Bull Rider Abner Dan Jr. of Mount Currie watches from the chute prior to his first ride of the event. Mark Brett/Western News

Plenty of bull at Penticton Speedway

Plenty of chills and spills at Bull-A-Rama

There was plenty of bull to go around at Penticton Speedway Saturday night for the 1,500 fans who showed up for the fourth annual Bull-A-Rama.

“I’m real high on Penticton. I legitimately believe and believed since Day 1 that that venue at that time of the year, is one of the most unique situations that you can go to to watch a bull ride,” said Bull Riders Canada president Russell Friend. “You’re guaranteed it’s gonna be nice. You’re guaranteed there is going to be lots of people. Most of them don’t live there. They are tourists.”

The only people who had trouble keeping their seats were the riders as only Marcos Gloria of Central de Minas, Brazil was able to go the full eight-second distance on both of his rides to capture top prize money totalling $5,640.

Gloria has had an outstanding season on the circuit so far, cashing in as the top money winner. He will compete in his first Canadian finals pro rodeo.

Other international competitors came from as far away as New Zealand and Australia.

Local competitors this time around included Trent Tupper of Oliver and Kelowna’s Lane Goertzen. Rider numbers were down this year as some bullriders had to turnout as they were affected by the forest fires in their regions of B.C.

Russell Friend, president of Bull Riders Canada, liked the crowd and was pleased how the event ran.

This year marked the first use of the new riding facilities at the speedway, the previous three events being held in the centre of the track.

Another added feature this year was the introduction of the Junior Steer Riding competition for the younger set and the upcoming bull riders of the future. Friend said that was an exciting addition and said it was really good to have three out of seven competitors.

The event was sanctioned by Bull Riders Canada which oversees more than 70 similar events coast to coast with a combined total of nearly $300,000 in prize money.

 

Marcos Gloria of Brasil goes the distance on his first ride at the Penticton Speedway Bull-A-Rama Saturday. Mark Brett/Western News