Rodeo Bull Fighters Take to the Ring at ABC Rodeo - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/4/08

Rodeo Bull Fighters Take to the Ring at ABC Rodeo

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If you're looking for something the whole family can enjoy this weekend, head on over to the 66th Annual ABC Rodeo. The rodeo kicked off Thursday night and resumed Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. at the City Bank Coliseum.

Imagine walking into an arena all alone and facing off against a Mexican fighting bull for 70 seconds. Some might say it's crazy, but for rodeo bull fighters, it's just another day on the job.

Every night Andy Burelle and Dusty Tuckness put their lives on the line.

"In protective bull fighting we save the bull riders from the bulls," says Tuckness.

But there's no one protecting Burelle and Tuckness in the free style Mexican bull fighting competition.

"We have a 70 second competition between one bullfighter and one bull. It's kind of like a game of tag," says Burelle.

There's no clowning around when you come into contact with a raging bull, but "Backflip" Johnny Dudley seems to always find humor in the situation.

"I am the funny man. I'm the one that wears the mic. I tell jokes. I'm an entertainer," says Dudley.

But there's nothing funny about the injuries these guys have suffered while competing.

"I've got two plates in my face. A muscle screener in my eye," says Burelle.

"I've broken my ribs and busted my chin," says Tuckness.

"I've shattered my hand. I've got ten screws and two plates in my hand," says Dudley.

"Missing some ligaments and plates in my ankles," says Burelle.

"Broke my foot broke and my ankle," says Tuckness.

"Oh yeah, I broke my neck," says Dudley.

But even that doesn't keep Dudley from taunting the bulls night after night.

"I always think it's funny when a bull is coming at me - I say your momma's a cow and your sister's a heifer," says Dudley.

Despite all the injuries, these three athletes always return to the ring.

"I love going down the road, the people I meet. The community of Lubbock, they take you in," says Burelle.

There will be a matinee performance Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and the final performance begins at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, the CBR Bull Riding competition starts at 2pm.

Tickets are available at local western wear stores, through Select-A-Seat or at the door.

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