The DeKalb County Farmers Co-op promotes good people, good farmers, good organizations and a good time. They also know a good thing when they see it.
The store recently received recognition from Rickey West for being title sponsor for West’s annual Bull Bash in Fyffe each June. Bull Bash is a local bull riding event with exclusive bulls and riders, which is sanctioned by the Southern Extreme Bull Riding Association (SEBRA).
"It’s good, clean family fun," said Ronny Neely, general manager. "There are very few things to do when the whole family can enjoy an event together—but this is one of them."
This bull riding event showcases top-notch bucking bulls ridden by men making their way to the top of the present-day bull riding circles. It draws more than 3,000 people to the event each year making for a standing-room only crowd. Of the 350 SEBRA sanctioned events, its members voted the Bull Bash as Event of the Year.
The SEBRA was established in 1994 and is one of the oldest bull riding associations. It is an organization where cowboys can compete on fair ground against honest bucking bulls. Only the best bucking bull breeders are selected to sanction SEBRA events. SEBRA brings some of the toughest men in sports and matches them against the top ranking bulls in the industry. SEBRA events highlight the sport’s up-and-coming athletes along with many veteran stars. Legendary bulls are matched against top cowboys.
"We try to provide an opportunity for a man to carry his family to an event, but not cost him his entire pay check," said West on winning the award for Best Event by SEBRA. "Without the Co-op, we couldn’t put on this event each year. They’ve been our title sponsor for the last few years and we greatly appreciate their support. Shonda McKinney, at the store, has been a big help to us. We can count on her to be at the event and helping us work the gates."
The Bull Bash has been an annual event on Sand Mountain since 2004. West provides many of the bulls for this event. The night begins with a country music concert and then the action starts.
West, a former bull rider, now breeds some of the country’s best bucking bulls. Traveling across the country, he hauls his bulls to SEBRA-sanctioned events almost all year long.
"We try to bring in the best show we can get," said West. "I don’t want people getting up and going to the concession stand because when the gates open for the first rider there is action going on until the last rider stops."
The fast-paced action of bull riding is what separates it from a rodeo which features skilled riding as well as timed events like barrel racing, roping, steer wrestling, etc.
"We get the best support from the people of Fyffe; they love this event," said West. "Nothing like a good bull riding event."
The date for this year’s event will be Saturday, June 18, at the West Arena in Fyffe. A new addition to the event will be a bucking bull machine for the kids to enjoy before the show. General admission is $10 for adults and free for children five-years-old and under.
Anna Wright is a freelance writer from Collinsville.