Luke Graham: A bull full of life
July 9, 2007
Steamboat Springs — People have personalities.
Dogs and cats have personalities.
Come on, give me a break.
At least that’s what I thought.
After hearing Walk This Way was bucking Saturday night at the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo series and having people tell me he was a showman I was skeptical.
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Walk This Way – who may win Bull of the Year in both the PRB and PRCA circuits – has only been ridden three times and featured on several bull riding telecasts.
All that means is he’s good. It doesn’t mean he has charisma.
When I got to his pen, the 1,900-pound monster was just standing there.
A head twitch here and there.
Once, he ate some hay.
That was about it.
No personality at all.
Then Susan Kanode from Bad Company Rodeo, who reiterated Walk This Way has a very unique personality and loves to be on camera, grabbed a camera and walked over to the pin.
“Watch this,” she said.
With a slight lift of the camera, Walk This Way turned his head, looked at the camera and started kicking up hay with his front legs.
When Kanode put down the camera, the bull just went back on his way.
“Now he’s getting on his game face,” Kanode said.
Turns out, the bull does have personality.
For the rest of the night Walk This Way just relaxed.
But about 20 minutes before Chris Bartlett took his turn on Walk This Way, the bull was all about business.
He was different than a couple hours before.
He wasn’t standing there. He was pacing, moving back and forth. He kept whipping his head around.
Essentially, he was getting his game face on.
There was a buzz in the arena. Patrons waited anxiously. Bartlett slowly walked around and prepared for his once-in-a-lifetime ride.
When Bartlett – who said he hadn’t thought about riding Walk This Way that much – finally mounted the bull, it was time.
A few short seconds later, Bartlett was thrown off.
There was a collective gasp.
Then everyone clapped and smiled.
Wa lk This Way jaunted with a little swagger back toward the chutes with a smile.
At least I swear it looked like a smile.
Once back in his pen, Walk This Way looked happy.
He was back to eating hay and like every person, dog and cat, showing just a little bit of his personality.