The Tropicana home of Gary Leffew’s Bucking Ball will host the BFO outside during the day. According to the BFO press release, fans should expect to see the explosive show they’ve come to love with more artistic flair and special effects than ever before. The Nevada desert is where dreamers come to fulfill their biggest fantasies, whether it’s cashing in at the tables or walking away with a world championship.
BFO has $100,000 on the table for payout. The BFO Las Vegas Championship is Dec. 7-10 and 13-16, at the Tropicana.
“There’s a lot of money up for grabs in Vegas, and that atmosphere is what gets everybody excited,” said Weston Rutkowski, the reigning Bullfighters Only world champion. “It’s the bright lights,” he said.
“That’s where you go to prove to people that you know what you’re doing. It’s also a chance for several other bullfighters to catch me in the standings. I can’t sit back and let them come at me. I’ve got to go in there and earn that world title.”
Chasing Rutkowski in the world standings is Kris Furr a 26-year-old originally from Hamptonville, North Carolina. Furr started 2017 off working for Barnes PRCA Rodeo in Perry, Georgia and is currently third in the world standings.
Marty Barnes, owner of Barnes PRCA Rodeo, complimented Kris’s ability. He said, “Kris is an outstanding bullfighter. I was always confident to have him in our arena during the last three years.”
“The Barnes gave me my start in 2014,” stated Furr and continued, “They were the first PRCA rodeo I worked in Shawnee, Penn. then straight to their rodeo in Atlantic City in New Jersey. “
Miles Jones, another regular bullfighter for Barnes PRCA Rodeo, is a qualifier for the BFO. Jones also from North Carolina fought bulls at Minnesota’s oldest PRCA Rodeo in Buffalo, Minn. this past June thrilling the crowd with his moves and velocity. “He is a good hand, and I’m excited to see him have success in the BFO matches,” said Barnes.
Together the duo is representing the East Coast well for professional bullfighters. “They worked our rodeos from Minnesota to Georgia to New Jersey to Wisconsin and always did a good job. They always accepted the challenge of any bull we turned out of the chute,” finished Barnes.
Jones got an invitation to the BFO Las Vegas qualifier just last month. “I’m really excited about it, and I’ve been waiting for a shot to go to the BFOs,” he told CLN. The last time he competed in Las Vegas he won the 2014 NFR Bucking Stock Sale. “What better place than the biggest stage in rodeo. I’m just going to go out there and make the best of it,” continued Jones.
The first round of the qualifiers is December 8th, and the winner moves to preliminary round, semi-finals and finals.
The one-armed bandit slot machines and blackjack tables will see plenty of cowboy hats next week. Furr has a guaranteed seat in the bullfights championships.
“It’s gonna be hard. This is the first time I’ve fought bulls for money in Vegas,” Furr acknowledged about staying focused. The last time he fought bulls in Sin City was at the stock sale on his permit in 2014.
Furr is looking forward to the PRCA Convention first where he’ll continue filling his rodeo schedule for 2018. “Usual you and just one other guy (are at a rodeo). Most bullfighters run with other bullfighters. We all come together as one big group,” Furr acknowledged noting what makes Las Vegas so special.
“I worked 30 rodeos…. oh man I probably went to 20 bullfights,” Furr referenced about his 2017 year.
To elevate the sport of freestyle bullfighting, Bullfighters Only has announced that a $50,000 bonus will be awarded to the 2017 BFO World Champion upon the completion of the 2017 BFO Las Vegas Championship. Plus this year marks the third year of the Roughy Cup, which was the first BFO competition ever in December 2015.
“If I could go in there and win everything I’d be making six figures as a bullfighter. I remember when I was a kid fighting sheep, I got paid $10 a rodeo. Not even a performance, a whole rodeo. That is a step up,” he joked.
“Bullfighters Only is underlined by our commitment to freestyle bullfighting and showcasing the sport’s very best athletes,” said Aaron Ferguson, founder, and CEO of Bullfighters Only. “Our sponsors have been the guiding force for us from the beginning, and they continue to grow with us.”
The Las Vegas champion will win $25,000. The winner of the BFO world title, which could be different than the winner of the Las Vegas Championship, will win $50,000. The total purse for the Las Vegas Championship is $50,000, so the BFO will pay out more than $100,000.
“BFO Las Vegas is truly our crown jewel event,” Ferguson said. “the competition will be heated, and we’re going to see some upsets along the way.”
“My initial draw to the bullfights was to help my career and work more rodeos. Today I love them both equally. It’s kinda the same love, and they go hand in hand, ” Furr said. Furr books his rodeos first and competes in bullfights where the money is right to make a living.
“Cowboy protection….Joe Baumgartner was my idol. Any video I could watch since I was a kid,” he shared. This past September Kurr told CLN their path kinda crossed, “Oh my God that is Joe Baumgartner and I was star struck at Pendleton…Will Smith could have walked by and I wouldn’t have cared.”
Kurr likes the bullfighting style of Mike Matt and Greg Ruhmor. ” I love watching the old Wrangler bullfights. I like watching Greg stand out there bouncing around…then gets on his knee shoots the bull with a pistol.”
BFO’s Seeded Bullfighters
- Weston Rutkowski
- Toby Inman
- Kris Furr
- Dayton Spiel
- Schell Apple
- Justin Josey
- Zach Call
- Tanner Zarnetski
- Cody Emerson
Las Vegas Championship Schedule
All performances begin at 2 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 7: Roughy Cup – a stand-alone competition featuring the top nine athletes in the BFO. The event has become a staple for BFO fans.
Friday, Dec. 8-Sunday, Dec. 10: Qualifier Rounds – An open door for the sport’s rising talent, providing a chance to compete at the elite level. Nine of the 27 bullfighters competing will advance to the Preliminary Rounds.
Wednesday, Dec. 13-Thursday Dec. 14: Preliminary Rounds – Winners from each performance advance to Championship Saturday.
Friday, Dec. 15: Wild Card Round – Bullfighters will get one final chance to advance to Championship Saturday.
Saturday, Dec. 16: The 2017 BFO world champion will be crowned at the completion of a 9-man semifinals, followed by the 3-man Hooey Championship Round.
© Todd Brewer
© Todd Brewer
© Todd Brewer
© Todd Brewer
© Todd Brewer
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