by ProRorodeo.com | Aug 29, 2014
ELLENSBURG, Wash. – Forty of the top bull riders in the world are entered in the Xtreme Bulls Tour Finale here Saturday, where they’ll square off against some of the rankest bulls in the sport.
“Guys know when they come up here, they’ve got to crank it up a notch,” said Fred Boettcher, the PRCA’s bull riding director.
Boettcher, who was a six-time qualifier for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, picks the stock for the Xtreme Bulls events and said this pen is particularly good.
“We’ve got a really strong pen for Ellensburg,” he said. “What makes this event so good is the stock contractors bring so many good bulls – and they’re known for their rank bulls.”
While the bulls are expected to put on a show, the cowboys are fighting for their share of a $75,000 purse. If one cowboy were to win both rounds and the average, he’d pocket approximately $21,500.
The game within the game is that – especially with so much money to be won – all of the contestants can take a big step toward qualifying for the Wrangler NFR with a good performance here. And there are lots of young guns challenging the sport’s established stars like four-time World Champion Bull Rider J.W. Harris, who leads the Xtreme Bulls Tour standings with $47,738.
“Potentially, we’ve could have eight to 10 first-time NFR qualifiers in bull riding,” Boettcher said.
Among the rising stars are rookie Sage Kimzey, who is second in the bull riding world standings behind Harris and fourth in the Xtreme Bulls Tour standings. Other talented up-and-comers include Tanner
Bothwell, Brennon Eldred, Reid Barker, Brett Stall, Ty Wallace, Joe Frost and Tim Bingham.
“Bingham won the Division II Xtreme Bulls event in Dodge City (Kan.) recently and he’s become one of the best in the business,” Boettcher said.
Boettcher said a few of the most tantalizing matchups between man and beast at the Tour Finale involve Beau Schroeder on Four Star Rodeo’s Stink Eye; Chris Roundy on Calgary Stampede’s Gator; and Bothwell on Flying Diamond Rodeo’s Major Impact.
“The bulls are so good here, everybody has a chance to win,” Boettcher said.
The other stock contractors at this prestigious event are Corey & Lange Rodeo, Korkow Rodeo, Summit Rodeo and Western Rodeo.
The Xtreme Bulls Tour Finale has become a hot ticket in Ellensburg and has sold out the last three years. Tickets for the 8 p.m. performance may be purchased by calling 1.800.637.2444 or online at www.ellensburgrodeo.com. Ticket prices range from $21-$36. The Ellensburg Rodeo Arena is located at 8th & Alder Streets.
Fans can also listen to Steve Kenyon’s buck-by-buck coverage of the Tour Finale on ProRodeoLive.com.
Courtesy of PRCA