Spring Fling bull riding and futurity set for Friday, Saturday
By AMANDA KIMBLE
It’s a rough stock weekend at Lone Star Arena. And there’s going to be plenty of action as Boyd & Floyd Bull Company presents the 7th Annual Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Spring Fling Friday and Saturday.
For those of you who don’t know, that’s bull riding featuring Professional Bull Riders (PBR), pbr.com, two-legged athletes facing off against four-legged contenders with a whole lot of attitude.
The event is the next stop on the PBR Touring Pro Division schedule, which offers up-and-coming bull riders – and those who aren’t on the elite Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) roster – the opportunity to compete in sanctioned events, win cash money and attempt to qualify for the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals.
Calling the riders competing in the Touring Pro Division “up-and-coming” doesn’t mean they’re not major contenders in their own right. According to the PBR.com, two of the top five riders in the division are among the top ten in world standings.
Ranking No. 2 in the lower division, American bull rider Mason Lowe, 22, rode his way to No. 10 in the world after hanging on for his first BFTS win. Lowe marked a 90-point ride on the back of Brutus during the championship round of the Ty Murray Invitational, which was held March 18-20 in Albuquerque.
Brazilian Paulo Lima, 28, is ranked No. 2 in the world and No. 5 in the Touring Pro Division.
Beth Hughs, event coordinator, said mums the word when it comes to the Spring Fling roster, but the riders will not disappoint.
“They have to be some pretty awesome riders to be on the PBR roster,” Hughs said, adding when bulls, riders, funny men, announcers and pyrotechnics combine, they crowd is sure to enjoy they show.
Lone Star Arena is a great venue for any crowd. Whether the venue is packed full of PBR aficionados or newcomers out for their first dose of rough stock action. Hughs said the arena offers a small town atmosphere devoid of then tens of thousands of attendees seen at many PBR tour stops, as well as the ambiance of a big time events, complete with vendors, food and adult beverages.
And Spring Fling offers opportunities for more than just the athletes and attendees who gather for fun and fellowship.
“It’s also a chance for local small businesses to get their name out there and present their goods and services to competitors and stock contractors from across the country,” she said.
PBR events begin at 7: 30 pm. Friday and Saturday. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for children age 4-10 and free for those younger than 3 years old. You can get your tickets at the door or online at 2016springflingbullriding.brownpapertickets.com
Just like the PBR puts the spotlight on up and comers, Spring Fling and American Bucking Bull, Inc. (ABBI) host a number of futurities during the two-day event that allow stock contractors gain exposure for their bulls.
According to americanbuckingbull.com, ABBI promotes pedigree preservation and provides an environment where “bucking bull breeders can introduce and foster the growth of young bucking bulls ensuring the finest animal athletes are available to compete” PBR events.
“All of the bulls you see at events like the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) have to come from somewhere,” Hughs said. “They aren’t just picked out of the pasture. For the stock contractors, this is their livelihood and helps them on their way to the top.”
Spring Fling begins with a heifer futurity at 9 a.m. Friday, which is followed by an open derby.
The women’s futurity begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, followed by an American Bucking Bull (ABBI) futurity and junior futurity.
“When the bulls are young, they need to be trained to buck,” Hughs said, adding training is readily apparent when watching futurity events. “There are no riders. The bulls buck out of the chutes with a metal box, or dummy, but they are judges and they do earn points.”
And the points can add up.
“You never know, you could see one of these bulls at the NFR one day,” Hughs said.
And you just might see a Spring Fling rider take on the world as well.
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