Being choosy important in choosing right animals for Bull Bash |

Being choosy important in choosing right animals for Bull Bash

— They come far more often than pleas from Nigerian princes but perhaps less often than friendly inquiries from newly single women who've just moved into the neighborhood and are looking to meet friends via their webcam.

Judd Mortensen's email inbox is inundated with videos of bulls.

"People will send them in, maybe 30 times a week, from all over the place," he said. "The bull industry has gotten so big, and there are a lot of really great bulls out there. The competition is pretty fierce to get a bull bucked at a PBR event."

The end result, he said, is a pen full of the best of the best when he does put on one of the Professional Bull Riders events he organizes every summer, like the one riding into Steamboat Springs on Sunday afternoon.

The annual Rocky Mountain Bull Bash returns to town for another Labor Day weekend performance, starting at 5 p.m. at the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena at the base of Howelsen Hill in downtown Steamboat Springs.

Thanks to his willingness to always keep an eye out for the best animals, his ability to weed through the good and the bad and all the time he's invested in emailed videos, Mortensen said Sunday's fans can expect the best.

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"What I like is a bull that kicks hard, kicks high and spins fast," he said. "I like them to have good timing, so the cowboy can enjoy the ride. You could get some bulls in there that are all herky and jerky, but that's no fun at all. As a past PBR finalist cowboy myself, I still have that blood in me."

Mortensen plans on having some of the world's best riders in town to hop on those bulls. Kody Lostroh, the 2009 PBR world champion, and Jory Markiss, both Colorado cowboys and top 50 riders in this year's standings, will help headline a field of 35 riders competing for $15,000 in prize money.

Gates for the event open at 3 p.m. and tickets cost $20 for general admission and $30 for a reserved seat. They're available at Murdoch's in Craig, F.M. Light & Sons, the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association’s Visitor Center or by calling Steamboat Central Reservations at 877-783-2628.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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