On Saturday, Feb. 16, three stock contractors brought a total of 25 young bulls to the North Thompson Agriplex in Barriere to see if they had the stuff that bucking bulls are made of.
Contractors Rafter Z Bucking Bulls, L&P Bucking Bulls, and S&E Bucking Bulls rented the arena for the afternoon, and not only tested the athletic ability of their bulls, but also gave a number of young bull riders a chance to practice outside of a competition setting.
Eight yearling bulls got to take their first jump out of a bucking chute, all only wearing a small box and strap called a flank dummy, which is quickly released when the required 8 seconds is up. It was interesting for those present who were new to how bucking bulls are trained, to see these young bulls already showing good athletic ability, movement, and great enthusiasm for their job.
The remaining 17 bulls were all two-year-olds, progressing this year from the flank dummy to a bull rider. This is where the young riders had a great opportunity to learn, and to get the bulls used to their future career in the bucking arena as well.
Justin Davis, a well-known winning bull rider from Barriere, was also present, riding a few young bulls, and giving pointers to other riders.
Farm Kids Fund rep Steven Puhallo was also present, and noted that starting young bulls is a very important step in the making of a PBR champion bull.
After meeting with the stock contractors after the practice, Puhallo made the official announcement that in 2014, the 1st Annual British Columbia Bucking Bull Futurity will be held on February 22, in the North Thompson Agriplex, Barriere.
Puhallo also hinted that there may be another bucking bull event much sooner. Most likely later this spring, and he expected to be able to make that announcement within a week.
The Farm Kids Fund has also set the dates for a Summer Western Festival this year at the North Thompson Fall Fair Facility on June 22, and 23. The event will feature a rough stock rodeo, and Puhallo says there is a good chance of a wild horse race being included as well.
Watch the newspaper for updates and more information about Farm Kids Fund events.