January 17, 2014 12:08 PM EST

J.B. Mauney recently won the 2013 World Professional Bull Riding Championship, making him the first American to do so since 2009. The North Carolina native spoke with TIME’s Belinda Luscombe for this week’s magazine about the intelligence of bulls, disregard for broken bones and his many tattoos.

Plus, hear why Mauney thinks New York is his favorite city for bull riding.

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Write to Diane Tsai at diane.tsai@time.com.

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