BONNERS FERRY — In a cloud of whirling dust and thunderous hoofbeats, man versus beast once again came to the Boundary County Fairgrounds as the Selkirk Saddle Club presented the annual Bull Bash, a sanctioned event by Elite Professional Bullriders, on June 9.
Announcer Barney Sheridan and Barrelman Don Landis kept the packed stadium cheering and laughing. The audience participation was high from beginning to end of the event thanks to the expertise of these two long time professionals.
Judges Randy Rauenzahn and Brett Bronson kept a close eye on the tough competition, while bullfighters Drew Payne and Tyler McDade put their skills to the test, keeping the bull riders safe.
Contractors Wyatt Bucking Bulls, Mel Layton, Mile Hi and Whitford provided a top lineup of fiercely bucking bulls, throwing many riders before their eight seconds were up. Only three riders were able to best the bulls in the long round, automatically advancing to the short round.
Tristan O’Neal had the best score on the short round, scoring 73 points for his ride. Matt Loomis rode the Mile Hi Rodeo bull, 618 Velvet Rock, for a 72 point ride. Jesse Luther drew the bull 29 Smokin Deer, riding him to a 69 point score.
For the short round, the seven riders with the longest times were chosen to compete with the three riders who had scored in the long round.
All-around Cowboy, Gerald Eash, swept the short round on 654 Popo, a bull owned by Kelly Wyatt. Eash gave the spectators a thrilling show, scoring 88 points.
The bulls were not the only event that had the crowd cheering. The 9B Riders Drill team kicked off the event, performing precise choreographed maneuvers to music. There was a team roping competitions, interspersed throughout the event, as well as The Wild Pony Races.
The Wild Pony Races pitted a team of three children, between the ages of 8-13, against a wild pony or mule. The team had to get one rider on the unruly pony and that rider had to stay on for three jumps. A team from Spokane bested their mount in 10.4 seconds, winning the competition.
Food and drink was provided by several vendors, while Mugsy’s Tavern and Grill kept the crowd at the end of the arena happy with their beer garden.
This years Bull Bash was packed with adrenaline and laughter, running smoothly from beginning to end.