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A cowboy's incredible comeback story.

Available on Amazon in paperback and audiobook

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"I knew bull riders from towns in Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming, who sounded and acted like Dean Stamper. There's no cookie cutter for being a cowboy. As Dean shows, it comes down to what motivates a person and how he lives. Dean's story also shows the highs and lows of riding bulls are influenced by what happens outside the arena as much as by what happens inside one. Jesse Elison takes his readers on a memorable trip to bull ridings across the West that I recall well in On Riverton Road."
- Wiley Petersen, Former Professional Bull Rider
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The Story
The Story

On Riverton Road is a vivid depiction of a modern-day bull riding champion. Over a three-day period, beginning at a bull riding event in Blackfoot, Idaho, just a scenic drive from Yellowstone National Park, and ending at a rodeo in Prescott, Arizona, Dean Stamper comes out of retirement to ride the greatest bucking bull of all time in an epic showdown. Before he faces the Great Bushwacker, he is forced to face his past,

including the overwhelming guilt from his brother's death and his mother's abrupt abandonment.

Like most cowboys unafraid to die, Dean lives each day as if it is his last. His journey back to the arena is filled with religious notions and cowboy wisdom fueled by the indelible connection between genuine human experiences and life's beauty and pain. On Riverton Road is an engulfing read that showcases how one's life experiences are perceived differently by those who witness them, and how having an experience and creating one can bear different realities. Dean's passion for what he was made to do make this a western tale you will want to witness first-hand.

JC Mortensen Photo Credit: Resul Kurtbedin Photography

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Jesse Elison grew up in Southeastern Idaho. From an early age, he had a passion for reading and a desire to write books. He studied English and Philosophy at Brigham Young University, where he was inspired by the stories of great writers like Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James, and Willa Cather. His interest in world literature and religions took him to Harvard Divinity School. Then he obtained a law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law.

While developing his legal career, Jesse moved around the country from Washington to Georgia with a few stops in between. No matter where he worked, in private practice or in-house, Jesse continued to pursue writing about seeking genuine experiences and a meaningful life. His first book, My Best Mormon Life, was a narrative-driven, hybrid memoir using a form of intellectual freestyle. The book covers his upbringing in rich religious and literary contexts, often overlapping and as often at odds. Inspirations for his first book included his mother, whose life was tragically cut short and his older bull riding brothers and bullfighter father.

Using his upbringing as a backdrop, Jesse's current release, On Riverton Road, is a literary novel about a champion bull rider, Dean Stamper, who makes a comeback on the greatest bucking bull of all time, the historical Bushwacker. Dean, as well as his good friend Jay, lives by the beat of his own drum, where experiences matter regardless of who hears or witnesses them. The pressing questions from the novel are which experiences are genuine and why. Who and what defines the experiences we have? What is the difference between having an experience and creating one? The values behind these questions underscore On Riverton Road.

Jesse proves that the best of art shines a light on and reveals the connection between genuine experience and life's beauty and pain. While currently serving as the Vice President of Legal at a heavy haul trucking company based in Atlanta, he continues to explore ideas about the manifold of meaningful experiences by pushing the boundaries of the novel's artistic potential.

The Author

Best Sellers

My Books

My Best Mormon Life

On Riverton Road

"The Journey is the key! What an amazing ending."

Want to spend 3 days in the mind of a rodeo legend? If so, this is the book for you. Full of complex characters, rich landscapes, and the details of ridin’ bulls as never before described. This is definitely a book I’ll read a 2nd and maybe even a third time.

recent podcasts

The Real Story of the Great Bushwacker

Winning three PBR World Champion titles, the PBR Brand of Honor and being inducted into the Bull Riding Hall of Fame, Bushwacker was a force in the bull riding scene. His reputation was illustrated perfectly with his PBR-record streak of 42 consecutive buck-offs. Only the best riders had the opportunity to ride him as he spent the majority of his career working in the Built Ford Tough Series, the major league of the PBR. Bushwacker has left a legacy that will last far beyond his retirement as one of the best - and most unrideable - bulls in the business. 


Appearing as a guest columnist on Philip Jenkin's Anxious Bench, you can read a Jesse Elison penned piece about the Greek tragedian Euripides on by clicking below.

Kade Bruno Photo Credit: Chuck Miner

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