With the 138th Silver Spurs Rodeo coming up, I took advantage of an invite to check out the Monster Bulls event reintroducing Bullfighting back into the arena as a sanctioned ProRodeo event after a 17-year hiatus.
When I heard “Bullfighting”, trust me, I cringed a little. But since I know very little about these events, I took the time to meet with a few of the people to chat about what this extreme sport was all about.
A Bullfighter of 20 years, Phill Hussman of Allentown, Pennsylvania sat down to explain to me not only what Bullfighting is, but what also what it is not. “Freestyle bullfighting is us (the bullfighters), against a Mexican bull. They are let out of the gate, and then we have a 60-second dance with the bull.”
“There is no cape. It’s nothing like the bullfighting in the Spanish world. We are nothing like that, the bulls go home, they don’t get hurt. They get to go home and terrorize us again down the road.”
“One of the reasons, like in Spain, where they kill the bulls is because they learn eventually to not go for the cape, they are smart animals.”
Faking Out a Bull
Phill talked about throwing “fakes” which is basically pretending to go one way but then moving the other just in time to not get hit. Something that usually works the first time around. Here you can see an example of what a “fake” hopes to accomplish when the gate opens.
It doesn’t always work, here is Phill during his Freestyle Bullfight during the Monster Bulls event.
He wasn’t injured. But man, he took some serious hits!
138th Silver Spurs Rodeo
Now that Monster Bulls and the excitement of the Freestyle Bullfighting is back, rodeo fans are ready for the next big event. This weekend marks the 138th Silver Spurs Rodeo and it is destined to be filled with some great entertainment.
The Silver Spurs Rodeo typically lasts 2 to 3 hours, during which several events take place: Bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding and team roping. Clown acts also take part during the show.
Largest Rodeo East of the Mississippi River
The first Silver Spurs Rodeo in 1944 was a fundraiser for World War II. The purchase of a war bond was admission to watch the cowboys compete. According to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. (PRCA), the Silver Spurs Rodeo in February is the largest rodeo east of the Mississippi River (this is measured by prize money).
Silver Spurs also takes pride in giving back to the community through donations to other non-profits and an annual scholarship program. During the Monster Bulls, they donated $5,000 to the Florida Hospital in honor of breast cancer research. Giving back is very important to the organizations.
- Friday, February 17th at 7:30 pm
- Saturday, February 18th at 7:30 pm
- Sunday, February 19th at 2:00 pm
- Special Rodeo, Sunday, February 19th at 10:00 am
All events take place at Silver Spurs Arena at Osceola Heritage Park. Tickets are $15; kids 10 & under are free. Parking is free. A Silver Spurs Rodeo ticket is also good for free admission to the Osceola County Fair.