FORT WORTH, Texas (April 9, 2017) – Standing in the same place, on the same dirt where the sport of bull riding began, Joe Frost of Randlett, Utah put together three spectacular rides to warrant the win and accept the prestige and prize package as he was declared the champion on the Silver Anniversary of Tuff Hedeman’s infamous Fort Worth Championship Bull Riding.
Tuff Hedeman lined up thirty cowboys from nine states on the back of the chutes as the bull riders celebrated in grand style treating the crowd to five 90 point plus rides. In what started as an invitational in 1992, it is now the centerpiece on the Road to Cheyenne professional bull riding tour with a custom trophy buckle that identifies you as part of history, if you are skillful enough to win it.
Frost, who left 150 head of momma cows in the middle of calving to travel to Fort Worth, had this to say about his second CBR event win.
“It has not really sunk in yet, I was just busy trying to do my job, stay on bulls and be the very best bull rider every jump, but it is exciting to have my name up there in history on such a prestigious event,” said Frost.
“You have to block out the pressure and be the very best every time and if you can’t do your job you take a chance of getting hurt, its dangerous sport and important to stay focused.”
Fourteen qualified rides ignited the capacity crowd who saw the leaderboard change four times before former World Champion Cole Echols won the round on 164 Jill’s Deal (Rocker, Harrison, Crooked 6). Five time World Champion Sage Kimzey kept pace with 88 points on former bull of the year, 050 Gold Buckle (K&G Barrett). Frost, who entered Fort Worth as number 24 in the CBR, and on the bubble of making the CBR World Finals roster, wasted no time trying to change that stat. He was 89.5 points on a bull he had not been on before, Uptown Funk (Knapp).
“I had never seen him before but Rostockyj said he was good, he bucked and had a little suck back, but he felt good and he is the kind you want to get on,” said Frost.
Number three ranked PRCA rider, Cole Melancon, would make his CBR debut count as he posted 88 points on N1 Bet’nBlack (Elite). Vastbinder would be second in the round with 90 points as he stepped off of 247 High Pockets (Silver Cree/GDR Holdings).
With fourteen qualified rides the top twelve scores advanced to round two where the bull power advanced as well. Louisiana cowboy Dustin Bouqet was the first man to ride two and take the lead with 175 average score. Melancon answered and stole the lead by .5 on 3713 Cheecho (Hurst). What happened next was a first in CBR competition. The next four riders would post scores that resulted in a four way tie with 175.5. With only three riders to go, Frost broke the log jam and went 88 points on 277 Dirty Little Secret (Harris) to lead with 177.5.
“This bull was smaller, but a hard solid bucker, he got me strung out to my finger tips and I had to keep hustling to get back and get the job done,” continued Frost.
Vastbinder was rematched on the reigning Bull of the Year, Cowtown Cartel (Burleson/Barnett) and 90.5 points later he had the lead with 180.5. Echols would buck off 138 Stanly Hart and it was now up to the judges to determine the four man qualifiers.
Shoot Out Round
CBR rules dictate the back judge score determines the outcome in the event of a tie score. Melancon would not advance and the final four would be Eli Vastbinder, Joe Frost, Caleb Sanderson, and Trey Benton.
Vastbinder selected an old friend, Crimson King (Loe/Melton) who he had ridden twice and bucked off twice. Frost selected Cowbanger (Cude) also a friend with benefits as he is the only bull rider to cover this bull.
“I picked second and had studied the four man bulls before the event, I rode him (Cowbanger) at the NFR and things went good and I knew he really bucked so I had my eyes on him. He bucks hard enough to win the round on and I went with that theory,” said Frost while signing autographs.
Sanderson selected Cowboy Cut and Benton in his first CBR appearance in 2017 was matched with the unridden 343 Rio. Rio was too much for Benton who won the event in 2014.
Sanderson posted first with 89 points followed by Frost with a 91.
“That bull had a lot of hop and skip in his pattern tonight – he has timing for sure, but it’s different every time,” laughed Frost who is carrying on the Frost family tradition that his late cousin Lane Frost made synonymous with bull riding.
As the average leader going into the Shoot Out, Vastbinder was the last man out and went 90.5 points on Crimson King leaving him a half a point shy of the jumbo check, HyO Silver buckle, and prize package. Vastbinder who finished second in the event and more importantly gathered valuable points in his bid to unseat Kimzey as the World Standings leader.
With four bull riding World Champions and eight National Finals Rodeo Qualifiers on the day sheet World Standings leaders Sage Kimzey and challenger Eli Vastbinder had their hands full. Each rode every bull they climbed on but Vastbinder by virtue of a higher average score from the first two rounds advanced to the third and capitalized on the opportunity to ride three and inch closer to Kimzey’s stronghold on the CBR Standings. There are eight bull scores left on the season and just 180 points separating the top two ranked riders as they head into the final regular season event, The George Paul Memorial Bull Riding in Del Rio, Texas. Boudreaux Campbell and Jeff Askey remain in the third and fourth position with Tyler Taylor rounding out the top five.
Bull Team Challenge
The Bull Team battle was tight in Fort Worth with only 1.23 points separating the first four places. Mike Rawson arrived in Cowtown with two seasoned buckers and one relatively new bull on the Road to Cheyenne. His trio of seasoned buckers delivered the win earning 280.5 total points for the former bull rider turned bull man.
“Anytime you win one of Tuff’s events it is special,” said Rawson who was in what he proclaimed was a dry spell in the widely successful bull team contest winning bull owners $45,000 at each CBR event.
“I was thrilled when I heard Trey Benton drew 132 Yabba Dabba Do because he has ridden him twice to win an event and I was confident he would do it again,” said Rawson who said 132 had his usual solid trip and put 88.5 points up for Benton.
Next up for the reigning Stock Contractor of the Year was 1711 Too Juicy. “I switched delivery chutes on him and I was not as satisfied with his performance but Corey Bailey got the job done for 86.5 points.”
Rawson, who rotates buckers regularly, bucked 723 Hex in the Semifinal round for the third time in CBR competition and red hot Caleb Sanderson turned in 87.5 points to seal the win for Rawson with 280.50, a relatively low score for a winning team combination.
The Champion Bull of the event, Cowbanger, came from the second place team owner, Benny Cude who was just .45 points behind Rawson in the number two position. Cude bucked J10 Crime Spree, 886 Gold Digger, and 24×3 Headlights to earn valuable points for his team in the hunt for a World Finals invitation.
High Marked Bull or rank bull of the event was Jerilyn Harmon and Mike White’s 626 Karaoke, a storied bucker and one of the elders of the back pens. Karaoke is a distinguished bucker who has bucked in the CBR World Finals, National Finals Rodeo and the Professional Bull Riders Finals. Karaoke earned 90.5 points in the bull score column while bucking on WNFR cowboy Jeff Askey in the semifinal round. The only other bull in the competition to score 90 points was K & G’s 029 Back Jackin with Brett Barret on the flank.
Fort Worth Shoot Out Results
1, Joe Frost, Randlett, Utah, 91 points on 1137 Cowbanger (Cude), $9,125.00. 2, Eli Vastbinder, Statesville, NC, 90.5 on Crimson King (Winston-Loe/Melton), $6,375.00 3, Caleb Sanderson, Hallettsville, TX 89 points on 22 Cowboy Cut (Brown Ranch), $5,000. 4, Trey Benton, No Score, 343 Rio (Hurst), $2,250.
Bull Team Challenge Results
1, Rawson Bucking Bulls, Martinsville, TX, 280.50 points, $20,000. 2, CPR/Cude, Priddy, TX, 280.15, $12,000. 3, Burleson/Barnett #2, Cypress, TX, 279.88, $8,000. 4, Harmon Elite Bulls 2, Denver, CO, 279.27, $5,000.
Courtesy of CBR