Retired bullfighter teams with BFO to produce event at his hometown rodeo
BURLINGTON, Colo. – Even though he has retired before his title now, Cory Wall will forever be a bullfighter.
These days, though, his focus is closer to home. He’s added a few more titles to his name: Kit Carson County Commissioner, rodeo producer, husband and dad. They all matter to the Burlington man, and he puts them all together with the Kit Carson County ProRodeo.
He introduced freestyle bullfighting to the hometown crowd four summers ago, and this year he is teaming with Bullfighters Only to put on a tour event, set for Friday, July 29, in Burlington.
“As a bullfighter, I’ve always felt like what I did and what other bullfighters did was something you don’t see at every other rodeo,” said Wall, the 2009 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s Bullfighter of the Year. “I knew that most of the people in my community had not seen what we could do.
“I wanted to bring in some different kind of entertainment than they were used to. Needless to say, it’s been a home run, and it’s been one of the most talked about things all year long.”
That appeal is the guiding force for Bullfighters Only, which is in its inaugural season. Bullfighters utilize their tremendous athleticism to try to outwit and outmaneuver equally athletic bulls, which are bred specifically for this type of fight.
“I helped the BFO out in Vegas last December, and it looked like they had their stuff together,” Wall said. “They’re doing a great job of marketing and advertising and really selling that industry.
“I was contacted by the BFO wanting to know if I’d consider being a BFO event. I know most of those guys, and I thought it would be a great fit.”
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.
All those things are attractive to the men who do this for a living.
“There is no other feeling that I’ve ever felt in my life than when I threw a fake, and this bull fell down right at my feet,” said Zach Flatt of Fittstown, Okla. “You feel like you can conquer the world.”
Flatt will be one of five bullfighters that will compete for the Kit Carson County ProRodeo Bullfighters Only title. Burlington is the 17th of 30 regular-season stops for the elite group of men who make up the BFO.
“It’s not just a group of bullfighters, and it’s not just a group of people wanting to put on a bullfight,” he said. “It’s a group of elite bullfighters wanting to team up and put this bullfight on and make it a showcase. Bullfighters Only literally has all the top guys in freestyle bullfighting.”
In fact, that’s what Wall liked most about having the BFO be part of his hometown event.
“I think they’re taking freestyle bullfighting to a new level,” Wall said. “You’ve got a bunch of young athletes that are spending time with each other day in and day out, and they’re challenging each other. They spend the whole week trying to outdo each other. By the time they get to an event, they’re doing some bizarre things, some incredibly athletic things.”
Flatt has showcased his talent before the Burlington crowd before, and he’s excited to make his return.
“I went to his bullfight two years ago, and it treated me really good,” he said. “It was a great rodeo and a great crowd, and it was an outstanding bullfight.
“It’s always great to be around somebody like Cory Wall. I’m sure he will be in the (ProRodeo) Hall of Fame for all he’s done. It’s always great to surround yourself with people like that.”
That’s just what Bullfighters Only is all about, and fans in Burlington will reap the rewards.