2010 Minot Rodeo adds freestyle bullfighting | TSLN.com

2010 Minot Rodeo adds freestyle bullfighting

MINOT, ND – Fans at this year’s Dodge Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo in Minot who don’t think they’re getting enough wrecks in their rodeo will have a chance to see more danger.

Following each night of rodeo on Oct. 7-8-9, freestyle bullfights will take place.

The bullfights, at one time sponsored by Wrangler and held across the nation, haven’t been officially sanctioned since 2000.

Fans love them, says pro rodeo bullfighter Lance Brittan. Brittan, from Windsor, CO, is organizing the bullfights for this year’s rodeo. “It’s the danger” that is so appealing to fans, he said.

These bullfights are considered “freestyle” bullfights, in which three bullfighters will each be given 40 seconds to “fight” a bull – showcase their skills and “get into as much danger and get out without getting run over,” explained Brittan.

Freestyle bullfighters will be judged similar to the riding events in rodeo: 50 points for the aggression of the bull and 50 points for the bullfighter’s skill. “Look for a high energy fight,” Brittan said. “Lots of step-throughs, a lot of interaction between the bull and the bullfighter. The bullfighter may take the bull to the barrel, lay it over, and let the bull hit it, then jump off the barrel or flat footed off the ground and over the bull.” The three bullfighters will be scored in first, second and third place and will be awarded prize money.

After the 40 second buzzer has sounded, the bullfighter can opt for an additional 20 seconds to exhibit his skills. Many bullfighters will take the extra time, to try to get as many points as possible.

Freestyle bullfighting is different from rodeo bullfighting, in that rodeo bullfighters serve as “cowboy protection,” protecting the bull riders after their eight-second ride. Some bullfighters will work both events, but some don’t. The freestyle bullfighting “takes a whole different mindset, to put your life on the line,” Brittan said. Freestyle bullfighters “need to be engaged with the bull” during their competition, where protection bullfighters are there “to save the cowboy and once he’s safe, you go to the fence and save yourself.”

And Minot rodeo fans will be engaged, too, as they watch the freestyle bullfighting following the rodeo.

The Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo hosts the Dodge Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, where the top 96 cowboys and cowgirls from North and South Dakota will compete for the title of Badlands Circuit champions. The rodeo begins at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 7-9 and at 1:15 p.m. on Oct. 10. Freestyle bullfighting can be seen at the rodeos on Oct. 7-9. Touchstone Energy Electric Cooperatives and 4-Bears Casino & Lodge help make the Dodge Badlands Circuit Finals possible. For more information, visit http://www.minotysmensrodeo.com or call 701-852-5577.

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