For the first time in its 68-year history, attendees of the Howard County Fair finally got to see some bucking bulls.
With a new event called Bull Blast held the evening of Monday, Aug. 5, the fair launched itself into the ring with professional bull riders putting on a show for “close to 3,000” cheering fans, according to fair organizer Kenny Livesay.
“We're going to see some spills, some falls, maybe a couple cowboys getting bucked off real good,” said Justin Howard, of Rockin “R” Western Productions, which produced the show. “We're going to have some fun.”
But as much fun as it is for those watching, the danger for the riders is palpable.
“It's not if or when you get hurt, it's how bad,” said bull rider DJ Colson, of Frederick. “It's bound to happen eventually.”
Some of the cowboys were thrown off right out of the gate, and others stayed on for the full eight seconds, or longer. The longer the ride, the louder the crowd cheered. T
he event also featured a rodeo clown in full makeup and a bullseye painted on his backside; a mutton busting competition, which is similar to bull riding but involves children and smaller farm animals; and barrel racing, where riders completed a course on horseback.
“It's a lot of fun,” said Howard. “If we can get this one successfully done this year, we're going to try to do one next year.”
Livesay said Monday’s event was a “huge success, better than we possibly could have predicted.”
He said he plans to bring the show back next year.