The 2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo continues on this week to crown world champions in each event of professional rodeo, including ladies breakaway roping. As we all know, 2020 has been a year of challenges, but what was pulled off by the folks of professional rodeo this year have been nothing short of a miracle. Over the 10 performances of the NFR, we as fans, competitors, contractors, committees, and producers get to see rodeo on a grand stage, (notice 'fan' was listed first, as we are all fans.) This grand stage was a unique setting for an event that meant so much to so many people, not only for the gold buckles earned or the checks won, but the fact that we got to punch our ticket to sit in a seat at Globe Life Field in 2020.
Seeing a sport we feel so strongly about on a stage as monumental as Globe Life, where just two short months ago the MLB World Series was held, carved into stone that rodeo was a professional sport with professional athletes, an organized structure, and a community around it that can support it's lifestyle; alongside the likes of 'major sports'. The way Texas has come together to facilitate the NFR and the many ancillary events surrounding it has been very welcoming. Don't mistake the Ft. Worth Stockyards for the Las Vegas Strip, but in the Stockyards, cowboys feel at home. We commend those who worked diligently on this year's NFR, and can't wait to see what kind of doors this could have opened.
When the gates open in this bullpen, the boys on base better watch out.
As of Monday, October 5th at 12 noon, the 2020 PRCA Badlands Circuit Finals had been cancelled by the committee who had produced it for nearly 15 years.
By Tuesday, October 6th at 12 noon, Bailey Pro Rodeo, Hooked Up Enterprises, PRCA Circuit Board Member Max Weppler, Marketing Director Ruth Nicolaus, and rodeo producers Jason Jensen & Jason Behm had pooled together to bring in an amount of new money that made producing this rodeo possible. A spiderweb of calls ensued across the state of North Dakota to call in favors to ensure that this event wouldn't leave our state in 2020, or any years after. A huge thank you goes out to those businesses and individuals who spent their hard-earned time and money to make this possible, not only for the contestants of the PRCA Badlands Circuit, but for the hungry western sports fans of North Dakota.
Given less than 48 hours to prepare for this event, these committed individuals worked fast, hard, and effectively to put together a combination of assets that not only made the event happen on time, but in a manner that felt loving. Working with such a small group of people on an event so large, in such a short amount of time, created an atmosphere within the production room that felt like family. Most events of this caliber take the blood, sweat, and tears of months worth of work; we were able to concentrate all three of those into 144 hours.
When the dust settled, we sat fans in the stands in 2020, a year when that's been unusual; and crowned circuit champions, who earlier that week didn't think they'd get the chance to compete.
We at Hooked Up Enterprises want to thank everyone who helped make this event happen and everyone who purchased a ticket and came to watch our favorite sport, rodeo.
First impressions are of the utmost importance. In today's society with the availability of social media and digital content; "overnight" successes have become a reality. Each individual is a brand, and each brand has it's own identity. That identity is what can make or break a first impression. Whether that impression be with a potential employer, colleague, or friend; that impression comes from more than just how you act in the moment with that person, assuming you're 'meeting' them face-to-face. They have the ability to quickly do research on who you are, what you've done, and who you've influenced in the past.
We create custom gear not for the sake of selling products, but for the sake of helping all of you create unique personal brands that are not only distinguishable from a distance, but memorable when those potential employers are at a table discussing their next hire. The way you carry yourself and do business with others is what will harbor positive relationships, but just as important as those actions, is the identity of your brand. It's the way you dress, the way you speak/write (when posting on social media/blogs), and the solutions you are able to bring to the table. Creating a unique personal brand is really as simple as being yourself. Many out there try to over-complicate the personal brand by putting out content to make themselves look good for the sake of making themselves look good. These types of people may get their foot in the door, but once in the door, quickly fall short because the brand they promoted on the internet is not aligned with the brand they are presenting to the real world. In the long run, it would have been easier to be transparent, it may have taken longer to get your foot in the door, but once inside you'd be able to run the room. This is why we promote Stand Up (for what you believe in), Stand Out (for what is right) and Stay Hooked (in whatever venture you're in). Don't get in the line with all of the other people for the sake of being in the group, look at the front of the line and decide if that's where you'd like to be and what you'd like to work towards; if it's not, maybe you need to create your own line. Be true to yourself, be real, be honest, and don't be afraid to stand out on your own.
"Positive Choices!" being preached so clearly to our ears today has made us slightly more aware of our effect on the environment we live in. In doing that, it seems to have replaced direction and focus. Life is about living in the now, being present, planning your next move to plan the move after that. Choosing wisely is great, but choosing wisely without direction is lazy. If you are able to wake up every day, you are able to attain a well-designed life.
Designing your life is much like creating content and designing apparel. We are essentially putting our ideas and thoughts into tangible creations that are daunted all over the World. In order to have a vision of what we want these creations to look like, we have to view them from an unbiased perspective but with a purpose to align it with our creative direction. This is important because without direction, we aren't progressing; and if we aren't progressing, we're moving backwards.
Our decisions act much the same way, they too are influenced by bias and direction. Making art upon the canvas that is your life is ultimately everyone's own unique design. You too, are the designer. You must decide which sketch looks better, or to live in black and white or color. Our choices that are positive AND well-directed are powerful ones. These choices give us momentum. Momentum moves us forward and keeps moving us forward.
Want a life well-lived? Construct a well-designed life.
The days of "Mom & Pop's 'ol Rodeo" are in the past and new, engaging western events are all the craze. Creating a means for event producers, stock contractors, and rodeo committees to effectively brand their events in a sleek way while saving money is what we're here to do. We've recently unveiled a new brand of signage, we're dubbing "Arena Wrap" that allows rodeos, bull ridings, bullfights, barrel racings, and other one-off western events to help create an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere for their fans and competitors.
What makes this unique? With full color print ability, custom sizing options, and an unbeatable price, we are THE SOLUTION for arena branding in the western world. Contact us today to find out more.
Sutton Rodeo Company can be contributed with giving American Freestyle Bullfighting its start as a sport. Since the early 80's they have been keeping the tradition alive in Rapid City, SD whose location deems it a cowboy town. The fans in the stands know what they're watching and will usually share an opinion of what they experience. Fast forward to 2019, the ABF brings Rodeo Rapid City 3 days of freestyle bullfighting that involves both young local talent and experienced competetive athletes.
Tate Rhoads of Custer, MT showed out victoriously to the Saturday night crowd at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center; putting together an 88 point effort including a stellar jump over top a fierce bull from Wild West Cattle Co. "I thought they were pretty good! Some were weaker than others, but I was very happy about how I drew. I had the right bull at the right times and they definitely helped me come out on top!" said Rhoads in response to his victory.
The "Get a Holt" tee art came from a photo taken off of a GoPro camera worn by Hooked Up Co-Founder Brent Schaff from the Summer of 2015. The particular situation it came from was a textbook 8 second ride followed with a clean get off. The situation was controlled and flowed properly.
It was actually a shirt idea we have had since the conception of the business, but it needed a purpose. "Get a Holt" has more to it than its face value. It's an idea, a concept, a feeling, a passion, and a way of life. Fundamentally speaking, when fighting bulls, getting a 'holt' of a bull is the ultimate way to gain his attention, control the situation, and engage the animal. Doing this not only allows the bullrider more time to get away, but also gains the attention of the animal because of the physical contact. It is the one thing that can sometimes dictate whether or not the job gets accomplished correctly. HU Brand Rep Tanner Zarnetski & Professional Bullfighter Cody Greer both weighed in on the concept, giving advice for the up-and-comers. Tanner says that feeling the contact of the bull gives him a better sense of control, feeling the animals movement towards him. While Cody Greer says that it's pretty much his only thought when in the arena. He says, "I try to touch every bull I can. I walk into the arena hoping they are mean and that I have to save somebody, when others are hoping they don't have to touch a bull and that they dont buck any mean ones."
This concept is not only something that applies to fighting bulls; but life in general. The distance between your hands and the head & horns of the bull represent so much more than the 3 inches of daylight.. fear, overcoming adversity, being proactive, controlling your life, being aggressive, and being in flow. Flow, in one of it's more vague definitions, is " to proceed or be produced smoothly, continuously, and effortlessly." (According to Dictionary.com) We feel that fighting bulls well, killing a workout, acing that test, or nailing down that new client all take flow moments to succeed at. This is a concept we will cover more on later.
When the time comes to face those adversities, fears, and obstacles.. use this phrase to push you through it. Get a holt of it, control it, and be aggressive about it. Life doesn't come trickling down a mountain to those who are sitting and waiting for it, it is attracted to those who seek it and actively pursue it. Getting a holt of your daily tasks, your bad habits, your shortcomings, and your weaknesses will do nothing but help propel you forward and make contact. Whether you're struggling with a diet, a workout plan, a class, a job, or actually fighting bulls, know that everyone struggles. None of the guys at the top of the industry started there; they have all put in the time, faced the fears, adversities, and obstacles and took control of the situation. When opportunities arose, they capitalized. Referring back to Zarnetski's claims, he says that "Fighting bulls well has given me the confidence that nothing can hold me back from what I wants to pursue. "
The next time you are in the arena, in the office, in the classroom, or in the gym.. Get a Holt!
Click Here to get the tee >> Get A Holt Tee
Life on the road and in the arena can relate in many ways to one's diet. Your hunger will come and go, fluctuating with the hour, with the day, with the week. Some days will be better than others. Some days will be a 20 oz prime rib with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed asparagus; others will be undercooked pork with cold green beans. The goal is always the same; fill your body with the nutrients it needs to approach the day at your best capacity. No matter what's on your plate, your body still expects to be fueled with the proper tools to attack the tasks set in front of you.
The same goes in the arena. The old cliche that "some days are diamonds, and some days are stones" couldn't be more true. Just like in the previous example with the cold hog, some days you're not going to feel like stepping up to the plate. Every day is not going to start as your best day. The nutrients you put into your brain and your heart is what will make the ultimate difference. The things you decide to take seriously, the decisions you make on a day-to day basis, the content you take in on social media, the people you listen to, and the way you react to what you hear all play a factor in your performance. As a bullfighter, you're expected to be at the right place at the right time; every time. Autonomy is key. It will take a toll on the ill-prepared. Even if we lay the physical demands of the job aside, so many factors can and will take its toll and affect performance. The trick is to be so well prepared when you walk in the pen, nothing can take you down. Once the latch cracks and thing slow down; there is no room for personal hiccups.
Just as your body will react appropriately when well fueled, your brain operates on the same principle. Train your brain for the big moments, don't get wrapped up in the unimportant gossip that is today's world. Stay hungry, stay humble, train for the inevitable and the unthinkable. It will come. Success will follow.
Calling all Bullfighters!!
Since our organizations inception this past April, we have learned a few things. We are slowly developing a state-of-the-art platform for bullfighters to have the ability to submit videos of themselves performing, enter those videos into an online based competition, and win money and prizes based on their performance.
Since we have held a few beta-type protection competitions, we have discovered that in order to make these attractive to our users, there's got to be some money in the pot! After pondering methods to fund these competitions, we came up with our #FIGHTFORMOREAFTERFOUR concept. This enables athletes to represent our brand, promote our products, and in turn receive care packages and gifts (much like a "sponsored" athlete would get).
So if you'd like to be a part of a movement bigger than yourself, and get some cool gear in the process...
Please check out our Video Review & Referral Program Page for more information! Also , please fill out the survey below to help us build the best platform we could!
Don't forget to SHARE SHARE SHARE!
The sport of rodeo is one of raw, gritty American spirit with pride of the old west; and the animals with whom they roamed. A sport where winners were made out of necessity bearing upon nothing else but their mental fortitude. Champions were crowned and lives were changed, sparked by nothing more than a passion for the sport they cared for so dearly.
In recent times, we are starting to see a trend, a change of mission. So many of today's athletes have been stricken with a need to be labeled for who they wear, rather than what they do while wearing it. Don't misunderstand, sponsorships are a major part of this sport, but sometimes they get misunderstood. The hustle to be branded is invading the work ethic and talent of many, and we notice.
Sponsorships... from now should be considered as Value Added Agreements. Meaning you as the sponsored athlete need to be contributing value to the company that you have tattood all over your #OOTD (Outfit Of The Day, learned it yesterday). As a business owner, we can speak for many of these companies that are reached out to in waves asking for sponsorships... think before you hit send. Place yourself in the shoes of the person behind the screen at that company, and the person within that company that makes the decision out of 500 offers which 5 to choose; "What about this request makes me stand out?" "Why would this company choose me over Mr. Circuit Finals over there?" Like we said, provide value. Be different. Be unique. Be Sincere. Think outside the box and gain someone's full attention... and keep it.
There may be some of you thinking that "Well, I don't really care what I'm wearing in the arena, it's not that big of a deal." For some of you, that may be true; but if you are wanting to stand out in the crowd, what you wear in the arena DOES matter. We don't care if you're a baggies guy, a jersey guy, or both. We want you to look GOOD no matter what you're wearing. That's why we are launching our new custom bullfighter jerseys. These jerseys are made in America out of a smooth and flexible fabric sure to keep you cool and dry. They include collars, snap-closures down the front, and a 3/4 sleeve to keep you focused on the task at hand. They are totally customizable and can include any other sponsor logos you may have.
For custom jersey inquiries, place an order and we will contact you, or connect with us through our Contact Us page or on social media. We will be happy to assist you.
If you want to stand out from the rest, get Hooked Up, and we'll keep you looking fresh.
In the western sports entertainment industry, sometimes the most important word of that gets forgotten; ENTERTAINMENT. We as rodeo athletes and producers have a job because other people will pay to come watch us do what we do. In order to keep that position alive, we need to make sure the fans' hard earned money doesn't go to waste. Just from personal experiences, I have seen numerous times when that gets thrown by the wayside. Entertainment takes a backseat due to very selfish things such as greed and laziness or sometimes just a sheer lack of education. Just from personal observation I have seen that the difference is and has been in the details. The little things. The things that seem miniscule and tedious but when executed completely and correctly can make an amateur production into a professional one.
Especially being a bullfighter, we are to step into a position that takes a lot of focus and energy; which sometimes makes it difficult to remember the reason we're ALL there. To entertain. In order to entertain, the show must be conducted in a professional manner and that includes everyone involved. There's no mistaking that hard work and/or talent will get you places in this industry; but an educated mind and a professional attitude can put some extra force behind your name. On the flipside, a bad attitude and an over-inflated ego can make you go hungry. Food for thought: Don't always be looking for the best interest of yourself in the matter, think about the production as a whole and how your decisions will effect it.
Dusty Tuckness, Chuck Swisher, Nathan Harp, Cody Webster, Matt Baldwin, Tanner Zarnetski (pictured), and many many more have graced their presence through the North Texas State Fair Arena in pursuit of the championship buckles and big purse in Denton, Texas.
Since the mid 90's, professional bulfighters from all over the country have come to Denton to not only stake their claim at big prize money, but also to network with other great competitors in hopes of catching their own big break. This event is typically invite-only and since 2010 has been mainly controlled by our Hooked Up Cowboy Protection Judges, Jay Brewer and Steve Wangler.
In talking with Brewer, he said the atmostphere in Denton has changed in from the trash-talking, mind-game playing, competitive nature to an uplifting group of talent that are in the same place for the same reason; to fight bulls to the best of their abilities'. Brewer says this is the greatest part of Denton, just being around such a concentrated group of great bullfighters. For many, Denton has been a stepping-stone on the path to an illustrious career, serving as an eye-opening experience for many first-timers.
This year, there is $11,500 added to the cowboy protection match, making it the largest in the country. This event is held the last 3 days of the North Texas State Fair in conjunction with a bull riding event. Typically there will be 8 teams competing and each will get to fight about 5 bulls/night.
When asked what is watched for in invitees, Brewer says it's not only the in-arena talent that gets taken into account, but professsionalism also plays a factor along with other out-of-arena traits. Many promotional appearances will be made during the days of the competition and it is important to be personable within the community. The competition that is stacked against each other in Denton is extremely fierce, and points don't come by easy. Mistakes are few and far between, and the proof is in the results.
Do you think you have what it takes to compete with the greats? Get entered in our Hooked Up Online Protection Competitions and you will get to perform in front of the men who send the invitations. Opportunities like this have never before been present in the protection bullfighting industry; so now is the time.
Todd Brewer Photo
A bullfighter's job is very unique in that he has to react to a situation in a proper way, so that to lessen the chance of a dangerous situation. We get very few tools, but what we do have is our minds. We typically work as a 2 or 3 man team to cover all 360 degrees around the animal, and rely on nothing but reaction and our own decisions to make sure everything goes as planned.
Sometimes, you will see bullfighters give each other and other personnel in the arena hand signals dictating a prediction or assumption of the situation to follow. There is typically debate on whether or not these hand signals are needed or even wanted. There are some that swear by them and use them constantly, whether are typically correct or not. Then, there are others who pay no mind to them and take the situation as it comes.
However, I myself have witnessed first hand other arena personnel being very gratious for knowing these hand signals (judges, gate personnel, barrelman, etc.).
Some examples and their meanings are shown below. We are not saying use them is right, wrong, or indifferent, we intend to inform. Even if you're only a spectator, watch out for these next time you find yourself in front of a set of bucking chutes; what ensues when the fist comes out might be exciting.
Comment below on YOUR thoughts on hand signals!
To the Victor Goes the Spoils
Darwyn Thompson, of Eagle Butte, SD fought bulls well this Memorial Day Weekend and because of his efforts, was awarded 1st place prize money along with a custom painted skull by JB's Wildlife Designs (below).
Partnered with Darwyn was the 2x INFR Bullfighter Marshall Byrne of Dupree, SD. Marshall took home 2nd place.
Coming in third was the 2016 PBR Rookie of the Year, Jess Lockwood of Volborg, MT. Jess, although not typically a bullfighter, decided to wear a different hat inside the arena in hopes of winning the beautiful skull. Sadly, his efforts weren't quite enough to impress our judges.
Our next competition begins today, under a slightly new format. June 1-15 we will be leaving our entries open, along with our video submissions throughout the entirety of the competition. See our Events page for more information.
When you were younger, were you ever told that you could be anything you wanted to be? That if you set your mind to it- anything is possible? We often here these clichè statements from parents, loved ones, and in movies; but how many of you listened? More importantly, how many of the people who told you that took their own advice? How many of those people chased THEIR dream?
I'm not saying these statements are false, but I am saying that in order to truly achieve what you want, it takes tremendous sacrifice. In many cases, the people we hear these statements from sadly just didn't follow their own advice. Many people take for granted the freedoms they're given to do whatever it is they are passionate about. Opportunities are always found by those who actively seek them, and lost by those who passively wait for them.
Whether you're a rodeo cowboy, a rock climber, a musician, an entrepreneur, or a farmer; if that's what you wanted to be, it took sacrifice to get there. How many j.o.b.'s did you quit/get fired from? How many holidays have you missed? How many times have you had to shake off a "Why don't you get a real job?" from a loved one? Funerals, weddings, parties, sleep, vacations, toys, and even friends sometimes must be sacrificed to chase your dreams. I'm not saying it's easy, but I'm saying it's worth it.
Don't listen to the critics, drown out the noise, and keep driving forward.
What have you sacrificed?
Okay guys, let's talk about fear. I'm not talking about snakes or spiders; I'm talking about real fear. Fear so strong it changes chemicals in your brain that forces you to change decisions, inhibit emotions, and multiply by itself.
Fighting bulls at any level comes with a very unique job description, similar to that of a body guard or even a pass blocker. However, the one thing that is different for bullfighters is that the opponent is not a human. Bulls do not have reason and will not take a bribe. The outcome quickly becomes UNKNOWN, which in our opinion is one of mans' greatest fears.
No two situations will be the same in this industry. You will face literally millions of different challenges along the way. Many of them come with an inevitable level of uncertainty. In this game, fear can be your greatest asset or your worst enemy. It's up to you to decide which category it falls under. Bullfighters have to consciously decide that the fear of the unknown is inferior the power of their own minds' in order to train themselves to react the way that is needed to do their job excellently. This is not something that happens overnight; it can take years to develop the mental fortitude it takes to perform at a superior level. To the men that do this day in and day out? It's second nature, no more than a reflex... but it didn't start that way. It is a habit created by repetition.
Every time a bullfighter steps in the arena, he is faced with a multitude of decisions in very fast increments of time. His reactions need to be quick and precise in order for everything to go smoothly (best-case scenario). At first, your conscious mind will need assistance to make the correct moves. Over time, after enough of the right moves have been made in succession, this becomes habit.
According to www.merriam-webster.com, a Habit is "a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance."
In order for something to become an involuntary type habit, fear needs to be faced. In order to face fear, you need to realize it exists, and embrace it. The more you are able to train your mind in a tense situation to make the correct decisions, the easier the habit will be to form. That way, when it comes time to jump that hang-up, you're prepared.
Comment on the blog post below: What do you really FEAR?
An average day for any other profession may not sound exciting, but in the sport of rodeo bullfighting, an average day means that nobody got hurt. We are here to recognize and reward that.
Cody Kehr from Killdeer, ND may have been the only competitor in this weekends Official Protection Competition, but that didn't short his ability to perform up to par and take home 1st place money.
Kehr was quoted in saying that the process was "pretty simple and easy" and looks forward to competing again.
Remember, this is the first of many; as the popularity of our brand increases, so will the prize money.
If you'd like to see the results, they will be posted on our Results page.
Bullfighter Incentive Program
With the inception of this company came a passion to bring this industry to a new light, and hopefully a new pay scale. We have been working dilligently on ways to make it possible for the unsung heroes of the most dangerous sport on Earth to make a better living.
With our Bullfighter Incentive Program, #FIGHTFORMOREAFTERFOUR , you have the ability to promote Hooked Up's clothing brand & soon bullfighter apparel and accessories, along with our online protection competitions. After you have made a purchase through our store of at least $50, and refer 1 friend to purchase/enter you will be given a discount code to share with the world.
After 4 purchases with this code, 4 bullfighter competition referrals, or 2 & 2 of each, you get your entry fees paid to the next competition of your choice. Considering a portion of the revenue from our apparel sales goes back into the competitions, you have the ability to win more money with each purchase and referral. Essentially, the bigger the brand becomes, the more money available for you to win!
It's real simple! Go check out the store, get some threads, make your friends get some threads, then we send you a code.
JOIN THE REVOLUTION
Judges Announced for Official Protection Competitions
Hooked Up is very excited to announce it's judges for the first online protection competitions.
Steve Wangler (Elgin, NE) and Jay Brewer (Graham, TX) have over 20 years of protection bullfighting experience between the two of them. Brewer has produced and judged the North Texas State Fair (Denton, TX) protection match for the past seven years; with Wangler at the clipboard for the last five.
The North Texas State Fair protection match is one of the most prestigous protection matches in the country and has showcased some of the best talent to ever step in the arena. We couldn't be more excited to announce these two as judges for our online cowboy protection competitions, and look forward to working with them in the future.
We are excited to go live with our brand new website in which we have poured much of our time and effort. This will be the central place in which all Hooked Up news, events, and merchandise will be announced, accessed, and purchased respectively.
Along with the release of our brand new website, we are hosting the Beta 2.0 Bull Buster Event.
Please come back and visit us, as we will be updating the website frequently. Also, feel free to follow us on social media and become part of the community, as your opinions matter very much to us!
JOIN THE REVOLUTION
With a new concept, the Hooked Up Beta Bull Buster was held this past weekend as a free test-run for bullfighters to enter the first of it's kind online cowboy protection competition (CPC).
1st place- Justin Ward at the Western Edge Bullriders Finals in Minot, ND
2nd place - Larry Gandy Jr. at the Hip Hop Cowboys Rodeo in Mesquite, TX
3rd place - Jeremy Hart at the Hip Hop Cowboys Rodeo in Mesquite, TX
These young men were awarded gifts and apparel from Hooked Up, including a custom tooled leather cuff to the winner.