Nebraskan one of six men vying for Bullfighters Only title in Idaho city
LEWISTON, Idaho – Zach Call is not where he wants to be in regard to the Bullfighters Only Pendleton Whisky World Standings.
“I’m definitely not sitting anywhere close to where I want in eighth place in the standings,” said Call, 24, of Mullen, Neb. “Hopefully these next few bullfights, I can creep up a little more in the standings.”
His first step will be this weekend during BFO-Lewiston, held in conjunction with the Lewiston Roundup. He will be one of six men who will battle for this year’s championship. His good friend and traveling partner, Beau Schueth of O’Neill, Neb., is also hoping Lewiston is a success story.
“This stretch of BFO events has been a good opportunity to try to make up some ground on the top three guys, Weston (Rutkowski), Toby (Inman) and Dusty (Tuckness),” said Schueth, the No. 4 man in the standings. “We’ll have a little break before our stand-alone bullfight in Austin (Texas on Oct. 28). I want to get a little closer to them over these next few bullfights, then go into Austin with a chance to be No. 1.”
The goal, of course, is to finish the season on the mountaintop and claim the BFO world championship. Rutkowski did it a year ago during Bullfighters Only’s inaugural season, but there are plenty of opportunities for many of the others to make a move to dethrone the Texan.
It’s a good time to be part of the BFO.
“We’ve been hanging out in Lewiston, and we’ve run into a lot of people who have talked about us,” Call said. “It’s pretty cool to know that our BFO name is definitely out there.”
This marks the third time over in the last 12 months that Bullfighters Only has been to Lewiston. A year ago, BFO pioneer Nate Jestes won the first title in this town of city of 33,000 people. This past May, Tuckness won the first of two major stand-alone events when he claimed the Flexfit Invitational.
“Because of the BFO, we’re getting to come to some of the biggest rodeos in the PRCA, ones that you wouldn’t normally get to go to,” Schueth said. “It’s an awesome rodeo and a nice little town, and it’s just been an awesome feeling.
“I’ve had a good run at it. I’ve fought a lot of Spanish fighting bulls this summer and am really feeling good about it. I just need to keep solid, and everything else will take care of itself when we look at the standings.”
A key to freestyle bullfighting is having the right kind of animal in the mix. Costa Fighting Bulls will provide some of the most athletic and aggressive fighting bulls in the game during the two-day Lewiston event. That will give the bullfighters every opportunity to score points, but it will also increase the danger factor.
“We’ll have a couple of younger guys, and the bull power here is going to be really strong,” Call said. “It’s going to be a test for them to see how they handle it.”
The hottest fighting bulls – the ones that are always charging the bullfighters – have been able to get the best men in the business down from time to time. It’s just another aspect of the sport that makes it so fascinating for fans.
That’s also what draws the men to the game. They know they must test every ounce of ability, and having hot bulls in the mix is something they crave. It helps that the BFO regularly features the very best when it comes to bulls and bullfighters.
“Those guys make you fight better when they’re there with you,” Schueth said. “You know they’re going to bring their best, so you’ve got to bring your best if you want to win. You just feed off each other. It makes everybody better and makes the bullfight better.”
Call has been in the BFO mix for a little more than a year. He has proven his talents, finishing sixth in the Pendleton Whisky World Standings at the close of the 2016 season.
“There were a lot of these guys that were teaching bullfighting schools when I first started out,” Call said. “I look at it as though if you work hard enough, your teachers become your rivals.”