By: Slade Long June 06, 2014@ 02:30:00 PM
PUEBLO, Colo. ― Next week when Chad Berger hosts his Touring Pro Division event, the DCB Bull Riding Challenge, in Bismarck, North Dakota, we’ll get a chance to see two-time World Champion Bull Bushwacker for the first time this summer.
Bushwacker’s time is growing short – he’ll retire at the end of the year – and in the minds of many he’s the best bull the sport of bull riding has ever seen. Statistically, he has the best documented career of any bull in PBR history. He’s the biggest bovine celebrity in the world today and has brought more attention to the sport than any bull since Bodacious.
Bushwacker’s career numbers put him at the top of the list in every measurable stat bulls can have. He boasts the second-highest career marking (46.246) at the Built Ford Tough Series Level. Dillinger (46.83) has a slightly higher average marking, but Dillinger competed in an era when using two judges was the norm. In a two-judge system it is easier for a bull to end up with higher-marked outs. Bushwacker has the highest power rating (95.43), the most round wins (58) and the highest percentage of round wins in PBR history. It’s unlikely that we will ever see his round wins records broken. He’s faced world class level riders 59 times in his 78 career outs and has allowed just two of them to stay aboard. He’s got three full unridden seasons on record and he is perfect (8-0) so far this year. Bushwacker is the Michael Jordan of bulls and it may be some time before we see another like him.
He’ll go up against J.W. Harris in Bismarck in a special bounty match worth $100,000 for Harris if he can stay on. Fans can watch the event exclusively on PBR LIVE and can sign up here.
It won’t be the first time they’ve met. Harris took Bushwacker 6.2 seconds at a Touring Pro event back in 2010.
The odds will be on Bushwacker’s side, as they always are, but don’t expect Harris to phone it in. He’s got a great chance against Bushwacker for several reasons. Just look back two weeks to Harris’ match against Shepherd Hills Tested in Decatur. While Harris didn’t make the whistle, he came pretty close to riding him and Tested was as difficult as he’s ever been.
On top of that, Harris was competing with a broken nose he sustained earlier that night. Although you don’t ride bulls with your nose, a broken nose is one of the most aggravating and uncomfortable injuries to deal with.
Bushwacker can have some trips that are easier than others. Once in a while he will fall into a spin with pretty good timing, and while his difficulty level is way up there on those trips, Tested on his best day can be more difficult. Bushwacker’s strength lies in his unpredictability and his tremendous up and down strength. Everyone who gets on him knows him very well, but he still appears to catch a lot of them by surprise with the power of his jumps. Harris’s strength is that he deals with powerful bulls very well. He’s as solid a rider as there is at dealing with bulls that jump high and drop hard, and he won’t be intimidated by Bushwacker’s reputation. Harris will meet the mental challenge.
Bottom line, if Harris can deal with Bushwacker’s huge leap and drop, he has a good chance at riding him. This matchup looks to be Bushwacker’s toughest test since facing J.B. Mauney in his first outing this year in Oklahoma City.
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