Bulls beat the boys at the Texas Longhorn
It was a night that only saw three regulars in the show. Keegan Labry and Dillon McNeil are past buckle winners, and Brett LeJeune is a semi-regular. The other six riders were new to the Longhorn. In spite of the night being light with only nine riders, it was a good night for wrecks and rides.
Brett LeJeune led off the night on bull “F.” LeJeune is an occasional rider. The match with “F” was weighed in the favor of the bull. From the time the gate opened LeJeune had his hands full. The first move by the big bull pulled LeJeune down to the bull’s shoulders and the next move popped LeJeune off like a cork out of a bottle and landed him hard on his butt in the dirt.
Later in the night LeJeune was taken to the hospital with undetermined injuries at the time of transport. Landing hard on empty pockets will do that.
Louis Blass was rider number two. Blass is a first time rider at the Longhorn. He and his brother Javier and Freddie Cervantes and Mexican bull riders. Bull riding is international and the minor differences in the structure of the riding in Mexico made no difference Friday night. Blass drew bull 88 and 88 put Blass off in short order.
Keegan Labry came out in the third slot. LaBry is a competent rider when he keeps his head clear. For this ride a clear head did not matter. LaBry’s bull came out of the chute, stumbled and went to the ground. LaBry was only slightly pinned by the right leg and was able to get away with no problem and no injury. The judges awarded a reride and LaBry came back as the last rider of the show.
The reride was a replay of LaBry’s last appearance at the Longhorn. He bucked off away from his hand and hung up. Thankfully this hangup did not last as long as the last one, but it had a few good flings and slings in the time it lasted.
Cervantes was next, followed by Javier Blass. Neither rider had very good luck. Both had drawn good bulls, but were just not able to hang for the required eight seconds. Hopefully these riders will be back. Coming in cold to an arena and a pen of bulls is at times a daunting task. The Blass brothers and Cervantes appear to be good riders and should have good luck in the future.
Lane Nobles came ready to ride and bull 318 had his work cut out for him to try to buck Nobles off. 318 came out hard and went into a series of hard, fast spins that were hard to counter. The change in direction gave Nobles a momentary shake, but he made a fast recovery. He was still in control at the buzzer and dismounted like nothing out of the ordinary had happened. The ride was worth 89 points. That would be the high ride of the night and give Nobles $366 to take home.
Dillon McNeil was out after Nobles. McNeil has a few series wins at the Longhorn and is a good rider, capable of a win on any night. However this was not a night for a win. McNeil lost a leg, lost his seat, and just sort of went to the dirt in a pile. All a rider has to do is lose concentration for a fraction of a second and it will send him home dirty and broke. McNeil will be back next go-round and be ready to matchup with another bull.
Colby Scallions is another new guy at the Longhorn. Scallions drew 222, a good bull on any night. As the gate opened 222 made a small crow hop and then moved about two thirds of the way across the arena. He then began to spin and spin and spin. No change of direction, just going so fast he and Scallions were a blur. Scallions must have added super glue to his rosin, because he never missed a beat. He ended up with 87 points, only two behind the lead. The two point difference could have been due to 222 moving across the arena that short time without any real action. Scallions gave a tremendous effort to stay seated and in control of his ride. Second place and $244 is good for eight seconds of effort any time. It would be good to see a matchup of Scallions and Nobles again.
Bud Bond was the last rider before LaBry’s reride. Bond has been riding bulls since he was a pre-teen. He has potential, but is unpredictable. Bond has to have his attitude in the right place and his mind on the job. Bond drew 04 for the ride. His first move out of the chute was good. Zero-four came out with his behind high and Bond hung like a pro. On the come-down, Bond hung tough. The second up and down was a little much and Bond started losing his left leg. That caused a loosening of the seat muscles, followed by the body moving back on the bull, then Bond’s grip loosened. Bond slid off the back of 04 and ended up in a pile on the arena floor. A fast move by Bond kept the bull out of his back pocket. Bond then went into his well-known theatrical show of disgust and frustration and hat tossing.
It was a good night at the Longhorn. The evening had started with a Calcutta. The bids on the riders went from a low of $10 to a high of $80. The bidders “bought” the rider and if the rider won, the bidder won. Mike Cormier, who operated the exit gate and most shows had bid $20 on Nobles. Nobles win also made Cormier a winner. The Calcutta pot of $180 went to Cormier, Making him a happy man.
Jan. 21 will be the next bull riding. The riding will start at 9:30 p.m. sharp. The bull riding will be followed by the Eli Young Band in concert. Details are available at the Texas Longhorn Entertainment Complex and will be forthcoming in the Record Newspapers. One ticket gets two shows.