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Bullfighting Looking to Make a Comeback

by ProRodeo.com | Nov 21, 2016

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Bullfighting is set for a reboot, as efforts are underway to resurrect the event as a sanctioned ProRodeo event for the first time in 17 years.

“It was exciting and fast-paced – they say rodeo is the original extreme sport, but I’d make the case that bullfighting is the original extreme sport,” said Gary Williams, general manager of La Fiesta de Los Vaqueros in Tucson, Ariz.

Bullfighting allows competitors to showcase their skills in alluding bulls with acrobatic feats, including leaping over a charging bull.

La Fiesta de los Vaqueros surveys its spectators each year to find which events are fan favorites, and bullfighting was second only to bull riding.

Williams has been working with Dustin Brewer and many others to resurrect the event. Brewer has been the elected representative for bullfighters and clowns with the PRCA’s executive council for the last seven years. He has been with the PRCA for 20 years, 19 of those as a bullfighter, and the past year as a barrelman and clown.

“In this day and age, everyone wants to do something for spectators and give them something different,” Brewer said. “It will better the rodeos and the sport, and give our members other opportunities at PRCA rodeos.”

Some rodeos have already started featuring bullfighting, such as in Hill City, Kan.

“It gives spectators more for their money,” Brewer said. “It also gives them (bullfighters) an opportunity to work and make some money going up and down the road.”

The goal is to have bullfighting function just like the other seven ProRodeo events, where points are tracked throughout the year to determine the top bullfighter.

“If we have it sanctioned by the PRCA, we can keep track of points and have another world champion,” Brewer said.

A championship event hasn’t been set up yet, but that’s the ultimate goal for 2017, and beyond.

“That’s the most brilliant thing about rodeo – there are seven events and something for everyone,” Brewer said. “Sanctioned bullfights would give (rodeo) committees something to lean on. That’s a big plus for rodeo committees.”

Featuring bullfighting requires insurance beyond what most rodeos can afford independently, which is why the event tends to need a title sponsor. As it currently stands, bullfighting is endorsed by the PRCA, and it’s up to the individual rodeo committees to find sponsors and advertise the event as part of their rodeo.

“I think it lends itself to great exposure for the sponsor,” Williams said.

To get bullfighting fully functioning, Williams estimated about 20-40 rodeos will need to feature the event.

“It’s going to happen and, like anything, it’s going to take some time to get it off the ground,” Williams said. “The key thing is it being under the auspices of the PRCA, with rules and consistency in judging.”

For more information about getting bullfighting going at a local rodeo, contact dbrewer@gmail.com.

Courtesy of PRCA