By: Keith Ryan Cartwright May 16, 2014@ 10:00:00 AM
FORT WORTH, Texas ― In less than two weeks Tom Teague will dispense his entire herd of bucking bulls and breeding cows at a June 3 sale in Fort Worth.
However, the self-made man has made an impact in various areas of professional bull riding that have not gone unnoticed and will continue to impact and influence the development of the sport for years, if not decades, to come.
Teague owned or raised four different bulls – Bones, Mossy Oak Mudslinger, Big Bucks and Little Yellow Jacket – that won a total of seven World Champion Bull titles from 2002-10. Teague raised Bones, who won it in 2008 and again in 2010, and he also raised Big Bucks, who won the title in 2005 for Frontier Rodeo.
Guilherme Marchi vs Bones during Round 3 of the 2008 Tulsa Express PBR Classic, presented by Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino.
Mossy Oak Mudslinger won it in 2006, while Teague was part owner of Little Yellow Jacket in 2004 when he claimed the World Champion Bull title for a third consecutive year. LYJ is the only three-time champion in PBR history.
Teague also had the Bull of the Finals five times. Neon Nights won it in 2003 followed by Crossfire Hurricane in 2004, while Scene of the Crash won it in 2006 and Bones won it in 2008 and 2010.
Teague was named Stock Contractor of the Year in 2006.
In the two previous years, he twice had the high-money bull of the regular season—first with Bo Howdy (2004) and then with Mossy Oak Mudslinger (2005).
With the likes of Mudslinger and LYJ, and more recently with Bones, Teague had built a renowned breeding program at his North Carolina ranch.
The sale will certainly be an emotional day for Teague.
The following is a roundtable discussion from fellow contractors and friends about the impact Teague has had and the influence he’ll have long after the dispersal sale.
CODY LAMBERT: “Tom was a big part of the growth of the bucking bull industry because he stepped up and bought interest in Little Yellow Jacket and Mossy Oak Mudslinger and he also bought a lot of (other) great bulls, but that’s not all he did. He bought the heifers, the cows and started a breeding program that actually was as successful as any—probably a more successful breeding program than anybody in the period of time that he was in it.”
GENE MELTON: “For a long time he’s a figure in front of everybody, especially when you have several World Champion Bulls. That’s always a guy you look up to.”
JEFF ROBINSON: “I think he was instrumental in the PBR with the television rights to begin with. I’m not sure people realize how important, ah, I’m not sure they could have done it without him and he’s always been behind the scenes, but he’s helped them get on mainstream TV and from that point of view I think we all owe him a big favor. From the bucking bull side Tom is almost like a collector of fine wine or cars or whatever. He wanted to have the best. He was part owner in probably three or four World Champions and he was (Stock) Contractor of the Year one year. Tom didn’t like being second and he didn’t settle for second. He always wanted the best that there was and you have to take your hat off to him about that.”
JUSTIN McBRIDE: “Certain guys come along in sports and you hear the word revolutionize used. That’s a strong word and one I don’t use very often, but to me – in my mind – Tom Teague revolutionized the bucking bull industry. He really did because he changed it.”
CHAD BERGER: “Tom was big in getting the bull market where it is today. He bought into the PBR and liked the sport and he liked the bulls, so he went out and bought the very best bulls or partnered on the best bulls in the world. It put a whole new light on the price of bucking bulls and where this sport was going, so he had a big part in what’s happening today.”
McBRIDE: “Bulls went from being worth $40,000 to $200,000 for just half (interest) in one. With Tom coming in and infusing the kind of money that he did into the bull industry it made everybody else have to up their game, so it made the bull prices from top to bottom go up and that affects everybody that has to do with that side of the business.”
LAMBERT: “Tom is a real businessman and sometimes as a businessman you have to sell your product too. You can’t just buy all the time. Tom did both. He sold a lot of good bulls. He bought a lot of good bulls. He sold a lot of great calves and cows.”
ROBINSON: In 2010, the purchase we made from him cemented us winning (Stock) Contractor of the Year the first time with I’m a Gangster, Deja Blue and those bulls.
GENE MELTON: “He makes you sit up and take notice of where it’s going and what it takes to get there.”
BERGER: “He elevated the whole deal of bucking bulls to almost horseracing status. He went after the best bulls and paid whatever those guys asked. I just think he did a lot for the sport and the bucking bull industry.”
McBRIDE: “Then he got into raising his own and that – I don’t want to speak for Tom or put words in his mouth – but, if I had to go out on a limb, I would guess that would be his proudest moment in the stock contracting business is raising two-time World Champion Bull Bones. He raised the bull and I really think he did change the game.”
LAMBERT: “He raised Bones and Big Bucks.”
ROBINSON: “Tom Teague will be missed in this industry. I hope he stays in it on the business side, but he brought a lot. I don’t know how to describe him other than to say he wanted the best, expected the best, demanded the best and if it wasn’t the best he didn’t want any part of it. He’ll be missed, that’s for sure.”
LAMBERT: “Tom has a lot of bucking bulls and he had a lot of those kind of cows, but he was so competitive that he was disappointed when he sent one that was pretty good to an event. He wanted to have the best ones everywhere he went. It was hard for him when he was in a rebuilding stage or anything like that after retiring Bones and not having the next one step up yet.”
McBRIDE: “Tom came in, started the boom and now has backed out. Tom wasn’t born to money. Tom went out and made money. He had fun with the bull business and, I think, he did everything he could to improve it and he has his main business on his mind now.”
BERGER: “The bulls and cows he’s going to sell, that lineage is going to go on for generations. It’ll go back and they’ll say, ‘That was Tom Teague’s bull’ or ‘Tom Teague’s cow,’ so he’s made a mark and it’s going to last a long time after he sells out.”
LAMBERT: “It’s been said before, but it can never be said too much that the PBR wouldn’t be where it is today without Tom. And that’s not blowing smoke up his (butt), that’s a fact.”
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @pbr_krc.
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