August 2010

Fourth Annual Championship Bull Ride at John & Sue Spiker's Farm

Recap of the Bull Riding event at John & Sue Spiker's farm.

By Cathy Gregis

Consol Energy presented the 4th Annual Championship Bull Ride at John and Sue Spiker’s Farm in Jane Lew WV, on Saturday, July 31 2010. With the mechanical bull ride, pony rides, air castle, fresh roasted corn and pork barbeque sandwiches, even a hard rain couldn’t put a damper on the good time had by all.

Children and parents alike enjoyed watching the Mutton Bustin’ as 20 kids vied for the honor of Champion, although a few decided not to ride when faced with a skittish sheep. Hats and shirts were given out to honor our veterans and armed forces.

There was a lot of tense but entertaining action as the bulls took center stage.  The bull rider’s goal is to stay on the bull for eight seconds using a bull rope and rosin to ride.  The bull rope is a thickly braided rope with a cowbell attached. The cowbell acts as a weight that allows the rope to fall off the bull. Bull riders wrap this rope around the bull and then around their hand trying to secure themselves to the bull.

Rosin, just like the sticky substance on pine trees, increases the grip on the bull rope.  On the day of the event, the rain made the rosin messy, gummed up and slick.  It loosened the riders’ grips making it difficult to hold on.

Judges award points for both the cowboy’s and the animal’s performances. The maximum point value of 100 is considered a “perfect ride.”  The cowboys may ride with only one hand and cannot touch the bull, or themselves, with the free hand.  Doing so will result in a “no score.” 

Bull fighters and barrel men aid the bull rider by distracting the animal.  Although they are putting themselves in harm’s way to protect the rider, their antics provide great entertainment for the crowd. 

A few spectators left early due to a hard downpour of rain (and missed the resulting prismatic rainbow that made the wet clothes seem almost worthwhile.)  Those that stayed until the end, however,  witnessed a bull facing down the barrel man and bull rider, exciting the crowd and giving everyone lots to talk about on the way home. 


  • Submitted by Cathy Gregis – As a follow-up to the article above, John Bob Spiker calved and raised a bull named Super Hou to a year old, then a partner took him with his bull. They brought him to futurity and he did so well that they sold him.

    For the first few years of its life, a bull is trained through the use of dummies. Super Hou has been bucking with riders for a year now but has never been ridden for eight seconds. He recently had his first out in the PBR Built Ford Tough Series in San Antonio, Texas but he is still unridden.

  • Submitted by Shelly Currey – Robby Currey III, son of Robert and Shelly Currey, was selected to WV State FFA Office. During the State Convention at Cedar Lakes in July 2000, Robby was elected Secretary. He is the 3rd person from Doddridge County to be elected to office since its inception in 1928, and the first from the county to be elected into the position of Secretary. This is truly the chance of a lifetime; he will mentor students all over the state and represent 4800 West Virginia FFA members in various events.

    Robby and the FFA-elected President traveled to Washington DC to meet the members of congress, senators and the house of representatives, toured the White House, Smithsonian, the Washington Monument, and several other historic sites during the week of July 26 - August 1. This is only the beginning for his year-long adventure.