Bullriders raved about the second annual Speedway Bull-A-Rama on July 18.
“It was great,” said Barriere’s Monty Ross. “It was a great event for the facility they have. The crowd is definitely there for the venue to grow. It was a good turnout. I predict that venue to grow.”
“It was everything that I thought it was going to be,” said Oliver’s Trent Tupper. “The bulls were nice and rank. The crowd was good. More people there than what I thought it was going to be.”
Penticton Speedway owner Johnny Aantjes was very happy with the Bull-A-Rama, especially with it attracting a crowd of over 2,000.
“We had a really good crowd. Some really good bull riding,” he said, adding that having the bull riding stage front and centre worked out better than the previous year.
Two bull riders did get hurt, with one sustaining a broken femur, but Aantjes said it was still a good night of riding.
While Ross, a former pro rider, didn’t cash in, he still performed “OK” to his standards.
“My bull didn’t have the trip it generally has,” said Ross. “You’re gambling on the ability of the animal and yourself. A lot of technique involved.”
Ross was impressed with the calibre of young riders, some he said are working their way up the ranks. In his mind they will eventually be seen in the Professional Bull Riders Canada.
Tupper said it was a good day.
“I performed pretty good,” said Tupper. “I could have done better. Some days you just get bucked off. I felt him pull me out of my rope.”
He said when riders get that feeling, they have to try and hang on and dig in their spurs.
“Hope that you last the eight seconds,” said Tupper.
A broken shoulder kept Tupper out of the inaugural event. After taking in last year’s event as a spectator, he liked what he saw as a competitor. The calibre of riders were strong and he found them to be nice and friendly by helping each other out.
“We are like one big family,” he said.
Aantjes said this year’s event was a complete turn around from the first year. The success they had is something they can build off as they work towards making it an annual event.
“What I really liked about it is we had a lot of people from out of town who came specifically for the event,” said Aantjes, who added they put in work with the Penticton Hospitality Association to get those visitors.
The Bull-A-Rama had 30 riders in the long-round and eight in the short. Jacob Gardner pocketed $1,652 after winning the long round, while Williams Lake’s Kyle Lozier took home $1,239. Marlon Williams of Mount Currie, B.C. and Australia’s Will Purcell each received $619. Purcell then won the short round, which put $2,475 into his wallet and Gardner took second for $2,025.