No dull moments in latest ‘bull session’
The action at the Longhorn was fast and furious. Seven out of 13 riders covered their bulls making this one of the best sessions of the series. As the night went on the crowd never knew what to expect, from chute-fighting bulls to the announcer on the fence.
The third session of “Thunder on Hooves” at the Longhorn was the best group of bulls and bull riders to date. Danny Dugas was the first rider out and Dugas’ bull was bad-tempered and ready to show how ornery a bull can be. Dugas hung on for eight and scored 68 points, not enough to place. When the ride was over the bull went after bullfighters Bubba Taggart, Guy Rivera and Kyle Copeland; ready to assist Dugas but ended up going for the fence themselves. Copeland missed a head-butt in the butt by only inches as he made a fast run for the fence.
Jason Kirchner’s big white bull had some high kick with his hind hooves and a twisting motion thrown in for good measure. The ride ended with Kirchner, still on the bull’s back at the eight-second buzzer. With a score of 71 points, it would put Kirchner in third for the night and earn him $154.
Conner Wood drew a bull that came out and spun around fast. He was able to stay aboard eight seconds and earned 57 points, not enough to score, but a covered ride on the books.
One of the most regular riders at the Longhorn, Nathan Dupry, was next out. Dupry is a good rider and won last Longhorn riding series. However, this night was not his. Dupry was on a small black bull that looked as though he had a little Mexican fighting bull in his blood line. Dupry came out in a good position but lost his seat and ended up dirty and broke in four seconds.
Timothy Faul scored on his black bull. Faul hung on like a tick on a hound dog. When the buzzer sounded for eight seconds the ride was worth 73 points, second place and $231. A good night for Faul.
Nate Harmon’s bull was big-bodied and short-legged. When Harmon went down he ended up belly down on the arena floor. Bullfighter Taggart moved in quick and distracted the bull and gave Harmon time to get up and away.
Jake Webber made the crowd pleasing ride of the night; a good ride on a good bull. Webber countered every move the bull made and looked good doing it. His ride would top the chart at 77 points, taking first place and $385.
Rider number eight was Dawson McKee. McKee is a regular rider and a crowd favorite. He has made some good rides in past series and has had some hard luck rides as well. Friday night was one of those nights.
The bull came out of the chute in a low position. He was also a quick mover. Three seconds into the ride the bull made a twist with a high kick. That move threw McKee off balance to the right side. For a brief moment McKee was a sidecar. He went completely horizontal to the ground. McKee had hung on for the required eight seconds and scored 67 points for all his trouble.
Josh Carison, a new rider, had the hard luck draw of the night. The bull had fought the chutes all night. He had head-butted and backed out when they crew was trying to load him. He bellowed, kicked, stomped, and did every thing a bull is not supposed to do. By the time Carison was on his back and the gate opened, he was one tired bull. The bucking out of the chute was not as impressive as the fighting in the chute. Carison was making a good effort but the bull was so tired that his 50 percent of the points were lot. Carison covered but only scored 66 points.
Josh Durant, a past series winner; and David Stevenson, normally a good, solid rider; both had off nights. So did Billy Joe Griffin, who did not survive long on his bull. The kick and spin and twist were just too much to survive.
“Thunder on Hooves” is proving to be the best series so far. The bulls have been good and have given riders the opportunity to score good points. There have been several new riders showing up to shoot for the prize money and the $500 buckle at the series end.
Bidders in the Calcutta have won money each night with this past Friday paying $162 for first, $98 for second and $65 for third. Most riders were bought in the $20 to $35 range. It was a good return and if the bidding goes higher the return goes higher.
As a package, the series gets better each session. Rodeo Director Coleman Peveto works hard each week to keep the show going and make things better for the contestants and fans.
As the series continues it can be won by any rider. The point spread remains close and the riders are evenly matched. With no clear favorite the last night may be the one that determines the winner of the series.