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Spectators packed the grass Friday night for Hoppel’s Arena Rodeo in Lisbon.
The two-day rodeo features a number of events such as bareback riding, steer wrestling, women’s barrel racing and team roping but a lot of people come to see the bull riding.
Bump Postlethwait is a professional rodeo man who took his first spin on a bull when he was just 9 years old.
“I started riding some calves and sheep and got my first bull when I was nine years old. I actually came to this rodeo when I was 10,” said Postlethwait. “Bull riding is 90 percent mental. It’s a lot to do with your head than anything else because you get the fight in your head about bucking off or not having the right bull you like. You get worried about that instead of just doing your job.”
Postlethwait said he’s been kicked in the head, had brain surgery and broke his neck last year. But none of that keeps him from riding.
“When you’re climbing on them, they get their hearts revved up too because that’s what they do. I mean they’re raised to buck,” said Postlethwait. “They think bulls are treated badly. I mean they work eight seconds a week. That’s all they work.”
According to Brett Wilson with the Buckeye Rodeo Company, rodeos are very popular in Ohio, which may be why Hoppel’s Arena Rodeo is in its 25th year. Wilson said ever since Professional Bull Riders took off on television, everyone wants to become a bull rider.
“It takes a lot of guts,” said Wilson. “Rodeo at one time was terrible in Ohio. It was the worst rodeo state they had because of the humane society. They said we was hurting livestock,” said Wilson. “We don’t hurt the livestock, they don’t hurt the livestock. You can go to a bull ride every weekend somewhere in Ohio.”
Burgettstown resident Jim Campbell said he wouldn’t miss the rodeo. All the excitement keeps him coming back.
“Every time is different. No matter which year you go, there’s always something that’s different to see,” said Campbell. “It’s something you will treasure if you’ve never been here before.”
Dorothy Brown of Lisbon comes to the rodeo with her grandchildren. Spectators set up lawn chairs and blankets in an open field to watch all the action.
“These guys have pure guts,” said Brown. “They’re coming off one way and one way is hard. It’s awesome to watch.”
The Hoppel Arena Rodeo runs through Saturday. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children.