FARMINGTON — Four Corners residents can expect an evening of thrills Friday and Saturday when the 28th annual Casper Baca Championship Bullriding Extraordinaire comes to McGee Park Memorial Coliseum.

More than 100 bull riders will compete for two nights in one of the country's premiere independent bull riding competitions.

"It's one of the largest bull riding competitions in the country," said Casper Baca of Casper Baca Rodeo.

Local riders will compete with riders from Nevada, Montana, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma and other states.

"It's always been in the Farmington area," Baca said. "It always grows. That why I've kept it (in Farmington)."

About 3,500 people attended last year's competition, said Vanessa Ortiz, event coordinator at McGee Park.

The event's popularity is derived, in part, from the large ranching and farming community in the region.

"I think this is one of the events in the year that people really look forward to," Ortiz said.

Some compare Baca's event to Professional Bull Riders Inc. competitions, she said.

The sport organization, headquartered in Pueblo, Colo., was formed in 1992 to highlight the achievements of bull riders and to establish the traditional rodeo event as a stand alone sport.

Today Professional Bull Riders boasts more than 1,200 riders from the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico who compete in more than 300 events per year.

The Casper Baca event brings a decidedly different bull riding experience to Farmington.


"It attracts a lot of different guys," Baca said.

It differs from other bull riding competitions in the country because it is open to riders of any association, Baca said, drawing competitors from Native American associations, PBR riders and others.

"There's quite a variety," he said. "You get riders from all different walks of life."

This independence adds a bit of a wild card element to the event and provides entertainment for people of all interests. Audience members can cheer on Four Corners riders, as well as those who compete on the national circuit.

"There's something for everyone," he said.

The Casper Baca Championship Bullriding Extraordinaire begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets can be purchased for $15 in advance at Intermountain Farmers Association in Farmington, 1212 San Juan Blvd., by calling 505-326-5005 or for $18 at the door.