PUEBLO, Colo. ― Following this weekend’s Last Cowboy Standing, the Built Ford Tough Series will begin its 13-week summer break and many riders will start their treks across the United States to various Touring Pro Division events.
While many riders will be striving for precious points toward the world standings, the summer also presents an opportunity for stock contractors to rest some of their older bulls and continue the development of younger stock.
Such will be the case when some of the top BFTS riders – including Fabiano Vieira, J.W. Harris and Sean Willingham – descend upon Uvalde, Texas, for the Cactus Jack Bull Riding on May 23-24.
“What we have coming to Uvalde, beside a few of those Brazilians, are the same riders if we bucked at a Built Ford Tough event,” said Danny Reagan. “If the bulls work here throwing those Built Ford Tough guys off, there is no real reason they shouldn’t work at that level.”
Reagan, Mike White and J.W. Hart are just some of the stock contractors hauling bulls to the event’s second PBR bull riding. Wipeout –the bull J.B. Mauney rode for 93 points during the 2013 Built Ford Tough World Finals – will be one of Reagan’s bulls bucking, as well as Arctic Blizzard and Surprise Package.
J.B. Mauney puts up 93 points on Wipeout in the championship round of the 2013 Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas.
Surprise Package was the high-marked bull during last season’s BFTS event in Hollywood, Fla.
“I’ve got some really new bulls that are coming up and are good enough to go on after the summer break that I plan on taking to the (Built Ford Tough Series) events, so this will be the kind of breakout time for them,” he said. “I think they are ready to go. This will be their test to see if they are really as good as I think they are.”
Arctic Blizzard will be a bounty bull for the winner of the first night’s long round. The lucky rider can potentially go home with a new $40,000 pickup truck if he can last for 8 seconds on Reagan’s bull.
“He has been getting ranker every time,” Reagan said. “If the right guy wins that long round, they are supposed to ride him, but who knows. I hope they do. He may be a little much, but I hope they ride him.”
The $20,000-added event also features a belt buckle made of “real gold and jewel stone” for the overall champion of the two-day event.
Hart called Uvalde a “great small town” with plenty of good places to shop for hunting gear or to grab a bite.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Hart was planning on hauling one of his younger bulls, The Holy Train, to Uvalde, along with some of his more developed bulls such as Flirting with Disaster, Dr. Wishes and Muddy Kat.
Hart believes one of the benefits of so many summer TPDs is that it allows younger bulls to move up the ranks some, while older bulls can gain back some confidence if necessary.
“For the younger bulls, it’s good to take them and get them on better guys then what they are used to seeing and move them up the ladder,” Hart said, “but it is also good sometimes to take some of them older bulls and they might get one of the young kids and win a match themselves because they have been going against nothing but the best guys in the whole world.”
Reagan added, “(The BFTS break) gives you the whole summer to develop bulls that you know are good enough or may not be good enough. That gives you an opportunity to develop those bulls so that when break is over you will have some good bulls to bring along with your older bulls.”
One of the goals for Reagan and the Cactus Jack Foundation, the main driving force behind the Uvalde event, was to lure the best bull riders in the world to the Texas town two-and-a-half hours south of Austin.
“There are a lot of events out there that wish they could just get a couple of those guys, and we get several of them,” Reagan said.
Last year’s event was won by Stormy Wing and was considered a great success. The local community was budding with anticipation when they learned the 2013 event would feature some of the PBR’s best, and event organizers expect another good turnout later this month.
“I was thinking it was just going to be a regular bull riding, but when I got down there and I met with these guys, they were serious,” Reagan said. “They were going to put out the money, whatever it cost, to put on the best possible event that could be at a Touring Pro.”
The Cactus Jack Foundation is also raising money during the TPD event for local schools and their special education programs.
Reagan will be bringing his bulls all over the U.S. this summer, continuing their development as he works towards finding his next talented bovine. It is a never-ending process, and that development will continue during his event in two weeks.
“This is a perfect place to bring those bulls to and find out just what they are made of,” Reagan said. “Chances are they are going to draw one of those top guys and if they either score high on them or throw them off and get good bull markings, they will be able to go to the BFTS.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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