CEDAR PARK, Texas – Cody Webster looks at Sunday’s Bullfighters Only Cavender’s Cup victory a little different than most champions.
“I fought two bulls, won almost $12,000 and got to hang out with my best friends,” said Webster of Wayne, Okla. “It was our first stand-alone Bullfighters Only event, so to win it is killer. This is a group of guys that are not only my best friends, but we’ve stuck together to make this work. We’re doing what we love and trying to make something of the BFO.”
The Cavender’s Cup featured the top 15 bullfighters in the game all competing in a major league freestyle bullfight. Matched against aggressive and athletic bulls that have been bred for this type of fight, the men were able to showcase their abilities to the fullest.
Webster just happened to be the king of the mountain inside the HEB Center at Cedar Park. By winning his preliminary go-round, he advanced to the short round, where he and his bull danced across the arena dirt for 88.5 points. That score was matched by Weston Rutkowski of Haskell, Texas; Webster claimed the title by winning the tie-breaker, which referred to the highest bullfighter score.
With scores based on a 100-point scale, men can earn up to 50 points per fight based on their ability to exhibit control and style while maneuvering around or over an animal; a bull can earn up to 50 points based on its quickness, aggression and willingness to stay with the bullfighter.
“My long-round bull was a bull I had out in Salinas, Calif., a few years ago,” said Webster, who pocketed $11,750 for the victory. “We got a long good, and I got the win in my round.”
The event featured five three-man rounds, with the round-winners advancing to the championship. Scores from the preliminary rounds were then thrown out, and the top scores earned the lion’s share of the prize pool. The bullfighters were also matched with animals that had not been in a bullfighting arena before.
“I like that concept,” Webster said. “It comes down to the bullfighters score because the bulls should be pretty evenly matched.
“To even get to be part of this bullfight is great. It’s the best guys in the business. To come in and win the event, that’s something that’s very special. It was a good event and a really good bullfight.”
The earnings will push Webster into the top three in the Bullfighters Only world standings.
“The funny thing about that is our summer run of rodeos is just kicking off,” he said, adding that the Cedar Park event was the 14th of more than 30 stops on the tour. “We’ve got another bullfight in just a few days, and I’m going to nod my head on another set of fighting bulls. That’s what’s fun. Everybody wants to win, but we also cheer each other on.”
That camaraderie is the backbone of Bullfighters Only, and it’s what makes the competition so much fun for the combatants and fans alike.
“I want Bullfighters Only to be part of every major event,” Webster said. “Freestyle bullfighting is what put me on the map, and we have a bunch of young bullfighters who have a lot of talent. I want us to get to where we provide an avenue for those young guys.”
Webster is just 24 years old, but he’s a veteran. He proved Sunday that the streets leading to Bullfighters Only’s future are heading in the right direction.
CAVENDER’S CUP RESULTS
Round 1: Cody Greer, 84 points
Round 2: Tanner Zarnetski, 86 (not pictured)
Round 3: Cody Webster, 85.5
Round 4: Justin Josey, 84.5
Round 5: Weston Rutkowski, 89.5
Championship round: Cody Webster, 88.5