Bull Bash Ends with no Suprises
It was easy to expect trouble for the top riders in the Longhorn Bull Bash series when Shane Young introduced a pen of bulls that had names instead of only numbers. This is usually indicative of bulls that have made one of the circuits of the Professional Bull Riders (PBR).
Coleman Peveto, rodeo director of the Texas Longhorn, started the night with the only Calcutta of the series. As he introduced the riders, he let them draw their own bulls from the available pen.
Chris Coody was the first rider to draw and the leader of the series. Coody drew “Game Over” for his ride. Peveto started the bidding on the pair at $20 and when the last bid was placed Coody sold for $55. Bids on riders stayed in that range until Josh Barrentine stepped on the stage.
Barrentine chose bull 666, aka “Slim” to be his opponent for eight seconds.
It appeared that someone knew something, either about the rider or the bull. Bidding started at the usual $20 level; then took off like a scalded cat.
Chipper Nance, the experienced pickup man at the Longhorn usually does not bid unless he knows a lot about the rider versus bull paring. Nance hung with the bidding for a long time. Other bidders, believing Nance was onto something, hung with him. The bids continued until $300 was reached as the winning bid on Barrentine versus Slim. When the Calcutta ended there was $615 in the pot for the bidder on the winning rider.
Peveto started the event introducing the riders. Nance and his powerful horse, Boar Hog, presented the American Flag as the National Anthem played.
The stage was set for a hot pen of bulls and hopeful riders.
Sterling Johnson led off the competition on “John Boy.” The bull made four hard, fast moves and Johnson went down in less than six seconds.
The pace was set for the night.
The next three riders went down in about the same time frame. The bulls were hot and hard to stay aboard.
Shane Forsythe came out on “Green Machine.” Coming out hard and spinning tight back into the chute, Forsythe slid off of the bull’s right side and was pushed back into the chute hard enough to bang his head on the side of the gate. Forsythe was wearing a rider’s helmet that probably saved him from serious injury. A little rattled, he was able to exit under his own power.
Josh Durant, two rides later, got in to trouble early. Durant was aboard “Head Count.” The bull made such a high, hard, buck, straight out of the chute, he was almost vertical. Durant slid forward a little, which got him off balance. He slid into the “sidecar” position on the left side of the bull and went to the ground. Unfortunately, the first contact with the ground was made by Durant’s head. The rest of this body followed suit. He lay unconscious when it was all over.
Bull fighters Bubba Tacker and Jody Pape moved in on Head Count and got him to the exit gate, while the other riders came into the arena along with the EMT, Mike Prado.
After a few moments, Durant began to stir, as Prado knelt down to check Durant’s condition. With the help from a few of his fellow riders and Prado, Durant was able to exit the arena on his feet. Hopefully there was nothing worse than a slight concussion.
In bull riding it is not “if” a rider gets hurt it is “when.” Luckily, most of the time the injuries are not too serious. Durant will probably have a headache for a day or two; then climb aboard another bull at his earliest opportunity.
The 10th rider of the night was Timmy Faul, the only rider that could possibly dislodge Coody from his first place position. Faul would have to cover his bull, Y20, and Coody would have to buck off of his ride. Y20 brought Faul out with a “crow hop” that ended in a pile-driving landing. Faul hung tough, but Y20 won the matchup. Faul spun off at about six seconds on the watch.
Regardless of how Coody, the final rider, ended his ride, he would be the series champion. Coody’s bull, Game Over, made the game over in about four seconds. Coody lost his seat and his grip about the same time. He went slipping onto the arena floor.
It was possibly the most unremarkable series winning performance in bull riding.
Nonetheless, Coody was presented the championship Broken Arrow Silver Company buckle.
Tina Cotton’s $2000 prize for the winning ride went unclaimed and along with the Calcutta pot will be added to the next series.
The surprise of the night was presentation of a special custom buckle by Ray and Tina Cotton to Chipper Nance. The Cottons had Peveto design a custom buckle for Nance in appreciation of all his efforts to make Longhorn bull riding a success. Connie Nance, Chippers’ wife knew about the buckle for three days, but managed to keep the big cowboy in the dark about the presentation.
Next on the agenda for Longhorn bull riding will be an open series. The first and third Friday night schedule will continue.
Work is progressing on the new outdoor arena. Action should begin by late summer. Ropings, barrel racing, youth and open rodeos will be added to the upcoming Texas Longhorn Rodeo Series.