17-year-old Wilson advances to Las Vegas Championship posting 87.5-point bout
LAS VEGAS – Seth Wilson is a high school student in Jackson Hole, Wyo., but he’s getting quite the education this week in the City of Lights.
On Sunday afternoon during the third day of qualifying for the Bullfighters Only Las Vegas Championship, Wilson posted an 87.5-point bout, the highest-marked fight through the first four days of competition. He now advances to face the world’s top nine bullfighters in the preliminary rounds, set for at 2 p.m. Wednesday & Thursday at the Tropicana Casino and Resort.
“That was a really good bull,” said Wilson, 17. “He came out pretty hot. I just tried to hit him with the hardest fakes I could to make sure he’d take them. There were some things I would have liked to have done differently, but at the end of the day, I put forth the effort for what I came here to do.”
Because of his age, he had to have parental permission and a signed waiver in order to compete. That was no problem for Wilson, whose family runs a rodeo company in Wyoming. He used to ride bulls before transitioning to the bullfighting cleats.
“I fight for my family every week, so my mom knows I’ve got a passion for it,” he said. “She knows I have a chance to be successful at this.”
He proved it Sunday afternoon inside the Bullfighters Only tent at the Tropicana; the sellout crowd was on their feet for the duration of Wilson’s fight. In the toughest three-man section of the day, he outlasted Kris Buffalo of Maskwacis, Alberta, by just half a point.
“There are a lot of outstanding guys in the BFO, and we all watch them and want to be there,” Wilson said. “To get this opportunity these guys have been gracious to give me is a dream come true and it brings out all sorts of emotions.”
He will be joined by Jimmy Essary of Somersville, Tenn., who scored 76 points to win his section, and Ely Sharkey of Ainsworth, Neb., who was 79 to win his three-man group. They will compete in the two preliminary rounds, which take place Wednesday and Thursday.
Each day will feature three 3-man fights, with the winners advancing to Saturday’s championship. The other two bullfighters will move on to the Wild Card Round, set for Friday.
For Wilson, he now has the opportunity to play the game he loves with the bullfighters he’s been admiring for years. He also has a chance to win that $25,000 first-place prize.
“That’s pretty breathtaking,” he said of the top prize. “It would be an honor to be able to come up with that. It also gives you drive. It’s not going to come easy. The best guys in the world are going to be there. I’m going to find out how bad I really want it.”
Advancing to Las Vegas Championship
Jimmy Essary, 76; Seth Wilson, 87.5; and Ely Sharkey, 79