Kalispell Cowboys Up for Bull Riding Event

By Beacon Staff

Bull riding, the activity that has been called “the most dangerous eight seconds in sport,” will arrive in Kalispell July 30-31. Sixty cowboys from across the Northwest are expected to compete in the two-day competition, hosted at the Majestic Valley Arena by the Elite Professional Bullriders.

“I think a lot of people are going to think it’s just another bullriding event, and it’s not,” EPB executive secretary Sara Hofer said. “We’ve got laser shows, lights, rodeo queens with their flags, an awesome announcer and barrelmen that are all top of the line.”

As the 25th competition in the EPB’s 2009-2010 schedule, Hofer expects the weekend event will draw several thousand people each night.

Both Friday and Saturday nights will feature 30 rides as well as a top-ten ride. At stake is a purse that Hofer predicts will amount to $12,500. The EPB supplies $5,000 and the rest is sourced from rider entry fees.

Musical entertainment will directly follow the bullriding on both nights. On Friday, Canadian singer Terri Clark will perform while Arkansas-native Joe Nichols will take the stage Saturday night. Clark, the only Canadian female member of the Grand Ole Opry is known for her song “Girls Lie Too,” while Nichols is the Grammy-nominated singer of “Brokenheartsville.”

“We all know that Terri Clark and Joe Nichols are going to be awesome as they have wonderful albums that have won many awards,” Hofer said. “But to combine that with the EPB and the bullriders, it’s going to be fantastic; just the ultimate.”

Founded in February 2008, the Acton-based EPB is a relative newcomer on the bullriding competition circuit.

“There was a need for the bullriders, stock contractors and everyone involved to make sure there was a higher level of competition going on,” Hofer said. “It’s really increased not only the cowboy power, but also the bull power and all the kinds of things that these events bring.”

Over the past two years, Hofer says the organization has expanded from solely hosting competitions in Montana to extending its destinations to Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Canada.

“We eventually would like to become a well-known name of our own accord,” she said. “It’s a lot of very hard work, but it will be possible over the next couple of years.”

Currently leading the EPB standings is Nathan Hofer of Billings, Mont., with $8,146.17 in total winnings. Parker Breding of Edgar, Mont., is in second place with $6,764.66 while Brett Crump of Miles City, Mont., is in third with $6,019.71.

Bullriding starts both evenings at 6:00 p.m. and concessions and a full-bar will be available for purchase. Tickets for one night of bullriding and a concert are $38 for adults and $15 for kids 14 and under. Tickets for both nights are $60.

For more information, call (406) 755-5366 or go online at www.majesticvalleyarena.com.

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