'Alabama Slamma' joins the Buckeroo
When Bullfighter Rowdy Barry retired last year, he left a hole at the Molalla Buckeroo. This year, Ross Hill, "The Alabama Slamma," will come alongside mainstay "Dangerous" Dan Newman to attempt to fill that hole.
Hill, 36, hails from Muscle Shoals, Alabama and has been bullfighting for 18 years—14 of them professionally. He's the 2008-2009 world champion freestyle bullfighter. He said last year, he missed the world championship by just one bull.
And why did he choose bullfighting?
"Of course I love the spotlight, and I love the adrenaline rush of it," Hill said. "I love being able to help my brothers bullriding. You know it's always nice to get that pat on the back and have a guy come up and buy you a beer after the rodeo because you saved his ass. That's always a good feeling inside."
While Hill has never worked alongside Newman as a bullfighter, the two are well-acquainted. The two have competed in freestyle bullfighting and Newman has mentored Hill throughout Hill's career.
"He took me under his wing when I was a young buck; I guess I met Danny when I was probably 22-23 years old. Him and Stef Newman took me right into the family and I've been best friends with him ever since.
"It's a pretty amazing story we have," Hill said. "And he's the reason that I'm actually in Molalla. He vouched for me to come."
Hill said he is excited to finally have the chance to work with Newman side by side, and is especially thrilled to join the Buckeroo.
"I've really waited my whole career to work that rodeo," Hill said. "The northwest run is always good over the Fourth of July and over the summer. All the greatest cowboys, that's where they go, and that's where they compete, and that's the fastest route to Vegas you could say."
In his spare time, Hill likes to do "anything outdoors," including bowfishing, hunting, team-roping and more.
As an FYI to the ladies, when asked about his family, Hill said, "I'm actually single. You can gladly put that down if you want to. 'Single and ready to mingle' would be my status."
According to Andrea Crenshaw, the director of marketing for the Challenge of Champions, Hill is widely known as the "Selfie King."
"He takes a selfie while the bulls come out of the gate," Crenshaw said. "He's pretty amazing and he's a huge flirt."
The Buckeroo will welcome Hill into the ring as co-protector of the bullriders for the rodeo July 1-4. Tickets are available at molallabuckeroo.com.