LAS VEGAS, Nevada (March 12, 2017) - Determined to get his professional bull riding career back on track, Travis Briscoe, a 20 year veteran of the sport slayed the dragons in his head and three on the dirt to take home the lion's share of the $49,250.00 purse as he won the annual Championship Bull Riding Tuff Hedeman Vegas Shoot Out at the South Point Hotel Casino and Spa Arena.
Fighting back the tears a humbled Briscoe, who has earned in excess of one million dollars riding bulls, had this to say about what fueled the Saturday night win in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the South Point Equestrian Center Arena.
"More practice bulls, an empty wallet and a hungry stomach will do a lot for a guy. It just took being persistent and not giving up on myself, I feel healthy and young again… and it feels good," said Briscoe.
Championship Bull Riding (CBR) packed up and headed 1,388 miles west from the previous tour stop in Lufkin, Texas to revel in the annual fast paced, sold out event held each year during NASCAR's Las Vegas Motor Speedway weekend. Knowing how the west is won, Hedeman and the bull riders joined the NASCAR fans at the South Point headquarters at the track in the desert greeting fans and enjoying the thrills and spills of victory lane during the South Point's race week activities.
The annual Las Vegas event is a significant stop on the CBR's televised tour as the World title race turns the corner and prepares for the final lap on the 2017 Road to Cheyenne televised professional bull riding tour.
Four time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer Tuff Hedeman arrived in Las Vegas with five time World Champion Sage Kimzey and twenty five elite bull riding athletes. This annual classic event pits man vs beast in a two hour bull riding that has captivated and entertained Las Vegas fans and visitors for ten years.
"Tonight was amazing with seventeen great bull rides and a shoot-out finish, it was a great show, we enjoy every year here at the South Point as we bring the Las Vegas fans and guests a top rated bull riding competition and some great entertainment," said Hedeman as he presented the $38,000 check and prize package to Briscoe.
Twenty six riders from ten states took to the chutes with ten of the cowboy athletes posting qualified rides in round one. Two riders turned in 89.5 round winning performances to set the pace, US Army Veteran Juan Alonzo and Caleb Sanderson. Alonzo rode 82X HD (Jared Allen) and Sanderson rode the rarely ridden 128 Uptown Funk (Knapp).
Fugate posted the first score of 86.5 on Comanche Moon (Championship Pro Rodeo) followed by Tyler Taylor's lead stealing 89 points on 723 Hex (Williams/Freeman/Pepper). Horizon Champ Koby Radley joined the party with 89 on 151 Arkansas Flash. Number one ranked Kimzey would easily earn 86 on Allen's 116 Rock On followed by number two, Eli Vastbinder's 87.5 on 322 Primetime (Barker Barnett) Jesus and Briscoe would keep the party going scoring 89 and 88 respectively to end the first round.
"I had not been on him (T44 Kool Kitty), but we are both from New Mexico and I knew he was a hard one to get by and will test you. Knowing him might have hindered me a little, but I got him ridden and that was what I needed," said Briscoe who calls Edgewood, New Mexico home.
Hearing Hedeman's words inspired the bull rider who before the win was living on the edge of being cut from the televised tour.
"Where the heck has that been," were the inspiring words from Tuff Hedeman that Brsicoe remembers hearing after his qualified rides during the night.
Following Briscoe on the draw was Braden Richardson, a rookie bull rider from Jasper, Texas who advanced to round two with 87 points on TDS's Mommas Boy.
With ten riders making the whistle in round one, two were drawn back on time, John Pitts and Wyatt Rogers with ten advancing on qualified ride scores.
Alonzo remains in the driver's seat for one of the favorite semifinal round bulls, Jeff Harris's 277 Dirty Little Secret. With a fairly familiar list of semifinal round bulls, the riders take to the chutes. Unexpectedly Rogers does not get past Mike Rawson's Kojack, but John Pitts takes an 89 on 27 Barstool from JC Knapp.
Sage Kimzey is the first to ride two with a 90 on Jared Allen's 029 Backjackin putting him in the lead with 176 on two. Braden Richardson would be the next to ride two with an 88.5 on Fancy Pants and a 175.5 total on two. Vastbinder was up next and uncharacteristically bucked off 714 Bonanza (Williams, Freeman, Pepper) in 6.72 seconds.
In the rankest scored out of the night, Denton Fugate's night ended early after 20 Cadillac Jack overwhelmed him in 3.75 seconds.
Briscoe leaned on Kimzey for advice on JQH's perennial bucker C735 Jack Tar.
"I asked Sage about him and said he will lead strong and try you pretty hard right out of the gate but then he gets good, and he was right," said Briscoe who was 90.5 on the cowboy favorite.
Radley took American Fire (Silver Creek) out for an 89 point spin which was enough to put him in the final four shoot out with 178 average on two.
Taylor, Jesus and Sanderson would all be overpowered before the whistle leaving Alonzo as the final out of the round. Alonzo who has a history of winning rounds in Las Vegas boarded Harris's 27 Dirty Little Secret and took him for 90.5 to tie the round and by virtue of the back judge's higher score he would have first pick for his ride in the Shoot Out round.
Shoot Out Round
Five riders rode two bulls leaving Braden Richardson out of the final four man round by .5. Alonzo earned the right to select first and after brief consultation with Hedeman he took the rank bull of the four man draw.
"The one Juan picked was the one everyone wanted to stay away from, it shows Juan's heart as he picked the rankest for the biggest score," said Briscoe as he drew next and selected the bull he expected Alonzo to take, 911 Hy Test.
Kimzey was out first on 4 Migraine Monday, a Harper Morgan Burrus bull that ended the Champ's night a little early. Radley was up next taking a little longer in the chutes and as the bull started into his hand threw him a big fake shifting up first and then deciding to throw his thousand pounds of momentum, and Radley, in the opposite direction, all within 3.62 seconds.
Briscoe was up next on Hy Test and with Kimzey's advice in his head, he heard the whistle.
"He wanted to pull me down on his head and was harder to ride, I just put my head down and my arm back and waited to hear the whistle with all the try I had," said Briscoe who was awarded for his effort with a 91.5 score.
Alonzo was last out and had his hands full and eventually over matched with Scott Burruss's 630 Georgia Son who according to the former CBR Stock Contractor of the Year, had his usual trip.
World Title Race
Missing in action this week were five of the top ten ranked riders thus leaving the leaderboard door slightly ajar.
Kimzey rode two for 176 total points increasing his total points to 2124. Behind him is Vastbinder who rode one to stay in striking distance of Kimzey. Vastbinder was 88.5 points in round one, now 535 points behind Kimzey. Tyler Taylor moved up from 5 to 4 after a strong Vegas event covering two bulls. Moving inside the top ten with strong finishes were Koby Radley who made the largest jump from the number 12 position to number 6 after riding two and Caleb Sanderson, who won the average in Lufkin, moved from 13 to 10. Navajo Nation Champ Cody Jesus climbed a few notches to number 8 as he settles into the Road to Cheyenne routine.
With the completion of the Las Vegas Shoot Out, the CBR cowboys move to Salina, Kansas for the next event with nine bull scores available at the three remaining events left on the regular season calendar. Add the five rounds of action at the CBR World Finals at Cheyenne Frontier Days and the race is nowhere near over.
On pace to qualify for his fourth appearance this year at the CBR World Finals, Kimzey knows the pressure of the five rounds at the World Finals and will be looking to increase his lead and distance himself even further in the remaining three events. Detailed information available at 2017 CBR World Standings.
CBR Bull Team Challenge
The CBR's Million Dollar Bull Team Challenge is getting heated as the opportunity to qualify for the $100,000 bonus check in Cheyenne is dwindling. Vegas was the thirteenth stop and the veteran bull team challenge players, New Mexico's team of TDS Bucking Bulls, Trampas Spence, Dustin Danley, and Scott Brason from Artesia, NM won the Vegas Shoot Out Bull Team Challenge competition. With the win and the points came the $20,000 check, custom HyO Silver buckle, Fenoglio Boots, and an American Hat, but obviously more important to them was the first event title win.
Fueled by the two ride scores from Briscoe and Richardson and the rankest marked bull of the night, the trio of bulls earned TDS 285.75 points for the win. Williams, Freeman, Pepper were second with 284.32 followed closely by JQH with 284.25. Rounding out the top four was Rafter B, Rockin C and Jeff Harris sliding in with 282.91 points. The first three teams placed with two ride scores while Harris's rank team and Alonzo's 90.5 on 277 placed him in the money.
Anchoring the winning team was the bull raised by TDS, semifinal round bull Cadillac Jack, who was 92 points on four judge system as he bucked off Denton Fugate with about four seconds of vertical bucking action. T44 Kool Kitty, who also represented the team in Hobbs carried Briscoe in round one for 88 points. Rookie Braden Richardson rode their second draw, 189 Mama's Boy for 87 points.
"One of the bulls was older and we know him real well and getting really nice and the guys like getting on him, the other two are just young bulls we knew would be good," said the winning TDS partnership answering the question of how did you pick your bulls.
CBR Road to Cheyenne bull riding tour resumes action in Kansas on March 25 for the Showdown in Salina also featuring the CBR's Championship Futurity Tour.
CBR Vegas Shoot Out Results
1, Travis Briscoe, Edgewood, NM, 91.5 points on 911 Hy Test (Harris) $38,000, 270 points on 3. 2, Juan Alonzo, 180 pts on 3, $2,250. 3, Koby Radley, 178 on 3, $2,250. 4, Sage Kimzey, 178 on 3, $2,250.
Round by Round scoring available on Results Link - cbrbull.com.
Bull Team Challenge Results
1, TDS Bucking Bulls 285.75 points, $20,000. 2, Williams, Freeman, Pepper, 284.32, $12,000. 3, JQH, 284.25, $8,000. 4, Rafter B,Rockin C,Harris, 282.91, $5,000.
For more information contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, 940.902.1112 or email@example.com.
Courtesy of CBRBull.com
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