Bucking bulls and rodeo
The lives of Kaley and Logan Blasdell involve all things rodeo.
Their business of breeding bulls is part of their everyday routine. It involves the lifestyle of rodeo in different ways, as Logan is in a professional rodeo circuit in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) as a professional bullfighter, and Kaley has been involved in futurity and Professional Bull Riders (PBR) as a stock contractor.
"They are kind of the same, but different associations," Kaley clarified.
Logan, a Crook County High School alumnus, has a successful career in the PRCA. He was active in high school rodeo and has gone on to earn a highly coveted Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Bullfighter permit buckle and in 2020 was voted the Columbia River Circuit Finals Bullfighter. In addition, he was chosen for the Ram National Circuit Finals in Kissimmee, Florida. Logan has vast experience working with several high-profile rodeo stock constructors as their bullfighter and chute help. He is a favorite as the bullfighter at the Crooked River Roundup, Sisters Rodeo, Cascade Chute Out, and the gate man at the High Desert Stampede.
Kaley is from Shandon, California, a community that is approximately the same size as Mitchell. Her dream began when she was 16 years old, and she fell in love with raising bulls. Her parents, however, wanted her to concentrate on school, so her dream was on hold until she graduated.
"2011 came around, and I graduated high school, and I told my parents, 'I am buying a bull,'" said Kaley. "I bought a bull, and from then on, it's kind of been my thing. I started the business end of everything in 2011 and purchased my first bull in 2011. We went to Texas and picked him up. I had a few more bulls that I picked up along the way."
She has been with the Western States Bucking Bull Association since 2012. That year, she won the title of High Point Stock Contractor of the Year.
"As a woman, that is a huge accomplishment," she said of the coveted title.
The association is for stock contractors and members who raise bulls. They have their own competition for contractors throughout the Western United States, and they compete against each other's bulls. Kaley saw the winning prize to be awarded when she was at one of the early events—a beautiful stock trailer. She set to earning that trailer for the end of the year.
To earn the title, Kaley competed in each event that the Western States Bucking Bull Association held that year, with most of her bulls placed in the top five at each event—earning her points at the end of the year. The last event is the final event to decide on the High Point Stock Contractor of the Year, and she beat Gary Long—top livestock contractor at the time—by three points.
"I cried because I was just shocked. I got my trailer, and I still have my trailer to this day. I won't get rid of that trailer—I won that thing!" she added.
She added, "It's just been an awesome journey to be on. That is kind of how I started. I accumulated more bulls over time, and I went to more rodeos."
She indicated that when she started, it was a male-dominated sport. She would sometimes be told she could not be behind the chutes to flank her own bulls.
"I never let that stop me, and I kept going and going."
By 2013, she was asked by a well-known contractor in professional bull-rider's circuit who raised bulls for the PBR, whether she would be his partner in the professional bull-rider's circuit as a stock contractor.
"He really appreciated the drive I had and the accomplishments I overcame, and I earned his respect," Kaley explained of this part of her career. "Just being in the bull world it was very hard, and lots of learning. I would say it was a really good learning experience, and it was definitely hard."
She said she still has some bulls and is transitioning to breeding bulls. She added that she has put "blood, sweat and tears," into her business, and she will always be involved in the bull business. She still owns her first bull—whose name is Boots—and describes him as her other "fur child." Kaley and Logan also have a 4-year-old son, Ridge, who already loves the rodeo life.
Kaley and Logan met through rodeo. He was a bullfighter, and she smiled as she recalled the day they met.
"We met in Chelan, Washington, for the first time," she noted. "He got run over by one of my bulls."
The rest is history, and they had their son, Ridge, on Valentine's Day four years ago.
The decision to put on a new event to promote Western Bucking Bull Association
With Logan's background and Kaley's experience working with bulls, they have decided to produce a rodeo event to promote the Western States Bucking Bull Association in the best way possible. Sponsors will receive promotion as compensation for sponsoring a part of the event.
The Duke of Deschutes Battle of the Bulls, Protection and Freestyle Match is a Western States Bucking Bulls Association competition. This is a new event to be held in Deschutes County at the O'Neil Arena on O'Neil Highway, 19221 NE O'Neil Highway, on July 17. Main event begins at 6 p.m.
"Most people know that a bull riding has bulls, but the stars are the riders. Our event puts the bulls in the spotlight, by competing against each other based on their performance scores in the arena," stated Kaley of the event.
The best bulls win their owners coveted buckles and cash prizes. The riders will have their own buckle and cash prizes. The Cowboy Protection Match gives credit where credit is due—to the two-man team of men who provide lifesaving protection to the cowboy.
"We feel the spectators will love the format of this bull riding," Kaley said. "They will get to watch the beginnings of what could be a National Finals career for a bull."
The sections are divided into ages; futurity bulls are 2 years old, Derby bulls are 3 years old and Classics 4-year-old bulls. The last section will be most exciting, Freestyle Bullfights.
Throughout the event, there will have been three sets of bullfighters protecting the bull riders and being Judged on their performance and of those duos, one in each group will be selected to "dance" with a Mexican freestyle bull. The highest scoring set of bullfighters will claim the prize. Ultimately, there will be six awards handed out, one for each bull owner in a division, one for top bull rider, one for the top female contractor and the top protection match bullfighters.
July 17 is set to be a full day of bucking bull excitement, Kaley said, starting at 9 a.m. with free entry to watch the Futurity Bulls buck. The main event is later in the day, at 5 p.m. the gates open, and the National Anthem begins at 6 p.m. There are plans in place for food trucks, and limited bleacher seating will be available, so people are encouraged to bring their chairs and blankets to sit on the grass and watch the action. The cost of the fun is $10 for adults, $5 for kids, and children 10 and younger can attend for free.
"Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund has been chosen as their charity and will donate 50% of the gate entries to this wonderful cause," Kaley said. "JCCF is highly noted for lending a hand up, not a handout to injured rodeo athletes, and in this sport, they can use a hand now and then."
Kaley and Logan took time to thank sponsors for their generosity in bringing this type of event to Central Oregon. They added that sponsorships are still available so those who have any questions or would like to be a part of this event are encouraged to reach out to them on "The Duke of Deschutes" Facebook page and lnstagram account.
The Duke of Deschutes Battle of the Bulls, Protection and Freestyle Match is a Western States Bucking Bulls Association competition.
This is a new event to be held in Deschutes County at the O'Neil Arena on O'Neil Highway, 19221 NE O'Neil Highway in Redmond
Bull riding starts at 9 a.m. with the young bull athletes as well as the women's futurity event (free to public) At 6 p.m. the main performance of bull riding begins.
For more information, contact Kaley Blasdell at 805-591-0927.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.