Shutdown shelves Utah National Guard's mechanical bull purchase

Oct 9 2013 - 4:05pm


Woman riding mechanical bull
Woman riding mechanical bull

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah National Guard has cancelled its $47,000 order for two mechanical bulls due to the government shutdown.

Utah National Guard put in the order this summer after one of their bulls broke, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. The Guard uses the mechanical bulls and two climbing walls to attract people to their recruiting events, Utah National Guard Lt. Col. Hank McIntire said.

The order was posted Monday on a government website, making it appear as though the purchase was made during the shutdown. The website first wrote about it.

About 1,200 workers with the Utah Guard were furloughed 1 last week, with all but 80 returning Monday.

But McIntire and the owner of the mechanical bull company both said Wednesday that Guard officials called to cancel the order of one bull the morning of Oct. 1. That was when the government shutdown began.

"They did the right thing," said Gracienne Myers, owner of Mechanical Bull Sales of State College, Pa.

The Utah Guard left open the possibility of buying one bull later, Myers said. But McIntire told the Tribune on Wednesday, "We're not going to buy any bulls."

Myers said each bull costs about $22,000. Asked why the bulls cost as much as a new Honda Accord, Myers explained that the mechanical bull system is much more than just the bull. Each system includes a three-horse power motor, a 16-foot by 16-foot air mattress, a control panel that enables video and music hook ups and a custom-made cowhide body for the bull, she said.


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