The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

September 23, 2007

Wild Card Classic leads up to World Finals Wednesday

The road to Vegas goes through Enid.

Proof of this can be found at Chisholm Trail Expo Center this week.

American Bucking Bull Inc. (ABBI) presents Wild Card Classic at 5 p.m. today and Tuesday, which will lead to World Finals Classic at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

Enid played host to Wild Card Classic last year, but World Finals Classic always is in Las Vegas prior to Professional Bull Riders World Finals, said Aronda Hajek, who with her husband, Danny, breeds bucking bulls for PBR events such as this.

Essentially, she said, Enid stole the ABBI event from Las Vegas.

“We’re talking big time,” Hajek said. She said ABBI executive director Joe Merrick — son of the late Walter Merrick of Oklahoma race horse fame — opted to move the finals to Enid since most of the bucking bull breeders live in the Midwest.

“Joe decided to expand it to make it easier on the breeders,” Hajek said. Typically, breeders would spend hundreds of dollars to travel to Vegas even if only one bull qualified to compete.

“This event is all about the bulls,” she said.

There will be bull riding, bull futurity and bull sales.

Bull riders from around the country will be competing today and Tuesday to vie for one of the top 55 spots to advance to the finals on Wednesday and Thursday. Hajek said bull riders previously seen at PBR events on television or at Enid’s own Sumner Winter Roundup are expected to appear.

In addition, the long round of the Bionic Bull Futurity will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Two-year-old bulls will buck with bionic (electronic) dummies which come off after six seconds.

Three- and four-year-old bulls will buck tonight and Tuesday night to earn a spot to the finals, much like the bull riders. The top bulls either night advance to the finals.

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