NWSF bull riding competition - big hit for fairgoers

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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- The Northern Wisconsin State Fair offered entertainment in the form of concerts and amusement rides all weeklong, but Sunday, fairgoers got the chance to see professionals take a different kind of ride.

Some come to watch and others come to compete in one of the most dangerous organized sports: bull riding. The fair held a bull riding competition in front of a packed grandstand.

“It’s just one of the best adrenaline rushes I’ve ever been able to find,” Reno Meeks, a bull rider from Marion, Iowa, said. “It’s always exciting. You’re always traveling. You see new places. You get to meet a lot of cool people. It’s a fun world. It’s a sport where everybody helps everybody. It’s kind of an individual sport.”

Stanley native, Brandon Nitz, says he’s been riding bull in his backyard since he was young.

“I ride bulls because it’s fun,” Nitz said. “It gets an adrenaline rush in you. I started when I was 6 back at my house. I have an arena at the house. We just ride all the time – every Tuesday during the week. It’s fun.”

Being from Stanley, he says it’s nice to have a competition so close to home.

“The fair to me is nice because it’s hometown basically,” Nitz said. “It’s 30 minutes from my house. I’m used to going to Iowa, Illinois, all over Wisconsin. This is probably the closest one, so it’s like a hometown rodeo to me.”

People from the area say having a bull riding event at the Northern Wisconsin State Fair is huge for the sport locally.

“It’s kind of nice,” Dillan Raether, also from Stanley and Nitz’ cousin, said. “It brings people out. It brings people to our community. It spreads money throughout. It’s a pride thing, too. It’s kind of nice to have that to be proud of Stanley and Chippewa.”

“Bull riding – nuts,” Jim Konsella of Chippewa Falls said. “I’m not getting on there, but it’s great for Sundays.”

Jamison Young of Bloomer has never been to a bull riding competition in his life. This sport is one he says he’ll never try himself.

“Something you don’t ever experience,” Young said. “I don’t know why these guys do it and risk their lives. It’s beyond my thought.”

But the competitors say it’s all in a day’s work.

This was the second year the fair hosted the bull riding competition and the plan is to keep bringing it back.

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