By Keith Ryan Cartwright

Tristan Seargeant is not one to worry about where he is ranked in Shorty Gorham’s American Freestyle Bullfighting.

Instead, he is singularly focused on performing to the best of his abilities.

This past weekend, the Mineral Wells, Texas, native won first of a two-night AFB event in Ogden, Utah; while Dylan Idleman won the second night.

Dylan Idleman wins Saturday night at Ogden Pioneer Days.
Photo by Samantha Mandar / Standard Examiner

Alex McWilliams, who is the No. 1 ranked freestyle bullfighter in the world, along with Idleman, 2, and Seargeant, 3, have clearly established themselves as the three top contenders for this year’s 2019 world title.

“Don’t get me wrong, I have seen the standings,” said Seargeant, who explained he is not thinking about where he’s ranked when he’s about to face a pure-bred Mexican fighting bull.

That said, he added, “It feels pretty good” knowing he’s ranked among the best freestyle bullfighters in the world. But, much like J.B. Mauney said when he was atop the PBR world standings, it’s about “doing your job” and letting the scores take of themselves.

“I take a lot of what J.B. says to heart,” Seargeant said. “He also says it’s his job and he expects to be good at it. I also like to say that too. You gotta perform well and put on a good show and try your heart out.”

His effort paid off at the Ogden Pioneer Days.

Seargeant won the opening round, on Friday night, with 87 points.

He followed with 80 points on Saturday evening. He started off his second bull with good fight, but his left foot slipped out from underneath him when he turned back to the right. Seargeant got right up and started making another good set of rounds when the bull got away from him.

“I tried to pick him back off the fence,” said Seargeant, who then “tried to sell the fight with a little bit of a jump and he caught my back leg and took me up a little bit.”

Friday’s win continues Seargeant’s breakout season.

It comes on the heels of a 2018 season that saw him miss six weeks after breaking his jaw last September. The injury, which required him to have his jaw wired shut, led to a dramatic weight loss of 30 pounds.

Before getting his health back, Seargeant recalled losing so much weight that even he thought he looked sick.

Ten months later, he’s a healthy 20 pounds lighter than he was all of last season and it’s made him a better bullfighter this year.

“It’s definitely helped me in the physical aspect,” said Seargeant, who craved the sport by the time he had an opportunity to compete again.

He added, “I write my goals down. I say where I want to be, what I want to do and just get it done.”

There are seven AFB events in August and Seargeant is hoping to fight as often as he’s drawn, beginning with Mitchell, Nebraska, on August 1.

The goal—even if he’s not dwelling on the standings—is to compete in Las Vegas the first week of November with a legitimate opportunity of winning the 2019 gold buckle.

“I would not miss that for the world,” said Seargeant, who is “very honored to say that I am part of (the resurgence of freestyle bullfighting) on a professional level.”