It was mostly a matter of brawn meets brain on Thursday night as 29 bull riders tried to ride their drawn mount to the top prize of $3,000 during the Lucky 7 Bulls and Barrels contest on Thursday night at the Curry County Fair.
"It feels good to win it," Cody Brixey of Nampa, Idaho, said. "I always do good here in Gold Beach with Howell Rodeo."
With each of the bulls weighing close to 2,000 pounds, the bull riders had to use all of their strength and wiles to overcome the twisting and turning of the bulls.
"It's never a given," Brixey explained. "You have to try every time. It felt good - he was a good bull."
Brixey drew the bull "Pig" and rode him for a full eight seconds to get a score of 82 from the judges and claim the $3,000 top prize.
Proving just how tough you have to be to ride bulls for a living, Brixey was riding with one cracked rib and one separated rib and chose to sit out the bonus short round where he could have earned more money.
"I got busted up last weekend," he said. "I was hurting so bad after riding 'Pig' that I couldn't get out of the chutes until after it was all over. I was back there for all of the short round."
Second place went to Xavier Gilbert of Madras who took home $2,000 for his 80-point ride on "Stray Kat."
The barrels portion of the event was broken into two groups - the open division and the 4-H division. The open division was won by Jennifer Storts out of Coquille who claimed $150 as her prize.
Second place went to Chelsea Howell of Bellfountain and third place was taken by Jen Brady of Myrtle Point.
The 4-H division was won by Brookings-Harbor High School junior Kendall Hicks with a time of 17.20.
"It feels awesome," Hicks said. "I was really nervous in the open division and felt like I was going to puke, but we did better in the 4-H division."
The evening began with Mutton Bustin' which was won by 10-year-old Kieryn Ruda of Brookings, who held on for 49 seconds to win the trophy.
A fitting birthday present for Ruda who turned 10 on Thursday was to win it all.
"It was awesome," Ruda said. "It was kind of hard to hold on, but it was fun."
Ruda was the second place winner in 2012 and, according to her mom Stephanie, coming back this year to win was all she could talk about.