Thursday, April 25, 2024

Riders brave bucking bulls, boisterous rain at beach bonanza

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Rain may have been pouring, but bulls were still bucking during the 10th annual Bull Riding on the Beach event Saturday, March 16.

Bull Riding on the Beach — known locally as Bulls on the Beach — is an event produced by Chute 2 Productions and held annually as part of the Founder’s Day Celebration.

“Bull Riding on the Beach is always a fun and exciting event,” Kelly Clark, event coordinator and owner of Chute 2 Productions told the Hood County News. “Everybody loves coming here to the show and it's so unique being here on the beach.”

The Granbury City Beach Park is one of the most popular bull riding locations for Chute 2 Productions, according to Visit Granbury. Featuring professional bull riders and mutton bustin’ for kids in an arena full of sand, Bull Riding on the Beach provides spectators with a bull riding event they have never seen before.

"It's a family show that we put on together,” Clark previously told the HCN. “It consists of bull riding, some comedy acts, you know, the rodeo clown, and three shows. This is one of our biggest shows that we do. We've had as many as 82 bull riders enter the event.”

This year, there were 80 bull riders, with Waxahachie rider George Talavera coming in first with 88 points.

“We had a great bull riding event,” Clark said. “We had a really good bunch of riders.”

While he still considers the event a success, the rain did manage to put a damper on some aspects of the event — especially considering the number of attendees was significantly lower than normal.

“It rained a little bit. We had some loyal fans to say the least, but it wasn’t what we’re accustomed to,” Clark said. “We normally have about 4,000 people and we had about 500 people, which is not what we're used to having. I mean, this thing is pretty much a staple here. It was a great show and all that, but it would have been really, really impressive if it hadn't have rained.”

Bulls on the Beach — a name that was later changed to Bull Riding on the Beach due to an unintended trademark infringement — has been a Hood County staple since it first began in 2013.

For the past 10 years (excluding 2020 because of the COVID pandemic) Clark and his family — wife, Charlene, and joining later, son Ky — have hosted this event as one of several bull riding festivals that Chute 2 Productions puts on each year.

“We do about 10 of these shows across North Texas, and people are asking me, you know, ‘When's a good time to have it?’ I mean it's Texas,” Clark said, chuckling. “We've been here on a Saturday when it was 83 degrees and beautiful weather. We stayed the night at the Hilton, came out Sunday morning, and there was sleet on the horse's back in the arena out there. It’s Texas weather.”

Although the arena eventually became “soupy,” due to the rain, attendees still enjoyed a performance of “Horsepower,” by young Ava Goble and the comical performance of Clark as a rodeo clown.

“I don't believe the rain dampened anybody’s spirits," Clark added. “I hate the saying ‘It is what it is,’ but that's what happened. Everybody still worked really hard to make it a good event and a good show.”

To liven up the event, Clark said there’s a possibility that a recording of Granbury’s Bull Riding on the Beach will be available on Cowboy Channel Plus.

“It’s a really cool deal for us, for Granbury, for everyone involved,” he said. “We promote the city of Granbury, and we've been doing that for five years. We love Granbury.”

Even though the rain did limit attendance of Hood County’s popular event, Clark said he doesn’t plan to let the rain “dampen” his mood for 2025.

He added, "We'll be rolling back here next year wishing for blue skies and daffodils.”