Sunday at the Rodeo Grounds

Cody Samora's 90-point ride on a bull named Gangbuster

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Yesterday was, hands down, the perfect day for rodeo – clear skies, low winds, and warm weather. Today took a windy turn, but it seemed to only affect the performers. Seven-thousand spectators descended on the Tucson Rodeo Grounds and the atmosphere was affable. It was a family event with a whiskey polish. Folks walked along the rows, buying everything from kettle-corn & toy guns to belt buckles & whiskey shots. It was a tough day for today’s athletes, though – especially during the roping events – and the wind, most likely, was a factor.

Of eight tie down runs there were only two qualified rides. Seth Hall, heralding from Albuquerque, New Mexico, led the pack, scoring only three-tenths of a second ahead of P.J. Spencer of Collinsville, Oklahoma. Seth and P.J. scored at 13.4 seconds and 13.7 seconds, respectively.

The real show-stopper was in the finale. After a series of ‘no score’ rides, Cody Samora had the closest thing to a perfect ride thus far. The bull, Gangbuster, broke wide and spun fast, but Cody managed to hang on and take home the only 90 point ride of the day, more than enough to carry him into the next round.

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Yesterday’s nameless bull – carrying Chandler Bownds onward with an 86 point ride – has been, as of five o’clock this evening, officially named. As things turned out, Joan Liess – media coordinator for the Tucson Rodeo – decided to have a little fun with this one. Via the ‘Fiesta de los Vaqueros’ Facebook Page, it was decided that the public would decide what we’d be calling this up-and-coming slab of fury. After posting a request for name suggestions yesterday afternoon, it’s been decided that bull number 781 will be known from here on in, simply, as ‘Facebook.’

Slack events will be running through Wednesday next week. Full performances will begin again at two o’clock Thursday afternoon, after the celebrated non-motorized parade earlier that day. Until then, I have images to sort through, which I intend to post periodically throughout the course of the next few days.

I hope you enjoy ’em.

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