With winning on his mind, Brennon Eldred of Sulphur, Oklahoma, turned a frustrating buck off during the first night in Del Rio into a three round winning performance that included a 94 point ride to win the 39th George Paul Memorial bull riding presented by Ram Country of Del Rio and sanctioned by Championship Bull Riding.
“This is the most prestigious event we come to all year long and the last event in the season so I wanted to finish strong to put myself in the mix for contention of the World Title,” said Eldred who quickly became surrounded with fans as he left the arena.
In a field of 30 riders featuring three World Champions and 12 National Finals Rodeo qualifiers, Eldred was one of only two riders to cover three bulls on a night where the fans in the overflowing stands saw fifteen qualified rides and 47 spectacular bulls.
In an event known as the “Super bull” of bull riding, Eldred knew he had to elevate his level of play in the shoot out round to win. In his mind Cowtown Cartel was the rankest bull on the draw.
“He fit me best and he was the rankest bull in there, and I don’t count on Cody Teel, Jacob O’Mara or any of the others in the four man to stub their toes and fall off, so to win I had to pick the rankest, you have to pick the best,” continued Eldred.
Using the last words he heard for motivation, Eldred rode Cowtown Cartel for a heart-stopping 94 point exhibition of grit, grind and determination.
“Stay to the front, this bull is going to get you raised up and then slam you,” is what Eldred heard from four time World Champion bull rider and Pro rodeo hall of famer Tuff Hedeman.
“I consider Hedeman a good friend, he fires me up, and everything he says is correct, he’s one of the all-time great bull riders and 90 percent of the time if I do what he tells me it works out.”
With eight qualified rides in round one, Eldred won the round with 89.5 points on a new bull from Mike Rawson, Bad Black, who he had heard about but never seen. Cody Teel held the lead with 88.5 on Moadivator (Moad Cattle) until the final section of the round where O’Mara turned in 89 points on The Abyss (JQH) followed by Bailey and Eldred’s 89.5 with the back judge’s nod towards Eldred for the tie-breaker.
With the words super bull in the history of the event and on the minds of chute boss Tuff Hedeman and the stock contractors providing the bull power, the bulls continued to control the action. After the first three riders bucked off, three time highest marked ride champion in Del Rio and fan favorite, Chandler Bownds rode Straight 8 (Championship Pro Rodeo) for 88 points and Lane Toon was 89 points on 011 Hondo (Rawson) on a re-ride opportunity.
Four more riders bucked off before the 2015 GPMBR Champion and reigning CBR World Champ Cody Teel excited the crowd when he took Uptown Funk (Knapp) for a 90 point rematch spin.
With three of the top 5 CBR ranked riders left on the draw, Teel watched Jacob O’Mara turn in a 91 point effort on one of the most storied bucking bulls in the industry, 626 Karaoke from Mike White’s Elite Bucking Bull team.
As the average leader, Eldred was last and he had a rematch, a bull he bucked off of his rookie year, 9103 Red Solo Cup. Continuing to visualize the GPMBR buckle, he and 9103 teamed up for 93.5 points and the second round win for Eldred of the night.
With four outs left of the legendary George Paul Memorial bull riding, Eldred knew if given the opportunity he would pick William Barnette’s Cowtown Cartel as his ride to the top.
“I wanted to ride the rankest bull here and tonight I got the opportunity and I picked him, I felt like that bull was going to fit me so that is what I went with. Coming in being fifth in the world standings, I was upset with myself I wanted to finish as strong as I could,” said Eldred.
O’Mara, 180 points on two selected a rematch on Mike Rawson’s Yellow Wolf which put Cody Teel who was 178.5 on two to select next. Teel went with a bull making his first appearance on the Road to Cheyenne, Valedictorian from Corey Melton and Winston Loe. Bailey, who was 89.5 in round one was last so he had Melton’s Crimson King.
The crowd fell silent as Bailey bucked off quickly. With the fans in a frenzy to witness a back to back win from Teel, he made two super bull moves during his 6.44 second ride on Valedictorian, the rookie bull from the former professional bull rider.
With O’Mara and Eldred loaded in the chutes, O’Mara would come out on Yellow Wolf and tap him out at 87.5 points.
With Hedeman and 39 years of bull riding history in his head, Eldred stuck to the bull for 8 seconds and accomplished what no other rider had been able to do during the 2016 Road to Cheyenne…get a score on Cowtown Cartel and add his name to the list of prestigious winners of the GPMBR.
World Title Race
The race for the 2016 CBR World Championship title took a drastic turn in Del Rio. Although no one could bump the man with three gold buckles from the top ranking, Kimzey at 1,942 points now has several bull riders within striking distance of the World Championship trophy, buckle, and $100,000 bonus check.
Jacob O’Mara is now 356 points away from the title after riding three bulls in Del Rio. Eldred’s event win on three bulls tucks him in at third with 1522.5 points, 419.5 points away from the title, and the reigning world champion, Cody Teel is still alive in the race with 1494.5 points. Rostockyj falls to No. 5 with 1,412.50 points after a first or second place ranking for the majority of the 2016 season.
Bull Team Challenge
With 12 rookie riders on the day sheet, even more bulls were making their first appearance on the Road to Cheyenne. The bovine big guns in the back pen were locked and loaded for the CBR’s final bull team competition of the 2016 Road to Cheyenne. With points and a trip to Cheyenne on the line, Rhon Brown and Bubba Storey’s D4 Cattle Company finished on top.
College friends and fishing buddies who teamed up to compete on the Road to Cheyenne won $20,000 in their third event and rookie season with CBR.
Brown’s project, Big Lew, whom he took off the competitive circuit and developed for the big leagues was a super star bucking in both performances in Del Rio. He anchored the team with an 89 aggregate bull score from four judges as he bucked off Koby Radley in the semifinal round in 3.57 seconds. Corey Bailey got him on the board with 89.5 points in round one on War Tiger. D4 cleared the field by more than 3 points with a total score of 284.78.
Rawson and Probst were second with two qualified rides including a rank Bad Black trip accomplished by Brennon Eldred. JQH was third with one qualified ride and two 88 bull scores. Elite Bucking bulls finished third with Karaoke’s 91 point contribution to Jacob O’Mara’s semifinal score.
Next stop Cheyenne
The CBR 2016 regular season has come to a close and all eyes are on Cheyenne Frontier Days for the two night performance of the CBR World Finals on July 25 – 26. Tickets are available at cfdrodeo.com and start at $29.00.
Shoot Out Round
1, Brennon Eldred, 94 points on 2079 Cowtown Cartel (Barnett) $11,862.50. 2, Jacob O’Mara, 87.5 pts, 222 Yellow Wolf (Rawson), $8, 6375.50. 3, Cody Teel, 0, 26 Valedictorian (Melton). 4, Corey Bailey, 0, 169 Crimson King (Melton).
1, Eldred 93.5 points on Red 9103 Solo Cup (Silent 7). 2, Jacob O’Mara 91 pts, 626 Karaoke, (Elite) 3, Cody Teel, 90 pts, 128 Uptown Funk (Knapp) 90. 4, Toon, 89 pts on reride, 011 Hondo (Rawson) 5, Chandler Bownds, 88 pts, 151 Straight 8 (Championship Pro Rodeo/Murphy).
1, (Tie) B. Eldred 89.5 pts on 61 Bad Black (Rawson/Probst), C. Bailey, 89.5 points on 108 War Tiger (D4). 3, Jacob O’Mara, 89 pts, 651 The Abyss (JQH). 4, Cody Teel, 88.5, 20Z Moadivator (Moad). 5, Koby Radley, 87.5,122 Shystie (Rawson). 6, Tim Bingham, 85.5 086 Up N At Em (Cunningham/Scoggins). 7, Neil Holmes, 84, 24 Line Back (Harris). 8, Eli Vastbinder, 82, CR Corpus Red (Knapp).
1, Brennon Eldred, $14,112.50. 2, Jacob O’Mara, $8,637.50. 3, Cody Teel, $2,250. 3, Corey Bailey, $2,250.
Bull Team Challenge Results
1, D4 Cattle Co., 284.78, $20,000. 2, Rawson/Probst, 281.57, $12,000. 3, JQH Bucking Bulls 2, 278.32. $8,000 84, Elite Buckin Bulls 4, 276.43, $5,000.
Champion Bull – 2079 Cowtown Cartel, Burleson-Barnett 94 points (Eldred)
Bull of the Event – 243 Breaking Bad, Hurst Pro Rodeo, 4 judge rank score = 90 points (Vastbinder, 1.54 seconds)
See cbrbull.com for complete scoring