Eldred Earns the Highest Score of the Season to
Win the 39th George Paul Memorial Bull Riding
With winning on his mind, Brennon Eldred of Sulphur, Oklahoma, turned a frustrating buck off during the first night Del Rio into a three round winning performance and a 94 point ride to win the 39th George Paul Memorial bull riding presented by Ram Country of Del Rio.
“This is the most prestigious event we come to all year long and the last event in the season so I wanted to finish strong to put myself in the mix for contention of the World Title,” said Eldred who quickly became surrounded with fans as he left the arena.
In a field of 30 riders featuring three World Champions and 12 National Finals Rodeo qualifiers, Eldred was one of only two riders to cover three bulls on a night where the fans in the overflowing stands saw fifteen qualified rides and 47 spectacular bulls.
In an event known as the “Super Bull” of bull riding, Eldred knew he had to elevate his level of play in the shoot out round to win. In his mind Cowtown Cartel was the rankest bull on the draw.
“He fit me best and he was the rankest bull in there, and I don’t count on Cody Teel, Jacob O’Mara or any of the others in the four man to stub their toes and fall off, so to win I had to pick the rankest, you have to pick the best,” continued Eldred.
Using the last words he heard for motivation, Eldred rode Cowtown Cartel for a heart-stopping 94 point exhibition of grit, grind and determination.
“Stay to the front, this bull is going to get you raised up and then slam you,” is what Eldred heard from four time World Champion Bull Rider and Pro rodeo hall of famer Tuff Hedeman.
“I consider Hedeman a good friend, he fires me up, and everything he says is correct, he’s one of the all-time great bull riders and 90 percent of the time if I do what he tells me it works out.”
With eight qualified rides in round one, Eldred won the round with 89.5 points on a new bull from Mike Rawson, Bad Black who he had heard about but never seen. Cody Teel held the lead with 88.5 on Moadivator (Moad Cattle) until the final section of the round where O’Mara turned in 89 points on The Abyss (JQH) followed by Bailey and Eldred’s 89.5 with the back judge’s nod towards Eldred for the tie-breaker.
With the words Super Bull in the history of the event and on the minds of chute boss, Tuff Hedeman and the stock contractors providing the bull power, the bulls continued to control the action. After the first three riders bucked off, three time highest marked ride champion in Del Rio and fan favorite, Chandler Bownds rode Straight 8 (Championship Pro Rodeo) for 88 points and Lane Toon was 89 points on 011 Hondo (Rawson) on a re-ride opportunity.
Four more riders bucked off before the 2015 GPMBR Champion and reigning CBR World Champion, Cody Teel excited the crowd when he took Uptown Funk (Knapp) for a 90-point rematch spin. With three of the top 5 CBR ranked riders left on the draw, Teel watched Jacob O’Mara turn in a 91 point effort on one of the most storied bucking bulls in the industry, 626 Karaoke from Mike White’s Elite Buckin Bull team.
As the average leader, Eldred was last and he had a rematch, a bull he bucked off of his rookie year, 9103 Red Solo Cup. Continuing to visualize the GPMBR buckle, he and 9103 teamed up for 92.5 points and the second round win for Eldred of the night.
With four outs left of the legendary George Paul Memorial Bull Riding, Eldred knew if given the opportunity he would pick William Barnett’s Cowtown Cartel as his ride to the top.
“I wanted to ride the rankest bull here and tonight I got the opportunity and I picked him, I felt like that bull was going to fit me so that is what I went with. Coming in being fifth in the world standings, I was upset with myself I wanted to finish as strong as I could,” said Eldred.
O’Mara, 180 points on two, selected a rematch on Mike Rawson’s Yellow Wolf, which put Cody Teel who was 178.5 on two to select next. Teel went with a bull making his first appearance on the Road to Cheyenne, Valedictorian from Cory Melton and Winston Loe. Bailey, who was 89.5 in round one was last so he had Melton’s Crimson King.
The crowd fell silent as Bailey bucked off quickly. With the fans in a frenzy to witness a back-to-back win from Teel, he made two Super Bull moves during his 6.44 second ride on Valedictorian, the rookie bull from the former professional bull rider.
With O’Mara and Eldred loaded in the chutes, O’Mara would come out on Yellow Wolf and tap him out at 87.5 points.
With Hedeman and 39 years of bull riding history in his head, Eldred stuck to the bull for 8 seconds and accomplished what no other rider had been able to do during the 2016 Road to Cheyenne…. get a score on Cowtown Cartel and add his name to the list of prestigious winners of the GPMBR.
World Title Race
The race for the 2016 CBR World Championship title took a drastic turn in Del Rio. Although no one could bump the champ from the top ranking, Kimzey at 1,942 now has several bull riders within striking distance of the World Championship trophy, buckle, and $100,000 bonus check.
Jacob O’Mara is now 356 points away from the title after riding three bulls in Del Rio. Eldred’s event win on three bulls tucks him in at third with 1522.5 points, 419.5 points away from the title, and the reigning World Champion, Cody Teel is still alive in the race with 1494.5 points. Rostockyj falls to No. 5 with 1,412.50 points after a first or second place ranking for the majority of the 2016 season.
Bull Team Challenge
With 12 rookie riders on the day sheet, even more bulls were making their first appearance on the Road to Cheyenne. The bovine big guns in the back pen were locked and loaded for the CBR’s final bull team competition of the 2016 Road to Cheyenne. With points and a trip to Cheyenne on the line, Rhon Brown and Bubba Storey’s D4 Cattle Co finished on top.
College friends and fishing buddies who teamed up to compete on the Road to Cheyenne won $20,000 in their third event and rookie season with CBR.
Brown’s project, Big Lew, whom he took off the competitive circuit and developed for the big leagues was a super star bucking in both performances in Del Rio. He anchored the team with an 89 4 judge score as he bucked off Koby Radley in the semifinal round in 3.57 seconds. Corey Bailey got him on the board with 89.5 points in round one on War Tiger. D4 cleared the field by more than 3 points with a total score of 284.78. Rawson and Probst were second with two qualified rides including a rank Bad Black trip accomplished by Brennon Eldred. JQH was third with one qualified ride and two 88 bull scores. Elite Buckin Bulls finished third with Karaoke’s 91 point contribution to Jacob O’Mara’s semifinal score.
Next stop Cheyenne
The CBR 2016 regular season has come to a close and all eyes are on Cheyenne Frontier Days for the two night performance of the CBR World Finals on July 25 - 26. Tickets are available at cfdrodeo.com and start at $29.00.
Shoot Out Round
1, Brennon Eldred, 94 points on 2079 Cowtown Cartel (Barnette) $11,862.50. 2, Jacob O’Mara, 87.5 pts, 222 Yellow Wolf (Rawson), $8, 6375.50. 3, Cody Teel, 0, 26 Valedictorian (Melton). 4, Corey Bailey, 0, 169 Crimson King (Melton).
1, Eldred 93.5 points on Red 9103 Solo Cup (Silent 7). 2, Jacob O’Mara 91 pts, 626 Karaoke, (Elite) 3, Cody Teel, 90 pts, 128 Uptown Funk (Knapp) 90. 4, Toon, 89 pts on reride, 011 Hondo (Rawson) 5, Chandler Bownds, 88 pts, 151 Straight 8 (Championship Pro Rodeo/Murphy).
1, (Tie) B. Eldred 89.5 pts on 61 Bad Black (Rawson/Probst), C. Bailey, 89.5 points on 108 War Tiger (D4). 3, Jacob O’Mara, 89 pts, 651 The Abyss (JQH). 4, Cody Teel, 88.5, 20Z Moadivator (Moad). 5, Koby Radley, 87.5,122 Shystie (Rawson). 6, Tim Bingham, 85.5 086 Up N At Em (Cunningham/Scoggins). 7, Neil Holmes, 84, 24 Line Back (Harris). 8, Eli Vastbinder, 82, CR Corpus Red (Knapp).
1, Brennon Eldred, $14,112.50. 2, Jacob O’Mara, $8,637.50. 3, Cody Teel, $2,250. 3, Corey Bailey, $2,250.
Bull Team Challenge Results
1, D4 Cattle Co., 284.78, $20,000. 2, Rawson/Probst, 281.57, $12,000. 3, JQH Bucking Bulls 2, 278.32. $8,000 84, Elite Buckin Bulls 4, 276.43, $5,000
Champion Bull - 2079 Cowtown Cartel, Burleson-Barnett 94 points (Eldred)
Bull of the Event - 243 Breaking Bad, Hurst Pro Rodeo, 4 judge rank score = 90 points (Vastbinder, 1.54 seconds)
No. 1 Bull Rider in the World Heads to Del Rio
39th George Paul Memorial Bull Riding presented by RAM Country Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM
DEL RIO, Texas, (April 27, 2016) – When the No. 1 ranked bull rider in the world for both Championship Bull Riding (CBR) and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) pulls out of his driveway and heads south to Texas, he has three gold buckles to choose from when packing his gear. This week he is traveling to Del Rio, the last regular season stop on the CBR’s Road to Cheyenne televised tour, in an effort to win the one piece of hardware that his collection does not include, the George Paul Memorial hand crafted Juan Munoz Andrade buckle that is the exact replica of the previous 38 buckles awarded since the event began. Kimzey has competed twice at the George Paul, but this year and this event are different. The oldest continuous bull riding competition in the world, the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding, is the benchmark of stand-alone bull riding in the United States.
Sage Kimzey is a twenty-one year old bull rider that is the 2014 CBR World Champion and the reigning 2015 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association World Champion Bull Rider from Strong City, Oklahoma. Kimzey burst on the professional bull riding scene in 2014 winning an event-record-tying four rounds of the 2014 National Finals Rodeo (NFR), which secured him the average title and his place in history by becoming the second rookie bull rider in history to ever win a gold buckle. He also took home the Ram Truck Top Gun Award that year for his record breaking earnings, placing his overall 2014 season earnings over $300,000.
Kimzey’s 2015-16 CBR and PRCA seasons have been star studded as well with super-sized wins at CBR Bossier City, San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, Rodeo Houston, the Calgary Stampede, the Pendleton Round-Up and his PRCA 2015 season by becoming the only bull rider in history to win the PRCA World title in both his rookie and sophomore season.
Kimzey’s first quarter in 2016 has him on the same trajectory path as previous years. Creating his own version of March Madness, Kimzey banked over $100,000 during the month of March alone and currently sits at the top of the leaderboard in pro rodeo bull riding earnings.
Kimzey arrives in Del Rio as the number one gunner for Championship Bull Riding as well and as he is introduced into the Val Verde arena this year he receives high praise from the bull rider that has been in his position, four time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of famer, Tuff Hedeman.
“Kimzey rides fundamentally flawless, he rides with tremendous amount of determination and effort each time he pulls his rope,” said Hedeman.
Kimzey hopes to add his name to the wall of fame in the GPMBR office that features photos of his predecessors including the 2015 defending GPMBR champion, World Champion Cody Teel who is also competing this weekend. Teel and Kimzey who battled last year for three rounds in Del Rio are both entered in the Friday and Saturday performances of the GPMBR, but this year’s event is not just between the two World Champions.
CBR Horizon Champion and top ten PRCA cowboy, Cody Rostockyj, the No. 2 ranked rider who held the CBR lead from August until late in February wants to be back on top. But Rostockyj and Kimzey have to get past the hottest bull rider on the circuit, Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s Jacob O’Mara who has won three CBR event titles on the 2016 Road to Cheyenne.
The legendary event started with George Paul himself, the 1968 Rodeo Cowboys Association (now the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) world champion and world record holder of 79 bulls in a row, who died in a plane crash in 1970. Ten years after his death, his brother began producing the bull riding to memorialize the talented bull rider who eight-time world champion Don Gay described as the greatest natural bull rider ever.
Limited tickets are available for the two nights of competition. Friday night starts with 40 riders and ends with the highest marked ride of the night given the opportunity to get on the Famous Energy Bounty Bull, an unridden bull named Cowbanger. The rider wins a $10,000 bonus if he stays on the required 8 seconds.
Saturday night’s performance will feature the CBR’s tournament style format with 26 riders taking the dirt. The best 12 from round one will advance to the semifinals with the top four then competing in the Shoot Out round where the bulk of $30,000 prize monies will be paid.
This event is of major importance to the CBR Bull Team Challenge competition bulls and the bull rider athletes as the results in Del Rio determine who qualifies for the World Finals in both categories.
The CBR Road to Cheyenne Tour ends in Wyoming July 25 & 26 at the historic Cheyenne Frontier Days where the CBR World Champion will be crowned. Along with the title, championship buckle and awards the world champion will earn a $100,000 bonus.
With 38 years of history and over $137,500 to be awarded in total prize money on the line, the 2016 GPMBR is the top sporting event in the Del Rio area.
The list of winners of the George Paul trophy buckle include names of legendary bull riders and world champions Lane Frost, Tuff Hedeman, Charles Sampson, Jim Sharp, Cody Snyder, Jerome Davis, BJ Schumacher, JW Harris, Hugo Pedrero, Trey Benton and Cody Teel. In the thirty-eight year history, several bull riders have had repeat wins at the George Paul and included are Denny Flynn, Charles Sampson, Lane Frost, Tuff Hedeman, Jim Sharp, Jerome Davis, and Trey Benton.
Reserved tickets can be purchased for the April 29-30, 39th George Paul Memorial Bull Riding at the bull riding office, Val Verde County Fairgrounds located under the grandstands. The box office is open from 9-5, Monday thru Friday, 830-775-9595. General Admission tickets can be purchased at Del Rio Feed and Supply, 111 East Gibbs, Cowboy John’s 611 East Gibbs and C&S Western Wear, 2200 Veterans Blvd. Performance times are 8PM Friday and Saturday nights, April 29-30. For a list of previous winners go to http://www.georgepaulmemorialbullriding.com/bullriders.htm
Location: Ram Country Dodge, 3611 Veterans Blvd, Del Rio, Texas
Friday, April 29
2 pm – 3 pm - Craig Check and Matt Baldwin
3 pm – 4 pm – Bull Riders Cody Rostockyj and Juan Alonzo
Saturday, April 30
Location: Ram Country Dodge, 3611 Veterans Blvd, Del Rio, Texas
1:00 pm - Three time World Champion bull rider Sage Steele Kimzey
2 to 3 pm – Bullfighters Craig Check and Brandon Loden
3 to 4 pm – Bull Rider Juan Alonzo
The 39th George Paul Memorial is presented by Title Sponsor, Ram Country Dodge. Other sponsors include Ramada Inn, Tractor Supply and Del Rio Feed and Supply.
Bull or No Bull
Four of the industry’s leading bucking bulls appearing at the
George Paul Memorial Bull Riding
Whether bucking bulls are beloved for their statistical production or admired for athleticism, the most popular bulls in the industry usually leave a lasting impression on the fans as well as the riders. Each year hundreds of bucking bulls are selected by Tuff Hedeman to compete On the Road to Cheyenne and after a 574 outs during the 2015-16 season, the four time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer narrowed his contenders for Bull of the Year down to 10 bulls.
Four of the elite 10 will be in Del Rio for the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding, the final stop on the Road to Cheyenne offering ticketholders a rare glimpse of some of the most storied buckers on the professional circuits.
Here is a look at the bull of the year nominated super stars that you can see perform at the Val Verde Fairground on April 29 and 30th. Who gets your vote?
CR Corpus Red
Talent and passion are the main ingredients of an athletic champion and CR Corpus Red, the big horned bucker owned by J.C. and Amber Knapp has both. Corpus Red can best be described as a modern day bull with his own Facebook page and 9,180 friends that follow his journey.
This lovable red bull made his CBR debut in late-2011 and has been extremely, if not the most, consistent bull on the Road to Cheyenne tour.
He has been ridden only 11 of 40 attempts, but 7 of those attempts were for 90 points or more. He boasts a current buck off percentage of 73.68. Five times he has the round winning bull score and 11 times the bull rider has won the round while on his back.
Craig Jackson was the first to ride him for 91.5 points in 2011 and Brennon Eldred posted that same score on March 5 in Las Vegas. Other riders who earned 90 points or more on CR include Cody Teel, Trey Benton, Cody Rostockyj, and Elliott Jacoby. Benton and Jacoby both posted 92.5 score on CR.
Corpus Red is living the good life with the many other bulls known as JC Knapp’s Bred2Buck gang in Mansfield, Texas. He frequently appears on Facebook with Amber Knapp as a docile pet, but make no mistake, his demeanor can change in a second.
CR Corpus Red has been awarded High Marked Bull of the event five times On the Road to Cheyenne including 2 High Marked Ride’s this year, both were 91.5 points. He also crossed over and marked the rankest bull at the event twice this season.
626 Karaoke is sired by a bull Wildnights that is by the infamous bucker, Wildlife. He is owned by Jeri Harmon and former professional bull rider, “Mighty” Mike White of DeKalb, Texas.
In 2016, Karaoke, a son of Wild nights and out of a daughter of Warpath, traveled to nine cities on the Road to Cheyenne tour resulting in three qualified rides, but two of those scores were 90 point plus rides..Making him one of the favorite draws on the day sheet.
Karaoke posted the rankest trip of his storied career against Chandler Bownds in Cheyenne three years ago at the CBR World Finals where he was 47 points which was one of the highest number of degree of difficulty points awarded during the CBR Finals, which was enough to send the B&M Team to the winner’s circle to collect the $100,000 bonus check awarded to the World Champion Bull Team that year.
Karaoke, a cowboy favorite, is ridden 50% of the time at CBR events and has had seven round winning outs as a bucker and of those that made the whistle on him, four times he scored high enough to win the round. He has been awarded the high marked bull score of an event twice this season.
Yellowhair is a super star bull on the Road to Cheyenne. He was selected in 2015 for the Super Bowl of rodeo events, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo where he won round seven in the rank score category as he bucked off Brennon Eldred.
Circa 2016 he has carried Jacob O’Mara to two 92 point rides that also earned him the Championship buckles in Lufkin, Texas and Rio Rancho, New Mexico on this year’s tour.
Described as more mellow than yellow, at least on the outside of the chutes, his bragging rights include Berger bloodlines running thru his genes. A son of Little Yellow Jacket and out of Berger bred cow, 3728 established eleven unanswered outs on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association chart and eight appearances on the CBR Road to Cheyenne in 2015.
Statistically 3728 shows a 74 percent buck off average, remaining unridden in PRCA competition. But three time WNFR qualifier Chandler Bownds used him for 91.5 points during the 2015 CBR El Paso, Texas Shoot Out round on his way to second place finish in the Tuff Hedeman’s long-standing El Paso event.
“Chandler made the best ride of the year and was probably the best out Yellowhair has had,’ according to Hurst Pro Rodeo owner Lyndal Hurst. According to Lyndal one of his rankest outs was with CBR World Champion Sage Kimzey during the final round of Rodeo Houston where he bucked off the Hurst Pro Rodeo bull.
“Yellowhair is a special animal. He’s got the power that you would expect from a bull his size but he’s also got the finesse of a bull half his size. He’s just a great athlete and he’s a pet too!” said Kimzey who would welcome a rematch.
Yellowhair was ridden first on the road to Cheyenne by Eli Vastbinder who would post an 87.5 on him at last year’s World Finals.
Yellowhair’s average bull score is 21.37 points which indicates plenty of fire coming out of the chutes, but according to his chauffeur, Lyndal Hurst, he is just a big family pet that anyone can get close to and he is easy to be around and earlier this month he was greeted in Fort Worth by an enthusiastic 8 year old that was granted a wish to see his favorite bucker!
2079 Cowtown Cartel
Cowtown Cartel, a son of Carrillo Cartel is anchoring William Barnette’s Barn2Buck team this year with outstanding bull scores at each of his six appearances. Cowtown Cartel has been ridden only once.
When he is listed on the day sheet, Cartel quickly becomes the subject of most pre event locker rooms on the Road to Cheyenne. Twice he has been awarded the rank bull of the event by posting the highest bull score. He was rewarded with a 92.5 bull score in Salina a few weeks ago as he bucked off Trey Benton in less than 3 seconds.
“I made one small error and he made me pay for it,” said veteran CBR and PRCA bull rider Trey Benton who will be in Del Rio next week.
Newt Brasfield remains the lone rider on the Road to Cheyenne to hear the whistle while still on his back. Brasfield rode him for 90 points in Las Vegas in March of this year and was the Champion of that event while on his back. He has taken home two Bull of the Event, high marked (rank) bull, buckles after posting a 46 in Rio Rancho, a 45.5 in El Paso and a 45 in Las Vegas.
Cowtown Cartel began his career as the winner of the 2014 Exclusive Genetics MDBBC Second Chance competition at Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas during The NFR. He prepared for the event by swimming in the Bull Pool for 4 weeks prior to the competition.
The bull of the year honor will be announced in July at the CBR World Finals at Cheyenne Frontier Days and is selected by secret ballot of the bull riders and stock contractors.
George Paul Memorial brings in professional rodeo’s 4 time Clown of the Year
The only difference between Justin Rumford and a stand-up comedian, is that he’s doing his job from the middle of a rodeo arena instead of a stage with a spotlight. Rumford, who lives in Ponca City, Okla., is a rodeo clown at events from coast to coast and he is thrilled about being selected to come to the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding for the first time.
““I have been wanting to go back to Del Rio as a professional forever it seems, all I have ever seen is the pictures and stories about how awesome it was. I have been trying for 3 years to leave my schedule open so I could perform at the bull riding.”
Rumford, who attended a Bad Company rodeo down in Del Rio when he was 12 is now 35 years old and has been waiting on what he calls a “glorious return to the area with the coolest fans.”
“Being from Abbyville, Kansas you see don’t see stuff like you do in Del Rio,” continued Rumford.
His job during the rodeo is twofold. He provides the laughs and banters with the announcer. But during the bull riding his more dangerous job begins. Rumford is a barrelman: the cowboy who works the barrel, providing an oasis of safety for bullfighters and bull riders, in case an angry bull decides to chase them.
Rumford grew up in a rodeo family and competed in junior high, high school and college rodeo. He was a full time steer wrestler, but then blew out his knee. While he recovered, he worked as an assistant rodeo coach at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. After his knee healed, he helped with the Cody (Wyo.) Night Rodeo for three seasons, then began as a livestock truck driver for North Platte’s stock contractor, Bennie Beutler of Beutler and Son Rodeo. He never considered being a full time rodeo clown, but after a few tries as clown, he changed his mind. “I worked the Pretty Prairie (Kan.) bull riding, and they gave me $1000. And I thought, why the heck am I working so hard for $800 a week when I can make more than that in a night? So I jumped ship for the clown life.”
And lucky for rodeo fans, Rumford is still clowning, and winning honors at it. In 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015 he’s been honored as the PRCA’s Clown of the Year. The award is voted on by his peers and rodeo committees, and Justin is humbled to get it. “I don’t know if I deserve it, but I’m fortunate to accept it. It’s unbelievable.” In September of 2013, he and his wife Ashley became the parents of triplets, daughters Livi and Lola, and a son, Bandy. “I have a 44 foot trailer,” he said, “and I can bring the whole family with me."
World Champion Bull Team Heads to the
George Paul Memorial Bull Riding
If a duel threat quarterback is today’s benchmark of a successful athlete, then Mike Rawson, the stock contractor that won not only the 2015 World Champion Bull Team title, but is also the reigning Stock Contractor of the Year, is the equivalent in the bull riding world.
Mike Rawson will arrive at the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding in Del Rio for the fifth time with his highly decorated team of buckers, and a few new ones, to take part in what he calls “the greatest bull riding on earth.”
“George Paul was one of the greatest bull riders that ever lived and competed in our sport, and it is like being a part of history to load your bulls in the old wooden chutes at the George Paul and be a part of that history,” said the 55 year old former bull rider.
Rawson, who will be in Del Rio to attempt his third consecutive win of the George Paul Memorial Bull riding bull team Championship, added that he loves the fans and the general atmosphere in Del Rio and says he looks forward to debuting a new bull, Yabba Dabba Do, for the fans this year when he bucks for the first time at a big time bull riding.
In addition to the rider competition, the George Paul Memorial gives fans a glimpse of the best bucking bulls currently traveling on the professional tours. Each bull in Del Rio is handpicked by 4 time World Champion bull rider and George Paul former Champion, Tuff Hedeman.
In addition to the elite riders brought in by Hedeman, the annual bull riding features the highly popular Bull Team Challenge where three bulls make up one team and compete for scores alongside the riders. At the end of the night the team with the highest score receives a check for $20,000. The competition pays four places with a total purse of $45,000 per event available to the bovine athletes.
The Championship Bull Riding Bull Team Challenge was designed by CBR to create bigger prizes, more money, and a fun healthy atmosphere along the Road to Cheyenne televised tour and the Del Rio stop is the bull men’s last chance at qualifying for the CBR World Finals to be held in Cheyenne in July which is worth over $250,000 to the bulls and their owners.
Rawson’s strategy is simple and he preaches and believes a stock contractor has to have consistency, backups and bull variety to provide a successful string of buckers for the Road to Cheyenne.
“The pressure is doubled at the George Paul so we all bring our best bulls,” continued Rawson.
With trust, honesty and friendship, the 2015 Stock Contractor of the Year has managed to build success for multiple bull teams and the bull rider athletes that draw his livestock. He and his bulls have earnings in excess of one million dollars, which is usually a figure we hear only in regards to the top bull riders.
Rawson, who takes on partners from all corners of the business, advocates communication, inspiring, depending, working, celebrating and suffering together, as well as appreciating his frenemies from the other teams as they win.
A favorite among bull riders, Rawson a former bull rider himself, understands and is known for his great friendship and “help everyone” attitude on the back of the bucking chutes and at home where he helps the next generation of riders who come to get on bulls at his pens. He is fiercely competitive, but never too busy to help a friend or a friend of a friend.
According to three time National Finals Rodeo qualifier and two-time George Paul winner Trey Benton a CBR top ten rider, if you don’t know a bull you go ask Mike Rawson, he knows them all and he wants you to do well.
“Mike cares about us and has been known to cut a very talented bucker after an event for fear the bull might hurt a rider.”
Rawson believes the structure of the events CBR will produce in Del Rio advocates good bucking bulls and is an awesome atmosphere for a good bull rider because of the uniformity of the bulls.
Rawson was the 2013 and 2015 CBR Stock Contractor of the Year and the 2015 World Champion Bull Team. The awards came with tractors, buckles, boots, trailers and tears when Rawson was called to be podium by Tuff Hedeman to accept his award last year for award he says means the most to him because it is voted on by his peers.
Reserved tickets can be purchased for the April 29-30, 39th George Paul Memorial Bull Riding at the bull riding office, 830-775-9595, Val Verde County Fairgrounds located under the grandstands. Box office is open from 9-5, Monday thru Friday. General Admission tickets can also be purchased at Del Rio Feed and Supply, 111 East Gibbs, Cowboy John’s 611 East Gibbs and C&S Western Wear, 2200 Veterans Blvd. Performance times are 8PM Friday and Saturday nights, April 29-30.
The 39th George Paul Memorial is presented by Title Sponsor, Ram Country Dodge. Other sponsors include Ramada Inn, Tractor Supply and Tractor Supply.
39th George Paul Memorial Still The Buckle To Win
Legendary world champion bull rider Lane Frost said it best. “The three most prestigious trophy buckles for a bull rider to win are the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Assn world championship and the National Final’s average”. The George Paul buckle has been won thirty-eight times and the 39th will be awarded Saturday night, April 30, at the Val Verde County Fairgrounds Arena at the conclusion of the two-day event.The list of winners of the George Paul trophy buckle include names of legendary bull riders and world champions Lane Frost, Tuff Hedeman, Charles Sampson, Jim Sharp, Cody Snyder, Jerome Davis, BJ Schumacher, JW Harris, Hugo Pedrero, Trey Benton and Cody Teel. In the thirty-eight year history, several bull riders have had repeat wins at the George Paul and included are Denny Flynn, Charles Sampson, Lane Frost, Tuff Hedeman, Jim Sharp, Jerome Davis and Trey Benton.
Some have come so close to winning it once but, have just barely missed putting the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding buckle on their belt. Those names include eight-time world champion bull rider Don Gay, world champion Sage Kimzey and Del Rio crowd favorite and Lubbock native, Chandler Bownds.
Last year’s George Paul Champion, a former PRCA world champion bull rider, Cody Teel, managed to outlast his third bull of Saturday night, a bull named Black Betty that had previously bucked Teel off twice. After the event, the sweat soaked Teel was breathless as he was interviewed on Fox Sports 2’s national and international coverage of the event. He said that he was determined to ride Black Betty after two near misses. Teel was hurried to the back of the chutes to do the television interview and sign autographs when he suddenly realized and exclaimed, “Where’s the George Paul buckle?” Leigh Ann Schroder, Championship Bull Riding national publicity director, had Bobby Paul in tow with the buckle as Teel wondered if he was going to be presented with a buckle he had dreamed about winning his entire bull riding life. When it was presented he smiled and said, “I have always wanted to win the buckle that had George Paul’s name on it. He is a legend and this buckle means a lot to any bull rider that can claim this championship”. Teel went on to win the Championship Bull Riding world championship in July of last year after the George Paul. The question remains, can he be among the elite bull riders who can win a second George Paul bull riding championship buckle at the oldest, continuous bull riding in the world? The answer will be found out on Saturday night, April 30, when two-time world champion Cody Teel returns to try for back to back wins.
Reserved tickets can be purchased for the April 29-30, 39th George Paul Memorial Bull Riding at the bull riding office, Val Verde County Fairgrounds located under the grandstands. The box office is open from 9-5, Monday thru Friday, 830-775-9595. General Admission tickets can be purchased at Del Rio Feed and Supply, 111 East Gibbs, Cowboy John’s 611 East Gibbs and C&S Western Wear, 2200 Veterans Blvd. Performance times are 8PM Friday and Saturday nights, April 29-30.
The 39th George Paul Memorial is presented by Title Sponsor, Ram Country Dodge. Other sponsors include Ramada Inn, Tractor Supply and Del Rio Feed and Supply.