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Wyoming bullfighter wins national honor _ again

December 17, 2017

CODY, Wyo. (AP) — Although the term dynasty is usually applied to team success, it is an accurate way to describe Meeteetse’s Dusty Tuckness.

He is an individual dynasty, a guy who has dominated his rodeo role so thoroughly and for so long that it is not beyond the imagination to foresee the PRCA someday naming its Bullfighter of the Year trophy for Tuckness.

Tuckness just won the annual award for the eighth straight year with the announcement made recently at a banquet in Las Vegas at the National Finals Rodeo championships.

“In any year it’s anybody’s ballgame,” Tuckness said in a telephone interview of not taking his victories for granted year to year. “It’s a privilege to be in the last group (of nominees).”

At 31, Tuckness is middle-aged for a bullfighter. It is definitely a young man’s game trying to stay one step ahead of snorting 1,200-pound bulls and darting in at high speed to sweep thrown bull riders to safety.

Tuckness is very aware of the need to stay in superb shape and said he has increased his core and cardio workouts.

“I’m just trying to keep sharp to stay young,” Tuckness told the Cody Enterprise.

“He is the most dedicated person to his craft that I know,” said Maury Tate, operator of Cody Nite Rodeo where Tuckness got his start. “This is what sets Dusty apart. He fights bulls the same way at Cody Nite Rodeo as he does at the NFR.”

By that Tate said he means Tuckness takes care of “Wyatt Lehman (a Cody Nite Rodeo regular) the same way as he does for Sage Kimzey (a world champion).”

Tate said he knows of a time when Tuckness was headed out elk hunting with friend Kanin Asay of Powell, a retired bull rider, when they were leaving about dawn.

Tuckness rose at 2 a.m. “to get his workout in,” Tate said. “Most people would take those days off with all the walking they were doing.”

Each time Tuckness is pronounced the best, the first thing he says is, “I give all the glory to God.”

He also does not even vote for himself.

“I fill my ballot in for Cody Webster,” Tuckness said of another top bullfighter who has appeared in Cody.

Tuckness said not every rodeo athlete thanks him each time he saves them from possible injury, but he knows they appreciate what he does since he keeps winning the Bullfighter of the Year vote.

He also knows there is a general finite age limit for bullfighters, but once Tuckness retires from the front lines he will not leave rodeo.

There will be freestyle events to work with and schools to teach in.

“I’ll stay involved in the sport that’s given me everything,” Tuckness said.

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Information from: The Cody Enterprise, http://www.codyenterprise.com

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