COSTA MESA — The Orange County Fairgrounds Arena was quiet Friday morning, belying the strength and aggression of the massive 1,400- to 1,800-pound American bucking bulls complacently chomping down on a champion's breakfast: fresh hay.
The bulls — whose names include Hippy Music, 9-11 Ground Zero and the less than-friendly sounding (and looking) Pit Boss — are competing in the Professional Bull Riders Anaheim Invitational that started Friday and continues at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
"These bulls are not the same bulls you see at the Costa Mesa fairgrounds rodeo," said bull owner Jim Birmingham, of Newport Beach. "These bulls are on the extreme end of the scale. They are world-class athletes."
Birmingham, along with his wife, Susie, and Birmingham's vice president in the Laguna Beach-based Seacrest Developers, Scott Franklin, joined in partnership with Texas rancher Scott Accomazzo about three years ago to begin raising the bulls for international competitions.