Saturday, February 11, 2006

Travis Briscoe Article

Edgewood Bull Rider Is Making a Name for Himself Albuquerque JournalBy Harold SmithMountain View Telegraph Edgewood bull-rider Travis Briscoe has come a long way since his second-place finish at the Chilili Rodeo on June 26. Standing just outside the rustic, oval-shaped corral that constitutes the land grant's arena, the 18-year-old was quietly confident last summer. "I may not go to school," the 5-foot-7, 130-pound cowboy said when asked what school he would attend in the fall. "I want to go into the PBR (Professional Bull Riders)." Yeah, sure, Travis. That's like Kobe Bryant or LeBron James playing in the NBA before they graduated from high school. But that's just what Briscoe has done. And he's good at it. In the seven months since his Chilili performance, the former Moriarty High student, now a home-schooled prep senior, has won two of PBR's premier Built Ford Tough Series 2005-06 events, including the Southern Ford Dealers Invitational last weekend in Jacksonville, Fla. "I rode a bull called Scar (in Jacksonville)," said Briscoe, who was back in New Mexico between events on Tuesday. "He made his debut in Tampa, (Fla., on Friday), and then he got to go to the short-round in Jacksonville. He's just a black, bald-faced bull." Briscoe also was the top rider in Fresno, Calif., on Jan. 20. He placed second in Oklahoma City on Jan. 29. "I was sure I could do it," Briscoe said. "I expected it, but I didn't know how soon." This season, Briscoe has earned $100,648.25 as of Sunday. His career accumulation stands at $158,755.70. "I'm probably going to buy some land, get some bucking bulls, but right now it's kind of sitting there, just waiting for a rainy day," he said. "My everyday life didn't change. I'm still an average Joe. I just do it on the weekends. I have all the same friends." Briscoe was ranked No. 2 in the BFTS points standings last week but dropped to fourth this week despite the victory in Jacksonville. He failed to score in Tampa. "I just got throwed off," he said. Briscoe has 3,154 points. Brazilians Guilherme Marchi and Adriano Moraes are in first and second, respectively, with 3,268 and 3,228 points. Oklahoma's Jody Newberry is third at 3,198. Briscoe's father, George, never had any doubts that his son could cut the PBR mustard. "I knew he was going to do well," said George, who at age 45 still competes in saddle-bronc riding. "Even before he went into the PBR, I told everyone he was going to be a world champion. It might take him two to three years, but he will be a world champion— if he can stay healthy and strong." Bull riding is renowned for its inherent danger. And rightfully so. Glen Keeley, a Canadian rider, died from injuries received at the PBR's Ty Murray Invitational in Albuquerque in March 2000. "I am a little beat up, my hip and my groin," Briscoe acknowledged. "But other than that, I'm as good as I ever was." Briscoe's mother, Debbie Fincher, said she was a little concerned when her son started riding sheep at age 2 and later moved on to calves. "I still worry, but this is what he wants to do, and he's doing it," she said. "I knew he could do it. I knew he had the drive. It's just that the wins and his quick start, it's all happening so fast. He just took off. It's that at 18 years old, I didn't expect it so soon." Briscoe also has two sisters. Codi Briscoe, 22, resides in Albuquerque. Six-year-old Halee Fincher lives with her mother. "Travis is (Halee's) big brother," Debbie Fincher said. "Now, she wants to be a professional barrel racer." Still, what are the qualities that have rocketed this cowboy to stardom? "He's built for it," said Briscoe's father. "He's real aggressive. What bull riders call it is he's real sticky. He loves it." For Briscoe, the keys to his success are simple. "I don't drink," he said. "And I let God do it all." New Mexico— so far— has produced two PBR world champions, Michael Gaffney and Owen Washburn. Barring injuries, Briscoe said he's looking forward to competing in the Ty Murray at Tingley Coliseum from March 31 through April 2. But there are eight events between now and then, including the Anaheim (Calif.) Classic on Friday and Saturday. "It's an exciting life," Briscoe said. "How could you do any better? You're doing what you love, and you get hundreds of thousands of dollars to do it."

Wisconsin Weekend Package

Wisconsin Weekend Package
MIKE LEVERTON
The Monroe Times
JUDA, Wis. - Cowboy blood runs pretty deep in the Swedlund family in Juda.
Chris Swedlund recently became a member of the Professional Bull Riders, his brother Gene is a former Wisconsin Roping Association champion, and their grandpa Harold Swedlund rode bulls years ago.
Now that he has his PBR permit, Swedlund has a year to earn his "card," by winning $2,500 at PBR events this year.
"Hopefully, I can fill my card in a few months and start going to the shows that you would see on TV," Swedlund said. "The biggest thing would be making it to the championships in Las Vegas."
Swedlund said if he wanted to he could ride at a PBR event every weekend. On Saturday, he will compete at the PBR Battle of the Bulls Enterprise Tour at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Madison. A group of three or four dozen family members, co-workers and friends plan to go cheer him on.
And a loud crowd is one of Swedlund's favorite aspects of bull riding.
"It's the best thing in the world to make a great ride and hear the crowd go nuts," he said.
Swedlund, 18, first became interested in bull riding when he was 11. Gene was involved in bull riding at the time, and Swedlund wanted to follow in his brother's footsteps. Within a few years, he started riding. When he was 13, he broke his leg and had metal plates put in his ankle. But that didn't stop him from getting back on a bull.
"I could hardly take it," Swedlund said. "I wanted to go back out there right away but I wasn't able to. It was hard."
Swedlund's mother, Clare, said she gets nervous watching her son but she's not going to ask him to stop doing what he loves.
Swedlund's injuries since his first broken leg includes a second broken leg, rope burns on his hand, a nasty nick from getting kicked in the head and a fall when he landed on his head. Swedlund said almost every time he rides a bull he can feel it a day or two later.
"Your arm and shoulder are sore from holding onto the bull rope," Swedlund said. "I've been thrown and landed on my head and on my neck. I've been hooked and tossed a few times. If it's a good ride and I get tossed, I don't really mind. The feeling of being 15 feet up in the air with the crowd going nuts is just awesome."
After getting thrown from a bull, riders have one thing in mind - finding the shortest path out of the arena.
"Most of the time when a bull rider gets bucked off they run as fast as they can to get out of there," said Rocky Swedlund, Chris's father. "Some of those bulls will get after you."
Swedlund said some bulls go out of their way to avoid riders because they are afraid, but the nasty ones will go right up to a rider on the ground.
"I've had bulls that have been snorting in my shorts. They put their horns up against your back and you feel them pressing up against you a little bit. You can feel them breathing. It's like, get me out of here."
In 2003, Swedlund competed in high school rodeo events across the state and a few amateur events in Darlington. Last year, he attended a bull riding school with PBR pros Rob Smets and Mike White out in Denver, where he rode eight bulls in three days.
"They were pretty impressed and told me that in a few years they should see me in the PBR," Swedlund said. "That was awesome to hear somebody say."
One important thing instructors emphasized at riding school was to stay at the front of the bull.
"They talked about getting to the front end of the bull and told you what to do with your free hand."
There are several common phrases in bull riding, such as snorting your shorts, slide and ride, sit up, chest out, and back on your pockets.
"As soon as you start leaning back, that's what they mean by sitting on your pockets," Swedlund said. "You don't want to get back on your pockets."
Swedlund prefers to go into his rides blind, not wanting to know a bull's tendencies.
"A lot of guys like to know a bull's tendencies but I like to go in blind. A lot of guys will say a bull tends to turn back and around to the right. But then when you get on him he goes back around to the left. That's what messes up a lot of guys. I like to think that a bull is going to do what he's going to do, I just react with him."
About a year ago, Swedlund began competing at National Federation of Pro Bull riding events. In April, he finally rode his first bull for a full eight seconds. He placed third at that event. A month later in Knoxville, Tenn., he also placed. At five straight events since then, he has missed the finals by one spot, a trend Swedlund is more than ready to stop.
On the day of his high school graduation party last June, Swedlund left his own party to compete in Pecatonica, Ill. Several of his friends came along to watch him as he earned first place.
Harold Swedlund said riding bulls is quite a bit different now than it was when he rode bulls. Two of the biggest changes are that riders wear padded vests and special bull riding gloves for protection.
"Back then, if you could get over the chute and get on, then it was a go."
Harold said one of his biggest thrills in riding was getting to meet Gene Autry. He calls bull riding a "thrill" that most people don't ever get.
"When you ride bull," Harold said, "it's you and him. And that's it."
The younger Swedlund is currently looking for local businesses and organizations to sponsor him. In addition to traveling most weekends to events, he works at Kuhn-Knight in Brodhead to pay for his trips.
Dangers notwithstanding, Swedlund said he plans to ride bulls as long as he can.
"As long as I can still walk and use my arms and legs, I'll be riding."

For Sean Willingham fans

For his shot at glory, bull rider endures 8 seconds of Heartache
By Edward C. FennellThe Post and Courier
Many a Georgia boy grows up with dreams of being a Bulldog for the University of Georgia or a Yellow Jacket for Georgia Tech, or maybe even a baseball star for the Atlanta Braves.
As a north Georgia youth, Sean Willingham toyed with the idea of playing football or basketball for a home state university. But with one ride aboard a perturbed bull, the now-24-year-old Summerville, Ga., product was bouncing off in a different direction.
Willingham was 15 when, after watching a rodeo, he asked his father to let him try to ride a bull. Terry Willingham, a satellite TV installer, arranged a meeting with some local bulls as young and inexperienced as his son was.
"I was hooked after that day," Sean said. "I was scared at first, my palms were sweating so bad." He said he got tossed on his first two rides but held on the for required eight seconds on his third and last ride that day
"I blacked out on my first try and I don't remember the whole ride."
Professional bull riding is a life of hard work, pain and risks, but nothing compares to the exhilaration that comes with holding on - with one hand - to a raging bull that is leaping, twisting and whirling for the eight seconds that define a successful ride, Willingham said.
Willingham was one of 45 "cowboys" who rode in Professional Bull Riding's "Built Ford Tough" competition - the major-league level of bull riding - this weekend at North
Charleston Coliseum. On Friday he finished tied for fourth place and headed into Saturday night's finals, where he tied for 12th.
Most of the 45 men at the top level of PBR competition hail from west of the Mississippi. Willingham, who is tall and lean and who wears a black cowboy hat and chews tobacco, is among a few from either Georgia or the Carolinas.
He said he thinks the 60 or so bulls that travel with the circuit get as acquainted with the riders as the riders get acquainted with the bulls.
"Bulls are smart. They can feel your weight and you can think you know the bull because you have ridden him four times before, but on that fifth try he can set you up. You will lean one way and he will leave you right there," he said.
Please don't call professional bull riding "rodeo," said PBR Chief Executive Officer Randy Bernard. He said the league was founded in 1994 after separating "the toughest sport on dirt" from events such as calf roping.
PBR has a marketing strategy based on that of NASCAR and hopes to make riders into stars while selling the drama, skills, excitement and danger inherent in competitive bull riding, he said.
"There are two great athletes in every ride - the bull and the rider," Bernard said. He said PBR has an annual budget of $50 million and paid out $11 million in prize money last year to the 800 cowboys involved at the four levels of competition.
Willingham was the world's 14th-best bull rider last year and hopes to be the PBR champion one day. After choosing riding as his career, he competed in amateur events and earned a scholarship to Western Texas College.
"I got a full rodeo scholarship and an apartment. I didn't have to pay for anything, except food," Willingham said.
A year and a half later Willingham joined the professional circuit, where he said riders live on the road most of every year, work out to stay in shape and often ride hurt. Willingham has broken his leg and wrist, and he suffered a skull fracture when a bull horn smashed into his face.
Bull riding is a dangerous sport, says PBR physician Tandy Freeman of Dallas. Freeman heads a staff of PBR trainers and paramedics who look after riders. He said he sees "the full range of sports injuries" - pulled muscles and tendons, torn ligaments, dislocated shoulders, concussions, facial and limb fractures and spinal, head and abdominal injuries.
Since 1995, one rider has died from injuries and two others became quadriplegics because of spinal injuries, Freeman said. About 15 times a year riders are taken to emergency rooms. "The question is not, 'Will you get hurt,' but 'When,'he said.
The worst injuries happen when riders are stepped on or gored by bulls. Many riders don't want to quit, even when badly hurt. The medical staff sometimes has to rule out those riders when continuing to compete could cause serious bodily harm, Freeman said.
Willingham said riders know it's a young man's sport and they don't waste time while injuries heal. You have to be willing to ride with broken bones if you want to be a champion, he said.
After his Friday ride, Willingham said the eight seconds aboard a bull named Heartache seemed a lot longer. "It seems like an eight-hour day. It felt like a full day's work in eight seconds."

Mamas DO let your babies grow up to be cowboys

Mamas DO let your babies grow up to be cowboys
BY BRYCE DONOVAN
The Post and Courier
Only in the South, a place where we teach our kids that 5 - 2 = Dale Earnhardt, could a sport like bull riding flourish.
But just like chainsaw-related deaths and low SAT scores, sports involving farm animals always have been an integral part of our cultural fabric. And as surprising as it might sound, I can honestly say, after spending three hours at the North Charleston Coliseum last weekend watching the guys of the Professional Bull Riders tour, I'm proud to be a Southerner. Kind of.
You know why? Because in my humble opinion, there is nothing cooler than being a professional bull rider (just keep in mind, I also think Kenny G is cool). Now you might be saying, "Bryce, why would anybody in his right mind choose a profession where the No. 1 answer listed under 'reason for retirement' is 'death'?" Good question. That's why this week I'll share the top eight reasons why being a bull rider is what all Americans should strive to be.
REASON NO. 1: THEY COMMAND RESPECT.
Professional bull riders are, without question, the most manly guys on the face of the Earth. In the grand hierarchy of manly professions, it goes: astronaut, lion tamer, Alaskan king crab fisherman, timber cutter, Alaskan king crab tamer, lion cutter, bull rider.
So no matter what occupation somebody else has, if you're a bull rider, you can pretty much call him out.
BULL RIDER: "So, what do you do for a living?"
GUY: "I'm a firefighter."
BULL RIDER: "Wuss."
REASON NO. 2: EVERY DAY IS CASUAL FRIDAY.
Outside of joining the Village People, being a bull rider is the only profession where you can actually wear chaps to work. And if that wasn't enough, under those chaps you can wear either A) nothing or B) jeans so tight people will swear they were painted on.
REASON NO. 3: STAMINA IS NOT A FACTOR.
Unlike in a successful relationship, the key to bull riding is making it only eight seconds. Stay atop your bull for that long and you'll have a long and successful career. Yee-haw!
REASON NO. 4: THEY HAVE COOL NAMES.
If you're a stockbroker, you're pretty much limited to names such as Lee, Michael or Darren. But if you become a bull rider, you get to go by a sweet name such as current PBR members (I swear I am not making these up) Wiley Petersen, Tater Porter or B.J. Kramps. I've already decided on mine: Stump McNinja.
REASON NO. 5: SO DO THE BULLS.
It's not just the riders that get to pick cool names, the bulls are in on the action, too. For instance, on any given evening, B.J. Kramps could end up riding Collateral Damage. Or Tater Porter could sit atop Caramel Corn. Or Wiley Peterson could match up against Honkey Cat.
REASON NO. 6: THEY MAKE LOTS OF MONEY.
Sure Cody Whitney has broken his shoulder, wrist, foot and face (twice) in his six years as a professional bull rider, but still, he wouldn't ever consider changing professions.
"Do you know how early you have to get up in the morning if you're a banker?" he asked me.
While I conceded that was a good point, I asked him if he knew how often bankers broke their faces on the job.
"Did I mention I made $200,000 last year," he added.
Never mind.
REASON NO. 7: THE SPONSORS ARE AWESOME.
Most professional athletes have lame sponsors such as car companies, cell phone carriers or fast-food chains. But in professional bull riding, these guys are sponsored by companies such as Jack Daniel's, Fritos and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco. Real sponsors for real men.
WILEY: "Hey Tater, what you doin' after the big meet tonight?"
TATER: "Wait ... did you just say 'big meet'?"
WILEY: "Yeah, I guess I did." (Laughter.)
TATER: "Seriously though, I'll probably chew some tobacco, eat a couple of bags of Fritos, wash it down with some Jack Daniel's and then take a ride on my Branson tractor. You should come. Oh, and bring the kids."
REASON NO. 8: THEY GET ALL THE CHICKS.
Sure I might be single, and sure I might consider scalding hot coffee thrown in your face as flirting, but if there's one thing I know, it's women. Nothing impresses them more than a guy who risks his life for absolutely no good reason whatsoever except maybe for the glory of being sponsored by Oberto Beef Jerky.
In conclusion, bull riders get lots of cool free stuff, the adoration of women all over the globe and cool names to boot. So if there's any profession cooler than bull rider, America, I'd like to hear it.
Just be warned, I already have my response ready: wuss.
Bryce Donovan wanted to ride the bull, but a small technical problem came up at the last minute (he wet his pants and started crying).

You should have been a cowboy

You should have been a cowboy
BY GENE SAPAKOFF
The Post and Courier
A real cowboy can tell another real cowboy from clear across the rodeo.
It's not so much the way he's dressed. Anyone can buy a hat, boots and tarnished belt buckle.
It's not the way he talks, either. A lot of city slickers can pull off an Elk City, Okla., accent for a clever line or two.
It's the way he walks, always with a hitch in his giddy-up. You simply don't rope and ride without sustaining a few major injuries along the way, and the cowboys who make up the Professional Bull Riders Tour on display tonight and Saturday night at the North Charleston Coliseum are as tough as athletes come.
"I've seen guys ride with broken arms and broken legs," said author Josh Peter. "It's almost like they take a sick pleasure riding in pain.
"People who haven't watched bull riding will be shocked. At times guys get what they call 'hung up.' They wrap their hands around the rope in a 'suicide wrap' - the idea being that the tighter it is, the harder it is for the bull to yank it loose. The danger is you get hung up and can't get out of the rope and basically get dragged around the arena like a tin can on the back of a car. A little bit like NASCAR, people will be amazed at what these guys walk away from."
But mamas maybe you should let your babies grow up to be bull riders. Peter, a reporter who has worked at newspapers in South Carolina and in New Orleans, got a weekly dose of respect for his subjects as he spent most of 2004 on the road to write "Fried Twinkies, Buckle Bunnies & Bull Riders - A Year Inside The Professional Bull Riders Tour."
Buckle bunnies explained
The annual champion in a sport rapidly growing in popularity under the mainstream radar makes well over $1 million in prize money. Everyone in the top 10 makes more than $150,000.
The Colorado Springs-based PBR Tour got 500 hours of television coverage in 2005, ranging from NBC to OLN.
Fried Twinkies?
Ah, the best concession-stand item on tour, deep fried Hostess wonders available during championship finals week at Mermaids Casino in Las Vegas.
Buckle bunnies?
The dedicated groupies who show up in Fort Worth, Anaheim, Kansas City and Mandan, N.D., as well as other stops on the PBR Tour. Big league buckle bunnies wait for Las Vegas.
"They're serious," Peter said from Denver, where he was doing a book signing held as the National Western Stock Show is in town. "If they pay for a flight to Las Vegas and three or four nights in a hotel, they expect to find a cowboy."
Broken necks, etc.
There are bar fights and Bible studies on the PBR Tour, and star power.
Justin McBride is the defending 2005 champion, and from Elk City, Okla., of all places. He was in contention for the title for four of the previous five years but always seemed to get hurt right at the end.
Adriano Moraes, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, of all places, has the kind of charisma fans love. He won PBR championships in 1994 and 2001.
But the actual bull riders are only part of the show. It also includes rock 'n' roll production techniques and rodeo clowns.
The Barrel Man - aka Flint Rasmussen - is a hit inside and outside his steel barrel.
"It may sound silly to say this about a rodeo clown, but he's an incredible athlete," Peter said. "He is just so spontaneous."
Rob Smets is a veteran "bullfighter," one of the guardian angels who protect bull riders by distracting bulls just after riders are unceremoniously bucked off into the dirt.
"It's like throwing yourself in front of a runaway truck," Peter said.
My heroes have always been cowboys. Rodeo clowns and bullfighters, too.

Bodacious story

Big, bad Bodacious: His story not a bunch of bull

By BRETT HOFFMAN
STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER
On a neon night in Las Vegas during the 1995 National Finals Rodeo, the odds of Tuff Hedeman drawing the legendary rodeo bull Bodacious were 15-1.
But Hedeman was paired with Bodacious, and he faced a big decision.
The four-time world champion had promised to never again mount Bodacious after the bull shattered Hedeman's facial bones at a high-profile bull riding show earlier that year. However, Hedeman was in the thick of a title race hunt and declining to attempt to ride Bodacious meant that he would receive a zero that night and the next night.
So when he was called to ride, Hedeman mounted Bodacious in the chute, put his hand in the rope handle and called for the gate to be opened. As the panel swung and Bodacious began exiting, a stalwart stock contractor yanked Hedeman off Bodacious and planted Hedeman on the walkway behind the chute. Following those specifics meant that Hedeman received only one zero.
Several performances later, Bodacious sent Scott Breding to the emergency room with head injuries, even though Breding wore a catcher's mask.
That's when Bodacious' owner, Sammy Andrews, opted to retire the bull. He reassigned Bodacious as a breeder and a traveling road show.
The 10-year anniversary of the bull's absence was a topic at last month's 2005 National Finals in Las Vegas. In May of 2000, the bull died of kidney failure and was buried at Andrews' ranch at Addielou, just east of the northeast Texas town of Paris.
Today, Bodacious' children and grandchildren with names such as Bo's Excuse and Fender Bender are rising to stardom on the pro rodeo circuits. Andrews said he will haul in at least a half dozen of Bodacious' offspring for the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show's Bulls Night Out on Tuesday and Wednesday and its traditional Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association show Friday through Feb. 5. Both shows will be at Will Rogers Coliseum.
After only a handful of cowboys conquered him from 1992 through 1995, the lore of the light coffee-colored Charolais-Brahman crossbreed bull, all 1,800 pounds of him, transcended his sport. An inductee into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo., Bodacious is arguably the most dangerous world champion-caliber bucking bull of all time.
"Even top-ranked guys who weren't afraid of anything were definitely afraid of Bodacious," Hedeman said. "There were guys who didn't put out a lot of effort when they got on him because he was that scary and that dangerous."
At Andrews' Addielou ranch, a bucking chute that was donated by the Houston Livestock Show Rodeo and a plaque grace the bull's grave, which often attracts tourists.
In a four-year career and 135 attempts, only six riders completed a total of eight rides on Bodacious in the professional ranks.
"It was like winning against a legendary gunfighter," Andrews said. "If you stayed on Bodacious, you had a reputation."
Bodacious' story perhaps is best depicted through two of his opponents, Hedeman and two-time world champion Terry Don West.
Hedeman said he made his best ride atop Bodacious at the 1993 championships for a now-defunct organization called Bull Riders Only in Long Beach, Calif. He received a score of 95 out of 100, a mark as rare as a perfect game in baseball in that era, which enabled Hedeman to win a gold buckle.
Hedeman experienced the opposite extreme against Bodacious at the 1995 Professional Bull Riders World Finals in Las Vegas. During the ride, Hedeman leaned forward to stay in rhythm and alleviate the pressure of the jumps, but Bodacious threw his head back and struck Hedeman in the face.
As Hedeman tumbled, his face collided with bull's massive shoulders, and Hedeman landed and rolled on the dirt floor. He clutched his bleeding face, and paramedics rushed in to attend to him.
Hedeman underwent reconstructive facial surgery in a Las Vegas hospital. When he returned to his Morgan Mill ranch home, his 4-year-old son, Robert Lane, barely recognized his father.
"He said, 'Dad, the next time that you draw Bodacious, you'd better chicken out,'" Hedeman said. "And I said, 'Deal.'"
After being battered at the 1995 PBR championships in October, Hedeman was sidelined for two months and entered the 1995 NFR weighing in 20 pounds lighter. When he drew Bodacious in the middle of the 10-day show, Hedeman kept his promise to his son.
"He literally could have killed me the time before and I definitely wasn't going to give him a second chance," said Hedeman, who finished 1-4 against Bodacious.
West also was among the elite club of cowboys who conquered Bodacious. His qualified ride was in the San Antonio Livestock Show Rodeo final round when West won the title and $10,000 in February 1995, the last time a rider made the eight-second count on the bull.
But the victory ride came almost a year after Bodacious had whipped West down on his massive front end at the Houston Livestock Show Rodeo finals. West received several broken ribs and a punctured lung.
"Bo knew how to play the game with cowboys," West said.
Although a decade has passed since the bull bucked off his last cowboy, Andrews receives an abundance of inquiries about Bodacious. Numerous spreads on him have graced publications and memorabilia is prolific.
Bodacious' breeding is managed by Pat Curry, a rancher from Georgetown who also engages in the breeding of high-profile cutting horses. Curry, who owns the bull's semen, said a breeding to Bodacious would cost $600.
However, Curry said that he will allow Bodacious to be bred only to cows whose bloodlines are connected with star rodeo bulls and he's about to embark on a more aggressive campaign to market the bull's legend.
"Bodacious is kind of like Elvis, more famous dead than alive," Andrews said.

Flint Rasmussen Chat Transcript

Flint Rasmussen chat transcriptfrom September 19, 2005 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET
Speaker
Message
Web User:
Flint, will you still be doing PRCA shows or just PBR's now?
Flint Rasmussen:
As of this Fall. I'll just be doing PBR's with the exception if I get accepted for the NFR in December.
Web User:
Hope you have recovered from your operation - didn't see you at Ft. Lauderdale - when will you be back?
Flint Rasmussen:
I was recovered within a month. I've been at PRCA rodeos since June but will be back at PBRs in Grand Rapids.
Web User:
Are you still doing Denver Rodeo?
Flint Rasmussen:
I will be at the PBR Challenger event in Denver but not the PRCA rodeo. That's in January.
Web User:
who is your favorite announcer to work with at a show?
Flint Rasmussen:
No offense to the other guys...but Justin Mcee is my favorite but he's with OLN now.
Web User:
Flint, you're hilarious...I've seen you twice already this year (Mohegan Sun, CT and Uniondale, NY) you had my whole family laughing hysterically both times. How do you keep your "routine" fresh?
Flint Rasmussen:
Drugs...ONLY KIDDING. It's fresh because nothing is scripted. I work off of what's happening in the arena and in life itself. Keeping it fresh for the fans means it's fresh for me AND it keeps my job interesting.
Web User:
So where di dyou lean to dance - or does it come "au Naturale"
Flint Rasmussen:
It's always come naturally to me. I love good music and love to dance. That's why it's part of my show.
Web User:
How long have you been doing rodeo shows, as a barrel man?
Flint Rasmussen:
I've been doing it professionally since 1994 but actually started in the rodeo world in 1988.
Web User:
I know when I saw you in Reno a few years ago, you and Tallman worked well together and last year at the NFR you, Bob and Boyd seemed to do well together, feeding off each other
Flint Rasmussen:
Those two are my best friends. It's always a pleasure to work with them!
Web User:
Do you have a brother that is also a rodeo announcer too?
Flint Rasmussen:
My brother Will is a rodeo announcer for the PRCA. Yes.
Web User:
Flint do your little girls get into your work?
Flint Rasmussen:
My girls like to see their dad dance! They are almost as good as me!
Web User:
Flint, didn't you one year at reno steal on of the pick-up men's horses and ride him around for a while?
Flint Rasmussen:
Yes, I think I did once.
Web User:
OK - ante up - do you have a favorite PBR Rider?
Flint Rasmussen:
I'm cheering for Justin McBride for the World Championship. However, there are none that I don't like.
Web User:
Of all the riders, who is the most fun to work with while in the arena?
Flint Rasmussen:
The easy answer is Paulo Crimber because we dance. An unexpected funny one is Wiley Petersen.
Web User:
Are you a trained bullfighter or just a comedian with quick reactions?
Flint Rasmussen:
I am not nor ever have been a bullfighter. Or want to be. I've always just wanted to be an entertainer.
Web User:
Did you ever ride bulls or rodeo?
Flint Rasmussen:
I roped in high school but never had any disire to ride bulls. I participated in rodeo because my family was involved with rodeo.
Web User:
Hi Flint, At the Coeur d Alene ID rodeo you did a snake routine, How did you come up with adding the Aussie touch to it?
Flint Rasmussen:
It's a take off of the Crocodile Hunter guy. It's just something people have seen on TV that I thought people would like to see in the arena.
Web User:
I saw you save a cowboy in 1998 at the NFR, the night that you, joe, and frank had to all go in to save that boy
Flint Rasmussen:
I tried to avoid that as much as I can but sometimes that just comes with the job!
Web User:
How old are you?
Flint Rasmussen:
I just turned 25...just kidding, I'm actually 37.
Web User:
Have you ever gotten hit by a bull?
Flint Rasmussen:
I've been hit a lot in my barrel. One time in my career I got hit outside the barrel. It hurt but I didn't get hurt.
Web User:
What is a typical day for you like leading up to the bull riding?
Flint Rasmussen:
Sleep in if I can so I'm rested. Any appearances or media requests taken care of. Eat good meals at the right time so I have energy. Usually at the arena, two and a half hours early, and often times the last one to leave.
Web User:
how do you keep your energy level so high through the entire show?
Flint Rasmussen:
It's only 2 and a half to 3 hours...plus the cold answer is it's my job. That also has been a reason for my success. I keep myself in shape and I owe it to the fans to give them a good show.
Web User:
How did you get started in this profession?
Flint Rasmussen:
My family has always been involved in rodeo. When I was young, I always thought I could do better. On a dare in 1987, I went and performed at a rodeo for free. I've since done my time and it's worked out very well.
Web User:
You mock or imitate being a cheerleader, were you ever a cheerleader in college?
Flint Rasmussen:
I was actually an athelete that the cheerleaders cheered for. I'm a visual learner so it's one more thing I've watched and thought could make funny.
Web User:
Do you do stand up comedy?
Flint Rasmussen:
I've hosted my own talk show but I've never preformed in a comedy club or true stand up.
Web User:
How did you make the transition from being a school teacher - math teacher, right?
Flint Rasmussen:
It wasn't a big transition because I was preforming as a clown in the summers anyway. When I quit my teaching job I was young, single and had nothing to lose.
Web User:
when you were starting, how hard was it for you to get noticed by contractors and producers to get your foot in the door and take off?
Flint Rasmussen:
It took lots of patience but what many people don't understand, the best way to get noticed is to do a good job.
Web User:
Jody Newberry danced this weekend. Did you give him a dance lesson?
Flint Rasmussen:
I missed it. Anyone who can teach Jody Newberry to dance must be very gifted!
Web User:
OLN did a short segment on you - which of course I missed - and missed on re-run (not purposely!). Do you know when they might be inclined to air that little segment again?
Flint Rasmussen:
I wish I had enough pull with OLN to answer that question. But maybe if you emailed the PBR, someone could work that out for you.
Web User:
My dad and I had the opportunity to see you in Tacoma and Nampa this year. I just wanted to say keep up the good work.
Flint Rasmussen:
Thanks for being fans. See you next year!
Web User:
I noticed how at a show you physically poured yourself out during your routines, how do you recover afterwards?
Flint Rasmussen:
As a former athelete, it's like playing a basketball game every night. If I'm in shape the recovery time is pretty fast.
Web User:
What does your family think of you traveling so much to do all the PBR shows?
Flint Rasmussen:
My family travels with me sometimes. But when I'm home 4 days a week I'm with them. I guess I could just drop my kids off at daycare and never see them. I actually get to spend more time with my family than people in the normal workforce.
Web User:
how does you come up with new material for his act?
Flint Rasmussen:
That's the hardest part of my job. There's enough things happening in life, that there's enough things to make funny.
Web User:
Will Flint be back in action in time for the Las Vegas Finals?
Flint Rasmussen:
I'll be back for Grand Rapids and yes, I'll be in Vegas too.
Web User:
what is the funniest act you ever did and why?
Flint Rasmussen:
I think the funniest things I do are made up on the spot. So consequently , many of them I don't remember the next week. One of my most requested is the 'Boneless Chicken.'
Web User:
for those who dont get to get out to see live shows your are not shwn much on TV, how can those folks get to see more of you on television?
Flint Rasmussen:
Just try your hardest to get to a live event cause you're missing the REAL me. A lot of my job is to fill in while TV is at a commercial during live events. That's why you don't see me on TV.
Flint Rasmussen:
Yes definately! I still have my Miami University t-shirt!
Web User:
Hi Flint, This is your Miami University Fan club and we are coming to Grand Rapids but we want to know if you will also be in Columbus.
Flint Rasmussen:
It's always good to see you guys!
Chat Moderator:
Are there any people you have used as a role model?
Flint Rasmussen:
My role models are people who aren't necessarily great entertainers but know how to treat people right. But my grandfather was the funniest person I ever knew.
Web User:
Columbus Ohio will be my first live PBR event. Looking forward to seeing you do the Bonless Chicken since I've never seen it.
Flint Rasmussen:
I can't always promise what material I'll do but I promise you won't be disappointed.
Web User:
We would like to see a video made of a compilation of all your live routines available to your fans for purchase
Flint Rasmussen:
Please be in touch with the PBR with this. It's been discussed so look for it next year.
Web User:
What is your favorite PBR event?
Flint Rasmussen:
My favorite PBR event is actually a Challenger event in Pendelton, OR. It's a tiny arena with the fans extremely close to me. And I LOVE the northwest!
Web User:
have you ever performed on broadway?
Flint Rasmussen:
No but thanks for giving me that much credit.
Web User:
when do you plan to retire? and where are you going?
Flint Rasmussen:
I'm going to slow down in 06 by working exclusive PBR events. I don't know what I'll do when I retire.
Web User:
have you ever considered getting a side kick, or sorts, to help you perform skits during the show?
Flint Rasmussen:
No because that would mean I'd have to pay one more person...ha ha! At PBR events, I've never found it really necessary.
Web User:
Most of the bulls seem to leave the arena soon after the ride. Are any notorious for coming out to visit you at center ring?
Flint Rasmussen:
I can't name any specifically...but through my years at rodeos and PBRs there are a few that like to pay a visit.
Web User:
I saw you for the first time in Reno and you are great. I am talking 3 of my best friends to the finals in Las Vegas (their first PBR event). Will you be at the meet and great??
Flint Rasmussen:
I haven't seen my appearance schedule as of yet but I'll do my best to get to those. A full schedule is on the PBR World Finals website!
Web User:
Did you give the G-man any tips or funnys for last weekends show?
Flint Rasmussen:
Sorry I'm not much help but I haven't seen G-man in months. Sorry.
Web User:
what is your favorite movie?
Flint Rasmussen:
My favorite movie of all time is Hoosiers!
Web User:
When you do decide to retire are you going to train a protege?
Flint Rasmussen:
I'd like to find somebody that has a nack for it but this isn't exactly a glamorous line of entertainment that people go into.
Web User:
Adriano is another crowd pleasing entertainer type, have you done many routines with him?
Flint Rasmussen:
Actually Adriano isn't much for doing routines. When he's in the arena, he's more focused on doing his job. It's rare to find a bull rider that will act at all when the performers in the arena.
Web User:
Please say your NOT even thinking of retiring any time soon!!
Flint Rasmussen:
No where in the near future but I am just working exclusive for the PBR next year.
Web User:
do you act the same way outside pbr events like at home?
Flint Rasmussen:
One of the hardest things with my job is that people expect me to be high energy all the time. I would say I'm witty but don't expect high energy outside the arena.
Flint Rasmussen:
My wife says I'm quite boring.

Blueberry Wine Retires

Legendary Bull Blueberry Wine Retires
Photo: Andy WatsonBrendon Clark is one of only two cowboys to ride Blueberry Wine, as seen here in Oklahoma City, 2004. Click here to see more of Andy's Photos
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 23, 2005) - On the heels of Little Yellow Jacket's retirement announcement, news hit the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) today that yet another marquee bull will retire from competition at the end of the 2005 season. Herrington Cattle Company's Blueberry Wine has become a virtual household name in the industry and after approximately seven years on the tour, will leave at the top of his game.
Like Little Yellow Jacket, Blueberry Wine will officially end his prolific career at the conclusion of the 2005 Built Ford Tough World Finals, October 28-30 and November 3-6. Bull riding enthusiasts will not want to miss one of the rare and final opportunities to witness as both Little Yellow Jacket and Blueberry Wine buck during the upcoming Frito Lay Scoops Invitational, which takes place on Saturday, June 25 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas at 6:50 p.m. Tickets for the event are available by calling 719-471-3008 extension 3136.
Robbie Herrington of Herrington Cattle Company states, "I, along with the entire Herrington family, consider it a privilege to announce the retirement of Blueberry Wine. In a sport as physically demanding as bull riding is on both rider and bull, seldom do we have the opportunity to watch an athlete as great as Blueberry Wine compete for so long. For the past seven years, Blueberry has traveled coast to coast competing in the championship rounds at PBR events. With such a demanding schedule, it has been nearly impossible to use him as a breed bull. Although he is physically capable of competing for a couple more years, we believe he is much more valuable to the sport of bull riding as a top-end sire."
"Blueberry Wine is 10 years old and that's not ancient for a bull, but for a bucking bull he's a real old-timer," said PBR Vice President Cody Lambert. "In a lot of ways he's like Little Yellow Jacket. He started to buck at a young age and was on the road as a three-year-old, Blueberry Wine is one of the smallest bulls in the PBR. He weighs in at a little under 1,100 pounds, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in speed and effort. There is never a weak effort from Blueberry Wine. He will do what ever it takes to win and very few guys ride him. At his last event in Phoenix he bucked off Justin McBride and he looked like he bucked as well as he ever has. At 10 years old, his days as a great athlete are numbered, and like Little Yellow Jacket, every time he bucks, he's in the short go facing one of the best bull riders there is."
Blueberry Wine was purchased from James Harper for a reported figure of $50,000. Blueberry Wine was ridden only twice during 2004; once when Brendon Clark achieved 92 points aboard the dynamic featherweight and again by Mark Ward to 91.5. However, he has yet to be ridden in 2005. Blueberry Wine finished in a three way tie for fourth through sixth place in the 2004 PBR World Champion Bull standings. He has unseated 91.3% of all challengers during 2005 and has been covered only nine times in 90 career outs on the tour. While he finishes the 2005 season and moves on to retirement, Blueberry Wine leaves an indelible impression on those fortunate to have seen him.

LYJ Chat Transcript

LYJ Chat Transcript
Little Yellow Jacket Chat Transcriptfrom June 23, 2005 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
Speaker
Message
Web User:
Michael, what were you thinking when you were on Little Yellow Jacket?
Michael Gaffney :
I was thinking I have a long ways to the buzzer and he's thrown me off 5 times before.
Web User:
LYJ is my favorite bull and has been since I started watching PBR two years ago. Have you decided which events he will be at the remainder of the season? I haven't had a chance to see him in person yet.
Cody Lambert:
Dallas, Columbus and Ft. Lauderdale
Web User:
Jody, at the PBR World FInals, would you like to get another chance on Little Yellow Jacket?
Jody Newberry:
I'd give anything to draw him.
Web User:
Will LYJ be at finals?
Cody Lambert:
Once the first weekend at Mandalay Bay and once at Thomas & Mack, most likely the short go.
Web User:
does every cowboy want to ride LYJ?
Jody Newberry:
I think I can ride him. I think I've ridden him at least 6 seconds everytime!
Web User:
Michael, how do you feel about LYJ retiring?
Michael Gaffney :
I think it's well deserved. It's actually overdo since the miles this bull has traveled. He deserves time in the pasture.
Web User:
Bernie, how did you get involved in part ownership of LYJ? Do you have other bulls?
Nevada Berger:
I got into through Tom Teague and asked me to partner. We got Rocket Man now.
Web User:
Is there frozen semen available from LYJ, if so how much is it and who would it be purchased from.
Nevada Berger:
Anybody can purchase it and yes, there's a lot of it. $500 a straw.
Web User:
what will happen to LYJ after he is retired?
Nevada Berger:
Not too much. Just breed him to a lot more cows.
Web User:
Nevada-How did he get out of the trailer while you were driving?
Web User:
LYJ seems to spin alot. What makes this more difficult than a bull that just goes up and down?
Cody Lambert:
If he turns, he's trying to tip you off balance.
Michael Gaffney :
It's called the law of physics.
Web User:
is it my imagination or last month when a rider got tangled up under jacket, did he actually stop and wait for the guys to get the rider out from under him? i think he is a great bull.
Nevada Berger:
Yes, he bucked away from Brian Courson in Nampa. He could've stepped on him easy!
Web User:
how many 90 point rides were made on Little Yellow Jacket?
Cody Lambert:
How many times has he been ridden?
Nevada Berger:
All but one or two times has he not been in the 90s
Web User:
I have a question for Jody Newberry. What is your favorite thing about LYJ?
Jody Newberry:
He's such a great bull and has a great reputation, which helps my reputation if I ride him.
Web User:
has little yellow jacket sired any offspring that I can look forward to seeing in the future
Nevada Berger:
You might see Black Jacket and Baby Jacket. They are four years old.
Web User:
Michael, did you ever ride Bodacious, and, if so how would you compare him to LYJ
Michael Gaffney :
No I didn't ever draw or get on Bodacious. I wouldn't compare them other than their hearts being the same size.
Web User:
Mr Taupin, what made you decide to become part of the PBR?
Bernie Taupin:
Roots and fan base. Traveled around with my cutting horses and I just got into it.
Web User:
Nevada, the first time you saw Little Yellow Jacket buck..did you know he was something special?
Nevada Berger:
Yeah. He bucked like he knew what he was doing and it was his first time.
Web User:
how do you keep the bulls "in shape" for bull riding in the off season?
Cody Lambert:
Every stock contractor has their own exercise program.
Web User:
How close are you and little yellow jacket and since you drink budlight has he ever tasted it?
Nevada Berger:
We're pretty close. I see him everyday but I haven't fed him Budlight.
Web User:
In his pasture, does LYJ have a gentle disposition? Could anyone just walk up to him without him trying to hurt them?
Nevada Berger:
When he's around the corral, he'll act like he wants to chase you. He does load in the trailer from the pasture though.
Web User:
do you think that Blueberrywine and Little Yellow Jacket are in any way similar?
Jody Newberry:
I don't think they are similar. They both spin and move fast but they are still night and day.
Web User:
Mr. Berger which ride do you consider to be Little Yellow Jackets finest performance?
Nevada Berger:
His finest performance was when he bucked hard for Dan Hendricks in Worcester.
Cody Lambert:
He's hardest trip was with Chris Shivers for the million dollar ride in Colorado Springs
Web User:
Michael : Do you think Reindeer Dippin is the next Champ..I do!!
Michael Gaffney :
Unfortunately he doesn't get seen as much but I think the guys would love to ride him.
Web User:
Since these bulls seem to love to buck so much, will they show signs of depression or lethargy when they no longer get to do that?
Nevada Berger:
They just like to go places like Little Yellow Jacket. He runs along side the fence if I leave without him.
Web User:
Is there any bull that you think compares or shows similarity to LYJ?
Cody Lambert:
Every great bull shows similarity to LYJ. I think he's unmatched being on the road so much and being at the top of his game everytime.
Web User:
Cody with the retirment of Little yellow jacket and Blueberry Wine who do you see coming up feeling there place on the PBR circuit that will rate right up there with them?
Cody Lambert:
There are more great bulls now than ever, but you just can't replace the greats. Hopefully the sport can live without them. There's a little bull called Sharp Shooter that looks pretty special and there are plenty of others.
Web User:
As a fan I will miss the show that LYJ puts on ..such a performer..and the last look he gives the crowd as he prances out of the ring.What will you miss Jody?
Jody Newberry:
Probably the same thing. I thought LYJ had the most character. I always wondered what he was thinking. I know he knew more about the game than most. He knew he was king.
Web User:
Mr Taupin, how does it feel to know that you co-own one of the greatest bulls in the pbr
Bernie Taupin:
I'm just honored to get my name associated with the greatest bull of all time. I'm happy he's retiring, he's going out on top.
Web User:
Micheal, what do you think about LYJ and the cowboys that has rode him?
Michael Gaffney :
He'll go down as the greatest bull of all time and I'm just one of the fortunate ones that have been gotten the chance to get on him, several times.
Cody Lambert:
Everyone who rode him was good and very lucky.
Web User:
Bernie, have you or will you wirte a song about LYJ?
Bernie Taupin:
I try not to mix the two if I can help it.
Web User:
Nevada, is there a particular thing that makes you decide it's time to retire a bull?
Nevada Berger:
No, just that LYJ has done everything he can do. He'll still be around a long time.
Web User:
Because of his retirement will LYJ still be eligable for bull of the year?
Cody Lambert:
Every bull is elligible this year.
Web User:
Michael, i am 14 and a bull rider, would you be able to tell me how to stay on a bull with the abillitys of LYJ?
Michael Gaffney :
Get five years older, then LYJ will be fourteen. Hopefully you'll have more experience by then. Good luck!
Web User:
On one TV show, someone said that these bulls are treated "better than most people treat their children." Is it true that these bulls are given far much more attention than your standard livestock?
Cody Lambert:
They're given a lot more attention because there's more required of them year around. They have to be looked after to see that they feel good and are healthy. Keeping them in peak condition is a priority.
Web User:
who do you think will be bull of the year this year? LYJ?
Jody Newberry:
I've been asking myself the same question.
Cody Lambert:
There's so many good bulls out there and we still have more time to determine that.
Web User:
How do you determine which cows you will use to breed with a certain bull?
Nevada Berger:
The one's who have raised bulls already. The blood lines have a lot to do with it. Our cows are sired by LYJ and grand sires before that.
Web User:
I heard that LYJ's papa had a mean temperament. Is LYJ the same, or just competitive?
Nevada Berger:
His dad was just like him. No mean temperament. His grandpa never settled down and was mean all the time.
Web User:
can little yellow jacket be visted at the berger ranch
Nevada Berger:
No but we plan to take him to special appearances.
Web User:
Cody did you ever get on LYJ ?
Cody Lambert:
I was too old for Jacket. I got on his grandfather. I retired when lYJ was born. I would've though.
Web User:
Jody, why is it so much more difficult for tall bull riders to make 8 seconds, especially on smaller bulls?
Jody Newberry:
I ride bulls even when people say I'm too tall. I don't think it's any different. To me it's not a valid arguement.
Web User:
What is the average life span of a bull such as LYJ?
Nevada Berger:
Pretty old. I have cows that are healthy and are 17-18 years old. I think LYJ will live a long time.
Cody Lambert:
Wolf Man just died this year at 19.
Web User:
jody what would be the hardest move of little yellow jacket
Jody Newberry:
The direction change was the most difficult. He sucks back and kicks over his head at the same time. When he bails out of the chute it's like hitting a brick wall.
Web User:
jody, do u tink that you could ride him for 90 or higher
Jody Newberry:
I think I'm definately able to ride him but if you do there's no doubt it will be a 90.
Chat Moderator:
Due to previous commitments, Tom Teague, Little Yellow Jacket Co-Owner and PBR Board Member, could not participate in the live online chat but issued the following responses.
Web User:
Would you like to see two-time PBR World Champion Chris Shivers draw Little Yellow Jacket again before the bull is retired?
Tom Teague:
I would love to see Chris draw him again. I think Chris can ride the bull, but he just hasn?t?maybe because of the mental game. Personally, I would love to see him ride him.
Web User:
Describe your favorite memory of LYJ:
Tom Teague:
My favorite memory is the best ride I?ve ever seen on Little Yellow Jacket. When Michael Gaffney rode him for 96.5 during the 2004 Nampa event to win the event title.
Web User:
How do you feel about the decision to retire LYJ?
Tom Teague:
I concur [with Nevada Berger] 100%. I would like to see him go out on top.
Web User:
Describe why you became involved and bought ownership in LYJ
Tom Teague:
When I bought the television rights, I realized there were two components to the PBR?the bull and the rider. I knew I would never be a rider, so I became very interested in the bulls. I would ask Adriano, Ty, and Michael which bull was the best, and they would always say either Mossy Oak Mudslinger or Little Yellow Jacket. So, I bought half of Mudslinger, and I eventually bought half of Little Yellow Jacket.

LYJ Retires

Little Yellow Jacket's retirement announced 3-Time PBR World Champion Bull makes limited appearances through 2005
3-time World Champion Bull Little Yellow Jacket will retire after the 2005 BFTS Season.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 20, 2005) - It's been quite a ride for Berger, Taupin, and Teague Bucking Bulls, the partnership that owns the three time Professional Bull Riders' (PBR) World Champion Bucking Bull, Little Yellow Jacket. Little Yellow Jacket will officially end his illustrious career at the 2005 Built Ford Tough World Finals, October 28-30 and November 3-6. Bull riding enthusiasts will not want to miss the rare opportunity to witness one of Little Yellow Jacket's final appearances during the upcoming Frito Lay Scoops Invitational, which takes place on Saturday, June 25 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas at 6:50 p.m. Tickets for the event are available by calling 719-471-3008 extension 3136.
For three years running Little Yellow Jacket has been voted by the top 45 bull riders in the world as the king of bucking bulls; no small feat in an industry that is producing more explosive and increasingly athletic four legged athletes with the passing of each PBR season.
Tom Teague of Teague Bucking Bulls, LLC, candidly remarked, "First and foremost I would like to thank Joe, Darlene, and Nevada Berger for selling me half interest in Little Yellow Jacket. What can you really say about a bull that has been voted the three-time bucking bull of the year? That is all you have to say. I just wish they would have sold me the other half interest."
"Little Yellow Jacket is my main traveling partner," said Nevada Berger of Berger Bucking Bulls. "He's the first one on the trailer. He loves what he does and he likes to go. The further he gets from home the harder he bucks."
The impending retirement of the incredible little bull with the strong traveling instincts will leave a void, however the Berger family agreed that the time was appropriate for Little Yellow Jacket's final curtain call. "He's number one and he's at the top with nothing left to prove," stated Nevada Berger. Darlene Berger echoed her son's sentiments stating, "Little Yellow Jacket is a once in a lifetime bull. It will be a sad day when he doesn't buck anymore and especially for Nevada because he shares a very special bond with that bull. But we all agreed that he's been at the top for a while and he has done his job. Little Yellow Jacket has made a significant difference in all of our lives because of all of the people that respect him and friends that we've gained through his involvement in the PBR."
Joe Berger, who got started in the bucking bull industry in 1966, stated, "Little Yellow Jacket has bucked hard all his life since he was about two and a half years old, and we feel that he deserves to get off the trailer. Next spring we'll turn him out with some cows and raise a few calves by him. I would like to thank the PBR for giving us the chance to take him to the events and the bull riders for recognizing him."
Little Yellow Jacket's statistics reflect the immortal legacy that he will leave behind. He has been successfully ridden by merely 12 of the elite Built Ford Tough Series' (BFTS) best during the course of 85 recorded tour outs. Little Yellow Jacket, who is nine in August, made his PBR debut as a three-year-old in 1999 and during the past six seasons has turfed the biggest names in the sport of professional bull riding to the delight of his legion of loyal fans. Little Yellow Jacket and 1997 PBR World Champion Michael Gaffney teamed up on April 24, 2004 for an electrifying 96.5 point performance, which tied the highest score in PBR history formerly set by two-time PBR World Champion Chris Shivers (Jonesville, La.) and Bubba Dunn (Alexandria, La.).
Little Yellow Jacket was sired by 1997 PRCA Bull of the Year, Yellow Jacket, and his grandsire was two-time North American Rodeo Commission (NARC) Bull of the Year, Wrangler Rivets. The Bergers lost Little Yellow Jacket's mother in a devastating winter storm that killed approximately 100 head of cows in 1997. Of the breeding program responsible for producing this supreme athlete Joe Berger stated, "We started our bucking bull breeding operation in 1966 and we have done a lot of culling since those days to get the herd of around 200 cows and bred heifers that we've got now. Little Yellow Jacket has some sons that are bucking well right now."

Monday, February 06, 2006

World Title Hopefuls - AKA The riders you don't hear much about

Well we've heard a lot about Chris Shivers, Adriano Moraes, Guilherme Marchi, JW Hart and Justin McBride this season as contendors for the PBR World Title, but what about those guys we don't hear enough about or anything about? What about them? Through much thought and a little bit of research here are just a few of those contendors that we don't hear about.

Jody Newberry

Sure we've heard about Jody a lot since the finals but it has been for an entirely different reason. Jody has had a fairly good season so far. He's ridden 66.67% of his bulls, he's 3rd in the world and his new rope seems to be working for him. So why again haven't we heard much about him being a contendor for the world title? Because a LOT of people are still hung up on the whole spur in the rope controversy from the finals. It's been a little over 3 months since the whole thing happend, Jody's moved on why can't you?
I think that Jody "said" it best when he won the event and some $54 thousand at the OKC event. I really think that he's going to be a force to be reckoned with this season. That he's not going to go quietly into the night. That the other riders are going to have to outride him to beat him this season. It would be truely poetic justice if Jody Newberry won the title at the end of the 2006 season.

Travis Briscoe

With his flaming red hair and his "say I won't and I will" attitude I think that Travis Briscoe has an excellent chance of winning the 2006 world title. He's only 18 and yet he's the only rider so far in the season to break $100,000.00. His riding precentage is 65.2% and he's also only one of two men to win two events at this point in the season. I think that if he can stay healthy and focused he just might break the record for the most events won.

Jared Farley

I don't think that Jared has been drawing the bulls that he needs to be higher in the standings. He's riding 52.2% of his bulls. He rode Slim Shady for 89 points in Minneapolis, he rode Super Duty for 90 points in OKC and he rode Sports Machine for 92.5 in the short round of OKC. He's finished pretty well this season. He's 8th in the world right now but I think he's most definately a sleeper.

Brian Canter

What can I say about Brian Canter? He's been compared to the late great Lane Frost - that's really cool in my book. He barely breaks 5 foot tall (even I'm taller than him and I'm short) and he's got float like a butterfly sting like a bee down solid. When he's on top of his game he's a force to be reckoned with but like I said about Jared Farley I just don't think that the computer has been too kind to Brian. He's only ridden 47.83% of his bulls so far this season and he's only had ONE top 10 finish so far. I think that when the computer starts being nice to Brian he's gonna just catch fire and move from 11th in the world to a much higher possibly single digit number.

Ross Coleman

I think that Ross is tired of being known as "Justin McBride's drinking buddy". After a pretty terrible finals I think he may have gotten it into his head that he's got to prove to himself that he's better than the two qualified rides he made at the finals. He's sticking to almost everything this season, he's only bucked off of 8 bulls so far this season and he's already won one event. If he can stay healthy and focused he's a definate threat to the those at the top of the leader board.

Again these are just my opinions. Feel free to comment on them if you so desire.









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Jamie