Eldorado Resort Shreveport Tuff Hedeman Championship Bull Riding Presented by Landers Dodge Jeep Ram
Hotter than the dice tables, the unrelenting World Champion Sage Steele Kimzey, fought off two determined rookies and twenty two qualified bull rides to thrill the fans on a Louisiana Saturday night at the Eldorado Resort Shreveport Tuff Hedeman Championship Bull Riding held at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City, Lousiana.
Not thinking about it too much while on top of the chutes, Kimzey’s flawless performance moved him into the CBR’s No. 1 position in the World Standings title race and he had this to say about the new ranking.
“This win really gets the ball rolling for me, I made a couple of short rounds this year, but this one got me back to the No. 1 spot. I really like having the target on my back, some guys don’t, but being number one, its mine to win then and after I hit No. 1 it’s (World Championship) mine to win and as long as I do my job and take care of my business it will all work out.”
Rookie CBR rider Joseph McConnell making his third appearance on the televised tour struck first with 88 points on 2015 Bull of the Year, Gold Buckle. Rebounding on the Road to Cheyenne tour, Johnathan Brown and Wrangler Dunda would both outlast their reride bulls for 87.5 and 85.5 scores to finish the first section of nine attempts.
Brennon Eldred would lead the second section with his picture perfect 88 point ride on 161 Firehouse, but the World Champs Sage Kimzey and Cody Teel were on his heels with 87.5 points apiece riding the Jaynes Gang TNT Foreplay and Rawson’s White Wolf.
Section three would witness another rookie put up points as Colton Jesse from Sulphur, Okla., took the lead and he would eventually win the round with 88.5 points on Elite’s 059 Boomer. There were fourteen qualified rides in round one. With only twelve advancing, Newt Brasfield and Wrangler Dunda would not qualify for a second bull.
Sage Kimzey would take control of the night in the semifinal round riding 626 Karaoke for 89 points to win the round and set him in the driver’s seat for selecting his final four bull.
“I have never been on that bull but seen him so much, I was excited to see my name by his, he felt great, a quick corner then into my hand and it was like driving a Cadillac,” said Kimzey about 626 Karaoke, the storied bucker who has probably won as much money bucking as Kimzey has riding.
O’Mara would turn in an 87.5 solid performance on J87 Lil Red. But it was the rookies that stood their ground against the ten other semifinal cowboys. McConnell was 85 on Platinum Gold and Colton Jesse was 86.5 on Terry Williams Crime Boss which would be enough to advance them, but it was tour veterans Corey Bailey and Cody Teel that had the tough decisions to make.
Teel was 83.5 on an off night for Rawson’s Black Betty and Corey Bailey was 74 on the same kind of night for Sander’s Green Machine. Both were offered resides and both declined. Not knowing how many would ride two and not wanting to take those valuable rides scores off of the World Standings point race, they both opted to keep the scores. Teel was edged out by rookie Colton Jesse just 8 seconds after his decision when the rookie posted an 86.5 to move him a head of Teel in the no. 4 slot for the Shoot Out round.
Shoot Out Round
With six riders covering two bulls, it took a 172.5 on two bulls to advance to the final four man round.
Kimzey, with the 177 average lead, earned the right to select first and according to him, it was a decision he did not have to ponder. Setting up a rematch, Kimzey picked EG 2575 Flab Slab which he rode for 90.5 points in El Paso in 2015. This contest would be the only rematch on the Shoot Out round scoreboard.
“I knew I was going that way if given the opportunity to choose him. He usually goes left, but he went right tonight, but he bucks awesome all the time”, said a smiling Sage Kimzey after signing autographs for over an hour in the CenturyLink Center.
CBR rookie Jesse Colton was next with 175 on two and he selected a bull he had seen before but never drawn, EG 1925 Painkiller. O’Mara with 173.5 selected Jeff Harris’ Big Baby which left the second rookie to make the four man, Joseph McConnell with the unridden Cowbanger.
McConnell bucked off first, but with the Louisiana crowd in his corner O’Mara took the Big Baby to 7.69 seconds before getting bucked off in what had turned into a hometown crowd for O’Mara.
With nerves of steel, eighteen year old Jesse Colton in his first Shoot Out round took Painkiller to the whistle for 89 points setting up a duel between the rookie and the 3 time World Champion.
With the crowd on their feet and anxious to see the first 90 point ride of the night, Sage Kimzey delivered 90 points on Flab Slab. Kimzey took home a check for $11,300, a Hy O Silver trophy buckle, a felt hat from American Hat Co., a custom pair of Fenoglio boots, and the No. 1 ranking in the CBR.
Bull Team Challenge
The dynamic duo of Winston Loe and Corey Melton stood in the winner’s circle for the first time on the 2016 Road to Cheyenne winning the Bossier Bull Team Challenge by one of the largest margins on this year’s tour, 3.91 points. Although not one of the three riders matched to Melton’s bulls had drawn them before, Melton and company was pleased with Jacob O’Mara, Brennon Eldred, and Neil Holmes’s first attempts and great efforts on each of their bulls.
“They all three did what they were supposed to do tonight, and when they all three click and buck well on the same day you win first,” said the former professional rider turned stock contractor, Corey Melton.
Melton used 169 Crimson King and 161 Firehouse, the bull he says he can count on the most, in the first round and the bull he thought bucked the best tonight, K912 All Shook Up in the twelve man semifinal round.
“K912, who you never know what direction he is going, buffaloes the riders a bit, but he is not has hard to ride as he looks.”
“I bring bulls I would like to get on and the best ones I have,” continued Melton regarding how he selects his team prior to each event.
Sage Kimzey’s 90 points on EG 2575 Flab Slab earned the bull the Bossier Champion Bull honor and rankest scored bull of the night was a tie between Winston Loe and Melton’s Western Hauler’s All Shook Up and Elite Bucking Bulls Karaoke each with 89.5 points on the rank bull score meter.
World Standings Race
Sage Steele Kimzey took the lead of the 2016 Road to Cheyenne after round one in Bossier. With only four points separating him and Cody Rostockyj, Kimzey was aware when Rostockyj bucked off Harris’s Ole School in the first round that he had moved into the No. 1 position with a total of 1321.50 points.
Riding all three of his draws moved him 262.5 points ahead of Rostockyj who is now in the No. 2 ranking at 1059.00 points. With two qualified rides in Bossier, Cody Teel remains the No. 3 man on the leaderboard and the largest jump in the top 5 comes from Jacob O’Mara who broke the top 5 with 962.00 points. Eli Vastbinder and Brennon Eldred are No. 5 and No. 6 respectively with Wyatt Rogers, Corey Bailey, Chandler Bownds and Newt Brasfield rounding out the top ten.
With four events left on the regular season calendar and 1,200 points up for grabs, the CBR World Championship contest is anything but over and it is setting up to be a challenge of champions.
Shoot Out Round
1, Sage Kimzey, Strong City, Okla., 90 points on EG2575 Flab Slab, $11,350. 2, Jesse Colton, Sulphur, Okla., EG 1925 Painkiller, $7,150.
Average Rider Results
1, Sage Kimzey, 266.50, $11,350. 2, Jesse Colton, 264, $7,150. 3, Jacob O’Mara, 173, $2,250. 4, Joseph McConnell, 172.5, $2,250.
Bull Team Results
1, Winston Loe Melton Bull Co. 285.39, $20,000. 2, Elite Buckin Bulls 3, 281.48, $12,000. 3, Championship Pro Rodeo K & G, 279.5, $8,000. 4, Harris, Rafter B Rockin C, 277.32, $5,000.
Courtesy of CBR