Expo Center hosts biannual Bull Blowout

Courtney Laverdure
Staff writer

Ryan Richardson/The News

Exploding pumpkins may sound like a popular band from the ‘90s, but this was one of the entertaining spectacles along with children chasing calves and riding sheep at last weekend’s Bull Blowout.

At the William “Bill” Cherry Expo Center, Parsons & Milam Rough Stock Contractors & Promoters hosted the Bull Blowout on Friday and Saturday.

The featured events were bull riding, barrel racing and exhibition events for children such as the calf scramble and mutton busting.

Parsons & Milam both promote as well as contract out bulls for events like this. They have an indoor horse barn in Buchanan, Tenn., where they have a Buckle Series that is hosted once a month with events similar to the Bull Blowout.

“Murray is a really nice town, and the people seem to love rodeo and come out and support us; this is a good facility to hold such an event,” Penny Parsons, owner of Parsons & Milam Rough Stock Contractors and Promoters, said.

There were 38 bull riders competing on Saturday night who had the feat of lasting at least eight seconds on the bucking bull to receive a score. Only five of these 38 withstood for eight seconds for a score in the first round.

This mix of men faced off against bulls with names including Hurricane Ally, Double Dog Dare, The Roach, True Grit and Pocket Pistol.

Between each rider the rodeo clown, Darren Murray from Doniphan, Mo., sparred with the announcer Fly Beane from Cookeville, Tenn., to keep the crowd entertained.

“I just sit and do a lot of thinking to come up with new acts,” Murray said.

Beane, formerly of Murray, was impressed by the show put on by the bull riders, he said.

“We had all the best of the bull riders and some good rides,” Beane said. “They put on a real good show for the crowd.”

The winners of Friday night’s Bull Blowout were Jeff Askey (1st) of Martin, Tenn., Van Lynch (2nd) of Jackson, Tenn., and Corey Bailey (3rd) of Paris, Tenn. Saturday night’s winners were Brett Pike (1st) of Brandenburg, Ky., Van Lynch (2nd) of Jackson, Tenn., and Brandon Burgin (3rd) of Shelbyville, Ky.

The cowgirls also got the chance to show their skills in the barrel racing event. Their task: to maintain a clover pattern and keep all the barrels upright at the risk of getting five seconds added for each barrel knocked over on its side.

Friday night’s winners of the barrel racing event were Kristen Yunker (1st) of Murray, Taylor Smith (2nd) of Benton, Ky., and Hannah Nolan (3rd) of Murray. Saturday night Taylor Smith of Benton, Ky., took first, followed by Kelly Kennedy (2nd) of Creal Springs, Ill., and Hannah O’Bryan (3rd) of Almo, Ky.

The next Bull Blowout is set to take place Feb. 17 and 18 at the Expo Center.

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