Gearing up for his third time in the ring, local bull fighter Ty Prescott has been invited back to bull fight for the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) this year in Red Deer.
Prescott is one of three bullfighters who have been personally invited by competing riders to fight at the rodeo, something he says is something of prestige within the sport.
“It’s a pretty big honour for me to get voted in by the bull riders. The only way to get there is if the top 12 guys in Canada want you there, so it’s very humbling to be selected to go and fight for Canada’s 12 best,” he said. “(The CFR) is kind of the top of the line in our sport. For bull fighters, once you’re there it’s like the Stanley Cup of the NHL, that’s what the CFR is for us.”
The CFR is a five-day rodeo that amongst other rodeo events, sees 12 of the best bull riders in Canada attending to compete.
Prescott said it’s been a goal of his since day one of bull fighting to be attending the CFR and coming home with a belt buckle to match; something he added he was fortunate to be returning for a third time.
“It’s bullfighting or nothing. I’ve put all my eggs into the bullfighting basket and this is just where it’s gotten me,” he explained.
“In the last couple years I’ve had a pretty good career, this should be my third time going to the Canadian Finals voted in as a bullfighter there and hopefully in November I get to go back to the (Professional Bull Riding) Finals as well.”
Prescott has been bull fighting professionally for roughly 14 years. He explained he got into it initially by happenstance after finding out that bull riding wasn’t for him.
“I rode bulls a little bit and wasn’t that good at it,” he said. “I was at a rodeo one day and a bullfighter didn’t show up, so I said I’d do it and it kind of just carried on from then.”
Rodeo is a sport that runs in the family, Prescott added it’s something he, his uncles and father are all involved in and has been around him his whole life.
Naturally, it’s a profession that comes with its fair share of risks. Prescott said he’s walked away with several severe injuries and broken bones during his tenure.
“If it looks like (the bull rider) is getting into a bind we have to place ourselves in a position where if somebody needs to get run over it’s going to be us and not the rider,” he said. “Whether that means one of us going out with a broken leg or a broken rib, at all costs we put our body on the line to make sure the riders are safe.”
The CFR is scheduled to run from Nov. 3-7 at Westerner Park in Red Deer.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times