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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Top-three finishes in the first three events of his Bullfighters Only season weren’t enough for Kris Furr, so he did something about it this past weekend at Rodeo Scottsdale.
Furr outlasted a talented field of eight bullfighters to win the Wrangler Bullfight Tour stop. Furr made his way to Saturday’s Hooey Championship Round with a second-place finish on the first day of the rodeo and bullfights, joining round winner Zach Flatt of Fittstown, Oklahoma.
“I thought it was a great event, and I think the people there love to watch it,” said Furr of Hamptonville, North Carolina. “After Scottsdale’s rodeo last year and the Barrett-Jackson Auction (in January), I think we’re starting to get a pretty big following in Arizona.”
Furr and Flatt were joined in the final round by Beau Schueth of O’Neill, Nebraska, and Chance Moorman of Lytle, Texas; Schueth won the second round with an event high 84-point bout, and Moorman was 80 points.
Once in the championship round, it was a tight battle between the four combatants. Furr took the title with an 80-point fight, with Moorman finishing as the runner-up just one point behind.
“This was a huge win,” Furr said. “I’ve been consistent in the four events I’ve been to, but I’ve been second twice and third once, so I was dying for a win.”
With the victory he picks up $4,500, which boosts him to No. 2 in the Pendleton Whisky World Standings with $14,000. He is just $3,250 behind the leader, three-time reigning world champion Weston Rutkowski.
“This was a little bit of a different format where two guys advanced out of the rounds,” Furr said. “It was nice, because usually there’s a lot of pressure that you have to win. When you have that pressure, you put yourself at more risk. You’re usually putting it all out there on the first bull.
“This event allowed you to play it smart and slip into the short round. It lets you have a better chance and lets you breathe a little more going into it.”
As with anything he does, the North Carolinian gained some valuable lessons while competing in Arizona this past weekend. Though his confidence remains rock solid, he saw some things in his own fights that could allow him to improve as he moves forward.
“What I took away from there were a couple of learning points,” he said. “I think everything I did in the short round was correct, but there was a lot more I could have done to add to it. Even though I won, I feel like I learned a lot.”
Each step of the way is a process, and he’s reminded of that every day. In addition to the rigors of the competition, Furr puts his body through a tremendous test regularly to make sure he’s in the best physical condition when it comes time to face the beast.
“It’s like any other sport; you lift a lot of weights to keep your body used to being under that kind of stress,” said Furr, who spends a great deal of time in Decatur, Texas, so he can utilize the training facilities at Fit-N-Wise, an athletic training and sports medicine operation. “A lot of the speed drills and agility drills I do help keep the crispness and the snappiness I have.
“If you look at me and Weston, we’ve got our meals lined out; we know what we’re taking in. A lot of guys can copy what you do as a bullfighter, but it’s hard to copy what you don’t see outside the arena.”
That’s an edge Furr plans to keep.
Round 1: 1. Zach Flatt, 76 points; 2. Kris Furr, 75; 3. Weston Rutkowski, 69; 4. Tucker Lane, no score.
Round 2: 1. Beau Schueth, 84 points; 2. Chance Moorman, 80; 3. Scrawney Brooks, 79; 4. Colt Oder, 76.
Hooey Championship Round: 1. Kris Furr, 80 points; 2. Chance Moorman, 79; 3. Beau Schueth, 77; 4. Zach Flatt, 74.
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