New Riders win the Money
Friday night at the Longhorn brought some new riders to the arena and three of them took the money home.
Travis Prejean led the show off with a short ride on a small bull. Prejean looked good out of the chute, but lost his balance and began a slide off the left side that took him down like jelly off the bread. He rolled in the dirt and got away before the bull found him and things got dirty.
Stormy Foster was next and came out leaning very far forward. That is usually trouble from the get-go, but in this case it was not all that bad. Foster managed to pull himself up to a mostly vertical position and hang for awhile. Shortly after the recovery, Foster’s bull made a hard right turn, then went back to the left and caught Foster off balance. Foster’s spring unwound and he hit the arena floor for a zero and no dough.
Trey Broussard and Dillion McNeil did not do any better. Their rides were nothing to tell Momma about and put no strain on the watches. It was just cases of the bulls pulling the riders down and shaking them off.
Josh Durant, a regular at the Longhorn and a former series winner, shot himself in the foot with a new bull rope. “I brought a new rope that was too long for the bull I drew. My hand was right at the knot on the rope and the rope was too loose. I could not get a good grip,” said Durant.
Under “normal” conditions Durant would probably have ridden his bull. When a rope is too long and does not allow the rider to have the rope pulled tight enough to give him a good tie in, the rider is handicapped. Durant will probably take a hard look at that rope before he puts it in his gear bag again.
Keegan Labry’s bull blew out low, turned back and went into spins in the pen, taking newcomer Labry down in about four seconds. His ride gave the impression of a new rider, but one with promise.
Cody Morgan drew a bull that came out with his back end high and the low end low. Morgan hung with the “come back up” and managed to match the bull move for move. When the buzzer buzzed he had made the ride and earned a fair score of 67 points. He would end in third place for his ride.
Jacob Omara had a tough break on his draw. The bull made three good seconds and then his clock wound down. The bull stopped about two seconds short of eight. The judges gave Omara 52 points and the option to take a re-ride.
In a situation like this the rider has to decide to either keep the points or give up the points and try again on another bull. Omara knew the only points for the night was Morgan’s 67, but there were seven other riders to go. Omara gambled that the 52 was not good enough and opted to take another bull after the last regular rider of the night.
The gamble paid off for Omara. His re-ride bull was a better bull and he made a better ride. The re-ride earned 79 points and would put Omara in second place at the close of the show.
Jacob Constance and Lucas Hayes both spent a short time holding the rope and sitting on the bull’s back. In less than three seconds each; both riders had come out and bucked off. Two zeros on the scoreboard.
Jeff Zapalac blew out on the best bull of the night. It was a hard ride and a long eight seconds but Zapalac hung tough and made the bull work hard to try to buck him off. After the buzzer and the judges added the numbers Zapalac had earned 80 points. That was the high score of the night.
Nathan Dupry, Timmy Josey, Terry Prejean, and Kyle Blanks all had the same trouble. The rides all looked good when the gate opened, but all began to fall apart in less than six seconds. There were some good moments in each ride, but unfortunately none lasted.
Bullfighter Bubba Tacker had a relatively easy night. No one got into serious enough trouble to require Tacker to have to bull his way in and unhang anyone. Tacker had had a couple of tough moments in the last two sessions and was glad for the respite this night.
Pickup Man Chipper Nance opened the show on the popular horse, Boarhog. Boarhog and Nance are always a great pair to open any show with, they are a powerful horse and a classic cowboy.
After the show, some of the regular gang adjourned to the restaurant. Miss Deb brought the coffee and the meals, while the rides were discussed and plans made for the next show down the road.
Bull riding will be back on Dec 18. It will start at 9 p.m. and be followed by a great concert by Eddie Money. For ticket information you may call 337-589-5647 or go to www.thetexaslonghorn.com