PUEBLO, Colo. – Four men will valiantly step into Dreamstyle Arena, aka The Pit, in two weeks in the hopes of capturing the glory and fandom of thousands by displaying Gladiator qualities of bravery, toughness, fearlessness, guts and true grit.
These four freestyle bullfighters – Dalton Brody, Noah Krepps, Alex McWilliams and Tristan Seargeant – have accepted an invitation from Ty Murray to enter the Beast Pit Gladiator Challenge during the 22nd annual Ty Murray Invitational, presented by Isleta Resort and Invitational, on March 16-18.
Only one man of valor will be deemed the champion and walk away with $10,000 and a commemorative sword.
“I am only inviting four of the most badass guys I can find,” Murray said. “I am bringing the meanest, biggest Mexican fighting bulls I can find. It is going to have a Gladiator feel to it.”
Each bullfighter will enter the arena, two on Friday and two on Saturday, against a 1,200-pound Mexican fighting bull that will have a bullseye target on his opponent.
The bullfighter will need to stay just arm’s length away from the charging bovine beast for the first 30 seconds. After the first 30 seconds, the out gate will open and the bullfighter will have half a minute to work the bull out of the arena.
There is one MAJOR catch though.
A dangerous one in fact.
Unlike standard freestyle bullfights, these four men will not be allowed to touch or use the fence to avoid danger. If they touch the fence, they are disqualified from the competition.
There also will not be a barrel to use for protection if things get hairy in the arena.
The temptation to use the fence will be greater than at a regular freestyle bullfighting competition seeing as The Pit is the smallest venue the 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast stops at.
It was only last year that bull rider Marco Eguchi was launched into the front row of the grandstands of The Pit by Too Smooth.
“It literally will be like a pool of sharks,” Murray said. “The difference between Evel Knievel jumping a pool of sharks is this is a guy getting in the pool. To me it has that feel. It is one of those things you are going to want to watch. This is something you won’t want to go to the concession stand for.
“The crowd will judge it.”
The bullfighter that receives the loudest ovation will be the winner after the Munerarius – the giver of the games -- stands on the chutes and points at each competitor on the dirt.
Murray will be the Munerarius for the event.
It is one of a series of Latin words Murray researched earlier this year when he woke up in the middle of the night and this bold idea began to come to fruition.
Murray began thinking about ways to enhance his annual bull riding in Albuquerque and he wondered how to bring greater lore to freestyle bullfighting.
His mind started thinking about the Coliseum in Rome and those legendary gladiator battles.
How could he create a Coliseum-like environment at The Pit during intermission?
Hence the Beast Pit was born.
“One night I woke up and I started jotting down notes,” Murray explained with excitement in his voice. “I started looking up gladiator terminology and how they operated and what they did.”
For roughly 4-5 hours, Murray became engulfed in Gladiator terminology.
He then decided to write his own sacramentum gladiatorum – an oath – that he will have each bullfighter recite in Albuquerque:
I will go forth with the bravery and toughness that would make the greats who came before me proud. I will show the guts and effort that this event embodies and deserves. I’m a man and will act as though I’m on this quest for true grit. This I promise.
Murray knew immediately who to call to see if this could be a reality once the sun rose – Shorty Gorham.
The Matador Beef Jerky bullfighter had recently launched Shorty Gorham’s American Freestyle Bullfighting.
“That oath really got me going,” Murray said. “I called Shorty the next morning and asked him what he thought about it. He loved it. Even the bullfighters are loving it.”
Gorham was all in and helped Murray lock in the four bull fighters. He also guaranteed to Murray he will bring the meanest bulls he could find – S17 Spaniard, 2 Helter Skelter, 100 R.E.D. Friday, H52 White Feather, 96 Mr. Harris and 22 Patriot.”
#Repost @shortygorhamafb with @get_repost ・・・ These guys put the “Beast” in #thebeastpit! 10 days out from the Ty Murray Invitational PBR Event! @shortygorham @lanefrostbrand @lightsoutfightingbulls @pbr #afb #americanfreestylebullfighting #lanefrostbrand #pbr #bullfighting #bullfighter #bullfighterlife
Murray is hopeful the Beast Pit becomes an annual event in Albuquerque.
It will be a destination for all freestyle bullfighters that want to prove they are the toughest in the business.
“I want that sword to become a badge of honor," Murray concluded. “I want this to be something that if you think you are a world-class bull fighter. If you haven’t first competed in this, and second won it, then you are not a world class bullfighter.”
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