The bulls are back at the Longhorn
Friday night bull riding at the Texas Longhorn started back last Friday night. Rodeo Director Coleman Peveto had his hands full with 25 bull riders and three bull fighters.
There was also the largest Friday night crowd since the bull ridings went on a hiatus for a few months. It appeared as though the popular bull riding venue had been missed.
Nearly half of the 25 riders were new to the Longhorn, they were a good mix with the returning regular riders such as Josh Barrentine and Chris Coody, former series champions and buckle winners.
Timmy Faul led off the night with a paring with bull M-4. M-4 eased out of the chute and went into a crow hop on his second move. Faul had come out good and then his old nemesis hit him. Faul started leaning to the left after the hard landing from the crow hop and that was the beginning of the end. Faul never regained his posture and slid off of M-4’s left side at about the five second mark.
Louis Blas, the fifth rider, had a bunch of bugs in his britches. Bull 77 brought his back end up high enough to walk under his hind hooves. Blas was unprepared for a move of such dexterity. He was not able to get his body leaning far enough back to counter the move. As a result, before the watch hit three, he was off and in bad position for the landing. Blas hit the ground and moved like a cross between a worn and a cork screw. He was crawling and rolling to get away from 77. As he finally got to the fence and attempted to roll under it it became apparent that he was injured. His bad landing had either badly sprained or fractured his left ankle.
When riding a bull, it is as important to be able to get off as well as get on. Bad body position on the dismount or buck off often causes the rider to end up with emergency room charges in addition to his entry fee.
Things were better for Chris Coody, who followed Blas. Coody drew bull 132. The image of the massive, muscled bull with majestic horns did not fit 132. Bull 132 has horns that turn down each side of the face making the bull look as though Basset Hound genes hit the horns. For all of his strange appearance and less than massive size, 132 gave Coody a good ride. None of his bucks were impressively strong, but his spins were hard and fast. He was a good bull and Coody was ready for him. Judges Teddy Allman and Dickie Richards gave Coody a score of 81 points. As the night went on the 81 points would only place Coody fifth. Coody pocketed $58 dollars, enough to cover his entry fee and a couple of beers.
Rider number ten, Landis Hooks, came out aboard M-8. The ride was a good average ride for both bull and rider and gave Hooks 82 points and fourth place. Hooks put $169 in his pocket.
The fourteenth rider, Dustin Bridges would be the next rider to score. Bridges drew the big, white, bull 16 for his partner. 16 is young and a little green, but he showed that he has a great future. He took Bridges on a tour of the pen from the chute to the gate. He made some high moves and spun like a top. Every move he made, Bridges was able to handle well. Bridges would score 84 points and nab third place and $226.
Josh Barrentine riding in the number 18 position caught the back of bull 6. Barrentine is a tall rider and is prone to being slung around a bit due to his height. 6 did everything he could to make things tough for Barrentine. 6 moved up and down and side to side and around and around. Barrentine just hung with him like they were dance partners. When the fire went out and the smoke cleared, Barrentine had earned 92 points and second place, along with $282.
Two slots later Kyle Banks hit the arena aboard H-35. Not an overly large bull, he also has stubby legs.
The power plant has to have a little dynamite of some other propellant for the bull to move as he does. When he comes out of the chute and makes his next two moves it is evident that if a rider can hang till the whistle he is going to make points. Banks is a good rider that at times hits slumps in his riding. Not on this night. Banks looked like he had been practicing with H-35 in the back pen. Maybe he promised the bull some sweet feed or some other enticement. Whatever happened, it was Banks night to shine. He hung with every move and waited for the next one. It was the best eight seconds of the night and the judges thought so too. Banks won the night with 93 points and put $395 in his gear bag.
It was a great night to be in attendance at the Longhorn. There were so many wrecks that the three bullfighters, Bubba Tacker, Dillon Y’Barbo, and Lance Coleman stayed rather busy. They were either blocking bulls, teasing bulls away from riders, or climbing fences to avoid a hooking. Cowboy protection is what they do and all three do it well. It gives every rider a warm fuzzy feeling to be around such competent bull fighters.
Peveto puts his shows together with the desire to use fair, experienced judges and bull fighters that know the ins and outs of cowboy protection. Like any other sport, there are off days, but Peveto goes the extra mile to put together a good package for both the riders and the fans.
One rabbit that Peveto has pulled out of his black hat has been the ability to book his friend Don Gay for bull riding schools. Gay was at the Longhorn for a school on Sunday, Nov. 14 and will be coming back for another school on Saturday, Dec. 18. Gay is an eight time champion bull rider and is one of the best known announcers and commentators in bull riding and rodeo today. The chance to attend one of his schools in an opportunity that any bull rider will not want to miss. The school will be held in the indoor arena in the club.
If Gay’s schedule permits, he will make an appearance at the next scheduled bull riding on Friday, Dec. 17. If you have never met or heard Gay do his thing at a rodeo or bull riding, be at the Longhorn for a treat.