The finals of the Ring of Fire Bull Riding Series at the Texas Longhorn will be Friday, May 16. The winner will get a $500 custom-designed belt buckle sponsored by Ray and Tina Cotton, owners of the club.

The top finisher will also have won prize money from the six bullriding sessions.
In addition to those winnings, the winner will also get the chance to ride the “Bounty Bull,” an un-ridden bull from Shane Young’s SYJ productions. The bull has bucked off 40 bull riders. It will be exciting to see if the 41st rider can stay on board for the required eight seconds.

David Self of David Self Ford in Orange and Winnie has placed a bounty on the bull and will be on hand with a $1,000 check for the bull rider if he makes the “eight out of the gate.”

The lead for the series has remained close and has changed several times. The bull riders are all close in points and close in their ability to ride.

For the May 2 session, Young brought a pen of three-year-old bulls. The bulls show great potential with great moves. For the most part, the bulls were some of the fastest that have been in the series so far. Three of the bulls had a great set of horns in addition to moves. The three kept the bullfighters, Cody Chaisson and Ted Smith, on their toes as the bulls bucked off their riders and Chaisson and Smith moved in to assist if needed. The horns kept everyone in the arena on their toes as well.

Announcer Coleman Peveto went to the fence on one charge by a bad bull and he was heard to ask, “Did I climb high enough?” Fortunately he did.

Club Manager George Ferris picked Friday night to enter the arena and video the action. Ferris was seen several times clinging to the fence with one hand and filming the action with the other. It is possible that the finished video will be a little on the shaky side.

The first two riders were bucked off in quick order.

Jonathan Minix was in the third spot and would be the third rider to hit the dirt. Minix made a lot of moves in the two seconds he was aboard his bull. Unfortunately they were all bad moves. Minix lost his grip as he left the chute. Every move of the bull moved him farther back on the bull until finally he hit the rumble seat and went flying into the air and nearly did a complete flip. His landing was hard and the look on has face was shocked.

Riders Four and Five went to the ground in about three seconds each. The night was not looking too good for the riders at this point.

Ron Faulk was out of the chute and onto the ground so fast it did not look like he even had a grip when he nodded for the gate to be open. Faulk’s bull blew out of the chute and moved about twice and Faulk hit the rumble seat and crashed into the dirt. It happened in less time than it takes to tell it.

Casey Stone, rider Number Eight, looked like he was going to make the buzzer for eight until one of those unfortunate things happened. Either he shifted his weight wrong or the bull countered his move. Stone slipped off the bull a fraction of a second before the buzzer sounded. It was so close that secretary Elizabeth Jackson had to look for the judge’s thumb to go down before she could give Stone his zero on the book.

The twelfth rider of the night was new to the series. Artie Guillory is only 19 years old but shows great potential as a bull rider. He has developed a good style of riding and is one of the most erect of the bull riders. In short, he just looks good when he rides.

Unfortunately his ride only lasted about seven seconds. His bull moved one way and Guillory moved another and there was daylight under Guillory’s seat and it was all over. His dismount was as dignified as his ride and he landed on his feet. There is no doubt that he would have had the best ride of the night if he had made the buzzer.

Josh Durant came out and covered his bull. It took 13 riders before the SYJ bulls were covered. Durant did not ride as much as he just hung on for eight seconds. The judges, Terry Alleman and Peanut Bullion, were not impressed. The score was only 55 points. However, because the last two riders were also dirt-eaters, 55 points was worth $770 for Durant.

The Calcutta paid off $1,600 since there was only one rider placing Friday night. The Calcutta is an auction that offers the fans the chance to bid on a rider. If the rider places in the night’s action, the Calcutta winners split the pot from the auction. There will be a Calcutta on the night of the Finals, May16. The pots on the Calcutta’s have increased each time and the series final will be no exception. May 16 promises to be an exciting night with a lot of action.