Flippin’ and Strippin’ by the Bulls at the Longhorn
It was a night of extreme action for America’s extreme sport as the bulls took command at the Texas Longhorn.
The open bull riding was a night to remember. It started with the first bull coming out mad and getting madder. Bull 12 from Shane Young’s pen of bad bulls of SYJ Productions allowed Johnny Minix to stay on board for about six rough, tough seconds. The bull kicked high twice, spun to the right hard, fast and spun Minix off.
Bull 12 is a stocky bull, black as midnight and mean as the devil. After he bucked Minix off he looked straight at the chutes, turned his head slightly to the right and saw Josh Barrentine standing by the gate.
Barrentine is a bull rider, but this night he was not on the books to ride, he was working the gate for Young. Bull 12 made a fast move to his right and caught Barrentine with his right horn. He flipped his head in a hard, quick move tossing Barrentine high enough in the air for his head to clear the chutes by at least a foot and turn him upside down. Someone on the back side of the chute managed to catch Barrentine and slow his head first descent to the ground, preventing injuries. Being a tough cowboy, Barrentine shook off the flip and went back to work pulling the gate rope, like it was all in a day’s work.
Craig Jackson was the second rider out. Jackson has a lot of time on the pro circuit and rides in open shows in between his PBR dates. Jackson was the winner of the last jackpot at the Longhorn, but this night Bull 33 was a little too cagey and caught Jackson a little out of position.
On a high kick, Jackson slipped to his right. The bull felt him move and shifted to Jackson’s left, too quick for Jackson to recover. A victim of centrifugal force, Jackson kept going to the right. As he hit the ground he heard the buzzer. It was one of those “almost, but not enough”rides.
Timmy Faul returned to the arena after healing from a broken ankle. Faul went off in about three seconds. “The bull moved into the side of the chute. That was the side my bad ankle is on and I did not want to put my leg that far down. I came out too quick and did not have a good grip with that leg, there was no way I could hold on,” said Faul. Faul’s comment shows how important a good position and grip with both knees can be to a rider.
Number four was Dillon Delaney. Delaney has been riding for most of his life. A lot of his experience came from the years he rode with high school rodeo. Like a lot of those participants, he is continuing to ride. This was a good night for Delaney. He drew number 101, a solid bull, gives a good ride and usually has no tricks under his horns. It is possible to ride him and win money on any night. This was the night for Delaney. The rider and the bull stayed together and matched each other move for move. When the ride was over Delaney had stayed aboard and earned 73 points in what would be the only covered ride of the night. Delaney went home with $730 in his pocket.
Hunter Bergeron followed Delaney. Bergeron’s draw was another solid bull, 220, that can be a money winner. Bergeron blew his chance. He was a mess when he left the chute and it got worse in the three or so seconds he was aboard. The entire ride was just a slide to the dirt. When the gate opened Bergeron looked like butter sliding off of a warm knife. It turned out to be the shortest ride of the night.
Hunter’s brother, Joey Bergeron, was the next rider. It was a bad night for brothers. Bad for Hunter, worse for Joey. Joey drew y-44, a rough, tough bull capable of making any rider have a bad night and bad dreams. For the first three moves, Joey looked like he had command, but Y-44 mutinied. The sailors from the HMS Bounty had a chance, but not Joey. He slid off of the bull’s left side and got hung up, which turned into the wreck of the night. Joey was hung tight and drug around the arena, about 60 feet or so total.
Bubba Tacker, the only bullfighter, moved in fast and tried to catch the pair. Hunter came flying out to try to help his brother. He was joined by several other riders and Barrentine the gateman.
At some point on the journey through the dirt, Joey’s belt came loose, then, his jeans opened. The dragging continued and as it went along, Joey’s jeans were drug farther and farther down his legs, to about the back of his knees. Unintentionally, Joey mooned the crowd. At the Longhorn you can get up close to the action, standing by the fence. Those on the front row had the view of “Bergeron’s Buns.”
Due to the ferocity of the drag, when it was over, Joey was lying stunned along the chutes. “Doc” Prado came running out and checked Joey for injury. After a few minutes, Joey was able to stand up, pull up his jeans, wave an arm to the crowd, and go to the back pens for a more thorough exam by “Doc.”
After Joey’s ride, the rest of the night seemed a little tame. There were riders new to the Longhorn, Derek Pickard, Shawn Palumbo, David Pickard, and Shane Seimien. Even though none of them covered, they all showed some bright spots and looked able to compete on any night.
Longtime Longhorn rider Josh Durant was in the middle of the new guys. Durant is in a slump, but coming out of it. His paring with Bull 100 looked good until the bull moved to the left and caught Durant unawares. The cowboy went off to his right. Being a left handed rider, it caused Durant to hang up. It looked bad for a while, but he was able to untangle his hand and get free by the time Tacker was abler to reach him.
Rodeo Director Coleman Peveto put another great show together at the Longhorn.
“We are having a practice team roping in the new arena tomorrow night, we hope to have the grand opening July 4,” said Peveto.
Always a crowd favorite, Boar Hog, Chipper Nance’s horse, took another night off and watched the action from behind the fence.