TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The dust has settled on another Rodeo in Tucson. All the roping, riding and steer wrestling has wrapped up.
Organizers say they are pleased with the results, not just the scores but overall safety, too.
According to Gary Williams, the General Manager of the Tucson Rodeo, the cattle that’s now heading home is in relatively good condition. Williams says there were no major animal injuries, such as broken bones, or fatalities this year.
“[It’s a victory in itself,] you never want to hurt any animals,” said Williams.
Rodeos can also be dangerous for contestants, though. One rider was taken to the hospital with a broken back and a concussion after being thrown from a bull last weekend.
“It could have been a fairly major injury with the contestant the first weekend,” said Williams, “but it looks like he is going to be okay.”
It’s a risk riders take the moment they get on a bull.
“I won’t lie, it scares the s*** out of me [every time],” said Ky Hamilton. “But I guess that’s where it comes down to the mental side and being able to control that.”
For Hamilton, mental focus paid off. The 20-year-old bull rider from Australia walked away a champion Sunday night.
Hamilton finished with a two-ride score of 175.5. He was followed by Paul Carrales from San Tan Valley with a two-ride score of 166.5.
“I actually came into the final round sitting second, so I was very happy,” said Hamilton. “It will probably be one of the highlights [this year]."
"I think our field of contestants was just as good as I've seen it in a long time,” said Williams. “We had one record today in the bareback riding."
Even the weather couldn’t put a damper on turnout. On Sunday, thousands saddled up for the ProRodeo competition, making it a sold out event.
“This used to be cattle country, and this celebrates that heritage,” said Williams.
More than 630 contestants from around the world competed in the Tucson Rodeo this year. This sets the stage for the rodeo season as one of the first outdoor rodeos of the year.