News: Fort Bliss soldiers, friends and family enjoy ‘Championship Bull Riding’
Story by Staff Sgt. Jes Smith
EL PASO, Texas – In front of a sold-out crowd, riders with the Championship Bull Riding association, competed in the Casa Ford Tuff Hedeman West Texas Showdown presented by Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino, Feb. 9, at the El Paso County Coliseum, here.
Headlining the event was the famous former bull rider, Tuff Hedeman, a native of El Paso, and Josh Barentine, the reigning 2012 CBR World Champion.
However, the night did not belong to Tuff or the reigning world champ.
Rather it was Jared Long who stole the spotlight and won the event by being the only rider to ride all three of his bulls for the required 8 seconds each time, during the three rounds of competition, taking home a purse of $15,000.
In attendance were many Soldiers stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, such as Spc. Heath Beard, an infantryman with B Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, who was brought to the event by friends.
“My buddies told me that they bought me a ticket and that I didn’t have a choice whether I was going to go or not,” said Beard, a Webster, K.Y., native. “I’m really thankful that they did because these bull riders are amazing to watch and I am having a much better time than if I had stayed home at the barracks.”
It’s really great to see the world champ compete up close, added Beard.
Also attending the event from Fort Bliss was 1st Lt. Charles Ketterer, a platoon leader with A Company, 47th Brigade Support Battalion, 2-1 AD, who has attended many events with his wife since moving to El Paso three years ago.
“Events at the coliseum like this are always ran really safe and are always really fun,” said Ketterer. “Pretty much any event that comes through, we try to go.”
Not only does Ketterer attend local events with his wife, but he also encourages his Soldiers to get out and experience El Paso as well.
“Since being stationed at Fort Bliss, we have explored the whole region by not just attending events in El Paso, but also by taking trips to places such as Riodoso, (N.M.) and Albuquerque,” added Ketterer. “There is a lot to do if you are willing to look.”
For listings of local events please visit www.blissmwr.com or www.epscene.com.