ELLENSBURG, Wash. – Being a veteran, Dusty Tuckness knew just what was necessary during his bout last weekend at the Bullfighters Only event in conjunction with the Ellensburg Rodeo.
The Meeteetse, Wyo., man massaged every point possible out of WAR Fighting Bulls’ Banana Mill to earn the Bullfighters Only-Ellensburg championship and remain among the top three in the Pendleton Whisky World Standings.
“It worked out alright,” Tuckness said of his 83.5-point fight. “I handled my bull decent. I didn’t have the hottest bull, but I got a few things done with him.”
He edged Beau Schueth of O’Neill, Neb., by half a point to claim the championship. Tuckness has now earned more than $21,000 and has earned his third BFO title this season – he also won stand-alone events earlier this year in Lewiston, Idaho, and Decatur, Texas.
Battling Banana Mill, Tuckness used his experience to keep the bull close. The closer to danger the bullfighter gets, the more opportunities there are to score points.
“He was one of the slower bulls, so it helped that I kept him corned up,” he said. “He kept getting distracted toward the outside, so I had to keep pushing him to stay close.”
Tuckness used several maneuvers to do so. On a couple of occasions, he pulled off a move called a “cape,” in which the bullfighter side steps the bull; as the animal moved through, Tuckness draped his right arm across its back signifying a bull passing through a cape.
With each step, though, the fans in Ellensburg remained on the edges of their seats. That’s just the way the competitors like it.
“Everybody in Ellensburg really enjoyed the bullfights,” he said. “When we were signing autographs afterward, that’s all everybody was talking about. Many of them said that they liked it years ago when the bullfights were at Ellensburg and that they really liked it back with the BFO.”
1. Dusty Tuckness, 83.5 points on WAR Fighting Bulls’ Banana Mill
2. Beau Schueth, 83
3. Zach Call, 78