Summer bull-riding keeps the action going at Longhorn
The Texas Longhorn’s summer bull-riding series “Aces High” recently opened and runs through Aug. 29 at the club in Vinton . June 6, the night felt as if there was a party going on rather than just riding.
Amiee Breaux and Southwind opened the night with great vocals, music and a mix of songs from slow dancing to southern rock. One of the best bands on the scene in several years, the group’s concerts range from an upcoming date in Las Vegas, to Polo’s Lounge in Orange and several clubs in Beaumont.
William VanWinkle from the Hooknbull Ranch impressed the crowd with a fine collection of handmade ropes. It takes him 43 hours to make one in both right- and left-hand styles. Several riders there bought ropes from him early in the evening.
Rodeo director Coleman Peveto brought together judges Dickie Roberts and David Knight and bullfighter Guy Rivera; and Shane Young with a good pen of bulls from SYJ Productions. First up was D.W. Mabil, normally a good rider who got into some trouble right out of the pen with an upside that quickly became his downside. Next, Ron Faulk’s bull blew out of the chute and caught Faulk off guard. The bull moved one way, Faulk moved another. An upward move by the bull caused a downward move by Faulk and he joined Mabil in the “no score club.”
Membership in that club soon increased as Danny Dugas, Nathan, Dupry, Sterling Johnson and Caleb Smith also found themselves in the dirt.
Ales Zumbacher looked pretty good until the bull decided he was through playing. He stopped in about the mid point of the ride. Zumbacher looked like he was posing for a picture as he kept his arm in the air and the bull just stood there. Rivera moved in and slapped the bull with his hat and after a second or two the bull began to move like he had arthritis and the weather was cold.
Zumbacher was given the option for a reride, but gambled to take the low score of 45 points in hope of being the only one of the night to cover his bull.
Josh Durant, winner of the last buckle series, and Justin Wilson, new on the Longhorn scene, fell off like popcorn on a hot stove. And for Ben Baker, Bull No. 338 seemed at first to be on a break but soon came out with kicks and twists. He couldn’t shake Baker though, who won 77 points.
Johnny Minix and Dawson McKee were on bad streaks, with Dawson needed help out of the arena from a paramedic and four others. He was on his feet but looked rough.
Final rider C.J. Jackson was able to top Baker’s score by three points with a bull who saw a lot of action that night. Jackson hung on for every move and looked darn good doing it (scoring 80).
Jackson took $438 and a bidder earned $1,590; Baker bagged $292 and his bidder took home $1,060.
The next round of “Aces High” is June 20.For more information on VanWinkle’s bull ropes, call him at (337) 725-3447. Southwind’s Web site is www.sonicbids.com/southwind2.