ELLENSBURG, Wash. – Cody Webster has earned many accolades during a stellar bullfighting career.
He added another Friday night by becoming the first Bullfighters Only-Ellensburg champion with a strong bout with 12x and Costa’s Murder Ink – the duo moved around the Ellensburg Rodeo arena dirt in a brisk dance of athleticism that resulted in an 86-point bout.
“This is awesome,” said Webster of Wayne, Okla. “This is my third or fourth year of getting to come to this great rodeo and protect the bull riders. Now they’ve added the bullfights and made it even better.
“This is the first bullfight they’ve had in about 16 years. It’s a pretty neat deal to be the first BFO champion here. The committee’s really great to us; they go above and beyond and make us feel at home. It’s definitely a notch on the belt to win this.”
Dusty Tuckness of Meeteetse, Wyo., started the night of fights, producing a 78-point mark. Nate Jestes of Douglas, Wyo., was the second bullfighter and scored 80.
“Tuck had a decent bull but couldn’t get (the bull) to stay tied up,” Webster said. “Nate came out and had the strongest bull of the round, definitely the hottest bull. He didn’t get a strong start, and the bull got him treed.”
When the bull put Jestes in a tough position, the bullfighter scrambled up the fence to safety. That typically affects the overall score negatively.
“I knew I just needed to be solid and not pull anything crazy,” Webster said. “When I called for the bull, his first reaction was to kick out of there; he’s a young bull that’s not used to that flank. I just did what I had to; I just attacked him.”
By being aggressive, the Oklahoma man forced the bull to stay with him tightly. Webster made a series of rounds as Murder Ink stayed on Webster’s heels. Once the bullfighter earned a little separation, he was able to show off more moves, including a solid step-through. As he closed out his 60-second fight, Webster earned the separation he needed to finish the bout by jumping Murder Ink.
It made for the perfect ending to a top-notch evening of rodeo and bullfighting.
As the No. 1 bullfighter in the BFO, he added $1,500 to push his season earnings to $22,237. Jestes, who sits in second place in the standings, moved past the $20,000 mark with his second-place finish in Ellensburg.
“The crowd stayed hooked and was really responsive,” Webster said. “They were loud and intense. (The committee) was really stoked about the bullfights. It was a great event all the way around.”
1. Cody Webster, 86 points
2. Nate Jestes, 80
3. Dusty Tuckness, 78