Five Year Veterans of the CBR World Finals Check In at #12
Corey Bailey and Mike Rawson
#12 Corey Bailey
Corey Bailey exploded on to the CBR scene in January of 2013 and rode his first CBR draw for 91 points in front of a packed house in Bossier City, Louisiana. The silent but strong Tennessee bull rider has made a huge impact on the CBR since that day in January finishing each year inside the top ten for the five consecutive years he has been affiliated with CBR.
This will be Corey’s fifth CBR World Finals in Cheyenne and for the first time in five years he enters Cheyenne outside the top ten rankings in the #12 slot. But being outside the top ten does not mean the Puryear, Tennessee bull rider is struggling. Bailey, who won his first pro World Champion bull riding title this year is the reigning International Pro Rodeo Association World Champion and had to learn to juggle multiple rodeo schedules this season. His 2017 ride percentage is 41.67 according to Probullstats which is just slightly lower than his best year of 2015 and 47.37.
Always aiming for the top and to win and always trying to be that number one man is Bailey’s mantra and he believes that is the foundation of his success.
Bailey’s 2017 Road to Cheyenne resulted in seven qualified rides from nineteen outs from eleven events. His highest marked ride was 91.5 points on Jeff Harris’s 231 Big Baby in the semifinal round in Lufkin, Texas.
He advanced to the semifinals five times, but came very close an additional three times bucking off three times after 6 seconds in the first round.
At twenty-five years of age Corey Bailey is one of the statistically most consistent CBR riders on tour. He may have begun slow and struggled a little this season, but he has finished in the top ten CBR World Standings for five consecutive years which is no easy task.
He has one Road to Cheyenne event title win and that was in Fort Worth in 2015.
His career best was a 92-point effort on Evil Knievel in Huron in 2014, but his 90.5-point ride on Boomer in Fort Worth clinched the biggest victory of his young career.
Bailey was also selected in 2014 as a Mahindra Young Gun bull rider spending the year greeting fans and signing autographs on the Road to Cheyenne.
A native of Paris in Henry County Bailey grew up around the sport and it was no surprise to those who know him he found his way into the professional ranks.
“I’ve been around bull riding pretty much my whole life,” he said. The late Sandy Burns was one of my mentors as was Ernie Roberts who was one of my best friend’s Dad. Mr. Roberts set up our first practice pen and we always practiced on Sundays, he taught me a lot,” reflected Bailey.
Bailey is a three time Bull Riding State Champion of the Tennessee High School Rodeo Association and also claimed the Junior Bull Riding Association State Finals title.
“My uncle rode bulls and it just grew on me. I started actually riding bulls when I was 10 years old and then slowly started kind of moving up. I went to junior rodeos my eighth grade year and won the Tennessee Junior Rodeo title. Then in high school rodeo I got third my first year, and the last three years I ended up winning state. Once I got out of high school I started professionally and went to some pro rodeos and CBR events.
#12 Rawson Bucking Bulls #2
Deep in the piney woods of East Texas lives a former bull rider turned bull man with his fifty head of bucking bulls – known to some as the 401K Bucking Bulls of Martinsville, Texas. Rawson and company has provided over 350 outs in his five year tenure with Championship Bull Riding and it is no surprise he heads back to Cheyenne this year with a team to compete in the CBR World Finals Bull Team Challenge.
After losing three of his regular team bulls, Little Shyster, Black Betty and White Wolf, Rawson’s year was anything but normal. Although he has several young up and coming buckers on the competitive circuits, his CBR bull pen was hit hard with injuries and death this year including the most recent passing of Swamp Dog and two young bulls this summer.
Rawson, who has won more event championship than any other single contractor (14), finished the 2016 season in Cheyenne winning third, sixth and tenth last year in the annual event worth over $300,000 which features field of 24 teams competing in Cheyenne. Rawson won the CBR World Champion Bull Team in 2015.
“Each year the team competition is more and more difficult, you have to have NFR quality bulls each weekend for the caliber of bull riders that are now on CBR tour,” said Rawson.
The former three time CBR Stock Contractor of the Year (2013, 2015, and 2016) won $49,000 total dollars competing with multiple teams on this year’s Road to Cheyenne and was the Fort Worth Bull Team Challenge Champion, but it his team labeled #2 that landed in the #12 spot on the CBR 2016-17 standings.
Rawson competed with team #2 in Laughlin, Nevada, Hobbs, New Mexico, and Bossier City, Louisiana gathering up a second and two fifths and $12,000. He used seven different bulls on team #2 with cowboy favorites 222 Yellow Wolf and 9100 Kojack on two of the three teams. 1711 Yabba Dabba Do rotated in at Hobbs and gave an 87.5 assist to Boudreaux Campbell as he won his first CBR event title.
Rawson preaches and believes a contractor has to have consistency, backups and although the stats say this team did not win a first this year, they came as close as anyone could in Bossier City when his total points (280.38) was only .8 points difference from the first place team. That team consisted of 9100 Kojack, J159 Leroy Brown, and 222 Yellow Wolf. Two of the three were ridden, both for 87.5.
With trust, honesty and friendship Rawson has managed and built multiple bull team franchises with various partners throughout the year, but more importantly he has the same relationship with the bull rider athletes that draw his livestock.
Rawson’s success has helped newcomers and veteran stock contractors find success in a higher plane of play where there is unity within the 60 CBR Bull Team owners who compete against each other on the Road to Cheyenne.
“CBR has a friendly atmosphere. All the stock contractors are good people and friends,” said the newly selected Stock Contractor of the Year, Mike Rawson of Martinsville, Texas. “I just feel so blessed to be part of such a special group.”
A favorite among bull riders, Rawson a former bull rider himself, understands and is known for his great friendship and “help everyone” attitude on the back of the bucking chutes and at home where he helps the next generation of riders who come to get on bulls at his pens. He is fiercely competitive, but never too busy to help a friend or a friend of a friend.
“I love all the people we are around, the other stock contractors, the bull riders, we all get along and love each other. I look forward to it each and every event,” Mike Rawson.
“It takes three good bulls to win the team challenge each event and that sets up a great atmosphere for the riders to succeed,” preaches Mike Rawson.
Courtesy of CBR