LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - For 26 years, all Mike White has known is the sport of bull riding.
"I've been around the sport since I was in diapers, my brother, this is all he's done ever since I've been a baby, so this is all I know," said White.
White became a professional in 1997 and throughout his career he has won nearly 50 bull riding titles. He finished the year ranked in the top five in the world on four separate occasions.
White's bull riding career has taken him all over the country, but one morning he woke up and didn't have the desire to get on a bull, that is the moment he knew it was time to retire."
White stated, "The last year of my career, instead of waking up wanting to go get on bulls, I'd wake up and say do I have to go? It was just I didn't want to leave home anymore, and when it go to that point it was time to quit. That's just when you're asking to get hurt."
White got on a bull for the last time tonight here in his hometown of Lake Charles. It meant the world to him to take his final ride in front of his home crowd.
"This is real important to have this event in my hometown, to get on my last bull, I just feel like I owe it to the people of this area to have the opportunity to see my last bull ride," said White.
While he may never ride a bull again, White knows he will never fully be able to leave the sport he loves so much.
"I'm happy that I'm done, but I can't leave the sport period. I'm not going to be absent from the events, I'm still going to get to go to some good Ford Tough events, and I'll get to go to some of the classic events hauling some bulls," said White.