“Thunder on Hooves”, the winter bull riding series at the

Texas Longhorn Entertainment Complex started with spins, bucks and spills

Friday Nov. 7. The series will run on the first  and  third Friday nights until the end of Jan., 2009.

Twelve riders signed up to ride some of the best bulls Shane

Young has put in the pen to date.

Some of the riders were new to the Longhorn, some were

regular riders and a few were some that have been away for a while.

The combination of bulls and bull riders was the best

session that has been in the arena. The new bulls and the new riders brought an

excitement to the pen as well as some good rides and scores.

First out for the night was Timothy Faul. Faul’s spotted

bull came out of the chute with a good charge and a strong start but cooled off

a little in the first few seconds. Faul scored 70 points on the ride. The large

share of the points was for the rider. The bull’s performance was average.

The second rider was new to the Longhorn. Clint Craig is a

past National Finals Rodeo qualifier. Coming out of the chute Craig looked like

he was a little too far forward. He recovered his position, got in control and stayed

that way through the bucks and spins that SYJ’s bull threw at him and ended the

ride with a respectable 82 points.

Regular riders Josh Durant, Daniel Jetton, Danny Dugas, and

Nathan Dupry had tough luck with their bulls and ended up short of the needed

eight seconds. They got zeros and no money for the night.

The seventh rider was a familiar rider who was absent from

the last series. Matt Alexander drew a stocky bull with short legs and a bad

attitude. Alexander’s welcome back ended up with him going off the rumble seat

like popcorn in about six seconds.

Rider number eight was newcomer Eddie Garcia. Garcia drew a

big-bodied black bull with stumps for legs and a strong desire to empty his

back. Garcia hung with the bull on every move he made and covered the bull for

73 points. The dismount was a rough one, but if you walk away with points it is

all worthwhile.

Garcia also made a fashion statement with his pink vest and

chaps and pink ribbons making a statement for breast cancer awareness.

The next three riders, Tim Murphy, David Stephenson and Joey

Bergeron all came up short of the needed eight seconds. Stephenson’s bull was

the bully of the night. The bull was black with big horns, a big body and a bad

attitude. After putting Stephenson on the ground Black Bart took his time

leaving the arena. He did not leave until he was ready to leave in spite of the

best efforts of the arena personnel to remove him. If you have horns like

pitchforks, weigh 1800 pounds and are mean as a mad mother-in-law, you leave

when you want to.

The last rider of the night was Dawson McKee. McKee is a

regular rider at the Longhorn and for the most part one of the most consistent

riders. Friday night was a good night for McKee. He drew a white bull that bent

like a Slinky, but he stayed with him and scored 76 points.

The night ended with Craig’s 82 points giving him first

place and earning $365. McKee put $219 in his pocket for second place and

Garcia’s 73 point ride earned him $146.

The series has a good payoff with $250 added money each

session. There is $2000 added money for the series finals. A $500

custom-designed buckle and the possibility of a $1000 bounty bull is there for

the top rider.

Ray Cotton is keeping his reputation of building the top

rodeo venue in the arena. Construction is continuing on the outdoor arena and

construction is starting on the new 40 room hotel.

There are also plans for a new RV park on the grounds.

Cotton is planning a full service rodeo facility and

scheduling is about to begin for events ranging from pro  rodeos to youth shows and  everything in between.