nt fair and rodeo protection bull fighting

A cowboy at the 90th Annual North Texas Fair & Rodeo Bull Blowout and Protection Bullfight Match gets friendly with a bull during his Friday performance.

The bull power was on full display Friday night at the North Texas Fair and Rodeo Bull Blowout with only three cowboys making the required eight seconds to get a score and only a single rider in the short round making it to eight.

Jared Sheehan of Magnolia, Texas, was the overall winner on Night 2 with an aggregate score of 162 on two bulls. U.S. Army veteran Juan Alonzo of Keller posted an 80.5 for the second place finish followed by Honey Grove, Texas, bullrider Cody Hodges’ 49 for third.

Cowboy protection bullfighting, held concurrently with bull riding, came next. Teams of two bullfighters are judged on their ability to keep the cowboy from harm after he dismounts or is thrown from the bull. The bullfighters must read a constantly evolving scenario and try and pre-position themselves to be in the best spot they can be to take the bull away from the fallen cowboy. Communication is critical and knowing where to be and when to be there is a huge part of the success of a good bullfighting duo. The bullfighter’s job is to make themselves a more attractive target to the bull than the fallen bullfighter. This takes the bullfighters in close to the action and if necessary, to step in between the bull and the cowboy and take the shot from the bull. There usually is not enough time to make that choice consciously. Rather, it is a split-second decision that was made before the bullfighter ever stepped into the arena. Good teams make it look effortless when it’s anything but.

Team Cavender’s Judd Napier of Waipahu, Hawaii, and Wyatt Mason of Casper, Wyoming, won cowboy protection bullfighting with their score of 194. Second place with a 187.5 was Team Jagoe Public, Weston Rutkowski from Haskell and Lucas Teodoro of Brazil. Placing third was Team First United, Ross Johnson of Hamilton and Beau Schueth from Emmet, Nebraska, with their score of 186. Scores from all three performances will be averaged to determine the winner.

On Thursday night, Barstow, Oklahoma bull rider Jake Gowdy added to his success at the North Texas rodeo by riding both bulls he’d drawn for an aggregate score of 163.5 to take the win. Gowdy covered his bull for an 84.5 in the first round and marked a 79 on his second to claim the top spot.

Placing second with a two-bull score of 156.5 was Brazilian cowboy Alison Sousa. Kyle McDaniel had the high score of the night with an 87, but got bucked off his short-round bull and took third place. Fourth place went to another Brazilian bull rider, Maycon Moura, for his score of 72 in the long round.

Bullfighters Weston Rutkowski and Beau Schueth, representing Team Jaego Public, won the first night with an aggregate score of 187. Placing second was Team Cavender’s, Judd Napier and Wyatt Mason, with a score of 186. Placing third was the North Texas Bingo team, Ely Sharkey and Kris Furr with a 185.

Points from all three nights of competition will determine the winner of the custom trophy buckles from Squaw Creek Silver.

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