Some of you know Sid McKissick. He grew up here in Wetumpka and still calls Wetumpka home. Those of you who do know him probably know that he is a professional bullfighter. If you’re like me, when you hear the term “bullfighter” you probably think of the guy in Spain with the funny little hat and the knee-length pants. While Sid would look great in that outfit I’m sure, that is not the kind of bullfighter Sid is. Sid, on purpose, gets into an arena with a bull that not only wants to remove and injure the rider on his back, but wants to injure Sid for trying to protect that rider. It’s crazy, I know. I sent Sid a list of questions about bullfighting and he was kind enough to answer them. Thanks, Sid! You da’ man!
Thad: How in the world did you get into bullfighting?
Sid: There was a practice pen in Millbrook and I was there to ride broncs. They needed a bullfighter, so I stepped up.
Thad: How long have you been bullfighting?
Sid: 25 years
Thad: What made you pick bullfighting over riding bulls or broncs or some other rodeo discipline?
Sid: I liked it better. I felt like it was more of a challenge. That, and it was a sure paycheck.
Thad: How many championships and giant belt buckles have you won?
Sid: I’ve won five championships.
Thad: What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had bullfighting?
Sid: Look at the pictures. Oh, and I lost one of my pinky fingers.
Copy and paste the links below into your browser to view a series of photos of Sid dealing with the business end of a bull.
Thad: Someone told me that you were scared of horses. Is that true?
Sid: Yes, I’m scared of horses. Because they will turn on you and are unpredictable.
Thad: Do the bullriders ever take you out for a steak dinner after you save them from getting killed by a bull?
Sid: No! Sometimes the will tell you “Thank you.”
Thad: What’s the worst injury you’ve ever seen a bullrider sustain?
Sid: I’ve seen a guy get paralyzed and a guy who actually died in the arena.
Thad: What does your wife and family think of your profession?
Sid: They don’t like what I do, but my wife has supported me.
Thad: Would you ever want Denver(his toddler son)to do what you do?
Sid: NO!! But I will be behind him and support him in whatever he does.
Thad: What would you say to someone who was interested in getting into bullfighting?
Sid: If bullfighting is something that they really want to do, they need to set some goals for themselves, find a practice pen and a bullfighting school.
Thad: How did you get involved with the Red Bull bulls and motorcycles thing?
Sid: I was working for Tuff Hedeman(3-time PRCA World Champion Bull Rider)and the CBR, Championship Bull Riding, and Tuff set the deal up for me. It was on TV and I was actually on one of the commercials than ran nationally.
Thad: What is the difference between the different bull riding organizations?
Sid: I am with the CBR. The other major organization is the PBR. They are both just professional associations.
Thad: Have you ever gotten into a fight with Don Gay(former bull rider and iconic rodeo announcer)? It seems like with a name like that, he’d be easy to whip.
Sid: HA! HA! HA! No.
Thad: Who do you think is the coolest guy you know? Other than Tuff Hedeman.
Sid: You are Thad. Without a doubt, you are.
Okay, I made that last one up. You got me. If you haven’t ever met Sid, you’re missing out. He is one of the most easy-going, laid back guys I know. You can see him around town involved in all sorts of stuff. Often with his wife Laurie, daughter Sidney, and son Denver. If you do, stop and introduce yourself to him and you’ll feel like you’ve known him forever. You’ll be glad you did. Tell him Skidboot sent you. He’ll know what you mean. Just don’t tell him about that last question.