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Rodeo Rapid City brings free style bullfighting to the arena
News Staff - February 2, 2018

RAPID CITY, SD - In 1979, at the 2nd Annual Black Hills Stock Show Rodeo, an event was intorduced never seen before in rodeo.  It was an invitational free style bullfight organized by Jim Sutton.

Following the bull riding event, each bullfighter had a set time period to dance, fight and spin his way around a Mexican fighting bull trying to impress the judges and earn the most points to win the contest.  The crowd loved it.  There was a danger factor and thrill that kept people glued to their seats.  And while no one wanted to see a bull fighter hurt, they didn’t mind if they got banged around a little bit.

The Wrangler Jeans Corporation loved it too, and starting in 1980 sponsored the Wrangler Bullfight Tour.   After a year of competition at major rodeos across the United States, the top six freestyle bullfighters were chosen to compete for a cash purse at the National Finals Rodeo. Over four consecutive days each bullfighter battled the most aggressive bulls to see who could come up with the highest score to determine the World Champion. The rankest bulls were put together from all across the nation.  The tour lasted 20 years ending after the 2000 NFR.

The 41st Annual Rodeo Rapid City will be featuring Free Style Bull Fighting.  At the PRCA Rodeos on Feb. 1st & 2nd at 7:30 pm and Feb. 3rd at 1:30 pm for the Semi Finals, bull fighters will compete for 40-70 seconds each, trying to convince a judge their fight is best.  The top scored bull fighters from each performance will advance to a finals on Feb. 3rd at 7:30 pm.  They will compete and one will be crowned the 2018 Rodeo Rapid City Free Style Bull Fight Champion.

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