Whitehead Memorial Museum 40th Annual George Paul Memorial Bull Riding presented by RAM Country Dodge, Ram Country Truck Center, and Ram Rodeo
DEL RIO, Texas (April 27, 2017) – Four time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer, Tuff Hedeman is making final preparations for the 40th George Paul Memorial Bull Riding presented by Ram Country Dodge that begins on Friday night at the Val Verde Fairgrounds. Hedeman released today the list of riders and prizes put together to celebrate the forty year old event in Del Rio that is considered the foundation of the stand-alone bull riding industry. This event is legendary, and one of the ultimate invitations a bull rider will receive. Bobby Paul changed the history of bull riding, establishing a multi-million dollar sport and led the way for revolutionary changes in the rodeo industry when he established the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding in 1977.
“We have enjoyed an amazing partnership throughout the years with Bobby Paul and our friends and fans and this year will be no exception as the top three ranked riders are battling for the number one position bull by bull as well as the entire 24 man field who are all trying to qualify for the World Finals, it will be great competition and entertainment second to none,” said Hedeman who coordinates every detail of the Road to Cheyenne nationally televised tour.
Aiming to win one of the two Ram Country Truck’s being awarded at the GPMBR is five time World Champion Sage Steele Kimzey from Strong City, Okla. Kimzey arrives in Del Rio as the number one gunner for Championship Bull Riding as well and as he is introduced into the Val Verde arena this year he receives high praise from the bull rider that has been in his position, four time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of famer, Tuff Hedeman.
“Kimzey rides fundamentally flawless, he rides with tremendous amount of determination and effort each time he pulls his rope and is the best bull rider I have seen in over fifteen years,” said Hedeman.
Kimzey who recently crossed the two million dollar mark in bull riding earnings, hopes to add his name to the wall of fame in the GPMBR office that features photos of his predecessors, but before he can wear the buckle he has to ride past several of the industry’s elite including two Mexican nationals.
“It’s coming down to the crucial part in the season. It is the time that everyone can either make or break their season. The top guys can establish themselves in the hunt for a world title and the guys on the bubble can clinch their spot to the world finals. With only a few events left there is no time to waste,” said Kimzey.
On his heels is the number two ranked bull rider of the CBR, Eli Vastbinder of Statesville, North Carolina. He is 180.5 points behind the champ. Eighteen year old rookie sensation Boudreaux Campbell is ranked in the third position with Jeff Askey and sitting fourth and Tyler Taylor rounds out the top five rankings of CBR.
“My game plan has not changed, I am looking for a CBR World title and every bull counts, I have to ride them all,” said Vastbinder who enters Del Rio riding seventy five percent of the bulls he attempts in CBR competition. “It’s eight seconds at a time and my job is to stay on each and every bull they give me.”
With Del Rio being the last regular season event on the schedule, all the riders are feeling the pressure. The CBR World Finals includes five rounds of action in two days which gives both of these cowboys and the number three young gun, Boudreaux Campbell, plenty of time and more bulls to ride before the $100,000 bonus check is awarded in July to the 2017 CBR World Champion.
The George Paul Memorial Bull Riding’s list of contestants includes three CBR World Champions, Kimzey (2014, 2016), Josh Barentine (2012) and Cole Echols (2013), five Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers including Joe Frost, cousin of GPMBR winner Lane Frost, two-time GPMBR winner Trey Benton, and Indian National Champion bull rider Cody Jesus.
The legendary event started with George Paul himself, the 1968 Rodeo Cowboys Association (now the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) world champion and world record holder of 79 bulls in a row, who died in a plane crash in 1970. His brother Bobby Paul, began producing the bull riding to memorialize the talented bull rider who eight-time world champion Don Gay described as the greatest natural bull rider ever.
Limited tickets are available for the two nights of competition. Friday night starts with 40 riders and ends with the highest marked ride of the night given the opportunity to get on the Bounty Bull, an unridden bull named T2 Texas Twist. The rider wins a RAM truck if he stays on the required 8 seconds.
Saturday night’s performance will feature the CBR’s tournament style format with 28 riders taking the dirt. The best 12 from round one will advance to the semifinals with the top four then competing in the Shoot Out round where the bulk of $30,000 prize monies will be paid.
This event is of major importance to the CBR Bull Team Challenge competition bulls and the bull rider athletes as the results in Del Rio determine who qualifies for the World Finals in both categories. The CBR Road to Cheyenne Tour ends in Wyoming July 25 & 26 at the historic Cheyenne Frontier Days where the CBR World Champion will be crowned. Along with the title, championship buckle and awards the world champion will earn a $100,000 bonus.
With 40 years of history and over $200,000 to be awarded in total cash and prizes, the GPMBR is one of the top sporting events in the Del Rio area.
The list of winners of the George Paul trophy buckle include names of legendary bull riders and world champions Lane Frost, Tuff Hedeman, Charles Sampson, Jim Sharp, Cody Snyder, Jerome Davis, BJ Schumacher, JW Harris, Hugo Pedrero, Trey Benton and Cody Teel. In the forty year history, several bull riders have had repeat wins at the George Paul and included are Denny Flynn, Charles Sampson, Lane Frost, Jim Sharp, Tuff Hedeman, Jerome Davis, and this year’s competitor Trey Benton who is in the elite club of repeat back to back winners.
But if you cheer for the bulls and enjoy the power of the “other side of the ride,” the George Paul is for you. Bull owners from all around the country will bring three bulls on a team that are featured during the first two rounds of competition. The chutes will be locked and loaded as the Bull Team winners on Friday and Saturday night have a big list of prizes up for grabs. RAM 2500 4X4 Super Bull Truck presented by the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding, sponsored by CBR and made available by Ram Country Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Del Rio on Saturday night plus a Custom Juan Jose Muñoz Andrade Saddle, $45,000 in prize winnings, a HyO Silver buckle, and custom Fenoglio boots. The super star bulls including World Champion and Wrangler National Finals Rodeo bulls will compete for points based on their performance in the arena and the team owner with the three highest-scoring bulls plus the time the rider stayed on will drive home in a new truck on Saturday night.
CBR has become known for their action-packed performances that keep fans on the edge of their seats and every time Tuff Hedeman and the boys return to Fort Worth it is always a great show! From having world class bulls matched up with super star riders, to upbeat music and entertaining professional barrel man Hippie Engelkes, the fans will experience a first class athletic competition with a few show surprises here and there.
This year’s event is the sixteenth stop on Championship Bull Riding’s (CBR) Road to Cheyenne Tour which pits the industry’s elite riders against the best bulls in three round tournament style action. Bull riding action gets underway at 8 p.m. Hedeman and the bull riders will remain in the arena immediately following the event to sign autographs from the arena floor. Fans are encouraged to get their tickets now as the show has sold-out in past years and is expected to do so this year.
Reserved tickets can be purchased for the April 28-29, 40th George Paul Memorial Bull Riding at the bull riding office, Val Verde County Fairgrounds located under the grandstands. The box office is open from 9-5, Monday thru Friday, 830-775-9595. This year’s two night performances are once again being held at the Val Verde Fairgrounds. Doors open at 5 p.m. with the bull riding getting underway at 8 pm.
Friday, April 28
1 pm to 4 pm – CBR Famous Energy Bull Fighters Meet and Greet Autograph Session, Ram Country Truck Center, 2804 Veterans Blvd, Del Rio
5 pm – Doors Open George Paul Memorial Bull Riding, Val Verde Fairgrounds, 2006 North Main, Del Rio
8 pm – Performance 1 of GPMBR
10:30 pm – Ramada Inn White Horse – Cowboy Mixer with Band
Saturday, April 29
Pool Party – Ramada Inn Poolside lunch with live music party
2 – 4 pm – Bull Rider Meet and Greet with Autograph session, Ram Country Truck Center, 2804 Veterans Blvd, Del Rio.
5 pm – Doors Open GPMBR, Val Verde Fairgrounds, 2006 N Main Street, Del Rio
8 pm – George Paul Memorial Bull Riding, 2006 N Main Street, Del Rio
For interviews, press credentials and more information please contact Leigh Ann Schroeder 940.902.1112 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtesy of CBR