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Pitts Steps Over Fugate to Take Lead in CBR Horizon Series Tour

Billy Jones Wins Bull Team Competition at the Baytown Youth Fair

Photo left to right: Trenton Seelye, buckle sponsor, John Pitts, event champion, Steve Watkins Custom Leather sponsor, Chris Rankin, producer.

BAYTOWN, Texas – (April 23, 2017) – Driving 2,500 miles to compete in the CBR Baytown Horizon Series bull riding, Florida cowboy John Pitts rode two bulls to win both rounds of the Baytown Youth Fair Horizon Series bull riding that came with a championship buckle and a check for #2,056.32, on a cool crisp Saturday night at the Baytown, Texas rodeo arena.

“This was the 7th year for the Baytown Fair & Rodeo to host a CBR Horizon Series, each year we try our best to bring the best bulls and bull riders that are available to benefit the Baytown Youth. I was fortunate when I was young to have the Baytown Youth Fair as a place to show animals and producing the CBR here is my way to give back to a great organization that taught me a lot growing up, but the biggest thing is seeing the Fair Association continue to grow and succeed so that more young people can have the same opportunities that we had,” said Rankin.

But more important than the Baytown buckle, the rookie bull rider stole the lead of the CBR Horizon Series tour from Denton Fugate who has been in the number one position of the CBR’s qualifying series tour since January.

“I just take it one bull at a time, I try not to think about it to keep the pressure off, it’s all reaction and jump for jump,” said the rider who has been riding bulls professionally less than two years,” said Pitts.

Cowboys from eleven states provided the 58 quality outs, but in the end, Pitts was one of only two riders to hear the 8 second whistle twice during the two hour performance. The young rookie rider from Panama City, Florida won both rounds of the event scoring 87 in round one on 138 Crackerjack (Hudgins Bucking bulls). Pitts drew last and was matched with L33 Tamale from the Ludtke bull team. Pitts would score 89 .5 on L33, a bull who has made two appearances on the CBR’s Road to Cheyenne tour.

“He was tough, he had a lot of drop and it was like falling straight down off a building with each jump,” said an elated Pitts who also thanked his sponsors JC Knapp and 814 Sand, Inc.

“We had an outstanding set of bull riders this year that tried hard and we raised the bar, they rode 10 in the long round and managed to ride two in the short round, but the bull power was incredible and a few guys rode right to the whistle, said event producer Chris Rankin.

Fending off sixteen guys who have been on the Road to Cheyenne televised tour, the rookie persevered despite the rank bulls loaded in every chute in Baytown. Pitts, admittedly having his eye on the $20,000 bonus check that comes with the Horizon Series end of the year Championship, had this to say about his win.

“I have been about 4000 miles a week because I live so far away from most of the event, I am dedicated and focused on winning the Horizon Series,” said Pitts.

Adding 176.5 points to his Horizon Series tally which puts him ahead of Denton Fugate by two bulls in the year end standings and only one Horizon Series event left on the CBR’s schedule.

“I thank God I got two down and am healthy and I am ready to move on to the next one on Friday night in Del Rio, Texas,” said a humbled Pitt’s after riding his second bull on a night that produced only 12 qualified rides from 58 outs.

Produced by the televised CBR Road to Cheyenne production manager, Chris Rankin of Normangee, the Baytown CBR Horizon Series was the place to be on a Saturday night in Southeast Texas with bull riding action followed by a Jon Wolf and Zane Williams Band concert.

“What I really like about the Horizon series is we see an unknown young bull rider like Ezekiel Mitchell of Baytown that show up and make and outstanding bull ride and contend with the hottest guys on tour and hang with them,” said event producer Chris Rankin.

Championship Bull Riding created the Horizon Series tour to give new riders the opportunity to break into the CBR Tour, a national, televised tour. In front an overflowing bleachers CBR World Champions, Cole Echols joined 45 bull riders as they pulled their ropes tight to benefit the youth livestock exhibitors of the Baytown Fair and Rodeo.

The Baytown Bull team competition was won by former CBR Stock Contractor of the Year, Billy Jones of Moscow, Texas. With two Wrangler National Finals Rodeo bulls on his trailer, Jones relies heavily on bulls that he knows they can ride when selecting bull teams to compete, but tonight with the temperature dropping and the bulls feeling a break from the southeast Texas heat, only one was ridden.

“I thought he would ride him,” said Jones of US Army veteran Juan Alonzo’s 86 points on 235 Bandit.

“I was bucked off and had to hustle, I said to myself, not to tonight,” laughed the always good spirited rider who consistency sits inside the top ten year after year on the CBR Road to Cheyenne tour.

Rankin, lining up buckers from three former stock contractors of the year, as well as several bulls who are in contention for CBR Bull of the Year, had bull power to rival any competition in the country. Bucking off forty-six bull riders before the night would end, the rodeo savvy crowd, as well as a few veteran bull riders, would be impressed by the power standing inside the bucking chutes.

“Thanks to my family and friends who came out and helped us and the fair board for giving us the opportunity, it was a pretty awesome event”, said Rankin immediately following the awards presentation.

Baytown Horizon Series Results

Round one

1, John Pitts, 87 points on 138 Crackerjack, Hudgins, 856.80.

2, Juan Alonzo, 86 on 235 Bandit, Jones, 618.80.

3, JT Moore, L30 Cracker, Ludtke, 380.80. 4, Ezekiel Mitchell, 84, 261.80, 5, Andrew Alvidrez, 84, 166.60. 6, Gus Rodrigues, 83.5, $95.20.

Championship Round

1, John Pitts 89 points on L33 Tamale, Ludtke Bucking Bulls, $928.20.

2, Elijah Mora, 87.5 on 653 Flip Flop, Barnett/Burleson.

Average

1. John Pitts, Panama, City, Florida 176.5 $3,841.32

2. Elijah Mora, Blanchard, OK 168 $1,984.92

3. Juan Alonzo, Weslaco, TX 86 $1,532.72

4. JT Moore, Alvin, TX 86 $1,009.12

5. Ezekiel Mitchell, Baytown, TX 84 $661.64

6. Andrew Alvidrez, Seminole, TX 84 $395.08

Round by Round scoring and complete results available on cbrbull.com

Bull Team Results

1, Billy Jones, Moscow Texas, 276.60, $10,000.

2, Hudgins Bucking Bulls, 275.90, $6,000.

3, Ludtke Bucking Bulls, 274.99, $5,000. 4, Harris Bucking Bulls, 274.37, $3,000.

Winning Bull team consisted of 291 Son of Sam, 235 Bandit, 231 Smash Mouth (WNFR).

Courtesy of CBR