By: Keith Ryan Cartwright May 13, 2014@ 10:45:00 AM
FORT WORTH, Texas ― Monday evening stock contractor Mike Cappello announced the passing of I’m a Gangster.
The 10-year-old bovine athlete had been living on a ranch east of Denver, where Cappello and his wife, Cheri, have kept their bulls on a ranch owned by Brent Huwa, for just over a year. The Cappellos have formed a partnership with Huwa, Josh Koschel and Kody Lostroh, who has been caring for I’m a Gangster since his arrival in the Mile High state last year.
“It was a sad deal,” said Cappello. “The only thing that makes us feel good is that he was kind of on borrowed time.”
Kody Lostroh had been taking care of I’m a Gangster for the past year.
“It’s a shock,” added four-time reigning Stock Contractor of the Year, Jeff Robinson, who hauled and managed I’m a Gangster for nearly three years until an untimely injury in August 2011 at a Built Ford Tough Series event in San Antonio cut short his promising career.
Cappello later said, “It’s tough, especially when he’s like a pet and Kody’s done such a great job for us – you know, managing our stock – and he was really so upset about it (Monday), but, like I said, we knew he was on borrowed time with his injury.”
Adding to the sadness was the fact that Monday was Cheri’s birthday.
Cappello’s wife thought of I’m a Gangster as a pet. Despite his powerful reputation in the arena, she and others were known to stand with him in his private pen. He’d arch his back and, much like a large pet dog, turn around in order to let her scratch both sides.
According to Cappello, I’m a Gangster will be cremated and his ashes buried on their ranch in Golden, Colorado.
I’m a Gangster was born and raised in Elnora, Canada, by Lorne High of the Flying High Rodeo Company, a breeder with a long history of strong bucking bulls, including one of Gangster’s many sons I’m a Gangster Too.
In addition to his Canadian brand, his given name at birth was Bad Dream.
Contractor and PBR board member Tom Teague bought him and began hauling him with the name I’m a Gangster in early 2008. According to Robinson, I’m a Gangster had emerged as a potential contender for World Champion Bull by the end of the 2009 season.
“Bulls like him don’t come along often,” Robinson said.
At that point, I’m a Gangster, who for a short time was known as Uncle Buck, had been ridden only once by Guilherme Marchi for 90.75 points in January 2009 at a BFTS event at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
He would only be ridden twice more in his career.
“He’ll be a hard one to replace,” Robinson said.
Cappello noted that I’m a Gangster was overshadowed by the simultaneous emergence of Bushwacker and Asteroid.
“He was probably underrated as bulls go,” Cappello said.
I’m a Gangster finished his career having been ridden just three times in 55 BFTS outs with a career-average marking of 45.246 points.
According to www.probullstats.com, he was the high-marked bull of the round 19 times.
I’m a Gangster had a perfect 100 percent buckoff average against lefties, while he bucked off 91 percent of right-handed riders – Marchi and Valdiron de Oliveira (twice) – on his back.
Lostroh was bucked off by him in 2.4 seconds at a Touring Pro Division event in Asheville, N.C., two months prior to his 2011 injury.
“He was a bad son-of-a-gun,” said Lostroh. “He was one of the best ones I’ve ever been on.”
Cappello and Robinson both spoke of the bull’s strength.
He bucked hard, hit the ground hard and, according to Lostroh, I’m a Gangster combined his power with an unorthodox style.
“There was so much intensity to him,” Robinson recalled.
Originally, the bull was bucked from a right-hand delivery. However, after being switched to the left side at the beginning of 2011, Robinson said the then 7-year-old was “as good as a bull could be.”
He tied his career best with a 46.75-point outing at Madison Square Garden in bucking off J.B. Mauney in 1.95 seconds. Four months later, he was marked 46.25 points in doing the same to Travis Briscoe at an event in Pueblo, Colorado.
He was marked 46-points or better 21 times in his career.
Only three times in his final season did a rider even get past four seconds, and that includes his final outing when I’m a Gangster managed to buck off Fabiano Vieira despite sustaining a career-ending injury.
“We were heartbroken,” said Cappello.
Cappello was originally introduced to Robinson by Koschel during a pre-event VIP tour behind the chutes at a 2010 Pueblo event. A short time later, Cappello and Robinson purchased several bulls – Deja Blue Emu, Flipside, Rusty Zipper and I’m a Gangster – from Teague.
“God bless Jeff,” Cappello said. “He did everything he could for us.”
The Cappello’s said they have since transitioned their bulls to Colorado, where Lostroh, Huwa and Koschel oversee the program.
The Colorado-based contractor said that I’m a Gangster has become the cornerstone of their breeding program – they have roughly 30 calves ranging from newborns to 3-year-olds in Colorado – and that his death will not only be a loss to his program, but the entire cattle breeding industry.
Teague also has calves with the Gangster bloodline, which will be up for sale Tuesday, June 3, at his dispersal sale in Fort Worth, Texas.
“We were just so fortunate that Tom Teague would even sell us a bull of that caliber,” Cappello said. “Now we sired a bunch of calves. I’m a Gangster Too is doing real well and there’s a whole bunch more coming up the chain that he sired and, I think, his legacy will live on for a while.”
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @pbr_krc.
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