Born: May 6, 1986, in Idaho Falls, Idaho
Hometown: Meeteetse, Wyo.
Billings Gazette story on Tuckness' world title
Houston Chronicle story on Tuckness in March 2009
Ever seen a cowboy do a black flip over a charging bull?
Dusty Tuckness did it earlier this year during the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo in Denver. It’s just one move that points to the tremendous athleticism the second-generation bullfighter brings to the table when he goes about his business.
“My dad did it, and I just got into it,” said Tuckness, referring to his dad, Timber. “I’ve been fighting bulls since I was about 11 years old.”
Now, Tuckness is a champion, having clinched the 2008 Professional Bullfighters Daisy Protection Bullfight title during the World Championships the first week of 2009. He and his partner, Andy Burelle of Ardmore, Okla., outlasted the best bullfighters in the business for the team championship.
It was a road filled with landmines, from tough competition to difficult-to-handle bulls. The culmination was winning the average title at the PBF Daisy Protection Bullfight World Championships, which took place in conjunction with the SandHills Stock Show and Rodeo in Odessa, Texas. When the points were tallied, Tuckness and Burelle had upended regular-season leaders Jay Brewer of Graham, Texas, and Steve Wangler of Plainview, Neb.
During the Miller Lite Bull Blowout in Denton, Texas, from Aug. 21-23, 2008, Tuckness and Burelle swept the competition in an unheard of fashion. They won all three rounds and dominated the overall score, and Tuckness was named the moste valuable player, a distinction voted on by his peers in the competition.
“That was simply impressive,” said Jim McLain, president of the PBF tour, which produces and sanctions the protection-bullfighting competition. “I have never seen that happen in a three-day event like this. When you’ve got the caliber of bullfighters that we have here, any of them can come in here and win on any day and in any pen of bulls.
“So to see these two guys do that in this field, it’s amazing.”
So now he’s been fighting half his life, which comes with the territory, it seems. And he’s already developed quite a pedigree: the runner-up at the 2006 PBR freestyle bullfights; tied for the win at the world’s largest freestyle bullfight at California Rodeo in Salinas; was the MVP at the Professional Bullfighters event in Duncan, Okla.; this year; won the bullfight in Denver; tied for the win at the freestyle bullfighting world finals in Ada, Okla.; and was crowned, with Burelle, the PBF world championship a year ago.
“It’s just a feeling that I get doing it that’s unexplainable,” Tuckness said. “Yeah, there’s an adrenaline rush, but there’s more. There’s trying to manhandle a beast that weighs anywhere from 1,200 to 2,000 pounds, conquering the beast and trying to make it look like an art.”
And with the growth of the PBF, there’s another competitive outlet for great bullfighters like Tuckness.
“The PBF has really fine-tuned my bullfighting,” he said. “It’s seeing the action happen and getting a hold of that bull before he has the opportunity to get to that cowboy.
Everybody does such a great job, so when they get the opportunity to get the right bull drawn, they take advantage of it.
Click HERE to see Dusty's Web site