Eight seconds on the bull is all Brandon Davis, of Lodi, needed to qualify for the first round.
“It felt like an eternity,” said Davis, the champion bull rider of Sunday’s competition put on by Buckin’ Ohio at the Medina County Fair.
Davis took the lead after the first qualification round with 82.5 points out of 100. He was the only one out of 29 cowboys from across the country to stay on for at least eight seconds for both the qualification and championship rounds.
“It’s one of the best feelings in the world to win at home,” Davis said. “I’m the type of guy who just feeds off the crowd, so when they’re all cheering like that it just makes me want to get out there and try harder.”
Davis, the only rider in the competition from Medina County, started bull riding when he was 12 years old. The 25-year-old moved to Medina from Arkansas in 2009 for competition’s sake.
“I got on my first bull when I was 12 and ever since then I knew this is what I wanted to do,” he said.
Davis wasn’t the only bull rider at the fair who started young.
Tristan Thorsell, 12, of Harrisville Township, rode a young bull during the intermission.
“It’s fun and different from most sports,” he said.
Tristan, whose grandparents own Buckin’ Ohio, started riding at 8 years old.
Buckin’ Ohio, 8154 Garman Road, Harrisville Township, has been hosting bull riding shows in the area for 13 years, but Sunday was the first time bull riding was an event at the Medina County Fair.
“We’re excited to be at the fair,” co-owner Eileen Thorsell said. “Agriculture is the heart of America and the fair brings people together. We would gladly do it again.”
The bull riding opened with a tribute to veterans in the stands, the national anthem and a prayer for which all of the riders knelt in the arena side-by-side.
Before the bull riding, 20 children 65 pounds or under were able to participate in mutton bustin’, sheep-riding for children.
“It’s really fun for the kids,” Thorsell said. “Some of them have never ridden before.”
Gabriel Boyce, 7, from Medina rode a sheep for the first time Sunday.
“It was super fun and I even stayed on until they pulled me off,” he said.
The last grandstand event of the week also included a barrel racing competition for 15 women horse riders during the bull riding intermission.
Contact reporter Katie Anderson at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.