North Carolinian riding confidence into BFO stop at Cody Stampede
CODY, Wyo. – Heading into the 2018 Bullfighters Only Wrangler Bullfight Tour stop at the Cody Stampede, Kris Furr is experiencing a nearly euphoric case of confidence.
He is fresh off a victory at the BFO event this past week at the Reno (Nev.) Rodeo, where he posted an 89.5-point fight in the Hooey Championship Round to claim the crown. Furr sits second in the Pendleton Whisky World Standings and moves a step closer to catching leader Toby Inman.
“Cody is going to be another fun bullfight,” said Furr of Hamptonville, N.C. “I’m just excited to be part of it. I try not to think too much about the bull side of the fight, but I know they’re going to be good.”
The animal is a major part of the equation. With scores based on a 100-point scale, half comes from the animal’s aggression and ability to stay hooked on to the fighter; the other half comes from the bullfighter’s ability to remain close while maneuvering around, and over the bull. That’s why Furr’s fight last week was so measurable.
“When you go out there with a hot bull and stick it all over him, it makes you feel good,” he said. “I had a crisp, clean bullfight, and it was definitely a confidence-booster. Now I’m ready for another.”
Furr pocketed $6,000 in Reno and trails Inman by less than $5,000 heading into a major run of rodeos that are part of the BFO’s Wrangler Bullfight Tour. He bested two-time reigning champion Weston Rutkowski for the Reno title, but both men put on spectacular fights.
“I felt like that was the best I’ve fought in a long time,” said Rutkowski, who placed second. “I made the moves I needed to. Even in my short-round bullfight with Sid Vicious, I only made one mistake and ended up paying for it. I was on my way to a 90-point bullfight, but stubbed my toe, and you can’t do that with a bull that good.”
Sid Vicious is owned by Manuel Costa, and the animal was named the BFO Bull of the Year in 2017. He proved it in the final few seconds of the bout by hooking the champ. Rutkowski sits No. 3 in the standings, more than $10,000 behind Inman.
“It’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon,” he said. “As long as I can pull some money here and there, it will be alright. I’m already off to a better start this year compared to last year. I just need to keep plugging away at it.”
He’ll have a good chance to add to it Saturday night in Cody. He was the runner-up in 2016 and won the title last year.
“Cody’s a place I love to come to,” said Rutkowski of Haskell, Texas. “The stands are packed, and it’s a great rodeo with a great event. The bulls always fight good there. Last year it kicked off my summer run, which was big in winning the world championship again.
“If a guy does well there, he can put his foot forward to that summer run. It’s fun to come back to an arena where you’ve done well before. You expect to do it again.”