In the Bull Pen: Des Moines

Apollo Stripes heads into Des Moines, Iowa, on a roll. Photo by Andy Watson /

DES MOINES, Iowa ― We’re going to see some riders and bulls who should be well rested when the Built Ford Tough Series resumes in Des Moines Saturday after a week off for the Easter holiday.   

The bulls set for Des Moines feature many familiar names, such as Rango,Cowtown SlingerI’m a Gangster Too and Meat Hook, along with some newcomers. Chad Berger has been especially busy acquiring new bulls and we will see quite a few of those this weekend.

But one breakout bull has a lot people talking, and most of those people have one thing in common – they’ve never seen him buck. Jeff Robinson’s 378 Oklahoma Bell is the bull. PBR Livestock Director Cody Lambert has seen one video clip of him and put him straight into the short round. Oklahoma Bell saw action at a Touring Pro Division event in March and he was clearly the best bull there. The bull has a short, but interesting history that got him in the short-round draw at his debut event.

“He’s a Pacific Bell calf out of a daughter of Oscar’s Velvet,” said Lambert. “All I’ve seen is a video of him, but he looked like a really, really good one. I’m not sure who raised him, but Jeff bought him from J.W. Hart. J.W. sent me the video some time ago, and he ended up selling him to Jeff. He only owned him for a little while, and when J.W. sees him buck in Des Moines it will be the first time for him as well. He just bought the bull and turned around and sold him.  There will definitely be a lot of eyes on him when he bucks Sunday. From what we know of him, he’s an old school bucker and I know Jeff expects him to be one of his best bulls going forward.”

Apollo Stripes is coming to Des Moines on a roll. He’s unridden in his 14-out career and he took care of J.W. Harris and Silvano Alves in his last two trips.

“He was the best bull at Billings,” Lambert said. “He was in the 15/15 round with Silvano. He went to the right, and he was in the air and fast. All they need to do for him is get the gate out of his way. The week before in Nampa, they opened the gate a little too slow. He likes to turn back really close, and if the gate is in his way it can mess him up, but with a fast gate, he’s rank.”

Chad Berger has another relatively new bull that made some waves in Billings. Fire & Smoke originally came from Paige Stout, and he was outstanding in Billings.

“He’s strong,” said Lambert. “He’s got a little forward motion to him and a lot of speed. He’s going to be tough to ride.”

Sunday’s short round features a set of bulls that are solid top to bottom.

“The short go looks solid to me,” said Lambert. “I think Oklahoma Bell is the bull to watch, but there are a lot of great bulls lined up. K Bar C’s littleWho Dey and Altercation both really buck. Gene Owen’s Crack the Whipand Berger’s Cowtown Slinger will be the ones to draw – both great bulls that the riders should get along with. Mississippi Hippy will be a handful. Rango and I’m a Gangster Too have both been great. The short round should be really even, and we should see some great rides.”

Follow Slade Long on Twitter  @ProBullStats


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