BRIGHTON, Fla. – By Ted Harbin – The Brighton Field Day Festival has a long history of exciting events, with 79 years of extreme entertainment.
The organizers of the Field Day Festival and PRCA Rodeo are adding to that this year with three days of Bullfighters Only freestyle bullfighting competition. It takes place Friday through Sunday at Fred Smith Rodeo Arena and will feature nine of the top freestyle bullfighters in the world.
“We have a lot of activities with our festival, and Bullfighters Only is a perfect fit for what we produce,” said Marvin Hines of the Seminole Tribe. “We are pulling out all the stops to make this the best freestyle event Florida has seen to date. It’s going to be great.”
The Brighton event will kick off BFO’s 2017 season and is one of three events planned for this weekend. Bullfighters Only will also host events in Red Deer, Alberta, and San Angelo, Texas, on Saturday.
WAR Fighting Bulls from Texas will provide the challengers that the fighters will face in hopes of claiming a lion’s share of the $10,000 payout. BFO paid upwards of $300,000 in prize money during the inaugural 2016 season.
“I’m looking forward to visiting new towns and taking advantage of new opportunities,” said Toby Inman of Davis Junction, Ill. “Obviously getting back to places where we’ve been will be awesome, but this is a new year, and we are adding to our tour.
“The fans are going to love what Bullfighters Only brings to the table.”
Bullfighters Only has been growing freestyle bullfighting for the past two years. After 17 years away from the spotlight, freestyle bullfighting has surged back to the mainstream thanks to the presence of the BFO. The sport continues to grow.
“This will be our first event in Florida,” Weston Rutkowski said. “The Sunshine State is very rodeo-savvy the fans will hold you accountable for your performance in the arena – good or bad.”
A big part of Bullfighters Only’s success lies within the heart-stopping action that comes with the extreme danger in freestyle bullfighting. Men will try to stay within inches of the bulls, which are bred to be part of this type of fight. The most successful will keep the animal engaged closely while showcasing true athleticism to stay out of harm’s way.
At Brighton, Rutkowski and Inman will be joined by seven others considered to be among the best in the business. With scores based on a 100-point scale, men can earn up to 50 points per fight based on their ability to exhibit control and style while maneuvering around or over an animal; a bull can earn up to 50 points based on its quickness, aggression and willingness to stay with the bullfighter.
“It’s going to be a great event, and I’m really looking forward to showing everyone in Florida what sets Bullfighters Only apart from other bullfights.” Inman said.