Probst Farms/5-J Bucking Bulls

Finishing the regular season in first place of the Palace Station Million Dollar Bull Team Challenge has been the highlight of Jim Probst’s year. But going into the Bull Team Finals in Cheyenne next month, Jim knows that if he wants to win it has to be done on a clean slate.


Jim’s first-place finish in the regular season is largely due to successful partnerships and well-planned strategy. Although he doesn’t have a single bull on his homestead in Illinois and doesn’t own 100 percent of any one bull, Team Probst Farms has managed to put together top teams all year long through partnerships with contractors like Randy Shippy. Alpine Bucking Bulls and Bryce Cooper.


 “Randy and all his partners have a pretty deep set of bulls. We all work really well together and switch out bulls. We also hooked up with Bryce Cooper and used Dakotas Magic Double Scoop at Fort Worth and Dodge City. I wasn’t afraid to go outside the box and it worked,” Jim says.


Trading bulls back and forth across four teams makes for plenty of variety. The bulls on Team Probst included Pray for Mercy, Hat Trick, Double Scoop, Roper’s Like Mike, Thunder Down Under and more. The downside of sharing bulls is that each bull can only be entered on one team at the finals. Pray for Mercy and Hat Trick were two of Jim’s initial picks to attend Cheyenne but his preferred short round bull was taken.


“Double Scoop will be on Bryce’s Team so he’s unavailable,” Jim says. Because Jim recognized the importance of having the right short round bull to round out his team, he went back to thinking outside the box and started contacting other bull owners. He has since been able to work out a deal with Gilbert and Julie Carillo to include their superstar Carillo Cartel in the Team Probst lineup.


Now that his roster is complete, Jim is ready to head to the finals. Win or lose, he’s proud to reflect on his first year as a bull team owner. “I got into this deal because I liked what the CBR was doing and I wanted to be a part of what I thought would be a successful business and form of entertainment. I looked at it more as an investment than anything. I love going to bull ridings but being a bull owner is so much more exciting,” he says.


That excitement will reach its peak next month at the Palace Station Million Dollar Bull Team Challenge in Cheyenne. He says, “The goal all year long was to qualify for the finals and every step of the season things went our way. Here we are, sitting in first place, but the regular season’s behind us and it’s a whole new ballgame in Cheyenne.”