By Eric A Thomas
See the ocean, go to a foreign country, take a cruise or even get a tattoo … those are some of the “bucket list” items I have heard from friends of mine. A former Jacksonville resident combined a childhood dream with something on his list.
Most everyone has dreamed about what they want to be when they grow up. For Wilson Tomhave, being a cowboy was his dream. Because of that, it is not surprising to hear an item from his bucket list. “I really want the chance to ride a bull,” exclaimed Tomhave.
He continued, “And when I say a bull, we’re not talking mechanical!”
For Tomhave, that item on his bucket list was crossed off on Sunday, Oct. 8.
Tomhave relocated to Texas in March of 2022 to work for his uncle, Buddy Hull, on Hull’s racing crew. “Racing has been a family obsession all of my life,” Tomhave said. “My Grandpa John and great-uncle Dick Hull were into racing, and I have helped my uncle Buddy since I was just a kid.”
Hull and his team participate in many racing events. One of those events last year was the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Texas Fall Nationals; the weeklong event held at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, was full of racing, concerts and professional bull riding. The event is called Stampede of Speed.
When Tomhave attended last year, he saw an opportunity to go after the bull riding item on his list. “I also saw this as a way to get in the gym and get in shape. Also, I have attended the riding camps and talked to several professionals with the PBR [Professional Bull Riders],” Tomhave said.
As he has learned, it is very important to have the right physique and mindset when dealing with a 2000-pound beast. “I can’t say I had any real fears, but I prayed extra hard that I would walk out of that arena with barely a scratch, bruises or broken bones. I knew I was not in charge of that,” he added.
Tomhave rode “all in” and said he felt good going into it and was ready to rock it. The ride lasted five seconds. “Afterwards, I felt awesome and had just a little bit of pain from the fall,” he concluded. Mark that off the old bucket list!
He feels that his upbringing has prepared him for this time in his life. One side of his family has been racing and the other side has been steeped in agriculture and livestock. Tomhave grew up working in both worlds. He graduated from Jacksonville High School in 2020. In his senior year, he was an athlete, captain of the football team and named JHS Homecoming King. Tomhave is the son of Ben and Amanda Tomhave of Jacksonville. He has sisters, Madie and Anderson.
The Stampede of Speed is known as “The Fastest Ten Days in Texas.” The Texas Motorplex is located just 35 miles from Dallas and Fort Worth.