Crimber Rounds into Form with Second-Place Showing in Tulsa

By: Darci Miller

PUEBLO, Colo. – John Crimber kicked off his new year getting the full New York City experience.

Before the Monster Energy Buck Off at The Garden, presented by Ariat, in Madison Square Garden, the 18-year-old threw t-shirts to the crowd at a New York Knicks game, rubbed elbows with celebrities at a New York Rangers game, and was tricked into going to Top of the Rock. (Crimber is afraid of heights and wasn’t thrilled about going to the observatory at the top of Rockefeller Center’s 70 floors.)

And then he got on bulls at the world’s most famous arena.

“It was just a cool experience,” Crimber said. “This is a good thing about PBR – they take care of you and take you to places like this, and it’s just a dream come true. Being in a building like this at 18 years old, it’s an unexplainable feeling, that’s for sure.”

His week in New York City may have been a dream, but then it was time to return to reality.

Crimber returned to action in New York after a hand injury kept him out of action for almost a month, causing him to miss three events.

“I went to the doctor, and I had a partial tear of some ligaments in my hand, and it was like I had no strength in my hand,” Crimber said. “It was bothering me, and it was a bunch of things, and I was like, ‘You know what? I need to stay out.’ More than I didn’t want to stay out for three events, I had to. It was a must-do situation.”

It was slow going for Crimber in his first two events of the season as he dealt with the injury. He notched the first premier-series ride of his career in Tucson, Arizona, but was blanked in St. Louis before doctoring out.

“First couple of events, I wasn’t doing very good,” Crimber said. “My hand was bothering me, and I had to go home and regroup. After being home for a little while, I was just ready to come back stronger than ever.”

He rode his first bull back in New York, an 85.5-point trip on Knucklehead, and got another one knocked down in Chicago the following week.

But it wasn’t until this past weekend at the Express Ranches PBR Tulsa, presented by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, that the Unleash The Beast saw the John Crimber that won 10 Challenger Series and PBR Canada events between August and October.

After accepting a 76.75-point score on Tulsa Time in Round 1, Crimber rode Mikey’s Surprise for 85.5 points in Round 2. He followed that up with the first 90-point ride of his premier series career in the championship round, a 91.5-point trip aboard Chateau Montelena’s Montana Jacket.

He would’ve tied with Dalton Kasel for the round win and earned the first UTB event win of his career had Joao Ricardo Vieira not ridden Flyin Wired for 91.75 points in the final out of the night, winning both the round and the event.

That championship round is arguably the best in PBR history, with seven 90-point rides.

“Well worth it,” two-time World Champion Justin McBride said on CBS Sports Network of Crimber’s championship-round ride. “I’m telling you, I am just in awe at how good the guys are riding. Montana Jacket has a fantastic day, and he just never bobbles. Not only does he not bobble, he dominates.”

“It feels amazing,” Crimber said. “It’s like I kind of got back to my old self.”

In a way, the hand injury may have been a blessing.

“It was very frustrating, but it was a thing that fired me up more,” he said. “And I think that now, I’m healthy, and I’m trying to go win a world title. That’s for sure.”

In fact, the weekend before he returned to action, watching his friends and competitors during the PBR Albany gave him that last little bit of motivation he needed.

“I was sitting at home, and I was supposed to go get on bulls on Monday,” Crimber said. “And on Saturday, the last day, I was just sitting there, and I was watching the event. It was the only event I watched (while I was out). And something happened to me. I started feeling something. I grabbed my bull rope, I put the bull rope in my hand, and I was like, ‘You feel good. I’m getting on tomorrow.’ So I got on a bull the next day and Monday, and everything felt good, and it was good to go.”

Now, Crimber is full steam ahead as he prepares for this weekend’s Kubota PBR Houston, presented by Michelob ULTRA, in Houston. Action begins with Round 1 on Jan. 26 at 8:45 p.m. ET on RidePass on Pluto TV, where Crimber will take on The Judge.

And don’t expect him to be taking any more time off any time soon.

“Now, it’s events every single weekend,” he said, “and you’ve got to be as healthy as you can to go win a world title.”

Photo courtesy of Josh Homer/Bull Stock Media

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