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09.17.2017
Changing of the guard - CBR bullfighters up for a Redo

 Changing of the guard - CBR bullfighters up for a Redo


Great love hath no man than this a man lay his life down for his friends-John 15:13.

The bible verse on the Facebook page of the newest member of the CBR cowboy protection agency instantly reminded me of someone - so I turned to the best for his opinion.

“He’s an exciting young bullfighter to watch - reads those bulls like a seasoned bullfighter. It’ll be fun to see how he does as he continues thru his career,” said Matt Baldwin, who recently retired from fighting bulls after seventeen years in the CBR arena.

On the recent fall run on the Road to Cheyenne I asked Bryce Redo several times what drove him to flip the switch from fighting bulls competitively as a spectator sport to standing in the CBR arena safeguarding twenty-four bull riders through 40 outs per performance.

“It is and honor to protect the top talented bull riders in the world and know you are helping them win as much as $30,000 at each event, and really - I want to save lives,” said Redo.

Bryce Redo hails from southeast Texas rodeo roots. His mom and his dad live in Crosby, Texas and both rode bulls and he followed in their footsteps early in life. By the time he got to high school his athleticism excelled on the track team and football field. Redo passed up scholarship opportunities to run track at LSU and play football at Texas Tech. So it is no surprise one of this twenty four year old’s favorite bull riders is from Lubbock and a Red Raider fan himself.

“Chandler Bownds was my idol when I was riding bulls and being there to protect him in his career now is an honor, and I really enjoy protecting some of my best friends like up and coming star Boudreaux Campbell and guys like Demond Haynes, there are just no words to describe it.”

What usually makes bullfighting a fan favorite is the man versus beast factor.  A paycheck that comes with extreme danger each time you go to work. Bullfighters that are serving as protection have one primary job – to ensure the bull rider dismounts and scrambles to safety while they distract the bull long enough to get the rider out of harm’s way. Sounds easy, but many things can and do go wrong before the eight second whistle blows.

These bullfighters are within inches of the bulls showcasing true athleticism to save the cowboy’s life and while attempting to stay out of harm’s way themselves.

Bryce Redo’s story begins in Southeast Texas in a town called Crosby. “My mom (Justine Sullivan) wanted me to grow up to be a calf roper,” laughed Redo, but that didn’t happen.”

“I rode bulls, never in the traditional way, got on big bulls from just about the beginning until I got bored riding bulls and woke up one day and decided I wanted to fight bulls.”

With the hashtag #besombody, it is no doubt Redo became bored with welding and construction work and gravitated back to his rodeo roots – but in a different pair of shoes. He traded his boots and cowboy belt in for pads and Nike’s.

Redo’s experience moving bulls around comes from a wide but short variety of run ins with the beasts. His competitive journeys took him to Mexico where he competed as both a bull rider and bullfighter.

Redo named Cody Webster as one of his mentor’s and who inspires him professionally.

“I saw his work on social media and YouTube, and I began to study his work and the way he fights and try to add that to my own style.”

“I went to a Ross Hill bullfighting school – showed up to learn stuff – ended up teaching the class – he sent some videos of me to BFO and I got in to Sidney BFO event,” recalled Redo.

Among Redo’s best bullfighting career outs was when he earned 90 points in Las Vegas in December competing in the BFO and winning the Mustachio Bull Bash Freestyle.

Redo is now a resident of Kenefick, Texas, a community settled in 1830 which is forty-one miles northeast of Houston in central Liberty County.

ENTER CBR

 “Jake King invited me to the Lufkin cowboy church and I was fighting bulls there and ran into Lyndal Hurst and Ray Clary (former CBR bullfighter and production manager), they called Matt Baldwin,” said Redo.

Baldwin was at the time working on replacing himself as he was scheduled to retire in Cheyenne in July.

The only way to interview a bullfighter is to throw him in and watch him work. Redo’s CBR interview was in Rio Rancho, Lufkin, and Bossier City. Tuff Hedeman and Matt Baldwin must have seen something they liked and he continued to work for CBR in Salina and the finale – the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding in Del Rio, Texas.

“I think fighting at the George Paul is definitely my career highlight thus far – it’s just legendary,” said Redo.

With Baldwin’s impending retirement at the CBR World Finals at Cheyenne Frontier Days, the decision was made to bring Redo on board for the 2018 Road to Cheyenne.

“After Del Rio I was walking around Wall Mart when Chris (Rankin) called and told me probably not the finals but after Cheyenne would l like to join the Road to Cheyenne tour.”

Here are a few things Bryce Redo shared along the fall run of the Road to Cheyenne.

How do you handle the pressure of protecting some of the great bull riders of all time?

“We are all human and have rough days, you have to stay in shape, work out and keep a clean mindset in the arena.”

What rookie impressed you thus far on the Road to Cheyenne?

“Ruger Piva – he looks pretty solid with lots of grit, shows up and wants to win and has a great personality.”

What bulls bother you?

“Big Jake, the bull Jesus got on in Laughlin, that’s the only one that I had trouble with in Window Rock too, but it’s boring if none of them have any hook to ‘em.”  

What is it like in the arena with CBR this year after the leader Matt Baldwin retired?

“Brandon (Loden) has been there the longest and is really great and knows the bulls and the riders really well, me and Beau, we are the two rookies. The team this year, the team are all really good guys, they have more talent than me, but we all join together and know it’s all a team effort and we are there to take care of business.”

Redo-ology

They ask me: Why are you always there for the others, even though you are not feeling well yourself?” my answer is: Because I know how it feels when everybody looks the other way,” Bryce Redo.


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