Bull Brawl is all about the bulls

Fruita cowboy Tyler Smith bringing event to fairgrounds

Anybody who knows bull riding knows it’s all about the bulls.

It doesn’t matter how much skill the bull rider has, that eight-second ride won’t get a good score if the bull doesn’t buck and twist and get overly agitated.

This is what the first-ever Red Rock Nissan #BestSlope Bull Brawl is all about.

The bull riding event comes to the Mesa County Fairgrounds at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Stock contractors from around the region and as far away as North Dakota will bring their rowdiest bulls for the event.

The competition features bull riders as well as stock contractors. Those contractors will bring their three best bucking bulls, some that have bucked top PBR riders, and compete for $6,000 in prize money.

Tyler Smith, who has been one of the best bull riders in the country for several years, is one of the organizers of the event. The Fruita cowboy said it will be an exciting night.

“I’ve done rodeos all my life and you go to rodeos and you might only get on one good bull, but I guarentee that every bull (at Saturday’s event) will be a great bull,” he said. “We felt that Grand Junction would be a good place to have an event like this.”

In bull riding, judges evalaute both the rider and the bull. A perfect score is 100 and that includes a top score of 50 points for the rider and 50 points for the bull. A score in the 90s is a great ride.

Smith said it’s tough to ride those really good bulls but every bull rider wants to be on a great bull to have a chance at a winning score.

The contractor’s team of three bulls will be judged together, with the average of the three determining the final score for the bull team.

Smith is expecting more than 35 bull riders to compete, but he won’t be one of them. At last year’s National Finals Rodeo, he picked up his third career NFR win, winning round eight. But in the final round, he got tossed and was injured, including suffering some broken ribs.

He is taking it easy this year.

“I haven’t been riding and don’t have any plans to get back on any time soon,” he said with a chuckle.

Co-organizer Kelly Mitchell said there will be a good lineup of riders battling for a total purse of $4,000.

“We have a talented field of bull riders coming to try and conquer tough bulls. Keep an eye out for local rider Ethan Cook, after his success at both the college and professional level,” Mitchell said.

Smith said the rodeo stock contractor business is getting more competitive all the time.

“It’s getting bigger and bigger, people are raising really good bulls,” he said. “It’s all genetics, like racehorses or any kind of animal. The bull breeding business has come a long ways. The bulls will be outstanding (on Saturday), and we’re really excited to see these bulls.”

Tickets are available at Monumentalevents.com. Gold Buckle tickets cost $25 each, adult general admission $18, student tickets $12 and kids 5 and under are free.


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