JOSEPH, Ore – He may hail from Joseph, Oregon and Walla Walla, Washington, but 20 year old Derek Kolbaba has already earned a name for himself on the world stage in professional bull riding. Kolbaba is currently ranked ninth in world standings, and is on track to be Rookie of the Year for PBR (Professional Bull Riders.) Kolbaba will be in Joseph, Oregon for Chief Joseph days, where he will compete on opening night, Wednesday, July 27, at the Harley Tucker Memorial Arena.
The great-grandson of Harley Tucker, Kolbaba spent his early years in Joseph before moving with his mother and older brother Kolton to Walla Walla. While Kolton immersed himself in the theatre program at Walla Walla High School (and is currently working in Los Angeles as an actor), the younger Kolbaba followed in his father Kyle’s footsteps, who was also a professional bull rider.
Last year, Kolbaba was the youngest competitor at age 19 to earn a bid to the Built Ford Tough World Finals last fall, where he went 7.07 seconds on a bull named Buck Dynasty, earning the respect of his fellow bull riders.
Kolbaba will surely have plenty of fans cheering him on at Chief Joseph Days, where his cousin Paige Bailey will be riding with the fast flying cowgirls the Tuckerettes, cousin Kylie Willis will be making an appearance as the Pendleton Round Up Queen, and grandparents, aunts, uncles and more cousins will be in the stands to cheer him on.
Kolbaba will also be available to sign autographs Wednesday night at the Harley Tucker Memorial Arena, just west of Main Street in Joseph.
To get tickets to Wednesday night’s rodeo performance, visit www.chiefjosephdays.com.