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Bulldogging Shoot Out Tests Cowboy Skills


The Sisters Rodeo is about to kick off, and to prepare, cowboys were getting to know their competition on Wednesday. At the Central Oregon Bulldogging Shoot Out, the competitors had a chance to practice their skills.

As soon as the gates open, it’s man vs. steer as he tries to wrestle his competition to the ground.

“You want the steer to move a little bi, and just ride him out,” said competitor Billy Bugenig. “And then just try and get him down as fast as you can.”

People traveled from all over the country to watch and compete at a ranch in Tumalo. The men were getting practice before the Sisters Rodeo and hoping to win some cash.

“Because I’ve had almost a month off,” said cowboy Todd Suhn. “I’ve been ranching in South Dakota, so we drove all the way to Oregon. I’m going to start my summer off right now, and this is a good practice session for tomorrow.”

The practice isn’t just for the cowboys. The calves are new to the sport and learned what they would be experiencing at the rodeo.

“It gets them ready and gets them, you know, used to being thrown down,” said cowboy Miles Switzer. “And it just helps us out to see what we’re up against.”

Many of the competitors said a good horse is the difference between winning and losing.

“He has to get really close to the steer, so you can place your feet out in front,” said Bugenig. “So, without a fast horse, that scores good and leads hard, you won’t be able to catch.”

Even though many of the riders want to get cash, the event is also giving back to a charity. It helps out cowboys and their families after they’re injured and need time to recuperate.

“The Cowboy Crisis Fund for the circuit is getting money for this, and getting money raised today,” Suhn said. “It’s a great showing. Lots of support around the community for this.”

The action leads up to the Sisters Rodeo that kicks off Thursday.

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