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The Bucks Stomp Here

Dozens of ornery steeds kick up dirt at the Q.

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Oklahoma wrangler Bobby Griswold sits on top of both a bucking bronco and the leaderboard as the World's Toughest Bulls and Broncs tour rolls into Cleveland tonight. Even at 40, he has no intention of coiling up his lasso anytime soon, considering he pocketed $105,000 in winnings last year. "They say you're only as old as you feel," says Griswold. "So I gotta be in my twenties." The competition is divided into four divisions: bareback riding, bull riding, ladies' barrel racing, and Griswold's saddle-bronc category. Coming into Cleveland, the Washington native is leading the standings in a field of 24 challengers, including Iowa's Brad Rudolf in second place and Kansas' Wes Bailey in the third spot. Because the tour veers out of its way to big-city stops like Cleveland, Griswold still gets fired up over an arenaful of fans, who don't often see a Western-style rodeo. "You get in the southern parts of the country, and you have to do something spectacular to get the energy up. Every time you do a good ride, everyone's so ho-hum about it. They go, 'So?'" groans Griswold. "You have more of a rock and roll crowd, and I like that energy."As for retirement, Griswold gives himself at least three more years on the circuit before he focuses on his other career as a horse dentist in his adopted Oklahoma. "If you can stay on top, that's a good sign," says Griswold. "The young guys remember when you ride bad instead of how you've ridden good your whole career." The action starts at 7:30 tonight at Quicken Loans Arena, 100 Gateway Plaza. Tickets are $17 to $39. Call 216-241-2121 or visit www.theqarena.com.
Sat., Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m., 2008

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