The most dangerous sport participated in by man is getting even more treacherous.
Unlike days of yesteryear, when rodeo bulls from the Southwest rangelands threw cowboys off largely due to sheer size, strength and male prowess, today’s bulls are bred with the sole purpose of bucking off cowboys.
However, the cowboys of today are a different lot as well, not like the range-tough rancher who typically participated in rodeo as a pastime. Modern-day bull riders are fit, trim, athletes on stringent diets and calisthenics programs who climb on mean buckers to make a living.
The best of the best rodeo bucking bulls and the top rodeo cowboys in the world are to be featured at the fifth annual Flint Hills Bull Blowout Saturday evening, Sept.13, at Strong City.
“Our bull riding the first four years has been such a success that we’re adding attractions this year to make it bigger and better,” exclaimed Kim Reyer, one of the event coordinators.
“We’re really excited about the quality of the bulls, and the top notch cowboys who will be competing, right here in the rodeo arena made famous by world champion cowboys Gerald and Ken Roberts, their sister Marge and dad E.C.,” Reyer emphasized.
Reyer’s Country Store, just across Highway 50 from the arena, and Flint Hills Genetics, a bucking bull breeding program, both owned in part by Reyer, are again sponsoring the bucking bull extravaganza.
Competition will feature several of the bulls Reyer has produced with his partners, sons-in-law, Adam Spain and Kyle Gibb, along with Reyer’s son Wyatt.
Majority of the bulls will be from Jimmy Crowther’s world-renowned New Frontier Rodeo Company at Roxbury, Kansas.
“Jimmy has the top string of bucking bulls in the country backed by more than 40 years of strict selection for bucking ability,” credited Reyer. “Jimmy was a champion bull rider, who started breeding bucking bulls, while he was still rodeoing in 1978.”
An added attraction this year will be Donnie Landis, Gooding, Idaho, a contract entertainer, clown, bullfighter and barrel man, who’s worked two times at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada, verification of his ability in demand. Landis is expected to arrive a day early for live airwaves presentations, Reyer noted.Crowther told Reyer that fans would want to especially watch for Price Sheriff, Slammin’ Slam, Guess Who and 611 Overstreet at the Flint Hills Bull Blowout.
Children from a wide area for the past three years participated in the sheep riding, known as “muttin’ bustin,” and there has been even an expanded interest, according to Reyer.
A $5 participation fee will be accessed for youth six and under with the sheep riding competition starting 6:30 a.m. Entries can be made by calling 620-273-6229.
The chicken scramble for youngsters 10 and under was also a feature the past four years that is being anticipated to add humor for everyone in the bleachers again during this year’s intermission.
“The fifth Flint Hills Bull Blowout will get underway with a beef barbecue starting at 5 o’clock, featuring a live radio broadcast, and autograph and picture taking with Donnie Landis, our bullfighter-clown,” Reyer pointed out.
First of 30 bulls to buck from the famed rodeo chutes will be at 7 o’clock, Saturdayevening, Sept. 13, with a purse of $1,000 added to the riders’ entry money. Entry books open at 5 p.m., on September 8, and can be made by calling 785-254-7385.
Top ten riders in the long go-round will come back to the short go-round to determine the champion.
“We are excited to have a bounty bull this year. If the champion cowboy in the bull blowout can successfully ride that rank bull, too, he’ll receive an additional $1,000 in prize money,” Reyer explained.
Details about the fifth annual Flint Hills Bull Blowout are available at 620-273-6229.