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Bullfighters watch over arena

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ARLEE — Not many people would willingly stand in front of an angry bull, but that is exactly what bullfighters do.

“It’s about mindset,” Bullfighter Seth Spain said.

Bullfighters were a pivotal element to the 34th Annual Arlee Rodeo on July 4 — as they are with any rodeo. They stay in the arena next to the fence as the bull is let loose with a rider on its back. The bull attempts to buck the rider off by kicking and spinning every which way.

The bullfighter steps in when the rider comes off the bull. A bullfighter’s job is to distract the bull’s attention off the rider and onto himself. “It takes a lot of training to do this,” he said. And the bullfighters can get kicked, mauled and flipped in the process. Many of the bullfighters at the Arlee rodeo came in contact with the bulls, although none of the bullfighters were seriously hurt during this year’s rodeo.

Spain said the padded vest he wears under his baggy attention-getting clothes helps with the impact. In the past, Spain did sustain an injury to his knee ligament during a different rodeo. “I once blew out my ACL,” he said.

He was back in the arena after a few months of healing. “I love this rodeo,” he said. Callie Otoupalik is another person that loves rodeo. She grew up in Arlee but is currently traveling all over the country participating in rodeos. She was home for a day over the Fourth of July and decided to spend her break participating in her hometown rodeo in the breakaway contest. “It’s good to be home,” she said, even if it was only for a short time. Results Tie Down Roping 1. Scott McAllister, 10.5, $440 2. Cody Sheridan, 11.1, $330 3. Tim Bagnell, 12.4, $220 4. Ryan Bagnell, 12.6, $110 Saddle Bronc Riding 1. Jake Caldwell, 74, $420 2. Brandon Galbreath, 70, $280 Ladies Barrel Racing 1. Janet Baughman, 14.97, $511.50 2. Hallie Sohr, 15.18, $418.50 3. Ruby O’Connor, 15.30, $310 4. Mariah Morgan, 15.43, $201.50 5. Becky Jo Dumont, 15.48, $108.50 Bareback 1. Dusty Morigeau, 68, $360 2. Dalton May, 63, $420 Breakaway Roping 1. Cassie Jumper, 3.5, $400 2. Haley O’Hern, 4.2, $300 3. Ashley Anderson, 4.9, $200 4. Josey Wilcox, 5.8, $100 Stock Saddle Bronc 1. Dusty Morigeau, 75, $350 2. Clay Reynolds, 67, $210 3. Dustin Datisman, 51, $140 Team Roping 1. Herb Harris and Scott McAllister, 7.6, $480 each 2. Jim and Jay Running Fisher, 13.7, $360 each 3. Steve and Kathy Edwards, 14.3, $240 each 4. Jerome and Shorty Mall, 16.4, $120 each (No qualifying rides in Bull Riding or Pony Bareback)

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