The Professional Bull Riding Spring Fling is bucking off this Friday and Saturday with cowboys and bulls trying to win their way to the world finals in Las Vegas, later this year.
This is the eighth year Stephenville has hosted the event.
Director of Public Relations and Media Susan Bedford said the Spring Fling is an opportunity for the touring pro division riders to have an event to earn more money and points to help them move up in the PBR league.
"And it gives our stock contractors who own bulls a chance to come out and compete because we award money to the animals based on how well they do, as well as the cowboys,” she said.
Bull riding will start at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. At 10 a.m. on Saturday, the Futurity events will start.
“This is one of our bigger events each year and we typically have well over 250 bulls and our stock contractors come from all over the country. So we will have about 30 cowboys each night and several hundred bulls, because during the daytime, we are going to buck our younger bulls, but those don’t buck with cowboys, they just buck with a dummy on their back.”
American Bucking Bulls (ABBI) will be hosting the Futurity events Saturday, which is open to the public. There will be two divisions, a junior division made up of stock contractors ages nine through 18 and a ladies division.
Bedford said ABBI is a sister organization to PBR, which focuses on promoting and developing the sport for the bucking bulls; while, PBR focuses on promoting and developing the human athlete.
“We also have DNA registry that documents all the animals’ bloodlines, almost like the horse race industry. They are more valuable if you know what their pedigrees are. We have over 200,000 animals’ DNA registered with us,” Bedford said.
The Futurity events involve 2-year-old bulls that are too young to buck with cowboys but instead buck with a weighted box attached to them.
“We are just training them on what to do and seeing if they have the potential to be a bucking bull,” Bedford said. “Stephenville is probably our savviest market as far as understanding bull riding. This is kind of an interesting event, even though it’s part of PBR touring pro division, because it’s in Stephenville, around the area where the better bull riders live. Sometimes we get some pretty marky names so it’s kind of a cool opportunity to see some pretty big cowboys and some famous bucking bulls in a relatively small arena where they [the audience] can be much closer than they’d be if they went to another PBR event.”
Tickets can be purchased at the door or at brownpapertickets.com. Adults pay $15, children are $10 and those under 4 years old are free.