A new twist of fun is coming to this year’s Fair — Grant County Freestyle Bullfighting.
The action starts at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, at the Grant County Fairgrounds rodeo arena, and it’s free with admission to the Fair.
Organizers of the bullfighting event said the crowd can expect an evening of “nonstop thrills, spills and family entertainment” as cowboys face off with bulls.
The winner of the event will take home $1,500 in prize money and a custom buckle.
Trever Hamsher of Prairie City was a bullfighter for 15 years, working six years professionally.
He’s now retired from the sport, but offered his perspective as one who’s been in the ring.
“Freestyle bullfighting is 60 seconds of the most intense extreme sport you will ever see,” Hamsher said. It’s “exciting western entertainment.”
“Bullfights” may cause a person to think of traditional bullfighting in Spain and Mexico, but Hamsher said this event is different.
“The bulls in this event are not harmed, whatsoever,” he said. “There are no capes or swords, just the moves the rodeo bullfighter has.”
The event will consist of three rounds with two bullfighters in each round going head to head with what Hamsher says are some of the meanest bulls in the country.
Bullfighters competing at the event come from Oregon, Washington and as far away as Louisiana.
The winner of each round will advance to the championship round where a winner is decided.
In judging, there are 100 points possible for the bullfighters and 100 points for the bulls.
The bullfighters are judged on control, aggression, style, difficulty and creativity, and the purebred Spanish fighting bulls are judged on aggression, speed, difficulty and agility.
A bullfighter has one minute to earn up to 100 points with the option to stop the fight at anytime after the first 40 seconds without risking point deductions.
If the bullfighter does not make it to the 40 second mark, he will be disqualified.
Between rounds, fans will be treated to clown acts and a drill team performance. They’ll also hold a rifle raffle.
“I hope people enjoy the new event,” Hamsher said. “It should be action packed, and I hope to see everyone there.”