Saturday Bull Riding Event at the Texarkana Fairgrounds Arena

Top bull riders from across the country will try to hold their own for their eight-second ride today in the Four States Ultimate Challenge Shootout at the Four States Fairgrounds Entertainment Center.

“We have 30 of the best bull riders across the country coming to this event and if people like riding bulls that’s what they come to see,” said Jason Tollett, owner of Ultimate Challenge Productions. . “Several years ago there was a poll and it showed that about 90 percent of people go to rodeos to see bulls riding. That’s why they hold it until the end of the rodeo.”

The entire event lasts from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the rodeo arena and is dedicated to bull riding. The event begins with six mini buckers, which are children aged 10 to 12 who ride the miniature bulls.

“If they weren’t growing up doing what they want to do, there would be no bull in the future,” Tollett said.

Not only will the cowboys be vying for prize money on Saturday night, but so will the bulls. He said there were three bulls on a team and bull owners paid an entry fee, as did bull riders.

“The event for entrepreneurs is like a $50,000 payout,” Tollett said. “There are 15 teams with an entry fee broken from one to five places. The team should do their best for this group to win. Every bull is scored and the points accumulate.”

There are two riders on a bull team and those riders need to get as much driving time as possible to be added to the bull’s score, he said.

Forty-five bull riders will be on hand for the night’s entertainment with some of the riders hailing from the Texarkana and Magnolia area, he said. There is a total of $10,000 in prize money on the table and the first runner will win between $4,000 and $5,000, he said.

Tollett said he enjoys hosting events at the Four State Fairgrounds because there is a long history.

“In the 90s I was a professional bullfighter. In 92 I won the super bowl tour there and I have a picture of me and a bull that was taken right in front of the grandstand. advertisers,” he said.

He began his bullfighting career in 1986 and retired in 2005. He has owned Ultimate Challenge Productions since 1996 when he hosted his first event in Mobile, Alabama.

He said there were many days he wished he could get back into that arena, but promoting bull shows is what he needs to do to stay involved in the business.

“I dream of bullfights every night,” he said. “Yeah, I miss it. But as you get older, your body feels it every day and you’re just not physically capable.”

Tollett and his wife Tonya were born and raised in De Queen, Arkansas. Tollett graduated from Nashville High School. He said he was thinking of rodeo and bull riding in particular. attracts more people than in previous years.

“The way television started showing bull riding with bull rider recognition is much more popular than it was before,” Tollett said. “Bull riding has always been popular, but the global internet has taken it to a whole new level.”

The lifespan of a bull rider is around 10 to 12 years, with their age being around 25 to 28, he said.

“Some guys compete for 15 to 20 years, but they’re the exception to the rule. They have to have heart to do it. It takes a lot more heart to do that than mindset,” Tollett said. . “It’s just the love and the desire and the will to do it.”

(Lodge seating is $25 and general admission is $20. Visit fourstatesfair.com for ticket information and to purchase tickets or obtain tickets at the Four States Fairgrounds box office, a he declared.)


A bull, named 76 Showoff, takes bull rider Ben Jones on an exciting ride at an Ultimate Challenge Productions bull riding event. (Photo courtesy of Jason Tollett.)



Joseph K. Bennett