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07.23.2011
Palace Station Million Dollar Bull Team Challenge: Changing the Face of Stock Contracting

 Next week, the CBR will hold its first CBR Cinch Tour event at the Daddy of 'em All, Cheyenne Frontier Days. This event will also mark a tremendous milestone for CBR stock contractors participating in the Palace Station Million Dollar Bull Team Challenge Finals.

On July 25th, the top bull team will leave Cheyenne $75,000 richer. The finals will pay out a total of $225,000, making it the richest single-day bull team competition in the history of the sport. With money like that up for grabs, it's no wonder the top stock contractors in the business have vied for a spot at the bull team finals.

Championship Bull Riding CEO Wes Bruce says, "When we first set up the bull team concept, our goal was to create a competition series where stock contractors could come to CBR events and compete on a level playing field for a substantial amount of prize money. The success of that is evident by the substantial growth of the franchises, the popularity of the bull team competition and a million dollars being paid out in one year."

Randy Shippy, who manages multiple bull teams, says the innovative event format has been great for him and his partners. "We're excited about the finals and we figure we have a one in five shot for $75,000. I think our lowest earning team (in the regular season) still made $20,000," Randy says.

Before the bull team concept was developed, stock contractors showcased their bulls at aged events. The two-year old bulls competed in futurities, three-year-olds at derbies and four-year-olds at classics. Once a bull was over four years old, the only option available to stock contractors was hauling to bull riding events and receiving modest out money for the performances of their top athletes.

All this changed with the bull team format. Now, Shippy says, stock contractors can continue to haul bulls well into their prime and compete for record amounts of prize money. "It used to be, at the end of their four-year-old year, there was no use for these bulls. Now guys can keep their bull and continue hauling him to a competition," he says.

The regular season of bull team competition paid out $775,000 to stock contractors and the finals in Cheyenne will cap off the "million dollar" challenge with $225,000 in payout. Having the finals held in Cheyenne is about more than money, though. As Ted Keeling, partner in Cooper/All-Star, says, "It's kind of a temple of bull riding there. It's an honor to get to take bulls to that event. The CBR has given me the chance to go to great venues I never imagined I'd have bulls at."


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