CALI TAKES CALGARY
Oder sweeps competition with dominant performance
Hype man: an individual whose job is to grow the audience’s excitement before a headliner takes the stage.
Brinson James had the sold out crowd on their feet during “Bulls After Dark”, one of the most hyped events of the 2019 Calgary Stampede. It was everything it was amped up to be and the headliner was 22-year-old Colt Oder.
The unique spectacle featured light shows, fire and even a DJ spinning EDM beats, but a 91 point fight from the colourful California native topped it all.
“It was electric. I had a whole section cheering with me right before my fight and that’s something you can’t buy.”
It was the perfect night for Oder to bust his signature move “the barrel” on the roan bull Leap Frog from Hamsher Fighting Bulls.
He compares it to a surfer being on the inside of the barrel of a wave; he gets as close to the bull as possible and then plants both feet, sucks backwards and runs his hands along the bull’s opposite side.
“I like to dress it up a little bit and style it. Keep him close.”
Oder’s smooth style contrasted perfectly with the energetic crowd. He also scored the “W” on Friday night with 86.5 points and followed with a perfect encore on Saturday night.
“Calgary is crazy. I’ve been to quite a few different productions but this one makes your hair stand up on end. They do a great job.”
Mercer ready to shine at Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth
There is something to be said about the home field advantage. Talk to any professional athlete and they’ll tell you nothing compares to the feeling they get showcasing their talent in front of a hometown crowd.
Now, imagine if that crowd was at the world-famous Calgary Stampede during the innovative, new ‘Bulls After Dark’ event.
“I was stoked when they told me I was going back North,” commented Aaron Mercer, the 26-year-old Canadian bullfighter who currently sits number one in the BFO Pendleton Whisky World Standings.
Mercer’s enthusiasm for freestyle is contagious and his record setting year has fans and opponents watching his every move. With nearly $30,000 in earnings, he’s climbed the standings faster than anyone in BFO history. Impressive, considering he stepped in front of his first bull just over a year ago.
“I’m so excited to be in Calgary. I mean - it’s the Stampede.”
He won’t have it easy though. Some of BFO’s top talent will also be featured during the event, set for Friday and Saturday at 10 pm nightly inside the Nutrien Western Event Center. Mercer will be joined by Justin Josey, Colt Oder, and rookie Dekevis Jordan. And they’re ready to put on a show.
“There’s no better feeling than calling for a bull with your best buds. I told them –boys– we are going to be the mayors of this city before we leave. Let’s give Calgary a show they will never forget.”
He has our vote.
DEKE AFTER DARK
Jordan looks to build on stellar debut
By Kirsten Gjerde
CALGARY, AB - First impressions are important.
A new face left one only moments after he called his bull in Gainesville, GA last weekend. He opened his fight with a front flip that had so much clearance that the bull, crowd and fellow competitors all did sideways glances at each other and pulled out their programs.
Who is this kid?
He's the self proclaimed "Backflip Kid", Dekevis Jordan.
It’s a name that no one will be forgetting anytime soon. Jordan's first BFO fight was a success. After advancing with an 86 point qualifier in round 3 he went runner up to Chance Moorman in the finals with a massive 90.5 point score. The entire weekend was one of the most competitive in BFO history and the last round left him half a mark shy to leaving Gainesville, GA as the champion.
That talent displayed by Jordan also punched his ticket to the coveted Calgary Stampede.
What’s the game plan for the 20-year-old Oklahoma native when he crosses from the star-spangled banner country onto maple leaf territory this week?
He’s all business.
"I have one mindset - to fight my bulls."
Jordan has been fighting bulls for four years now and training the entire time for this kind of entrance into the elite world of the BFO. He isn't hitting the gym though. Jordan is getting his practice in at his day job, working under stock contracting companies "SR Bucking Bulls" and "Flying C Livestock." He is learning to read cattle and after work Jordan is practicing his technique in sand past his ankles.
"My boss is behind me 100% and he pushes me just as hard as I push myself. He makes me work for it because he wants me to do well just as much as I do."
His office next weekend?
The Nutrien Ag Events Centre for the Calgary Stampede’s first annual "Bulls After Dark". This event will be the most adrenaline-fueled entertainment outlet of the 2019 stampede and it will only be the BFO rookie's second big show.
Former professional bullfighter and now Rodeo and Chuckwagon Consultant Kynan Vine is one of the driving forces behind Bulls After Dark and is optimistic about the level of talent heading to Calgary.
"It's exciting to see a young guy like him with this level of finesse. As long as he gets his style down pat, his tricks and athleticism are going to make a big difference." Vine stated.
Who else will be joining the “Bulls After Dark” ranks alongside Jordan?
The one and only Justin Josey; the colorful Californian Colt Oder; and the #1 athlete in the BFO Pendleton Whisky World Standing, Canadian Aaron Mercer. All three are high on the BFO leaderboard this season and their involvement holds the promise of a great weekend packed with talent, tricks and entertainment.
"We have the top guys in the BFO. Between the four; it's going to be awesome." Vine adds.
Fans of the Calgary Stampede are in for a thrill when the sun goes down and the bulls come out.