Nebraska bullfighter punches his ticket to short round of Las Vegas Championship
LAS VEGAS – A year ago, Zach Call had to battle through the Wild Card in order to advance to the Las Vegas Championship’s final round.
He managed to avoid it this year, posting a solid 79-point fight to win his section Wednesday afternoon during the first of two Preliminary Rounds of the Bullfighters Only Las Vegas Championship at the Tropicana Casino and Resort.
“I had a solid little bull from Brett Hall’s string, and he gave me an honest shot to win it,” said Call, who will be joined on Championship Saturday by the other two winners from Wednesday, Jimmy Essary and Cody Emerson.
Now the three bullfighters will await Thursday’s second Preliminary Round and Friday’s Wild Card to see who else will make it to the final day of the 2017 season.
“I think having a little bit of a break from it is going to be the key to being healthy for the short round,” said Call of Mullen, Neb. “I’m a little sore, but not bad.”
Call had the best bullfight in his three-man bout, but he still was a bit overwhelmed by his bull, which hooked him and pushed him into the panels. Call rebounded and was able to finish his bout well.
“I think there were a couple of mistakes I had that hurt my score,” he said. “I thought when I threw that fake that I should have had him make a round with me. Getting hooked confirmed that.”
He hopes to clean up those mistakes by the time the final round arrives at 2 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s just about having a confident mind when you walk into the arena,” Call said. “That’s so important, especially when you’re talking about these bulls we have here.”
When he wasn’t in the arena, Call watched many of the top young bullfighters in the game as they battled through last week’s qualifiers. The entire five days of BFO action has been world class.
“We’ve sold out the crowd almost every day, and the location at the Tropicana and being on the strip is awesome,” he said. “There have been some handy kids, and you can see the ones that are ready to be at this level. The bulls we’re running at this event are a little stronger than what we’re used to, but this is the next level.
“The guys that get up after taking a hooking will eventually figure it out, because they want to be out there.”
Advancing to Las Vegas Championship Finals
Zach Call, 79; Jimmy Essary, 85; and Cody Emerson, 81.5