As the announcer described him over the loudspeaker and the crowd roared, Angel Garcia Nunez patiently waited on his horse inside the bucking chutes at the Sonoita Fairgrounds.

He felt a sense of excitement, his dream of riding a bucking horse in Arizona finally coming true.

I just get really hyped up and excited to climb in and ride in front of all these people, Garcia Nunez said.

His friends waited anxiously for him to ride out into the arena, his best friend from high school Tommy Gompfs hands visibly shaking.

Like I feel like Im more nervous than he is out there, Gompf said.

As the gate opened up, that rush of energy Garcia Nunez was feeling intensified, the crowd going wild and some even shouting his name.

Once that gate opens, I know its all business and Im mainly just focused on staying on the horse and just going through all the techniques, he said.

The techniques he used this long weekend at the Labor Day Rodeo in Sonoita were techniques he first learned at a three day rodeo camp in Colorado. It was there that he went through a bucking clinic in May.

Getting in and out of the chute, off the pickup men, getting onto the pickup men, he described about his experience at the camp.

Theyre new techniques to him, but he first started riding a horse at four years old and rode until he was about nine. He stopped riding for a while until he experienced a life-changing event.

His best friend Tone took his own life in late 2019. For Garcia Nunez, it was a tough time, eventually turning to drinking.

I got that news and it just kind of sent me in a downhill spiral and one night I blacked out and decided I was going to try and take my life, he recounted.

Trying to take his life with a gun left him legally blind, but soon after, horses became his therapy, saying the only difference between riding blind and being able to see while riding is his vision missing. Not much else has changed, especially his passion for the sport.

However, as he rides, he now uses his feelings and other senses more to get in touch with the horse.

Its a life saving for me. Horses are like the best healing power in this world I think, he said.

Thats why hes setting his sights on not just competing in the Tucson rodeo and later winning a gold buckle in the national finals, but starting a business where he can teach other people with disabilities how to ride a horse.

I hope that they see me pursuing my dream, it gives them a little bit of encouragement and kind of lifts their spirits, like if hes doing it, why cant I? he said.