Bulls Bad, Bull Riders Hang Tough
It was a night of great action, Friday, at the Longhorn. Even though the bulls bucked off most of the riders, the riders gave a good accounting of themselves. With two covered rides, some hangups, and a kick in the head, the second session of the All-American Series was a crowd-pleasing, exciting night.
The pen was a little different, with some new bulls. Bull 123, AKA Blueberry Outlaw, was back and waiting in the back pen to come out and give his rider a workout.
Some new riders wanted to score points and get on the road to the custom buckle and $2000 at the series end. With 17 riders on the books and a pen of rank bulls, it looked like a good night.
Jason Morgan started the night with his draw, White Flash.
The gate opened and White Flash came out back end high, front end low. After the initial pile driving front end stomp and a tight right spin, Morgan was left on the ground looking at the behind end of his bull.
White Flash moved calmly to the exit gate and out of the arena.
Dawson McKee drew bull 531. McKee has ridden this bull before and watched him many times.
Both the bull and rider are regulars at the Longhorn. Familiarity means nothing when it comes to bull riding.
McKee was well acquainted with the moves that 531 usually makes coming out of the chute and thought he knew what the bull would do once in the arena.
McKee had a good chance to make his ride, but things often go bad fast with a bull. McKee was set for the bull to go right and the bull went left. Out of position and off balance, McKee’s move was off the bull’s back. It was good while it lasted, but was a few seconds short of the needed eight.
Timmy Faul followed McKee. The two riders had talked together before the rides started and discussed their bulls. Faul, like McKee knew his bull and knew the moves it usually made.
Faul’s bull came out of the chute, with his usual moves, but Faul’s free arm was not extended and he was leaning to his right. The bull felt that things were not right and took advantage of his rider being out of position.
Coming down with his forelegs stiff, he gave a hard kick with his back legs.
Faul’s knees were not tight on the bull’s side and the kick caused him to move to the rumble seat and he bounced like a tennis ball on concrete. The rest of the short ride was “bloop, bloop, blam!” Faul lasted five seconds. Most of those seconds were airborne.
David Pickard and Landis Hooks went out and off in less than three seconds each. Their bulls went back to the pens to brag in bull talk about how they did not have to work too hard to get their riders off.
Blueberry Outlaw made his repeat appearance at the Longhorn with Joey Johnson aboard. The great little bull with the Blueberry Wine blood showed that he was daddy’s boy. Two good moves by the bull and the rider was on the ground. No strain on the judges’ watches for this ride. It was over almost before their thumbs were off the button.
Josh Durant drew Big Red and came out of the chute on the big bull looking great. His position was good and the bull made an out move that was the equal of any bull anywhere.
It was hard to see what went wrong. Durant either lost his grip or his seat. He just went out of position and only lasted about five seconds. Durant is a good rider in a slump. He is due to break out at any time.
Timothy Josey drew Graybar. A good solid bull that does not usually make any particularly difficult moves. Nothing seemed to happen out of the ordinary. Josey just did not make the ride. The camera did not show that anything happened as the bull came out of the chute, but for some reason Josey was given a re-ride.
The re-ride at the end of the show would give Josey a second chance and it would pay off. On the re-ride Josey scored 80 points for first place and won $588.
Rodeo Director Coleman Peveto announced the next rider as Joey “Cheeks” Bergeron. Bergeron will be a long time living down the impromptu undressing at the earlier series. Once his bare buns were drug through the dirt and passed around online, that event will stick to him like super glue.
For the first four moves, Bergeron looked good. In spite of all the kidding, he is a competent rider. He just seemed to lose his focus. Hot Shot came out of a high buck and landed hard enough for his front knees to buckle just a bit. That was enough to shake Bergeron and put him out of position and on the ground.
Kyle Blanks, John Paul Reeves, Cody Winch, and Dillon Delaney all came out and all went down far short of the needed eight seconds. In another mystery move, Delaney was awarded a re-ride. His second chance did him no good. He bucked off that ride also.
Nathan Dupry is one bull rider that always has a smile on his face and just looks happy no matter what. His draw for the night was Tuff Stuff, a big bull with some strong moves.
Dupry hung tough for about four of those moves then he lost his seat and went to the ground. He stumbled and went to his knees under the bull. Tuff Stuff kicked his hind legs and his right hind hoof caught Dupry on the left side of the back of his head. The bull moved away. EMT Mike Prado was off the fence and across the arena at top speed. He checked out Dupry and kept him down for a few minutes. Prado then stayed by Dupry’s side as they walked across the arena and went to the back area.
Once it was determined that Dupry was not seriously injured the usual joke circulated about a kick in the head actually being good for a bull rider.
Devin Elkins and Jonathan Murray both went out and off. Nothing out of the ordinary with either buckoff.
The last regular ride of the night belonged to Joe Johnson. Johnson made a decent ride and covered his bull. Judges Dickie Richards and Jimmy Bergeron gave him 78 points. That earned Johnson second place and $372.
The All-American Series will end on Aug. 21. Mark Chesnutt was scheduled for a concert that night, but unexpectedly cancelled. At this time there will be no concert. The series champion will probably be decided at the last session. The riders are once again close in points. The bull riders and the bulls are always such a close matchup that anyone can win; there is never a series favorite.