‘A true North Idaho experience’

Challenge of Champions, Demolition Derby sure to draw crowds at the Bonner County Fair

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff

It’s going to be a bull-riding, car-smashing, gut-busting weekend at the Bonner County Fair.

The Challenge of Champions bull riding tour bursts from the gate Friday, Aug. 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bonner County Fairgrounds.

The tour features some of the best professional bull riders in the West competing for the title of tour champion. For those unfamiliar with bull riding, the goal is for a rider to stay astride a bucking bull for eight seconds before getting tossed off its back. Sounds easy? It’s not.

Bonner County Fair Office Manager Shelli Cowell said bull riders come from all over the West to compete.

“A lot of riders come from Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Washington, Oregon,” Cowell said. “Local riders can also apply to participate but everybody goes for the same pot.”

Winners receive a custom belt buckle, award jacket and cash prizes. Bull riding warps up Friday at 10:30 p.m.

Along with the professional bull riding, Cowell said mutton busting and barrel racing events will delight the crowds.

In mutton busting, kids climb on the back of a sheep and see how long they can hold on. In barrel racing, local women ride their horses around strategically placed barrels to compete for the best time all while trying not to knock down any of the barrels. It’s a fast-paced, fun-filled event that highlights the talent of many local and regional women.

Closing out the fair this year is everyone’s favorite event: the Sandpoint Smash Demolition Derby, set for Sat. Aug. 24 from 7:30-10:30 p.m. 

Upwards of two dozen cars will race around the track in multiple heats, smashing and bashing each other in the process. Mayhem is even in the official rules: “You must make an aggressive hit every 2 minutes.” Divisions include Big Car, Small Car and Team Show. There will also be competitions for Mad Dog, Best Paint, Most Aggressive and Longest Traveled. Each heat will receive cash payouts and trophies.

“This is the last event of the fair,” Cowell said. “It’s a true North Idaho experience.”

For full information about the Bonner County Fair, visit bonnercountyfair.com.

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