Just for sport

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Instead of green grass and 100 yards of ground to cover, dirt and dust filled the small arena that was coated with the smell of fresh manure. There is only one player on each team: a raging bull and its daring rider.

Dan Remington had high hopes for a flawless ride on a recent Wednesday night as he entered the chute at Buffalo Chip Saloon and Steakhouse. The restaurant hosts live professional bull-riding events every Wednesday and Friday night right outside in the corral behind the restaurant.

Remington mounted a brown and white spotted bull the Buffalo Chip riders like to call Rocky Road. The bull charged out of the gate, balancing on its two front legs while its hind legs stretched toward the night sky.

The 19-year-old stayed on for the desired eight seconds, but not in a way he had hoped. The bull just stopped, leaving its rider with nothing but hopes for a bigger challenge. Remington proceeded to give the bull a nudge, which sent the beast into attack mode, knocking off its rider and trampling him while he lay there defenseless.

“I think he just got confused where to go,” Remington said.

Remington admitted he had never seen that before as he waited to ask for another opportunity to ride.

Though Remington was able to walk out of the arena in one piece, he said it was not the worst thing that could have happened to him. He explained how he once had his hip dislocated and his shoulder blade torn from being dragged and stomped on.

“Riding is exciting,” Remington said confidently. “It’s never boring, that’s for sure.”

Remington said he has been lucky enough to travel and has been all the way to Africa to pursue his dream of riding. One day he hopes to travel with the Profession Bull Riders, or PBR, which he described as the NFL of bull riding events.

“You get to meet people along the way and sometimes you can’t get rid of them,” Remington said as he elbowed his friend sitting next to him, Tyler Butler.

“I like the exhilaration and adrenaline and to watch people get hurt,” Butler said.

Issac Salazar, a 9-year-old with a smile that reached up to his ears with excitement, was one of very few riders able to get the most points for staying a steer on the longest with a good position.

Salazar has been riding for a year and has just upgraded from a young calf to a steer. The steers are not as big as bulls, but are more difficult than a calf. When he turns 13, his journey will continue to become more strenuous as he moves on to bulls.

“You feel a feeling,” Salazar said when asked what he liked most about riding. He said he is never scared.

Salazar tipped his cowboy hat and said, “I’m used to it.”

When asked what his mom thought, Salazar said, “She thinks I’m crazy.”

Salazar was accompanied by Helen Sand, who cheered for her grandson in the stands above the arena.

“I love it,” Sand said. “It’s his dream and I love that he is pursuing it.”