Murhpy’s Law at the Longhorn
Everything that could go wrong went wrong in the third session of the All American Series at the Texas Longhorn. It was as though “Murphy” had valet parked in the club and taken a front row seat.
For the most part the riders looked good for one move, maybe two, then they folded like cheap suits, slid off and kissed dirt.
There was a special session of the All-American Series at the Longhorn Friday night. Ray Cotton decided to begin holding the bull riding on the first, third and fifth Fridays of each month. The extra night made no difference. No one earned points or money.
None of the 12 riders on the books covered their ride. It was as though the mythical “Murphy” had blessed each rider and was on their shoulders as they entered the chute and mounted their bulls.
They are all capable of making a covered ride on any night, but not on any bull, as they showed Friday night.
Shane Young brought in a pen of bulls that had experience on PBR tours. They had the size and capability to give any rider a hard time; showing their stuff as they blew out of the chutes and put all the riders to the test.
Josh Barrentine led off the competition. He had one of the shortest rides in the history of the Longhorn. On the second move out of the chute Barrentine was on his way in an ignominious shot to the sod. It is doubtful the ride was two seconds long.
Jace Coleman drew R4, a new bull to the Longhorn. It was another bull born to buck. Coleman had his hands full as the bull blew out of the chute and then covered a good bit of the arena as he moved to his left and gave some hard bucking moves. Coleman hung tough for about four seconds, then lost his grip and went off on the left side.
Jonathan Brown’s bull spun out on his right side and continued a large circular movement as he kept bucking, nearly putting Brown on the fence. The rider hung tough, but 494 was too much for him and put Brown off in about five seconds, making his the longest ride so far.
Joey Bergeron’s best move of the night was keeping his jeans on. G161 spun out with a hard move. Bergeron got out of position and kept moving to the right as the bull stopped. Momentum kept Bergeron going until the arena floor stopped his downward movement.
The camera’s lens caught Timmy Faul’s mistake. The first move from bull G128 was a hard buck. The camera showed Faul’s riding hand open. Without a closed fist gripping the rope there is no way to stay aboard. Faul went off and stayed on his feet with his left hand hung in the rope. A tight turn of the bull’s head put a horn under Faul’s left shoulder. A slight push of his head and G128 was free of Faul. Bull fighter Bubba Tacker moved in and distracted the bull as Faul made his getaway.
Nathan Dupry survived two moves by his bull, but the third move started the wreck. Dupry went off and was on his knees with a good view of G91’s hundred pound head. All ended well as Tacker made another save.
Sterling Johnson survived three moves by 391, but then the storm turned into a wreck and he was hung and drug along the bull’s right side. Tacker came in and freed Johnson.
As Tacker was moving away 391 caught up with him and moved into the fence, trapping the bullfighter. Tacker folded up in a ball and was rolled by the bull’s head for several feet. 391 moved away and Tacker, dazed, got to his feet. Paramedic Mike Prado left his perch on the fence and got to Tacker giving him a quick check. The bullfighter was just dusty and dirty for the most part. He got ready for the next bull and “Doc” went back to the fence to watch the next ride. It was just part of the job for both of them.
Dawson McKee was paired with 911. With a fast spin out of the chute the bull put his behind in the air and McKee began to lose his seat. With a turn back to the left; 911 was low but fast. Somewhere short of the eight seconds McKee lost his grip and went down. There was a short possibility that this may be a covered ride, but it did not work out for McKee.
Landis Hooks, aboard 13, was off from the time the gate opened. He was out of position, hanging on, not riding. About five seconds into the ride, both of his hands went to the bull’s back and then in the air in an “I surrender” motion. It was the strangest ride of the night. Hooks ended the ride with both hands high in the air and was bucked off like you would flick a fly.
Brett Lejeune followed Hooks and was nearly off before he got on. Bull 321 left the chute with the right hand delivery, turned back to the left and Lejeune went off the left side with plenty of time still on the watch.
Kevin Glover survived the exit from the chute, but 1160 made his second move with his hind hooves about eight feet in the air and his front hooves hard on the ground. Glover went off the right side head first and hard to the dirt.
Neal Holmes ended the night with a fiasco from the first move. Holmes nodded his head for the gate to open before he had the correct position for his hands. His right hand was making contact with the bull as the bull came out of the chute. By the second move the arm was only horizontal to the ground, still not in the air. The third move was a stumble by the bull and the bull went to the ground with Holmes’ left knee under the bull’s left side. He requested a re-ride. The judges said he had “slapped” the bull and did not award a re-ride.
Holmes did not understand what had happened. True, he did not “slap” the bull, but his hand was in contact with the bull. The right hand was not “free”, it was a foul. Holmes left the arena in an irate state, not understanding what he had done and refusing to accept the judges’ decision.
Murphy’s Law was the only constant of the night.
The session ended with 12 riders with empty pockets, SYJ with 12 bulls that added to their buck-off percentage, no change in the position of the series leaders, and Tina Cotton keeping her $250 added money, ready to put it in the pot at next week’s session.
The schedule at the Longhorn for the next three weeks is bull riding on Friday, Aug. 7, an open rodeo in the new arena, Saturday, Aug. 15, and the All American Series finals on Friday, Aug. 21.
The pot at the finals includes the $2000 bonus and the custom designed Broken Arrow silver buckle for the series champion.