DODGE CITY, Kan. – Nate Jestes has another reason to love Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.
On Tuesday night, Jestes posted a 91-point score to win the Bullfighters Only stop in Dodge City and pushed himself back to the No. 1 spot in the BFO standings.
“It felt awesome,” said Jestes of Douglas, Wyo. “I came and worked the bull riding (as a protection bullfighter), so I was feeling it in the legs a little bit toward the end of my (freestyle) bullfight. To come out here and win this event, especially against guys like Dusty Tuckness, Weston (Rutkowski) and Zach (Flatt), I’m truly blessed to do what I’m doing.”
Jestes was the standings leader much of the season but was passed by Rutkowski a little more than a week ago. With his marking Tuesday, Jestes has the second highest score posted in Bullfighters Only’s inaugural season – Tuckness was 91.5 points to win Cody, Wyo., a month ago.
The total score on a 100-point scale is based on up to 50 points for the bullfighter and 50 points for how well the bull performs. The Wyoming man knew he had a great opportunity even before his fight began, thanks in large part to one of the other combatants.
“Dusty came up to me right before I fought, and he said, ‘Nate, you’ve got the one to win it on; go do your thing,’ ” Jestes said. “Right then and there I knew if I went out and performed and do what I do, I’d have a pretty good chance to win this deal.”
Bullfighters Only was developed a little more than a year ago and has been playing in front of some of the biggest venues and most prestigious events in the game. Dodge City Roundup Rodeo is just one of a number of the top rodeos in the country that is featuring the BFO in 2016.
“I think we’ve done a very good job of bringing the freestyle bullfighting world back to the mainstream,” Jestes said.
It was a big hit in Dodge City on Tuesday night, and Jestes is glad. This is his second year to serve as a protection bullfighter, and he is excited to be the first champion of the Bullfighters Only event in Roundup history.
“I came to this rodeo the first time last year, and it quickly became one of my favorites,” he said. “It’s an honor to be considered one of the best and to come here to Dodge City.”
DODGE CITY RESULTS
1. Nate Jestes, 91 points
2. Dusty Tuckness, 87
3. Zach Flatt, 86
4. Weston Rutkowski, 79