Remembering Spit Fire

It’s not every day you hear a bull described as both sweet and rank. Yet the late Spit Fire, who passed away Monday at age 12, was exactly that.

The short-round superstar belonged to Boyd-Floyd Bull Co. His career started in ABBI Classic events in 2006 and, from 2007-11, he was selected by Cody Lambert as a PBR World Finals bull.

After his retirement in 2011, he enjoyed life in Morgan Mill, Texas, and spending quality times with the ladies of Boyd-Floyd. According to his ABBI records, he has more than 60 offspring, most born within the last two years. Five of his older sons already have Pro Bull Stats. Spit Fire was a son of Rim Fire and a grandson of the great Rapid Fire.

Few riders could get past him, but when they did they were rewarded with a huge score. Valdiron de Oliveira was one of the cowboys who could win on him, posting scores of 90.5, 91.25, 91.5 and 92.25. Only four other men ever made the whistle on him during his PBR career, and Ross Coleman was the only other cowboy to make it to eight on him more than once.

“Spit Fire was one that would make your adrenaline pump more than others,” Coleman said. “Because he would hop, skip and then suck back to the right with some serious kick. I enjoyed the challenge on him. Many guys were intimidated of him because he was an eliminator.”

That eliminator was a foe in the chutes, but when he was off the clock he was friendly. He enjoyed seeing the people he knew, and seemed more like a pet than a rank bucking bull when he was home. After retirement, Spit Fire made public showings so fans of all ages could sit on him, pet him, and let their minds wonder as to how something this big and formidable in the arena could also be such a teddy bear.

“Hats off to a great bull that will be missed by many,” Brad Boyd said. “He will be a legend to all of us who had the pleasure of meeting him. He was classy, sweet and yet one of the rankest bulls I’ve ever seen. It was an honor to be his owner. He will be missed terribly.”

Spit Fire was ranked by (PBS) as the 85th best bull historically; he also had cracked the site’s elite Top 100 in power rankings and was part of the PBS Hall of Fame.

The probable cause of death was a heart attack according to Boyd. “He was totally healthy with no problems. His death was sudden and unexpected.”

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