NAMPA, Idaho -- As Wiley Petersen's injuries mounted -- first his riding shoulder, then his groin and finally his knee -- his passion for getting back atop an angry bull waned.
"To be a professional bull rider takes a lot of desire, a lot of passion, and you get to a certain point and that excitement and passion for it starts to fade," Petersen said this week. "It's not a job you can fake. If you're at all apprehensive or holding back or half-hearted, the bull is going to find that weakness and use it against you."
So the 33-year-old Idaho native called it a career last month after 13 seasons on the Professional Bull Riders' Built Ford Tough Series, which holds its Boise Invitational on Saturday and Sunday at the Idaho Center in Nampa. The tour did not come to Nampa last season, the first time the Treasure Valley did not host an event since 1997.
Petersen, who lives in Fort Hall, won nearly $1.5 million on the tour, qualified for the world finals 10 times and finished in the top 10 in the money five times. He won 13 times in 274 series events.
Petersen competed in just one event in 2011, limited by the shoulder and groin injuries. While shooting a commercial in November, Petersen injured his knee and underwent surgery in December. It was the final straw.
"I'm toward the end of my career as it is," he said. "I can't see the reason behind me trying to stick it out for another year or two."
Petersen will be recognized by the PBR on Saturday. He will also be signing autographs at the Ariat Boots booth beginning at 5:30 p.m. Married and the father of two boys, Petersen is building a bull riding instructional business, focused on both riding and the financial side of the sport.
"I miss it a bunch when it starts and everybody's getting ready and they make great rides," said Petersen, whose best season came in 2007. "Then I see a guy get slammed and pounded and I don't miss that part of it."