Bullarama attracts large crowd

It was man versus beast at the second annual Bullarama at the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex on May 2.
Approximately 1,400 people made their way into the arena for an evening of high energy entertainment, dancing and good camaraderie.

Russel Friend from Irrican tried his luck on a bull named Sour Grapes during the second annual Spring Twist-Off Bullarana at the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex on May 2.

Russel Friend from Irrican tried his luck on a bull named Sour Grapes during the second annual Spring Twist-Off Bullarana at the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex on May 2.

It was man versus beast at the second annual Bullarama at the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex on May 2.

Approximately 1,400 people made their way into the arena for an evening of high energy entertainment, dancing and good camaraderie.

Sherry Gummow, president of the Agricultural Society was pleased with the number of people that came and was glad for the volunteer help.

“We had a better count than last year,” said Gummow. “Everything went smoothly and there were a lot more people that stepped up to the plate to volunteer.”

There were 30 Professional Bull Riders but an unexpected injury brought the number down to 29 during the PBR sanctioned event.

Every rider had his chance to ride in the long go and the top six riders proceeded for a chance to win it all in the short go.

Spectators were kept on the edge of their seats holding their breaths hoping that the rider would stay on his bull for the longest eight seconds in sports..

Ben Kinkead won $2,520 for his go of 86, Miles Pennington was close behind with a score of 85 and raked in $1,890. In third place, Kyle French won $1,260 with 83 and riders Pat Paterson and Kas Griffin tied with 79 and each won $315.

Jim Kuefler was one of the many that were bucked off and described bull riding as a ‘hit or miss’ opportunity.

“Some days are diamonds and some are some days are stones,” said Kuefler.

Elaine Makkinga was one of the many spectators at the Bullarama and was excited to watch the riders try and outlast the bulls.

“It was fabulous,”said Makkinga. “It was awesome that the professional riders came from all over Alberta. It was a great community event.”

The bulls proved to be in charge as most riders were bucked off before the eight second mark and some riders received minor scrapes and bruises.

Denise Colyn, a big fan of bull riding, was glad she attended the event and was excited to see the dynamics between the rider and his bull.

“It was awesome, I really enjoyed it,” said Colyn. “There was so much energy with the bull riding and it’s obvious that the bulls usually have the upper hand.”

Mexican poker was also a crowd draw. Four men sat around a small table and played poker while a bull was released from the chute and bucked close to the table. The last two sitting at the table were the winners.

Elizabeth Bouwman enjoyed the excitement but was glad that no one was seriously injured.

“I thought it was really cool to watch,” said Bouwman. “There were a couple of really close calls, it was very interesting.”

A cabaret followed the performance and everyone was ushered into the small arena for an evening of music and dancing.

Kevin Hitchings had a good time at the cabaret and enjoyed the community atmosphere.

“I thought it was awesome,” said Hitchings. “There were a lot of cool people to talk and hang out with.”

Brandi Thomson also enjoyed the atmosphere and was pleased that many people came to encourage the Ag Society and the riders.

“It was a great community event,” said Thomson. “It’s great to see everyone getting together to support the Ag Society and the sport of bull riding.”

Gummow is already anticipating the next Bullarama and is looking forward to making it another great and successful event.