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First miniature bull riding event features little bulls, big spills

Ben Bulkeley

The bulls were miniature.

The ring was smaller.

The cowboys and cowgirls were shorter.

But the action was regular sized Saturday during the first Moffat County Fair miniature bull riding competition.

More than 12 young cowboys, along with one cowgirl, competed in the event, which saw the little bulls prove that size doesn’t matter.

Even the little cows could be rank.

The riders, ages 9 to 15, took their turns trying to manage bulls with names like “Mini Me,” and “Red Tornado.”

Colton Martindale, 13, was one of those riders.

In his first bull ride, Colton, of Yampa, was thrown off.

“Well, it was a little much,” he said. “He really came out.”

Colton said he has ridden other animals before but nothing like the bull he drew during the competition.

“I was nervous before because I’d never done this,” he said. “He was one of the ranker ones. It wasn’t a whole lot of fun to get knocked off.”

Wyatt Hamilton, of Cedar Ridge, had a little more success.

“It was good,” he said. “He bucked really hard and did really good.”

Wyatt, 11, said he knew his bull, Durango, would fight back with the ferocity of a larger bull.

“He was one of the smaller ones, but some bulls just buck harder than others,” he said. “He was pretty rank, but that’s how I like it.

“You get more points that way.”

Trent Vernon, 11, was able to ride his bull for a full six seconds, and he came away with 66 points.

“My bull was pretty good,” he said. “But he was a milk cow calf, so I had to spur him.”

Picking a sport like bull riding was natural for Trent, whose brother Troy rode last year for the Moffat County High School rodeo team.

“It’s such an adrenaline rush,” Trent said. “My brother and cousins all do it, and it made me want to do it even more.”

Since he started more than two years ago, Trent already has decided on the best and worst parts of the sport.

“The best is probably the first crack, when they open up the gate,” he said. “You don’t know what’s going to happen, but it’s all going through your head.

“The worst part is picking up all your stuff after the ride.”

Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or bbulkeley@craigdailypress.com.


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