The annual North Texas Fair & Rodeo Bull Blowout got off to a great start Thursday night at the fairgrounds. Pleasant weather brought the fans out and they packed the stands to watch some great bull riding and cowboy protection bullfighting.
Barstow, Oklahoma bull rider Jake Gowdy has won his share of money at Denton in years past. Thursday night he added to that 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 the Brazilian cowboy Alison Sousa. Kyle McDaniel had the high score of the night with an 87 but 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.
The second part of the competition in the Bull Blowout is the Cowboy Protection bullfighting. 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, it’s 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.
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.