2022 Bullfighter Austin Ashburn

By: Gretchen Kirchmann

Hailing from Belview, Minnesota is bullfighter Austin Ashburn. This will be his first-year bullfighting at the American Heroes PRCA Rodeo in Hawley, Minnesota.

“I didn’t grow up in the rodeo world, had nothing to do with it except for when I went to the Western Fest PRCA Stampede in Granite Falls, Minnesota every year. I was always intrigued by the bullfighters,” stated Ashburn, “I first got involved in bullfighting when my friend brought me to my first practice one summer. After that, I was hooked. I decided to go to Sankey Rodeo School, located in Kansas, where I received hands-on training. It was also where I acquired my first injury, taking the sharp edge of a cowbell to my eyebrow. I ended up earning the “Best Bullfighter” award, and therefore found my calling. Lyle Sankey, himself, told me “son, you have a future”. Those words have stuck with me all this time and have motivated me to pursue my new found dream.”

Ashburn currently is climbing the rodeo ladder making rodeo contacts and learning the ropes of the world of rodeo.  Seven years into pursuing his PRCA Bullfighter Permit, Ashburn will step into the Hawley Rodeo Grounds arena working for Barnes PRCA Rodeo June 10-11, 2022.   Rodeo fans can meet Ashburn on Friday and Saturday nights following the rodeo performance.  He will be signing autographs near the FFA food stand with fellow bullfighter Austin Tilton, rodeo announcer Kory Keeth and music director Jesse Knudsen.