DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
MARBLE FALLS — The Marble Falls Area Volunteer Fire Department has rounded up 40 bulls for the Super Bull Challenge on May 16 at Charley Taylor Arena. With that many bulls, it’s going to be one of the most exciting nights in the Highland Lakes.
“Hopefully, we’ll have two rounds of two rides or maybe a round of 30 with a short go of 10 more rides,” said assistant chief George Tennison. “This is a big event for the community. And it’s an exciting event for the adults as well as the kids.”
The Super Bull Challenge is a part of the Southern Extreme Bull Riding Association’s competition. The riders are competing for points, as well as cash, in an effort to earn a spot next January in the Southern Extreme Bull Riding finals in Tennessee.
Broken G Rodeo Co. is producing the event.
Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 6-12 and free for ages 5 and younger. The gates open at 5 p.m. with the bull riding jumping off at 7 p.m.
Tennison said the event helps the volunteer department several ways. First, it’s a fundraiser.
“We just purchased a thermal imager, which runs in the neighborhood of $9,000,” he said. “We’d like to get another one.”
Fundraisers such as the bull riding help the department buy more equipment. The department serves a wide swath of southern Burnet County around Marble Falls but also supports other nearby fire departments through mutual aid agreements. Along with making fire calls, the department responds to car accidents and health emergencies as well.
Another aspect of the event is community relations. While the men and women of the department are volunteers who live and work in the area, often the public doesn’t see them unless there’s some type of emergency. And in those situations, the volunteers don’t have much time to interact with the residents.
During the Super Bull Challenge, department members will work their way through the stands, visiting with people and answering any questions regarding the department and firefighting.
“If somebody’s interested in becoming a volunteer, we’ll be there to answer those questions as well,” Tennison said.
While the main focus is the bulls, the night includes the ever-exciting and popular mutton busting. For those unfamiliar with mutton busting, youth line up to climb on the back of some not-so-willing sheep. Then, officials toss open the gates, letting the creatures explode across the arena while trying to shake off the children who are clinging to their backs. Those who manage to hang on the longest win the event.
Tennison said parents interested in getting their children registered for the mutton busting may call him at (512) 755-7050.
Charley Taylor Arena is located about one mile south of Marble Falls on U.S. 281 at 100 Rodeo Drive.