.
“He’s been hanging around the boys since he was three and he loves it and looks up to them. I trust Cooper to go out there like King Kong. It’s not about the win. It’s all about staying on and walking away healthy.”
Now the principal of Ray White Redland Bay, Mr James drew parallels with bull riding and selling real estate.
“When you go into the ring you go out believing there is no better bull rider than you,” he said.
“When you have a listing, it’s the same. There is no better agent. One might take eight seconds and the other two hours, but the focus is the same and you know the end result.”
This year’s event attracted about $8500 in prize money as well as buckles and other incentives.
“We want people in the community to see what we’ve got and that we can stand on our own two feet,” he said.
The event included a cutest cowgirl and cowboy event, cowboy auctions and bull rides in open, junior, novice, senior, mini and poddy.
There were also free rides for children, with the event attracting up to 2000 people.
It was also a major fund raiser for The Cage.