PENDLETON, Ore. – When his good friend Cody Greer was hooked to the ground, Evan Allard jumped in to help.
That’s what bullfighters do when one of their own is in trouble, but it took a toll on Allard, who had yet to compete during the Bullfighters Only tour stop in conjunction with the Pendleton Roundup, which took place Monday and Tuesday in Happy Canyon.
“I messed up my rib when Cody got hooked,” said Allard of Vinita, Okla. “It roughed up my ribs, so I was hurting when it came time for me to fight my bull.”
It worked out pretty well for the Oklahoma man, who posted an 86-point fight Tuesday night to win the Pendleton title. He edged out Dusty Tuckness of Meeteetse, Wyo., and Weston Rutkowski of Haskell, Texas, both of whom posted 85.5-point bouts on Monday – Tuckness earned second place by the tie-breaker, which referred back to the highest bullfighter score.
“I’d seen Cody Webster win the round in Caldwell (Idaho) on that bull,” said Allard, who matched each step with 12x and Costa Fighting Bulls’ Little Foot in Pendleton. “I knew all three of those bulls out (Tuesday) were Spaniard brothers, and I knew they’d be pretty hot. Good or bad, I knew they’d for sure come for the fight.”
That was the case with Little Foot. Allard threw a couple of strong fakes, and the bull drove past. Then the bullfighter made a round with Little Foot before the animal made his way to the barrel, plowing it end over end.
“I knew I was probably going to use the barrel more because I was hurt,” he said. “When he left me and went to the barrel, that just set me up for it.”
He worked the barrel well, then pulled Little Foot away for a couple more fakes, then returned to the barrel. He worked it masterfully to close out the fight and claim the crown.
“It was pretty important to get that win,” said Allard, who has been among the top 10 in the Bullfighters Only standings much of the season. “I needed a win. I’ve had a pretty rough last month or so. I’ve been hooked a bunch, in the arena and in the back pens. I took a nasty hooking at Caldwell and another one in Arlington, Minn., so I needed this.
“It’s been a few months since I won a BFO.”
Of course, winning an event that is tied to such a historic rodeo as the Pendleton Roundup is another feather in the bullfighter’s cap.
“It was an awesome atmosphere and an awesome setup,” he said of the Happy Canyon arena. “The town of Pendleton means a lot to the rodeo industry. For us to get to bring the bullfights there, and for me to win it, was pretty awesome.”
1. Evan Allard, 86 point
2. Dusty Tuckness, 85.5
3. Weston Rutkowski, 85.5
(Tuckness earns second place based on the tie-breaker, which reflected on the bullfighter’s score)