For the past five years, Dusty Tuckness has been hired as one of two PRCA Rodeo bullfighters for the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. As part of being a bullfighter, Dusty puts his life and body on the line each time a bull is bucked and/or a rider is down or hung up. For this, bullfighters are one of the biggest reasons that bull riders are able to compete and stay healthy. He wears very little padding, his trademark makeup, cowboy hat, cleats and “baggies.” Like many bullfighters, Dusty has taken some hard hits in his career – most recently during the televised 2012 National Finals Rodeo – and if he is able, gets right back out there to do his job for each performance and never misses a beat. He fights bulls with a fluidity and style that makes his job look effortless which is one of the many reasons he has won the PRCA “Bullfighter of the Year” award three times.
Name: Dusty Tuckness
Hometown: Meeteetse, Wyoming
Which rodeo Events do you/have you participated in?
Bullfighting and I got on a few bulls but didn’t like it though.
What are your current rodeo related career achievements?
• 2X Professional Bullfighters Tour World Champion
• 3X Bullfighter of the Year – PRCA
• 4X NFR Bullfighter
• 3X College National Finals Bullfighter
• 6X Mountain States Circuit Finals Bullfighter
• Salinas Bullfight Champion
• Big rodeos I’ve worked: Odessa, Fort Worth, Houston, Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo (previously DNCFR); Cody Stampede, Central Wyoming Fair, Cheyenne, Kansas’ Biggest Rodeo, Nampa, Idaho; National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, Omaha, Nebraska; American Royal, Oklahoma City and Greeley, Colorado.
What would your advice be to someone interested in getting into fighting bulls/ cowboy protection?
Get to a good Bullfighting school and learn from someone who knows what they are talking about.
What is the your most memorable/favorite Stock Show moment?
I survived, LOL. There are a lot of great moments from the Stock Show. My first year there, the group of guys that were working the Rodeo was a lot of fun: Andy Burelle, John Harrison, Gizmo, the trick riders and myself. We all got along and hung out all the time. My 2nd year, Andy Burelle, Ted Bert, Chad Denton and a few others would stay up late every night playing monopoly. We had a lot of fun with it. Sometimes when I am working the event, I’ll sit up in the stands and just look into the arena and think of all the greats that have either competed or fought bulls in that arena. The history is awesome, and I’m just glad to be a part of it.
What type of preparation does it take throughout the year to get ready for a Show the size/length of the FWSSR (23 days/ 36 rodeo performances)?
My preparation really doesn't’t change much going into the FWSSR because I work out and train all year long. The FWSSR is one of a kind rodeo though. You have to be mentally and physically tough because it is the longest rodeo you can work – 23 days, 36 rodeo performances, and 12-15 Bull Riders per performance.
How has your experience in the rodeo arena benefited you in life (to date)?
My experience in the arena has had a big benefit in my life because I grew up in one. My dad fought bulls and it’s something I have always wanted to do. It’s what has helped make me the person I am today.
What has been your worst rodeo-related injury?
Worst injury that I have had would have to be when I tore my shoulder up and had to have surgery.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of the FWSSR when you visit Fort Worth?
Well, we do make a few trips down to Fuzzy’s Taco Shop. We eat there a lot when we are there for the Rodeo.