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No bull: Rodeo to benefit Clear Spring FFA alumni offers day of family fun

June 30, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

SHARPSBURG - He's been bruised, broken and beaten up. He's even torn ligaments in his knees all in the name of protecting someone else.

Phill Hussmann, 29, of Troy, Pa., is a bullfighter.

"I protect the cowboy," he said. "I run between them and the bull ... make sure they have enough time to get away."

Hussmann was pulling double duty Sunday at a rodeo at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center on Sharpsburg Pike. He was the bullfighter and the "funny man" who entertains the crowd, he said.

The rodeo, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, was a fundraiser for the Clear Spring Future Farmers of America Alumni group. A portion of the event was held Saturday before it was canceled due to rain.

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The rodeo went on Sunday afternoon despite intermittent bursts of rain that caused hundreds of spectators to head for cover.

The Forever Blue Rodeo was produced by Dave Martin's Bullride Mania, a Pennsylvania-based business. There were about 30 bull riders competing Sunday and about five competing in each of the other events.

Sunday's events included bull riding, barrel racing and steer wrestling.

"I try to bring good family entertainment to the area," Martin said.

Paula Myers of Clear Spring is a member of the FFA Alumni group, and her son, Adam Lipella, is a member of the Future Farmers of America. She said this was the first time the group held a rodeo fundraiser.

Myers said she was hoping to raise about $10,000 with the event.

The money will support the students who compete in state and national competitions through FFA.

Desiree Olden, 22, and her sister, Dana Olden, 19, both from Boonsboro, competed in the barrel-racing competition.

Desiree placed second. Both sisters are Boonsboro High School graduates and together own about 14 horses.

They've been around horses their entire lives, the sisters said. In addition to barrel-racing competitions, they also show horses.

"I hit every rodeo I can around here," Desiree said.

She said a successful barrel ride is fast, and all three barrels are still standing at the end.

Andrew Seither, 24, of Keedysville, competed in Sunday's bull-riding competition.

Seither moved to Keedysville three years ago from Maryland's Eastern Shore, and now works for Triple R, a Boonsboro business owned by Mark Reed.

Seither said he rides bulls for Reed.

He said the goal was to remain on the bull for eight seconds. Then riders are awarded points based on "how they look," he said.

"You want to look like you're in control," Seither said.

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