Casa Ford Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding presented by Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino
EL PASO, Texas – Tuff Hedeman returned to his hometown to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the El Paso County Coliseum with his signature style two hour action packed invitational bull riding which kept fans and the World Champion athletes on the edge of their seats as the four-time World Champion and pro rodeo Hall of Famer delivered on his local promise of bringing what he knows the fans want to see – great bull rides and high scores.
At the end of the night in El Paso it was two Utah cowboy bull riding brothers, Tim and Tyler Bingham who battled it out for the win and in the driver’s seat was Tyler Bingham, who had the fans ecstatic as he literally hung on to the side of 169 Crimson King (Melton Bull Co) in the final Shoot Out round and took home the bulk of the $30,000 prize money, a new pair of Lucchese boots, a Resistol western hat and the first Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour custom engraved trophy buckle.
“It wasn’t pretty but I just didn’t let go, I could hear the fans who are so awesome here and they obviously love watching good – no great bull riding,” said the younger of the bull riding Bingham’s.
Hedeman who characterized Bingham as resilient had this to say about the cowboy who competed in San Antonio at 2 pm and then hopped a flight with five other bull riders to El Paso to compete in the Casa Ford Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding presented by Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.
“You are not going to come to these events and win unless you are a major league caliber athlete, 90 percent of the riders in his position tonight would have gotten a zero,” added Hedeman.
There are no guarantees in bull riding and Tyler Bingham earned the El Paso bull riding event title riding three bulls against the 29 man field of “invitation only” bull riders.
Throughout the event, bull riders and bulls went head to head in the three-round tournament-style sudden death format worth a total of $95,000 to the riders and the bulls entered in the “invitation only” event designed by Hedeman to enhance the fan experience. The format allows them to see their favorite rider challenge as many as three bulls in one night and the enthusiastic standing room only crowd witnessed 21 qualified rides from 29 top-ranked invited bull riders.
“In this format, you don’t accidentally win the event, you have to be at your best, you have to earn it, round by round and here in El Paso the knowledgeable fans appreciate that,” said Hedeman following the performance.
Four 90 points plus rides would define the first round and set the pace for the bull riding as past Navajo champion rider Tustin Daye took the round win with 90.5 points on 510 Blame it on the Whiskey (JQH). The first bull rider out, four-time PRCA World Champion J.W. Harris, set the pace at 87 points on cowboy favorite 59 Boomer flanked by Mike White for Harmon’s Elite Bucking Bulls. He was followed by qualified rides from Brett Custer, Trey Kimzey, Josh Barentine and Tyler Bingham’s first bull 3381 Wet Willy (Barker/Barnett).
“I was excited to have a rematch on Wet Willy, and he is small and has perfect timing, right into my hand in the gate, I have always like him and went 90 again on him tonight, I like the looks of him, he’s small but muscular and suits me,” said Bingham.
Two sets of Utah bull-riding brothers, Josh and Joe Frost and Tim and Tyler Bingham, were on the day sheet including NFR cowboy Joe Frost of Randlett who scored 90 on 26Y Savage Moves (Whisnant/Shaw). World Champion Mike Lee made the whistle with an 88 on C735 Jack Tar (JQH) as did Cody Rostockyj who made the gutsy decision to keep his 82.5 and declined the reride opportunity Hedeman offered. Rostockyj waited out the last section and his decision proved prudent as the score eventually advanced him to round two.
Appearing in his first professional event was 18-year-old Cole Skender of Hamburg, Arkansas who scored the first 90 of the night which rang the Whataburger bell for free Breakfast on A Bun for all in attendance at the sold-out El Paso County Coliseum.
“Cole impressed me tonight as he came to his first event. He’s the kind of guy that wants to ride all day every day and that’s what it takes,” said Hedeman who enjoys the mentoring of talented young athletes.
The Semifinal 12 man round got underway after a few extremely entertaining Cody Sosebee moments and a Casa Ford tee shirt throw, with 9 of the 12 hearing the whistle. The eldest Bingham, Tim, won the round with 91.5 points on 626 Karaoke (Harmon’s Elite). J.W. Harris made his case for advancing to the final four-man with 90.5 points on 20 Cadillac Jack (Danley). Fighting hard to survive with qualified rides were Joe Frost, Cody Rostockyj, and 18-year-old Brett Custer. Tyler Bingham safely turned in 89 points on 210 Chaos Ghost (Scott Winston/Melton Bull Co).
“When I saw the draw earlier in the day, I told myself if I rode Wet Willy that would set me perfect for Chaos Ghost who I have always wanted to draw. I saw a video of him with Kimzey going 92 or something on him and have always wanted him since then. He felt good, a little pushback action like the other guys had told me, but I thought he was awesome,” said Bingham. “Hang on” was the only instructions from veteran bull rider turned stock contractor Cory Melton added Bingham.
Shoot Out Round
With seven riders with two scores from the first two rounds, a minimum of 177.5 total points on two bulls was required to advance to the Shoot Out round where it could have had a four for four outcome with the riders and the bulls were what he referred to as legitimate athletes.
The rookies and young guns had ridden well in the first two rounds but the shootout round included three veteran NFR bull riders who advanced to the four-man. Three Utah cowboys were on fire tonight as they advanced with Texan J.W. Harris to the final round. Tim Bingham led the average and earned the right to select first setting up the battle of the Bingham boys he selected 12B Hellfire (Whisnant/Shaw). Tyler picked next and he had this to say about his selection for the championship round.
“I was going to pick the bull Joe Frost got on, but then after consulting with Tuff he thought I could be more points on Crimson King, but he would be harder to ride, so I listened and changed my mind and took 169 on Tuff’s advice. He was into my hand, boxy and I just hung on and I had terrible form,” laughed the newly crowned El Paso Champion.
J.W. Harris selected a new young bull 67B Bumble Bee (Whisnant/Shaw) who was lightning fast with increased strength and speed at every rotation and eventually took the power away from the World Champ at 4.07 seconds.
Next up was cowboy favorite Joe Frost who took 201 Harris’s Speckled Bird (Harris). In the end, it was Tyler’s ride on 169 Crimson King who had gritted it hanging off the side and willing himself back to the center of the bull to make the whistle and score 86.5 points. It was not a pretty finish as Hedeman said to the crowd presenting the check to the youngest Bingham, but he got the job done and that’s what bull riding is all about.
“Only one person can be the first winner of the first Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour and that is really incredible, it is one title I can say I have over Sage Kimzey, laughed Bingham about his friend 4 time World Champion Sage Kimzey. Bingham riding on invitation from Tuff Hedeman is currently one of the top 15 ranked cowboys in the PRCA.
Protecting the bull riding athletes were the bullfighters, the cowboy lifesavers, Bryce Redo and Beau Schueth who took the hits while they distracted the bucking beasts to allow the bull rider to safely escape. National Finals Rodeo entertainer funnyman Cody Sosebee returned to El Paso roaming the crowd, keeping them laughing and sparring with announcer and production manager Chris Rankin while giving away merchandise and prizes to unexpected ticketholders.
“I have either been competing or producing bull ridings for the friends and people of El Paso for over 25 years, it’s an honor to bring it back in February and be part of such an awesome weekend in the town I call home, this year’s event exceeded my expectations,” said Hedeman.
Social Media: Facebook and Instagram @TuffHedemanofficial.
Shoot Out Round
1, Tyler Bingham, Honeyville, Utah, 86.5 on Crimson King, $14,750. (Melton).
1, Tyler Bingham, Honeyville, Utah, 265.5 points on 3 bulls with total money earned, $16,000. 2, Tim Bingham, Honeyville, Utah, 181 on 3, $2,250. 3, Joe Frost, Randlett, Utah, 179, $2,250.4, J.W. Harris, 177.5, $2,250.
Complete round by round scoring results available via Leigh Ann Schroeder, 940.902.1112.
Bull Team Results
1, Jeff Harris, Rafter B, Rockin C, 286.22 points, $26,000. 2, Whisnant and Shaw, 285.6, $16,000. 3, JQH Bucking Bulls, 285.5, $13,000. 4, 283.02, Barker- Barnett, $8,500.
For more information contact Leigh Ann Schroeder – firstname.lastname@example.org, 940-902-1112.