Thirty top bull riders are looking to last eight seconds on bulls determined to fling them off.
The riders are competing for a piece of the $6,500 purse offered in the Summerland Pro Bullriding Stampede being held Saturday. Among the group is Penticton’s Chad Eneas, who has been riding bulls for 20 years.
He is excited to compete near home and when asked what he looks forward to, Eneas said, “keeping my hand in the rope and staying on.”
Eneas will be in the long and short go events and hopes to be in the top six. For family reasons, he hasn’t competed in many events the last few years, but said when he has, the results have been positive.
“It should be good,” said Eneas, who travelled to Vernon for an event in the spring. “There is going to be lots of thrills. It’s going to be real fast paced. It’s going to be exciting. I’ve ridden at Summerland before, you are right up in the action.”
Eneas’ approach is simple, he makes sure he’s mentally prepared adding that bull riding is 80 per cent mental and 20 per cent physical. He’s proud of the fact that he can still outrun an 18-year-old.
“It makes me feel competitive, like I still have something to offer,” said Eneas. “Look for them bulls to be ready. It’s going to be a good show.”
Organizer Matt Darmody likes the number of riders saying it will provide for a “good couple hours of entertainment.” Darmody said as the event nears, there is good hype and plenty of talk. As of Wednesday, nearly 1,500 tickets had sold for the grounds that seat 3,000.
In talking about Eneas, Darmody described him as a “hot rider.” Also competing is Penticton’s Shane Greenhaugh and Marlow Williams of Mount Currie — 40 kilometres northwest of Whistler, who has won his share of events.
The day features bull fights, bull boxing, bull poker and mounted shooting. Riders are coming from B.C., Alberta and Australia as part of the Bull Riders Canada circuit.
“There is plenty of entertainment,” said Darmody to the Western News in July. “Thrills and spills. Bull riding is a pretty popular thing in North America. The quality of bulls just keeps getting better and better. Riders have to keep strong.”
The event is supported with sponsorship from Prairie Coast Equipment, Okanagan Dodge and Nesters Market. Tickets can be purchased for the pre-sale price of $15 at the 24/7 in Penticton, the Visitor Info Centre in Summerland and Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack in West Kelowna in Westbank Shopping Centre. Gates open at 3 p.m. and the action begins at 5 p.m.