Interview: Rodeo Cowboy, Sonny Koerner

Sonny on the Brown Bull

Sonny Koerner is the randy cowboy who approached us at the L.A. Gay Rodeo in 2006, if you recall the original story. Here I thought I he was recognizing my natural talent for bullriding, and… well, you’ll see. Anyway, Sonny is the first real rodeo cowboy Sam and I ever met. He’s an inspiration to anyone involved in rodeo at any level, certainly, and as it turns out, he’s a real sweetheart. We’re lucky to have crossed paths with him again, and grateful to count him among our friends. Here’s the interview.

What’s your favorite event to compete in, and why?

Although all the Rough Stock events are adrenaline-driven and challenging, nothing can compare to Bullriding. It’s where athletic prowess and competition meets the unknown. I just reread this, and is sounds kind of cheesy, but it’s really true <G>.

What’s the accomplishment you’re proudest of in rodeo? In life?

There’s just too many to list <Grin> … just kidding. Actually, there are several things about the rodeo that make me very proud – the least of which, honestly, are my own personal accomplishments in the sport. I am so proud of the people who are my “rodeo family.” We get to go out and “play” in a sport we love, and do something good while we are at it — each rodeo on the circuit is a catalyst for raising money for any of a number of charities in our community. Over the life of the rodeo, several million dollars have been raised for HIV/AIDS groups all across the country — you can’t ask for anything better than being able to compete at something you love and giving back while you are at it. I have been blessed with more than my fair share of recognition on the rodeo circuit and in life. I have a successful career, a family that loves me, and a loving man in my life that has put up with me for almost 20 years … I’d say I’m pretty lucky <grin>.

Does your partner participate in the Rodeo? How does he feel about you climbing onto a bull?

No, Ken doesn’t compete in the sport of rodeo, but he does support me 110% at all that I do in life (including rodeo). He loves watching me compete, but often it is hard for him to watch me Bullride, as it is a dangerous and abrasive sport — and although he is not “weak-stomached” by any means, you can usually find him in the stands peeking through his fingers when you hear the announcer call my name as the next Bullrider 🙂

Sonny on the Black Bull

How do the worlds of straight rodeo and gay rodeo overlap?
Are there a lot of gay cowboys in straight rodeo?

When it comes to the sport itself, there are very few differences between Gay and Straight rodeos — there are sometimes variations of certain events depending on any particular rodeo circuit, but that is just as likely to occur between any two amateur Straight rodeos, as it is between a Gay and a Straight one. Across the board, the main events at any rodeos are gonna be the same. Of course, the social aspects and atmosphere of Gay rodeos still differ greatly from it’s Straight counterparts. Although the International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA) has made huge strides in gaining recognition and acceptance, unfortunately there are still several of the larger, traditionally straight associations within the sport that maintain archaic viewpoints about the gay community and are unwilling to align or affiliate themselves with the IGRA — even though the IGRA is the third largest rodeo association in the world and is sponsored by multimillion dollar, international companies.

As for the number of Gay cowboys in Straight rodeo, I would say there are just as many as there are Straight cowboys in Gay rodeo (and we have quite a few <G>) … many of us that compete on the IGRA also cross over onto the Straight circuit from time to time. Either way, you end up with a bunch hot guys in tight Wrangler’s … Yee haw!! <G>

What advice would you give to those interested in getting into rodeo?

Where to start? LOL! We are always looking for more people to come out and join us — there are 13 events in four different categories in the sport, so there is something for everyone. There are lots of options for anyone to come out and be a part of the rodeo without having to get on the back of a 2000 lb. Bull. The best suggestion for someone with interest in the sport is to get in contact with the regional gay rodeo association located closest to them. They can find a list of associations at www.IGRA.com. A lot of these regional associations offer rodeo schools and “play days” which are events geared towards letting someone come out and experience rodeo, no matter what their competitive level.

What have you learned in rodeo that also applies to life or love?

Protect your nuts and ass, cause life hurts <evil grin>.

All joking aside … rodeo is like life and love in that it is all about who you surround yourself with. When I am climbing onto the back of a Bull, you will find my chute surrounded by men and women that I care about (my rodeo partners — they are like my brothers and sisters), and they are there because they are looking out for me and genuinely care about what happens … life and love should be no different.

So when you’re not doing rodeo, what are you doing?

My partner Ken and I own a business together — that keeps us exceptionally busy. In the course of the last three years, we have taken our experiences in the military and government and translated them into creation and production of TV and movies out here in Los Angeles. That has made it a little more difficult for me to compete in rodeos recently, but that is starting to change again.

So, what’s your critique of my first mechanical bull ride? Any pointers?

So… I am hoping Sam will forgive me when I answer this question, but here goes: when I saw your ride (video here), I thought, “He’s gotta be good in the sack!” <G>

(Aw, shucks.)

Seriously, when I have coached guys on Bullriding, I have always said that it is like good sex … it’s all in how you move from the waist down … and you have all the moves you need <G> … that said, you asked for pointers: “Stay off your pockets” … that means grip with your thighs and stay off your ass, and you will do fine.

If there’s anything you’d like to add, feel free.

Sonny & CowboysThe rodeo association is a great and friendly community. Even if someone isn’t interested in competing, I would still suggest coming out and being a part of any of the many events that the association puts on. There is a lot of great people you can meet… I met y’all, didn’t I? LOL … and of course if that still doesn’t convince you, I would refer you back to my comment about “hot guys in tight Wrangler’s.” That has to count for something, right?

14 Responses to “Interview: Rodeo Cowboy, Sonny Koerner”

  1. Friday, January 25, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    Just for the record: Mr. Bronson Page **IS** incredibly good in the sack.

    And yes, I rightly saw that crafty (albeit sexy) little cowboy coming up to acknowledge my husband for his “bull riding prowess” from a mile away:

    “Wow…if you can ride like that, you should come ride with us!” Sonny exclaimed.

    In one statement, Koerner planted a rodeo bug deep inside Bronson’s heart.

    Cowboy: I’ll always be there in the bleachers, cheering you on, your loudest (and most protective) pardner. I swear.

  2. Friday, January 25, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Just for the record, the bug was planted in my heart when Sam took me to the rodeo in the first place, and put me on the bull when he saw me excited to see it. Sonny’s encouragement was what made me think it was even POSSIBLE for me to ever be on the inside of the arena. Sam’s the one who got me to rodeo school, and for him, I’ll stay off of bulls & broncs. I swear.

  3. 3 Sonny Koerner
    Saturday, January 26, 2008 at 2:53 am

    You boys make me blush 🙂 yall will make a great addition to the rodeo family — I look forward to it.

    To Bronson — I have no doubt your “fire” will make you successful in any event you choose to compete in, and I hope I am present when the day comes that you win your first rodeo buckle.

    To Sam — I promise to always give Bronson true, blunt, no-bullshit advice and instruction as he takes on any rodeo event he may choose – and surround him (and you both) with good and caring people that will make sure his safety is always priority #1. As a matter of fact, I will personally train you (Sam) in the role of “Rider Safety” so that you can actually be with Billy as he steps over any chute … making you the man in charge of his safety while in the chute.


  4. 4 vince anderson
    Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Sonny K the love of my rodeo life, great to see you again even if it’s only a picture.

  5. 5 vince Wayne
    Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    You know you’re a sick man when you fall so hard for someone (especially when you and he are both taken) that you write a county song (or 2) about the man. Well, it’s been a couple years since I have seen Sonny. I was in Denver last winter hoping to see him but I guess his business kept him away.
    Anyway, weeing and reading about him again gave my heart a jump start. At my age that is a good thing I guess.
    Thanks for interviewing him so we could all see him again.
    V Wayne
    (ex-rodeo singer)

  6. 6 vince Wayne
    Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    that was seeing, not weeing….lol

  7. 7 Sonny Koerner
    Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Hey Vince & Vince 🙂

    thanks to you both for such sweet comments 🙂 – a guy always likes to hear that he is loved . Hope you are both well?

    Sorry I have been absent lately – been really busy, but look forward to getting back on the circuit soon. Sam and Bronson are damned-and-determined to get my ass back in the chutes 🙂 … they have inspired me to make the time to come back to my rodeo family.


  8. 8 vince Wayne
    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Thanks for the response,good to hear your well, P.S.you still make my heart skip a beat. keep in touch CBY CDY @ comcast . net (no spaces)

  9. Friday, May 16, 2008 at 10:39 am

    Good grief. Get a room, you two.

  10. 10 vince Wayne
    Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    In my wildest dreams we could get a room….

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