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Bunch of Bull? Utah National Guard Says Mechanical Bull Story False -- But How True Is That?

"...the request was not funded and the purchase did not take place."

WILLISTON, ND - JULY 27: A man rides a mechanical bull at the North Dakota state fair on July 27, 2013 in Williston, North Dakota. The western region of North Dakota has seen a rise in crime, automobile accidents and drug usage recently, due in part to the oil boom which has brought tens of thousands of jobs to the region, lowering state unemployment and bringing a surplus to the state budget. Credit: Getty Images

News outlets including TheBlaze, CNS News and Gawker reported this week that the U.S. government approved a contract worth $47,174 to purchase a mechanical bull for the Utah National Guard.

But according to Utah National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Hank McIntire, those reports are false.

“The Utah Guard acknowledges that it did inquire with the vendor about the equipment and submitted paperwork to purchase a bull to replace a damaged one, acquired in 2009, but the request was not funded and the purchase did not take place,” he told TheBlaze in an email.

But here’s the thing: the reports in question were all based on official listings found on the Federal Business Opportunities website:

And here’s where it says the contract was awarded:

Image source: Federal Business Opportunities website

It clearly looks like a contract worth more than $40,000 was awarded. So TheBlaze reached out to Lt. Col. Hank McIntire for further clarification.

“To clarify, the request was pulled, no contract was ever drawn up with the vendor, and no funds ever changed hands,” McIntire said in an email.

“We are trying to get the erroneous information off the government Web site, but the Utah National Guard doesn't control what is posted or what is removed from the site,” he added.

So was all the information on the Federal Business Opportunities website just flat-out incorrect?

“Yes. The website incorrectly states that a contract was awarded,” he said. “But in fact, no contract was awarded and no payments were made.”

“[N]o purchase of a new mechanical bull was made by the Utah National Guard this week, nor is one contemplated at this time,” McIntire added.

And that's where the confusion occurred. The original reports were based on what Lt. McIntire says was totally incorrect information posted to the Federal Business Opportunities website.

The mechanical bull listing has since been updated:

Image source: Federal Business Opportunities website

--

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

Featured image Getty Images.

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