Matt Dunsmore soars from the back of Crazy Legs at the Rocky Mountain Bull Bash 2008 event in Steamboat Springs. This year’s event is at 5 p.m. Sunday at Brent Romick Rodeo Arena.

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Matt Dunsmore soars from the back of Crazy Legs at the Rocky Mountain Bull Bash 2008 event in Steamboat Springs. This year’s event is at 5 p.m. Sunday at Brent Romick Rodeo Arena.

Bull Bash event Sunday in Steamboat

Top-level talent expected at weekend Professional Bull Riders competition

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If you go

What: PBR Rocky Mountain Bull Bash

When: 5 p.m. Sunday (gates open at 3 p.m.)

Where: Brent Romick Rodeo Arena, 401 Howelsen Parkway

Cost: Tickets are $25 for arena floor seating and $30 for covered grandstand seating. Tickets available at F.M. Light & Sons, the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association and Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply in Craig.

— Promoters of this weekend’s Rocky Mountain Bull Bash aren’t kidding when they say spectators can expect to see top-level talent inside the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena in downtown Steamboat Springs.

The annual bull riding event will feature some of the sport’s top bulls and cowboys, as well as one of TV’s top reality stars.

Oklahoma cowboy Cord Mc­­­­Coy, who starred alongside his brother Jet in the “Amazing Race” last season, will be among the 43 cowboys in Steamboat Springs vying for a title Sun­day when the Professional Bull Riders’ Challenger Tour comes to Steamboat Springs for the Rocky Mountain Bull Bash. But the longtime bull rider isn’t expecting his TV notoriety to be an advantage on the dusty floor of Brent Romick Rodeo Arena.

“The bulls don’t know too much about reality television,” McCoy said.

McCoy has been climbing on the back of bulls long before he stepped into the bright spotlight of TV cameras. McCoy grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, graduating with 12 other students from Tupelo High School. He received a full scholarship to Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. It’s a degree he hasn’t had a lot of use for yet.

McCoy said he got his permit to ride bulls from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association when he was 18 and has been chasing paychecks on the rodeo circuit ever since.

“Bull riding is all I’ve ever done,” McCoy said. “It’s how I make my living.”

McCoy said he was happy he got the opportunity to be a part of the “Amazing Race” but said he still considers himself a cowboy first.

He has won a number of events as a professional cowboy and has qualified for the PBR World Finals four times and the National Finals Rodeo once. He placed 14th.

McCoy is just one of the featured bull riders expected at Sunday’s Bull Bash. Promoter Judd Mortensen said the event typically draws a quality field as cowboys rush to earn money before the PBR Finals, which take place at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas in Oct­ober.

Other top cowboys in Steam­boat this week will be Luke Snyder, who has qualified for 10 consecutive PBR Finals, and red-hot Australian Ben Jones, who has pocketed $50,00 during the past two weeks at PBR events.

The Bull Bash will include a long go-round with 43 cowboys competing in three sessions. The top scores from that session will advance to the short-go-round and a chance at the 2010 Rocky Mountain Bull Bash prize money.

A fleet of top-rated bulls are expected to test the cowboys’ skills, including the PBR’s top-rated bull Braveheart from Lef­few Champion Bucking Bulls, and Paycheck from the High­land Cattle Company. Pay­check holds the highest scored ride of the 2010 season. There also will be several top bulls from Priest Creek Ranch, including Little Big Horn.

Mortensen said tickets to this year’s event will be limited. The number will be held to 1,700 tickets — down from 3,200 sold for last year’s events.

“The idea is to put the spectators right on top of the action at these PBR events,” Mortensen said. “Sometimes that can be a challenge in older rodeo arenas like Steamboat Springs.”

Mortensen said bleachers will be placed on the arena floor. Tickets will not be sold for the concrete grandstands on the south side of the arena. Mor­ten­sen said the seats are too far away from the action to provide a quality experience.

Mortensen said there might be some standing room tickets sold for the event but that he couldn’t say for sure before placing the bleachers on the arena floor Saturday.

Tickets are $30 for the covered grandstands and $25 for the arena floor. Children 6 and younger will be admitted for free. Tickets are available at F.M. Light & Sons, the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Asso­ciation and Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply in Craig. Tickets are for a specific area, but spectators are encouraged to arrive early to get the best seats in their section.

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