Dogged determination: Pueblo West family wins big with 'bully' buddies

·5 min read

One Pueblo West family’s love of squishy-faced dogs has led them to compete, and even judge, in American Bully Kennel Club events where they are amassing an impressive treasure trove of accolades.

For Bryan Romero, it all started when he was growing up on the north side of Pueblo and as a Centennial High School senior, got his first American Bully at the age of 18. He decided "Aqua," the blue bulldog with gray and white fur, had the makings of a show dog, so he worked on her training while going to college at Colorado State University Pueblo.

“She was one of the best dogs I have ever owned and I’ve had quite a few to this point,” Romero, now 28, said. “She was just so well trained that people asked me to show their dogs.

“Eventually I started winning with other people's dogs and my own dogs. Now I am a judge."

By 2015, Romero won his first best of breed national title with an American bully “Spartan,” who was not only his best buddy but his guardian. The next year he won a best of breed national title with a Cane Corso which is a large, working bulldog.

“I’ve won with the little guys and I’ve won with the monsters,” he said with a laugh. “It’s been quite a journey.”

Perhaps the best win he had at a dog show was meeting his wife Brooke, who also shows dogs and serves as a competition judge.

“We actually met at a dog show when I was 21, but we didn’t end up together until the last year or so. Now we’ve got all these babies showing with us and enjoying the competition as well,” he said of their children Xzavier, 10; Miley, 9; Madden, 6; and Mila, 3.

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At last month's American Bully Kennel Club National Show in Dallas, Texas, the family pulled off an amazing trifecta on a large stage among a tough slate of competitors. Romero and his English bulldog “Cinnabun” won first in class, best female and best of winners, narrowly missing out on best of breed honors, but “she is almost to her champion title,” he said.

Not to be outdone, Brooke Romero and her French bulldog “Rooster” snagged first place, best male and best of winners which earned Rooster the coveted title of champion.

“We will push him to get his grand champion title and likely run him for number one dog in the country this upcoming year," Romero said.

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Miley Romero, 9; competes with shorty bulldog Bronco in the junior handler class alongside her brothers Xzavier, 10 (center) and Madden, 6. Miley won first place junior handler during the  American Bully Kennel Club National Show in Dallas, Texas, Dec. 4.
Miley Romero, 9; competes with shorty bulldog Bronco in the junior handler class alongside her brothers Xzavier, 10 (center) and Madden, 6. Miley won first place junior handler during the American Bully Kennel Club National Show in Dallas, Texas, Dec. 4.

A little girl gets a big win

Miley and her shorty bulldog “Bronco” rounded out the family’s Texas haul with a first-place 15-pound trophy in the junior handlers’ category. Miley and Bronco, who is a new breed of bulldog, have been bonding for the past year.

"I was a little nervous — there were a lot of dogs there, but it was really fun to compete," Miley said. "I knew it would be a challenge, but I thought I would try at least."

“She’s the ultimate competitor at everything and actually beat both of her brothers,” Romero said. “She is quite the character."

Miley said it felt good to win especially since her older brother is always winning.

“She turned it on and ended up winning it. It was really cool,” Romero said.

Miley has a new love in her life, six-week-old blue shorty bull "Creed," whom she is anxious to work with in the show ring.

The couple’s youngest, Mila, 3, is following in everyone’s footsteps and competes as well.

“She usually steals the show when she gets out there. She is a big hit,” Romero said.

When another judge asked Mila what type of dog she was showing at a recent competition, she answered, “a good one."

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The Romero family pose with their dogs and the trophies they won at the 2021 American Bully Kennel Club National Show.
The Romero family pose with their dogs and the trophies they won at the 2021 American Bully Kennel Club National Show.

American Bully Kennel Club dog show coming to Pueblo

Puebloans will get a chance to see the Romero family in action during the American Bully Kennel Club conformation show June 11 at the Colorado State Fairgrounds Ag Palace. Romero and his wife will be among the judges and all their children will compete.

“People are encouraged to come out and watch, meet the dogs and meet the competitors. These dogs travel literally coast to coast and they are super friendly,” Romero said.

“There will be kids of all ages 2 to 18 competing, as well as several different breeds of dogs. We are looking at bringing in over 300 up to 400 competitors."

The event will be a boon for local hotels and restaurants. Sam’s Street Tacos food truck will be the exclusive food vendor and several other vendors will be on hand for the event.

Romero is considering bringing his Tibetan Mastiff to the show, “just so everyone can meet her. She is just massive and looks like a giant bear.”

The mastiff loves to hang out at the family’s Pueblo West property with all the dogs, goats, turkeys, peacocks, chickens and a pig.

"The kids absolutely love the animals,” he said. "We travel all over the country – this weekend my wife and I will be judging in California,” Romero said.

Those California treks are grueling — 22 hours of driving each way — usually with four children and a dozen dogs.

Miley Cassio-Romero, 9, poses with the family's award winning English bulldog "Cinnabun", French bulldog "Rooster" and their trophies near the family home on Thursday, January 20, 2022.
Miley Cassio-Romero, 9, poses with the family's award winning English bulldog "Cinnabun", French bulldog "Rooster" and their trophies near the family home on Thursday, January 20, 2022.

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Chieftain reporter Tracy Harmon covers business news. She can be reached by email at tharmon@chieftain.com or via Twitter at twitter.com/tracywumps.

This article originally appeared on The Pueblo Chieftain: Pueblo West family tops competitors at American Bully Kennel Club show

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