PUEBLO, Colo. – Matt Scharping takes his responsibility as a stock contractor extremely seriously, sometimes even too seriously.
Scharping has specifics plans for each of his bulls and their diets and exercise plans. Whether it is how much feed each bull receives or whether or not a bull can be penned with another, Scharping is on top of it.
He even can sometimes self-admittedly, over-analyze the nutrition involved with his feed program. Hay, grain, oats, starches and proteins and much more are all monitored and measured by Scharping.
Yet, it is all with one goal in mind:
Scharping wants to make sure he gives Allen and his bulls the greatest opportunity to succeed on the Built Ford Tough Series and in the PBR.
“My part of the team is all about the bulls,” Scharping said. “I take my job seriously, especially my animal care. I take care of them bulls like they are my boys. They get the best vet care, they get the best nutrition. They get the best of everything. Whatever the cost is, they get it. If they don’t, why do you have them? Why are you going to have the best bull and not give them every opportunity to be the best at what they do? So, to me, we spare no expense on anything as far as taking care of the animal. I want them handled a certain way and Jared knows that.”
It is why it is no surprise that Scharping is basically synonymous with the Jared Allen Pro Bull Team trailer. Allen had offered to hire a driver for Scharping this year to help alleviate some of the travel demands that have begun to pile up on the stock contractor.
Despite being flattered by the offer, Scharping turned down the offer.
Yes, there are times Scharping wishes he wasn’t on the road as much and was home with his family, but he also understands and takes very, seriously the specific care he wants for his bulls.
“I told Jared I am not good with that,” Schapring said. “I said, ‘If you want a certain set of bulls to go and that guy is responsible for that set, don’t hold me accountable.’ We could hire somebody and I can fly in and just flank the bulls, but that is just the easy part. Anybody can flank the bulls. It is, ‘Are your bulls ready to perform?’ How have they been cared for on that trip and the days leading up to bucking? That is the most important time. It is not flanking the bull. Yeah, you can mess up a flank, but you can really severely mess up your bull if he is not prepared in the days leading up to his performance.”
Sure enough, Scharping was in Decatur, Texas, last weekend with six bulls competing in the Built Ford Tough Ring of Honor: Unfinished Business, presented by BlueDEF, pay-per-view event.
Scharping was happy with all of his bulls’ performances, but Dakota Style’s Hy Test and Closing Time played two of the bigger roles of the event.
Renato Nunes rode Hy Test for 88.5 points to win the Champion’s Challenge, along with a $20,000 paycheck.
“I think that bull fits me really well,” Nunes said. “I really like him. I knew it was going to be around 89 points. He is fast and he bucks. If you make a mistake, he will buck you off.
Scharping was excited to learn that Nunes had selected to get aboard Hy Test. The stock contractor has always enjoyed Nunes getting on his bulls because the 2010 World Champion does a good job getting the most out of Scharping’s bulls and showcasing them.
In fact, Nunes helped put Air Time on the map in 2014 when he rode the Jared Allen-owned bull for 92.5 points in Phoenix. Up to this point, he is the only rider to make the whistle on Air Time.
Following the event in Decatur, Nunes hopped up onto the truck and shook Scharping’s hand, thanking him for hauling Hy Test to the event.
“Man, I will do anything for you Renato,” Scharping recalled saying. “You take care of them and are decent to my bulls.”
Hy Test didn’t disappoint for Nunes, and Nunes did his share to showcase Scharping’s bull.
Nunes’ 89.5 points is the highest score a rider has ever earned aboard Hy Test, who was marked 43.5 points. The 33-year-old previously rode the bovine athlete for 87.5 points in Nashville, Tennessee, at the 2013 Built Ford Tough series event.
“I was happy with him,” Scharping said. “I thought he was really good. I was a little worried looking at that arena because the first 20 feet was nice and then it got soft once you got past that. He had a different trip. Instead of drifting from the left, he got out there and kind of drifted to the right almost like he knew what the ground was, or it was just coincidence. Whatever it was, he stayed on that good ground and he bucked really hard. I was tickled Renato rode him. That is what he was there for. Those guys are there to win money. Hy Test doesn’t care if he is rode.”
The biggest moment of the night for Scharping – as for many in attendance in Decatur – was seeing the eight Ring of Honor members unretire and get on one more bull.
Scharping brought Closing Time for 1999 PBR Rookie of the Year and PRCA champion Mike White to attempt, and the Minnesota stock contractor had some fun with White before he nodded his head.
White was beginning to get impatient standing around for most of the evening and said to Scharping that they needed to hurry things up so he could get his ride done and over with.
Scharping replied that White better be careful.
“We were standing back there and Closing Time was getting ready in the alley,” Scharping said. “I stand there and say, ‘Now, you get out of him and don’t (mess) around in the chute because you know what the re-ride is right?
He said, ‘No. I didn’t even know they had one.’
I said, ‘Yeah, it is the big spotted one in the back.’
He said, ‘Air Time? I ain’t getting on him!’”
All jokes aside, Scharping called Unfinished Business one of the coolest bull ridings he has ever been a part of.
“The energy in that place, the only other event that I have been to that replicated that energy and excitement was when J.B. (Mauney) won the world in 2013,” Scharping said. “Having them guys pick any of the bulls was really an honor. Just to be there and flank a bull for one of them guys was an honor.
“It was a very, very cool experience and is something that likely won’t happen again.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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