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Twelve bull riders will go against some of the rankest livestock around at the 10th annual Mountain High Broncs and Bulls Saturday. (Kelly Black/For The Observer)
ENTERPRISE — The 10th annual Mountain High Broncs and Bulls Rodeo kicks off Saturday at the Wallowa County Fairgrounds in Enterprise.
This year, the cowboys will ride in an ironman competition, said organizer Lee Daggett. There will be 12 bull riders and 12 bronc riders — each will have the opportunity to ride three rounds.
All 24 competitors will ride the first round. The top six will go on to the second round and the top four will go on to the final round to compete for a portion of the total purse of $17,000.
Mini bulls make their debut at Broncs and Bulls this year, offering fun for kids ages 9 through 12.
Wild horse racing is also new to Broncs and Bulls, featuring teams from the Columbia River rodeo circuits.
Eleven proteams and one from Joseph, led by Wup Winn, will compete in the first round to qualify for the finals.
Wild horse racing has been revived from its roots in western rodeo history to becoming a popular rodeo event across the West.
The Mountain High Broncs and Bulls website says wild horse racing was one of the three original events in rodeo during the late 1800s.
Eventually it became too difficult to transport a three-man team and still make it profitable, so it became more of a local event until the mid-1970s when a group of cowboys formed the Wild Horse Racers of America, now called the Professional Wild Horse Racing Association, and brought the sport back to rodeo.
A wild horse race team consists of three people. The positions are known as shankman, mugger and rider, and they use a lead shank, halter and saddle.
This is the first time this event has been held at Broncs and Bulls and isn’t to be missed, organizers say.
As always, the spectator games “Ring of Fire” and “$100 the Hard Way” will continue to beg the question, “Just how stupid are you?”
Spectators enter the “Ring of Fire” by standing in a hula hoop in the middle of the arena with a Mexican bull.
The last participant standing wins, and many will get rammed by the unhappy bull.
“$100 the Hard Way” invites spectators to try and grab a $100 bill rubber banded to a bull’s horn as he thrashes about the arena.
The fun starts 1 p.m at the Wallowa County Fairgrounds in Enterprise.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and younger.