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Men and Bulls Faceoff During Championship

Photo by John Stakrey

Fort Worth—Bullfest 2021, the  2021 Ultimate Bullfighting World Finals , was held in Fort Worth at the Cowtown Coliseum from Dec. 2 – 4 and Dec. 9 – 11.

Unlike traditional bullfighting, the bulls are not hurt in this style of bullfighting.

Instead of riding a bull for 8 seconds, bullfighters must keep a bull engaged for 60 seconds, virtually an eternity. Both bull and fighter can earn up to 50 points for a total of 100 possible points.

Holley Dunn from Montgomery, Alabama,attended the event to support her two nephews.

“One of my nephews is Cross Dunn,” Dunn said. “He has stock here tonight, and he’s up for Stock Contractor of the year.

“My other nephew, Knox Dunn, he is number two [ranked bullfighter] right behind Chance Mormon who is number one.

“I grew up in this kind of environment. My dad rode bulls. We have a family history of it. My brother, he rode bulls. My brother is a judge, his name is Ken Dunn. It’s kind of a family thing.”

Dunn loves watching bullfighting, but said she would not do it herself.

“It’s just adrenaline and excitement, especially when you know who [the fighters] are,” Dunn said.

Megan Metzner attendedBullfest with her friends.

“I think it’s a hell of a lot of fun,” Metzner said. “I thought of getting up on a bull recently for sure. This has definitely inspired me.Right now, I have the urge to get on a bull, but I think seeing them like this up front with all your friends out there, and all the hype, and getting close, they’re not as scary as you think. I have a lot of respect for them.

“I think my favorite thing is seeing the guys get so into it, and seeing them come so close to a bull and then psyching them out. Just being that close to nature and livestock is awesome.”

Preston Robinson risks life and limb in the arena as a bullfighter.

“I grew up around livestock my whole life,” Robinson said. “I actually rode bulls for about six years. Then I saw my buddy getting ran over and beat up all the time. I was like, ‘I’ll try it.’

“You are in the arena against one of the meanest animals on the planet.It’s just so surreal the Lord let me do this. It’s one of the best lives to live.”

The care and safety of the bulls is important to the competitors.

“To be honest all the animals are treated better than us athletes,” Robinson said. “They’re not big babies, but they kind of are. They’re spoiled. They get treated better than we get treated any day of the week.”

Cherish Robinson was at Bullfestto support her husband,Preston. Theyhave been married to for about a year and a half.

“It’s a lot,” Cherish said. “There’s a big group of us girls that are girlfriends, wives, family, that all sit together and cheer each other on. My whole family is at home watching it. His whole family is at home having a watch party, watching him on TV. Big support group, and a deep breath for sure.

“When I met him and found out he did this, it was a lifestyle change for sure. We’ve made best friends.We’ve made family, all sorts along the road. It’s been great, and I love coming out to watch him. It takes a lot out of you while you’re watching it, but after, it’s just relaxing.”

By the end of the event Knox Dunn was named the 2021 Ultimate Bull Fighting World Champion. Roper Rich came in second. Sage Seay claimed third, and Preston Robinson took home fourth place.