Listen to the Thunder ends with a surprise winner
The dozen riders that came to the Longhorn for the finals of the Listen to the Thunder series were ready to ride and take a shot at the buckle and the $1000 added money.
Keegan LaBry was the series leader with 36 points going into the session. LaBry was followed by Josh Barrentine with 29 points and Dillon McNeil only two points behind Barrentine with a total of 27.
It would be hard for anyone to take the lead from LaBry, but the run for the money was an open race. It would take a good bull and a good ride; but any of the twelve riders could grab the cash.
Anthony Williams was the lead off rider on a bull that was built like a tank. The heavy, short-horned black monster blew out of the chute and left Williams hang on for a hard comedown that left Williams laying in the dirt like roadkill.
Joey Bergeron and Paul England did not fare any better. Bergeron’s bull came straight out of the chute and made one pile driving move that shook Bergeron off like dandruff off a coat sleeve.
England came out on his bull leaning to the right and kept going that way until the ground stopped him. So far the bulls were looking like the winners, but with nine to go anything could happen.
For about three seconds Josh Barrentine looked like he might hang on his bull for a while. The small black bull came out with his rump roasts in the air and Barrentine hung tough laying back with his body straight and his left arm in the air for balance. At about the two second mark, Barrentine lost his seat after a short crow hop by the bull in the middle of the arena. Barrentine folded over the bull’s left shoulder and went to the ground head first. He was out of the money with a bump on the noggin.
Demarcus Wilson, Dillon McNeil and Tim Murphy all came out and went off without putting too much strain on the stopwatch. They are good riders with a bad luck night hitting them.
David Wallace moved into the area from Needville, Mississippi to work at Motiva in Port Arthur. “While I am here, I thought I may as well try my luck at the Longhorn. Who knows? I might do ok.” Wallace’s short statement proved to be the understatement of the night. His draw was a bull that probably only weighs in the 1500 pound range, but the bull had fire in his boiler. Black Ball blew out of the chute and stiff legged down on the first landing like he was trying to stomp to China. Wallace hung with him. The second move was almost a duplicate of the first with a couple of hard turns thrown in. Wallace was still hanging. By the time the buzzer buzzed, Black Ball had done everything except reach back with his teeth and bite Wallace off. The ride would prove to be the high ride with 71 points. With the added money the Mississippi bull rider went home with $888 to stick under his mattress.
Chris Coody did nearly as well on the mighty Mitey Whitey. The white bull moved out with a buck that started in the chute and brought Coody out high and forward. Coody hung with it. In the middle of the arena Mitey Whitey took a right turn with all four legs on the ground and looked for a moment like a barrel horse. Coody was hanging and the clock was ticking. Coody approached disaster just as the buzzer sounded. It was too close to call. Judge Joe Blackwell had the official stopwatch. Announcer Coleman Peveto looked at Blackwell and got the “thumbs up.” The ride was good. Coody ended up with 70 points, second place for the night and $542 for his pay off.
Series leader Keegan LaBry followed the two covered rides. It was a pretty sure thing for LaBry to win the buckle. Neither of the other two leaders had covered so he was pretty safe; point wise. He would not only need to cover, he would have to do better than 71 points to win the money. Any score would give him a taste of cash at this point with only two covered rides so far.
The fickle finger of fate wiggled at LaBry. He lost his right leg early on and went off the right side far too soon. No money tonight.
Timmy Faul came out after his convalesce. Being kicked by a horse held him out for a few sessions. Faul said the money was too tempting; he had to try to ride. It was good for four seconds. The rest is better left unsaid. No score.
Cody Wilson finished the night in an unspectacular fashion. Until he tried to get back on his feet and looked back and saw the bull’s horns heading for his hip pockets. He managed to dodge the bull and bullfighter Bubba Tacker distracted to bull so Wilson could make a clean exit.
Rodeo Director/ Announcer Coleman Peveto presented LaBry with the buckle and gave Wallace and Coody the cash and the series was history. All in all it was a good night at the Longhorn.
The open series will take a summer vacation until August.
July 24 will be the bull buck out with 40 riders entered to date. It will be one of the biggest bull ridings held in the area this summer. There will be some outstanding bulls and the bull riders that will that will try to ride them will be some of the best ever to appear at the Longhorn.
Watch The Record Newspapers for information about the upcoming Mark Chestnutt concert that is coming to the Longhorn Entertainment Complex.