Cody Nite Rodeo bullfighters Cody McNare and Lance Bolar, who are in the process of earning their pro cards this year, know how to work as a team, in and out of the arena.
At the Aug. 30 rodeo, McNare stood watch over the cash box while Bolar helped the young and old climb onto – and off of -– Mongo. Inside the arena, the pair worked together to keep riders safe from bulls and helped untie calves during the roping competition.
McNare is in his second year of working at Nite Rodeo. He started bullfighting three years ago. He got into it because of his big brother.
“He started fighting before I did, and I went to a school with him, thought it was really cool and tried it out and just fell in love with it,” he said.
McNare went to a bullfighting school in Moorcroft.
With a white cross painted on his chin, McNare said bullfighting for him is all about serving God.
“It’s our way of glorifying God,” he said. “This cross on my chin isn’t for show. I want people to understand why I can do this, why I have the strength to do this and who it comes from. This is my platform. This is my mission field.”
Bolar is in his third year of working at the Nite Rodeo, and he said he got into bullfighting by accident.
“I thought I’d try it one day and have loved it ever since,” he said. “I’ve really not been good at too much other than this.”
“It was either this or working on a ranch, and I’d rather pick this any day of the week,” Bolar added.
For McNare being able to help cowboys makes the job worth it.
“There ain’t nothing like stepping in when that cowboy thinks he’s dead and you save him without him getting touched at all,” he said. “Even if you have to take a good hook. If he doesn’t get touched at all, that’s the best feeling.”
McNare has had his fair share of injuries – everything from broken arms, broken ribs and fractured legs to strained muscles.
“It just comes with it. You just keep on going,” he said. “You just take ice baths, use compression and fight through the pain.”
Bolar also has endured countless injuries. He’s had his head split open, his elbow ripped open, his ribs broken and his knees worked on. He’s even been knocked out a few times.
“I’ve been doing pretty good for myself,” Bolar joked.
Getting the permit for their pro card made all the injuries and rough days worth it.
“I have been working very hard to get it,” McNare said.
Both he and Bolar had to get three letters of recommendation.
“They have to sign for you and write a letter to the PRCA saying he’s good,” McNare said.
After getting evaluated at an amateur rodeos, they got their permits.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to get it this year or not, but I put in for it and got it,” Bolar said.
Now, McNare and Bolar will have to be evaluated at five pro rodeos before getting their final pro card.
“It’s a process, but we have a very important job,” he said. “We’re saving cowboys out there so it should be that way.”
McNare hopes to get his final pro card by next year. And once that goal is reached, he hopes to make it to the National Finals Rodeo one day.
“Everybody’s biggest goal is the NFR ... but I need stepping stones between them,” McNare said. “It would be an honor to be able to fight the Cody Stampede and Cheyenne Frontier Days because as ... a Wyoming boy, it would be pretty amazing to do all the home state rodeos.”
With his pro card, Bolar plans to surge forward doing what he loves.
“I love being able to step in front of something that most people are scared of and being able to get away from it [because] it’s about looking it in the face and not letting it win,” Bolar said. “And I like keeping people safe.”
He hopes to make a living bullfighting.
“I just want to keep doing rodeos and make a good living at it for a while,” Bolar said. “And maybe, hopefully, I’ll make it to the big show.”