By Jack Riordan
Going to the rodeo is as American as apple pie and baseball.
The time-honored tradition of recognizing and showcasing our western heritage is nothing new to the thousands of fans who attend professional rodeo events each weekend across our country. From bullfighting and barrel racing to pageants and personalities, the rodeo tends to bring out the best not only from its participants, but from the range of spectators as well.
Much like baseball, the world has taken notice and wants to be a part of the fun. With that in mind, GP Spain, ESFM Entertainment and Rumford Rodeo Company have put together and announced the schedule for an upcoming tour that will cover 12 cities throughout Portugal and Spain, in what is being called the Rodeo Europe Tour 2009.
ESFM Entertainment is a promotions and consulting firm in Sarasota, Fla., with offices in Madrid. It is representing GP Spain for the tour.
In a recent interview with Pro Rodeo Sports News, ESFM Entertainment President Francisco Javier Merino expressed his excitement about what a tour like this could mean for rodeo in Spain and Portugal, as well as on a global scale.
“In Spain, everyone knows about rodeo,” said Merino. “We see it on TV, and in movies but never in person. It fits in with the culture of Spain, of bulls and horses. GP Spain thinks that the sport has a great future there, and in other countries as well.”
The first matter of business is to select and ship 56 horses, 20 bulls, 25 steers, and 25 calves to Spain. Originally, the event promoters considered flying all of the livestock overseas, but they have since determined that transporting the bovine and bucking horses by cargo ship was a more prudent option. The saddle horses will still make the trip by plane—no word yet about a meal or movie for the flight.
For health and quarantine purposes, all animals must be in Spain at least 47 days before the first event, which kicks off in Madrid Sept. 11-12 and wraps up in Zaragoza, Spain, on Oct. 25.
The six-week tour will feature as many as 52 professional cowboys and entertainers — two of whom are proud to call Ramona their home.
Dusty Duba and Kayla Spurlock Duba. Kayla is a 1999 graduate of Ramona High Class. After wowing the judges at the Ramona Rodeo in 2004, she was crowned 2005 Miss Rodeo California. She spent most of 2005 attending rodeos sponsored by the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association), instructing schoolchildren on the family values of our western heritage, and meeting with service clubs and organizations.
While Kayla is working on her horsemanship, her husband Dusty likes to live a little bit more on the wild side. Dusty is a nationally acclaimed bullfighter, another term for what many affectionately refer to as “rodeo clowns.” Just don’t let him hear you call him a clown.
Dusty began his rodeo career at 9 years old, when he joined the National Little Britches Rodeo Association and rode bulls and bareback horses.
Protecting cowboys is Dusty’s job, and nobody does it better. He will showcase his talents—and crazy outfits—on the Rodeo Europe Tour, having been chosen for his dedication to rodeo, and his vast experience inside the arena.
Dusty and Kayla look forward to the opportunity to experience all that Spain and Portugal have to offer, while at the same time providing plenty of entertainment for the Spaniards and Portuguese who are sure to fill the stands to cheer on the Americans as they are introduced to our own brand of good ol’ fashioned country western fun.