The 61st edition of the College National Finals Rodeo got off to a great start Sunday (14 June) with the Bulls, Broncs and Breakaway performance.
Thirty-nine bull riders from across the US and Canada qualified for the CNFR. On Sunday each cowboy attempted to ride the first of three bulls in hopes of securing a spot in the coveted Top 12 championship round.
In rodeo, momentum is everything. For the eight riders who successfully covered their first bull Sunday, it was a step in the right direction to earning a national title.
Joining me in the bullfighting duties again in 2009 is PRCA Bullfighter Al Sandvold of Belgrade, MT. We work really well together and certainly got off to a good start. Much like the riders, bullfighters rely on momentum to help carry them through a long event and we were happy with how things started Sunday.
I didn’t break anything but did manage to tear a ligament in my middle finger. It’s not a bad deal, I just can’t fully extend my middle finger. The ligament I tore is in the fingertip so for six weeks I will be wearing a splint in efforts to get it to heal straight verses straight down!
Just so happened a rider ended up in a precarious situation and the bull was headed for him. I was able to step in and grab the bull's head allowing the rider to walk away… but in doing so, the bull lunged at me and somehow managed to mangle my finger. All in all, it’s no big deal.
Justin Thomas carried the Wyoming flag for bull riders Sunday as he was the only cowboy with Wyoming ties to successfully cover his first round bull. Thomas is a freshman at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne. The freshman gitters didn’t deter this young cowboy as he turned in a 72 point ride.
Well, it’s off for a good night rest as Al and I have to be ready to fight bulls in the morning during the slack portion of the CNFR. Oh yeah, did I mention slack starts at 7am!