It all started at a Dierks Bentley concert.

“Really, I blame Dierks Bentley for this whole thing,” City Administrator Sven Peterson said about his upcoming bull ride. He is set to ride “Mudslinger” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 15 at the Dallas County Fairgrounds. The ride is a fundraiser for the “Let’s Connect” trail project.

Peterson saw the country music artist in Nebraska last summer. Peterson started talking with another man at the concert who said his kids ride bulls and he rides broncs.

“I made the mistake of saying ‘Oh, riding a bull is on my bucket list,’” Peterson said. “He said ‘I put on a rodeo in September, you should come on out.”

Peterson told him to let him know when it was and he would do it. They exchanged contact information and in August, Peterson got a message saying he should sign up for the bronc ride.

He ended up riding a bronc at that rodeo. Peterson brought that fact up after a city council meeting last year.

A group gathered at the Hotel Pattee and started talking about raising awareness and money for the “Let’s Connect” project. One way they came up with was for Peterson to ride a bull at the Dallas County Fairgrounds.

“I’m sacrificing my body for this one,” Peterson said of raising money for the “Let’s Connect” project. The nine-mile project will connect the Raccoon Valley River Trail and the High Trestle trail, from Perry to Woodward.

Before he could make good on his promise, Peterson ended up breaking five ribs during a bronc ride in Nebraska the week before the local ride.

The ride was postponed until Friday, June 15.

“It’s almost better timing now because there is actually dirt moving and progress on the trail,” Peterson said. Phase one is underway, with the rough grading complete on the first part of the nine-mile connector trail. Paving is scheduled for this July.

Peterson has been taking pledges this spring to raise funds for the connector project. Those interested in donating can make a flat pledge or pledge an amount per second for how long Peterson stays on the bull.

Those interested in pledging can pick up a form at City Hall.

Peterson is hoping to get a good ride on Friday to raise more money for the connector trail project. And through it all, he has one person to thank for his second attempt at a bull ride.

“This actually all stems from a Dierks Bentley concert. He’s going to be my spirit animal moving forward on this adventure,” Peterson said.