The Rigby Bull Wars took place on Saturday, May 21, filling every seat at the Rigby Rodeo Grounds.
The audience waited through the flag ceremony and national anthem for the event to begin. Following the opening ceremonies, there were three sections of bucking bulls, also referred to as open bull riding, where each rider took their turn attempting the coveted 8-second ride.
Open bull riding starts in a small enclosed chute, where the rider will mount the bull. A gate is then flung open and the bull storms into the open arena. The rider must hold on with only one hand for at least eight seconds.
After each section of bucking bulls, kids from ages 6-12 had the chance to participate in the “kids money scramble.” They all gathered in the arena and then chased a young bull around with money taped to its body.
The final event for the Bull Wars was the freestyle bullfighting. Instead of riding the bull, bullfighters entered the arena on their own feet for 60-second rounds full of hits, flips and death-defying dodges against the bull. You have to be fast and defensive, or the consequences are very real.
“I am from Southern California, so this environment is very new to me,” said Chase Ballard, a first-time rodeo goer. “That being said, it was an awesome event, and I loved being able to experience a very different lifestyle from how I grew up.”
Even as the event came to a close, the excitement didn’t leave the crowd. As the sun set, cheerful chatter among the spectators filled the air as they left.
More information on the event can be found on the official Facebook page, Rigby Stampede Days, Rigby ID.