Cowboy Diaries: Yvan Jayne -- Gave Up His French Accent to Be a Cowboy

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Mandy Oaklander
Yvan Jayne, bareback
True cowboys and cowgirls are hard to find, but not at the Houston Rodeo. Life on the road leads them here this time every year for the biggest rodeo in the world, where they'll ride and wrangle livestock for cash and glory. Each day, Hair Balls will spotlight one person with enough dirt on their boots to call themselves a cowboy -- and mean it.

Name: Yvan Jayne (pronounced Evan, in a thick Southern accent) Age: 28 Hometown: Cuges-les-Pins, France Event: Bareback

I grew up in Cuges-les-Pins, a little town 30 miles east of Marseille. I got started trick riding for my father in Europe. I kind of fell in love with the sport and came over to Magnolia, Texas when I was 16.

Now, I live in Dallas. I'm half French, half-American, but very Texan. I mean, I love Texas. I can't see myself living anywhere else now.

Rodeo is different in France -- it's more of a show. There aren't really competitions. Here, it's a sport.

I gave up my French accent. When you're a 16-year-old and kids at school make fun of you, you try to hide it as much as you can.

When I'm not rodeoing, I'm a schoolteacher in Dallas teaching shop. I have a little agreement with my principal: I'm a part-time teacher and I get to practice in the afternoon and go to the gym to stay in shape. I go to rodeos on the weekends.

I rodeo because once you take a bite of the adrenaline apple, it's hard to flush it out of your system. It's kind of addictive really. You get to travel all across the United States and Canada; you get to meet great people. It's different from your 8-5 job.

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