TEXAS JACK FULBRIGHT shows some of his tricks Thursday. He will be performing during the Boots n Bulls event at Topsham Fairground Saturday featuring the Rawhide Rodeo Co. followed by country music star Joe Diffie.

TEXAS JACK FULBRIGHT shows some of his tricks Thursday. He will be performing during the Boots n Bulls event at Topsham Fairground Saturday featuring the Rawhide Rodeo Co. followed by country music star Joe Diffie.

TOPSHAM

It’ll be rodeo and country music Saturday at Topsham Fairgrounds.

The Boots n Bulls event features bull riding, barrel racing and country singer Joe Diffie live on stage.

A new and larger venue for the event, Topsham Fairgrounds is hosting the nationally acclaimed Rawhide Rodeo Company, sanctioned by the Southern Extreme Bull Riding Association.

Country music star Joe Diffie will perform live on stage to close out the day.

Thursday, master trick roper Texas Jack Fulbright put on his cowboy hat and showed some of his tricks. He uses 14-gauge Samson spot chord, made of 100 percent cotton. Saturday he’ll be doing Will Rogers-style trick roping as featured on Vaudeville back in the ’20s and ’30s.

The fifth generation Texan said his father, who died years ago, was a roper, leaving him with one horse and a dozen ropes. After high school he went on the road, meeting up with many old-timer ropers —most passed on now — and gathered knowledge and skills from each.

“Whenever you see me out there, I’ve got a little bit of each one of them that I do in my performances. It’s my tribute to them for teaching me and bettering me,” he said.

He has people all over the world now wanting lessons and performances — or rope which he tailors for an individual, known as “ropeology.” He’s the only trick roper on the eastern seaboard.

The performer has worked with Rawhide Rodeo on and off since the early 1980s. Saturday’s show brings him to Maine for the first time and Wednesday he had his first lobster — the “biggest bug” he’s ever had, he said.

Fulbright said he gets to meet a lot of great new people, travel around the country and world, and get paid to go places most people pay to go to.

Fulbright retired as a stuntman for Universal and Disney after 21 years. He’s met Harrison Ford, who was “pretty cool” and Sylvester Stallone was personable. He also Hollywood stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael J. Fox.

As far as his own film career, He made “The Gambler Part III: The Legend Continues” with Kenny Rogers and had to throw out a horse loop and catch the bad guy by the feet before he could throw dynamite at a bank.

Rodeos resembling the old style Wild West show rodeo, the way rodeo was initially choreographed, are still his favorite to perform at. Many contractors have cut them down to be more economically feasible, he said. It was nothing for rodeos in the old days to run four hours.

He fears rodeo will die out someday. It went downhill quickly, he said, especially after the Professional Bull Riders became televised and brought in corporate sponsorship.

“It made regular rodeo way down here, because of that,” he said.

Fulbright has done rodeo his whole life, he said. Trick roping is in his heart. He did his first show at age 5.

“A lot of people don’t realize the original American sport before baseball was rodeo,” Fulbright said. “It sure was.”

No outside food or drinks allowed and there will be 11 food vendors at the show and a beer tent. This is an all weather event and will not offer refunds. Tickets are between $19 and $29 and kids 2 and under get in free. Tickets go up $6 at the door Saturday.

Organizers say use the entrance off of the Route 196 Coastal Connector to enter the fairgrounds. The parking lot opens at 9 a.m. The Boots N Bulls gate opens at 10 a.m. and the concert-only gate opens at 1:30 p.m.

Concert-goers will need to bring their own chair. For an extra fee attendees can ride a mechanical bull.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit http://b985.fm/boots-n-bulls/.

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