Remembering Shaft

By: Susan Bedford
March 22, 2016

Shaft was 25-3 in his BFTS career. Photo: Andy Watson/

Shaft was 25-3 in his BFTS career. Photo: Andy Watson/

PUEBLO, Colo. – American Bucking Bull Inc. (ABBI) is sad to announce the passing of 28 Shaft (E-J Bucking Bulls/GO). The great bovine last bucked at the Ty Murray Invitational this past weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico, during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, bucking off 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi in 3.44 seconds. He was six years old.

Shaft had no known health issues and his death came as a shock. An autopsy was performed by a veterinarian and showed bruising on the interior and exterior of his heart, which would be consistent with a massive heart attack.

“When we got home yesterday (from Albuquerque), he went to his pen,” said veteran contractor Gene Owen who hauled and cared for Shaft. “This morning I knew something was wrong and by the time the vet got here, he had already passed.”

A championship-round standout, Shaft (25-3, BFTS) was only ridden three times during the course of his three-year career. 2010 World Champion Renato Nunes was the first rider to make 8-seconds atop the great black bucking bull, doing so for 89.75 points in Billings, Montana, last season.

Matt Triplett then rode the bovine athlete for 90.5 points to win the 2015 Allentown, Pennsylvania, 15/15 Bucking Battle, and two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney covered Shaft for 89.25 points in New York this season.

Shaft started his career in the ABBI’s Back Seat Buckers program in 2012 as a Futurity bull where he won $20,000. He was the first graduate from the program to receive an invitation from PBR Livestock Director Cody Lambert to buck at the World Finals. He made his debut there in 2014 at age 4.

“Having a bull selected to buck at the most prestigious bull riding competition in the world is an honor and the dream of every stock contractor,” said owner Excell LaFayette Jr. at the time the news was announced.

“Shaft made all of us so proud,” shared ABBI Executive Director Jay Daugherty. “He did well in the Back Seat Buckers program, placing fourth at our first World Finals and then went on to become a favorite of the cowboys on the Built Ford Tough Series. Our condolences go out to his owners Excell and Josephine, who were like members of the ABBI family and some of the strongest supporters of the bucking bull industry.”

Shaft is a product of Cindy Rosser’s breeding program. His father was W45/2 Joe B Water and his grandfathers were the great bulls Whitewater Skoal and Werewolf.

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