Friday Night Bullfight, American Freestyle coming to Buffalo on June 22
by Gretchen Kirchmann
The 64th Buffalo PRCA Championship Rodeo is bringing a bullfight to Friday June 22 in Buffalo, Minn. Bullfighter Luke Moore, an Army veteran will step in front of bucking bulls to protect PRCA cowboys during the 64th Buffalo PRCA Championship Rodeo along with fellow Bullfighter Miles Jones.
On Friday night the two bullfighters will then square off in a special American Freestyle match following the bull riding.
Each bullfighter will take on their own Mexican fighting bull in separate competitions. Moore and Jones will draw for positioning before calling for their hot Mexican bulls out of the bucking chutes. The Friday rodeo is the Tough Enough to Wear Pink performance dedicated to breast cancer awareness and those fighting breast cancer. ProRodeo contestants and personnel will be wearing pink shirts and rodeo fans are encouraged to wear pink too.
The Friday night bullfight is one night only.
The Mexican bulls are breed for their agression and ability to fight. The bullfighters, a breed all their own are known for performing athletic thrill defying stunts, fakes, step-throughs, jumps and tricks. This crowd appealing dare-devil showmanship will keep fans on their edge of their seats.
“Bullfighting to me is all about timing. You can be a quarter second to early or too late and that’s the difference between a guy getting stepped on or you taking a hit for him,” stated Moore.
Moore put his bullfighting career on hold to serve as an officer in the United States Army. He was deployed overseas to Jordan in support of Operation Spartan Shield. Moore was promoted to the rank of captain and completed his service in May 2017. He now travels year-round fighting bulls for the Barnes PRCA Rodeo company across the country.
Moore strives to be perfect in his bullfighting performances each rodeo. As a cowboy protection agent his role is critical for each and every bullrider during their eight-second ride. Like other professional sport athletes Moore studies video and photographs after each rodeo to improve his skill and techniques.
“My mission when I go out there every night is to be perfect. I want to make it so the cowboy gets back to the fence and doesn’t get hooked,” further explained Moore.
Moore is quick to credit Barnes PRCA Rodeo on their animal athletes. “They have the best pen of bulls and it’s fun to work this pen,” Moore replied. When asked which bull gets his adrenaline pumping his response was quick. “Killabrew. He is gonna feel them (if a cowboy is down). I crave those kind of bulls because you are going to get action on them,” he explained.
A rodeo career came naturally for Moore as he stated, “I grew up around rodeo and my dad was a PRCA pickup man for 30 years. My mom was a Great Lakes Circuit Finals champion barrel racer too.”
Moore continued, “my childhood dream was to be fighting bulls. As a college freshman I was on the Barnes run.” Moore credits Marty Barnes for giving him his start as a bullfighter and endorsing him for his PRCA card. Step back even further and foreshadowing at the Buffalo Rodeo grounds began in his childhood when he was a Sheep fighter during the Mutton Bustin.
Moore’s first memory of working in the rodeo arena came when he was just five-years-old during the youth sheep riding event in North Washington, Penn. His father David was working as a pickup man and Marty’s son Westin was a grade-schooler entertaining the crowd as a sheep fighter. Westin applied face paint to Moore and placed him in the miniature clown barrel during the mutton bustin’ competition to help.
Today, Westin Barnes is the livestock superintendent for family’s business and Moore is fighting bulls. The two friends have grown up together over the years attending the Buffalo PRCA Championship Rodeo.
As Moore grew his responsibilities changed from helping pull gates at the rodeo during his youth to evidently stepping into the bullfighting role.
Barnes PRCA Rodeo’s bucking bull Killabrew sends Miles Jones flying. Copyright photo Gretchen Kirchmann/PRCAThe Story City, Iowa native along with Jones from North Carolina are the two selected bullfighters for Buffalo. They will be in the community a few days before the rodeo and most likely found fishing on Buffalo Lake. After the Barnes PRCA Rodeo performances the bullfighters will be signing autographs for rodeo fans in the arena.