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Wednesday, Sep 23rd

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Wild Thing Championship Bullriding draws fans to Red Rock Park

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Even after 23 years, Wild Thing Championship Bullriding continued to draw old and new fans to Red Rock Park for a two-performance extravaganza full of testosterone, fireworks, the baddest bulls, the toughest cowboys, and a cowboy poker game that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Add to that a little wooley riding by the younger set – some call it mutton busting – and a yearly contribution from parking fees and a concession stand benefitting the Manuelito Navajo Children’s Home and Gallup Christian School … and Wild Thing pretty much has it all in one package.

The heavily sponsored event, which was held at Red Rock Park on July 8 - 9, also made the persistent cowboys – the ones who manage to stay on for the eight-second ride – a little happier at the end of the day, when they collected their checks.

Only four managed this feat last weekend, pocketing almost $22,000. Rozen Nobles scored an 89 ($8,656) for first place; 17-year-old Tucson cowboy Tyler McBay scored 87 ($6,491) and will have another story to tell classmates when he returns for his senior year in high school; Lane Granger of Tuba City was third with a score of 83 ($4,328); and Lupton, Ariz., bullrider Tustin Daye was fourth with an 82-point ride for $2,163.

Round 24 will get started in just a couple of months, as another batch of bulls and boys gets together next July for bragging rights, hard-luck tales, and maybe some money to go with the excitement of the crowds and the event itself. Be there, or feel left out of the action.

By Tom Hartsock

Sun Correspondent