By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer
Organizers are expecting crowds of up to 3,000 fans for two days of “nonstop action” during this week’s bull riding event at the Curry County Events Center.
Featuring 90 top bull riders from several professional bull riding associations, the event will take place Friday and Saturday nights.
Sponsor Joe Rhodes, owner of Joe’s Boot Shop, said there will also be junior bull riding, including miniature bulls.
Miniature bulls stand between 31 and 44 inches and are ridden by children under 14-years-old.
“I’ve never seen it myself. I’m excited,” he said. “I think it will just really be great.”
Events center manager Kevin Jolley said the event will include big name bull riders and PBR’s L.J. Jenkins will be judging the event.
Jolley said the last bull riding event at the events center brought in a crowd of 2,300 and organizers are expecting at least that if not more Friday and Saturday.
Texico’s Jeremy Cresswell, who’s producing the event, said the event is huge for the area and will bring in top names competing for prize money, including $14,000 first-place prize.
The audience can expect, “It’s pretty much going to be non-stop action from the time they get there.”
The event is sanctioned by the National Federation of Professional Bullriders, he said.
“It’s one of the bigger bull riding competitions going on besides the World Cup,” Crisswell said. “It’s great. They (NFPB) sanction about 150 bull riding events a year.”
Crisswell said the NFPB is looking to expand its events into the region because, “There’s a lot of bull riders from this part of the country and there’s not a lot (of events) close for them to go to.”
“For lots of people around here, it’s a a pretty big deal,” he said.
Crisswell said there will be another bull riding event of similar size during this year’s county fair.