Teenager Najiah Knight aspires to be the first woman at the top level of bull riding, and her parents, Andrew and Missi Knight, have fueled her passion for years.
At 17, this high school junior is on a relentless quest to break gender barriers in the PBR tour.
Born September 25, 2006, in Arlington, Oregon, Najiah Knight is not your average teenager.
She is an American bull rider and a high school junior at Arlington High. Beyond her daring exploits in the rodeo arena, Najiah is a versatile athlete, playing volleyball and basketball for Arlington High.
Najiah’s journey into the world of bull riding began at a tender age. Starting with mutton busting at three, she progressed to riding steers at seven and miniature bulls at nine.
Similarly, she ranked among the country’s top 15 mini bull riders between 2018 and 2020.
She also became the first girl to ride at Madison Square Garden in 2020, triumphing over her male counterparts.
In addition, she secured a spot in the 2023 Junior World Finals in Las Vegas. She was the only woman to qualify in the 16-18 age division.
Who Are Najiah Knight Parents?
Najiah Knight was born into a Native American family of Paiute and Klamath descent to parents Andrew and Missi Knight.
Andrew and Missi recognized Najiah’s fearless nature at an early age. Thus, they have been steadfast pillars of support for their daughter’s ambitious aspirations.
Meet Andrew Knight: Coach & Doting Dad
Andrew Knight, Najiah’s father, is not just a proud parent but also her coach. He has been her mentor, teaching her the intricacies of the sport.
A bull rider in open rodeos out west, Andrew sparked Najiah’s interest in bull riding from an early age.
“I’ve been watching my dad from behind the chutes since I was 3 or 4 years old and riding since I was 9,” Najiah Knight said during an interview. “He’s my inspiration.”
Andrew’s calm demeanor and positive approach have undoubtedly influenced Najiah’s own cucumber-cool attitude in the arena.
He recalled the time when Najiah started riding sheep in an interview, saying, “There was not an inch of movement budging her off, even when she dragged them to the ground.”
Meanwhile, the father-daughter training sessions are often held in the driveway on a barrel set up with springs and levers simulating a bull ride.
Andrew is always with Najiah and jokes to keep her loose before she rides. But he turns to encouragement once she’s in the chute.
Meet Missi Knight: EMT & Unwavering Support
Najiah’s mother, Missi Knight, is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and a devoted supporter.
As an EMT, Missi stands ready to assist her daughter with injuries, understanding the physical toll the sport can take.
Missi stands firm in supporting her daughter’s dream despite objections from some quarters about Najiah’s chosen path.
The bull rider’s mother also acts as her business manager, coordinating Najiah’s appearances.
Moreover, she works with sponsors and manages the increasing demands of interviews and media attention.
Missi’s role extends beyond logistical support and chronicles Najiah’s journey on social media.
Thanks to her mom, Najiah Knight has captured the attention of celebrities and fellow bull riders.
Whether taping her daughter’s rides for analysis or managing the intricacies of a flourishing career, Missi Knight plays a vital role in ensuring Najiah’s success.