By Keith Ryan Cartwright
After battling through injuries for much of the summer, Sage Seay reminded himself and everyone else just how good he can be when he’s healthy.
After getting “absolutely rolled up and destroyed” in the past couple of freestyle bullfights, Seay was back on the dirt — or in the mud — with fellow bullfighters at latest of Shorty Gorham’s American Freestyle Bullfighting events in Puyallup, Washington.
Seay won the 15-man standalone event with a pair of clean (mistake-free) fights.
Seay was first, while Tristan Seargeant and Tyler Norton rounded out the top three in Puyallup. The win moved Seay into third in the AFB world standings and within 100 points of Seargeant, who is second in the world and now just 35 points behind world leader Alex McWilliams.
“Getting out there with a clear mindset and just having the guys that I have around me to keep pushing me, it was just a blessing to walk away on my own two feet,” Seay said, “and come out with the win this weekend.
“It really meant a lot to me. I’ve busted my ass rehabbing and it all paid off. It feels pretty good.”
Seay had tried to compete through the injuries, but poor conditions — like Puyallup, he was fighting in the mud — did not help matters. However, the rookie from Louisiana admitted that even when he’s 75 percent healthy, he feels like he’s the best athlete in the draw.
“Obviously being 100 percent,” Seay said. “I can move a lot better. I can get away quicker from the bulls.
“I’m not one of the guys that really battles my head,” he continued. “That’s just the mindset we have. No matter what, we’re going to get out there and we’re going to give it 112 percent every time.”
Prior to Monday night’s event, Seay walked out in the arena beforehand and noticed the conditions were not as bad on the backside.
It was still sticky and slippery causing their cleats to get stuck — giving the bulls the advantage — but if he had an opportunity, Seay knew he wanted to lead his bulls to the back of the arena.
“It’s kind of hard to set a game plan because they might take off where you don’t want them to,” Seay explained. “I just got lucky enough with a draw to have my bull hook up a lot better than some of the other guys did.”
The lone regular-season AFB event remaining is October 18 in Nampa, Idaho — an invitational held in conjunction with an elite televised PBR event — followed by the World Finals in Las Vegas.
The Finals will be a four-day that will likely decide who the 2019 AFB World Champion will be. The win in Puyallup positions Seay as one of the top three challengers.
“I don’t look at the numbers or anything,” Seay concluded. “Heck, I’m just ready for the next one and I just want to show up every time and leave my mark and let the pencils take care of the rest.
“All I can do is show up and fight.”