Bliss Soldiers, family, friends enjoy Championship Bull Riding
Staff Sgt. Jes L. Smith,16th MPAD:
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.
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.
Jared Long stole the spotlight and won the event as the only rider to remain on his bull for the required eight seconds during each of the three rounds of competition, and took home a purse of $15,000.
Soldiers stationed at Fort Bliss were in attendance, such as Spc. Heath Beard, an infantryman with Company B, 1st Battalion, 35th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, who went to see the bull riders with 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, he added.
First Lt. Charles Ketterer, a platoon leader with Company A, 47th Brigade Support Battalion, 2/1 AD, has attended many area events, including this one, with his wife since moving to El Paso three years ago.
“Events at the coliseum, like this, are always 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 Albuquerque and Ruidoso, New Mexico,” added Ketterer. “There is a lot to do if you are willing to look.”
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