Pro bull rider, bullfighter return home for Bell County PRCA Rodeo

Posted at 1:02 PM, Feb 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-03 15:20:06-04

The Bell County PRCA rodeo is in full swing at the Bell County Expo Center in Belton this weekend.

Central Texas News Now spoke with Bull riders who shared the importance of their relationship with bullfighters.

"If it weren't for them, there'd be no bull riding," Pistol Preece, a professional bull rider, said. 

The job of a bullfighter is to direct the attention of the bull away from the cowboy, and in some cases, risk themselves to protect the life of the rider. 

"You're the last, last straw between the bull rider and the bull, so heck, when situations like that happen, you don't think... you just react on what you've been doing your whole life," Blake Miller, a professional bullfighter, said. 

"They mean a lot to us as bull riders," Preece added. 

But for a bull rider, Pistol Preece, one of the bullfighters working the PRCA Rodeo in Belton, is someone who's had his back since day one. 

"I grew up with Blake in Troy, Texas, just right down the road here, and he helped me week in and week out in the practice pen. He was there to protect me and save me," Preece said. 

"It's like a brother deal. You don't want to see anybody get hooked much less your best friend, your brother. So, getting to fight for him it's been great," Miller added. 

"I would get on a grizzly bear if he was in the arena," Preece added. 

Miller and Preece, now professionals, say returning to their home arena is something special. 

"I came here when I was a little kid watching the rodeo, and if you would've asked me then I'd never have dreamed I'd be here," Miller said.  

And to do it together is even better. 

"Right before I'm getting on, it's kind of something special. It's just a pretty neat deal. He'll come and tell me, good luck, champ," Preece said.  

"Not everybody gets to run with their best friends on the pro rodeo circuit," Miller added. "And for all my teachers out there that said I wouldn't make it being a clown in class... I'm getting paid professionally to be a clown." 

 The final night of the Bell County PRCA Rodeo is Saturday night beginning at 7:30 p.m.

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