It's All in the Cards


A Candid Conversation with JQH Bucking Bulls

By Leigh Ann Schroeder


If you watch any movie that involves poker, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before a royal flush makes an appearance. This hand in poker is the ten, jack, queen, king and ace, all of the same suit. Typically the hero of the movie is dealt this hand and it is revealed in a dramatic fashion. The reason for this is that a royal flush is the highest ranked hand in the card game of poker. 

 I don’t know if Skip and Elaine Jones play poker, but when their JQH trailer arrives at a Championship Bull Riding event, you can bet their deck is stacked!

Winning their first CBR Championship Futurity League event in July, JQH bucking Bulls completed their quest for the perfect hand of buckers in both competitive divisions of CBR and is looking forward to competing with their future superstars at the CBR CFT World Finals in Conroe, Texas on October 4 at the Lonestar Expo Center. 

After just four years with CBR, JQH has accumulated wins in all of the available categories and demonstrated their belief that the challenge of providing the right bulls that are competitive is what makes the CBR exciting. “They need to be rank, but rideable.”

Skip and Elaine Jones, owners of JQH Bucking Bulls, won their first CBR Million Dollar Bull Team Challenge competition in Jackson, Tennessee in January of 2014.  They placed second at Scottsdale and then in Fort Worth accumulating enough points to qualify in the #2 position for the coveted CBR World Finals at Cheyenne Frontier Days. Placing 17th in Cheyenne, they finished the season with a total earnings of $63,000.

On August 28th at the season opener in Huron, South Dakota, they blew the competition away winning the first Bull Team Challenge of the year by an unprecedented 8 points.  

 A husband and wife owned team from Amarillo, Texas, the Jones have habitually followed the “rank bull score” theory in the bull team challenge format. The Jones’ are fans of the tournament style event created by CBR, and purchased their first CBR bull team in 2013.

“We want to get them as rank as possible and still let the boys get on and have the chance to ride for a big score", said Jones about the process he uses to select his team bulls for CBR events.

On the Road to Cheyenne, the anchor of their bull team is 327 Evil Knievel, who was awarded the high marked (rank) bull score once last year with a 90.5 and recently was the highest marked ride score,  92 points in Huron. He boasts five qualified rides in CBR competition, all 90 point plus scores, making him (according to the bull riders) “the one to draw” and the poster child for the JQH bull team theory. 

Next up on the “love to draw” list would be C735 Jack Tar, he is ridden 50% of the time and his lowest posted ride score is 88. Trey Benton was the high marked ride score on Jack once with a 90.5.

JQH hauls two bulls that remain unridden on the pro circuits – 977 Keith Stone and 419 Bel Air. 836 Raptor was recently moved from the unridden to the ridden list as Ardie Maier took him the full eight seconds for the first time in his bucking career and was an 89.5.  

Skip Jones, a cutting horse trainer and owner of a security systems business, also supplies bulls for a Texas junior regional bull riding association. In their spare time they raise, train and haul bucking horses, and compete in that industry competition as well as additional bull futurities. 

We recently caught up with the “Matt Dillon and Ms. Kitty” of the CBR to find out a little more about this impressive dynamic duo.

LAS: Where do you call home?

Skip:  Raised and have lived in Amarillo (Texas) most of my life 

LAS: How long you have been raising or hauling bulls?

SKIP: About 4 years total

LAS:  How did you get started? 

SKIP: We started with youth bulls after attending a miniature bull riding with some friends that had a son entered. We thought our teenage son, who wanted to ride saddle broncs, would make a better stock contractor than a yard dart. It didn’t take with him but we bit pretty hard.

LAS:  Who is or was your industry mentor?  

SKIP:  If we have one it would be Mike Johnson. He has been helping us with the young bulls and we talk almost every day. 

LAS:  What is one thing about you that would surprise those who know you?

SKIP:   I read a lot. I have almost 400 books on my Kindle account.

LAS: What is the best bull you own or haul?

SKIP:  I would say Lil Bit of Sting. A three year old that we own in partnership with some of our cutting horse friends. He has won a little more than $70,000.00 to date in Million Dollar, CBR derby and ABBI events. He has not been to a CBR team event yet, but maybe in the future.

LAS:  Can you finish this sentence - Before flank my bulls I always? 

SKIP: Wish the riders good luck and try to tell them about the bulls. That’s the same at all events, not just the CBR team events.

LAS:  If you could change places with anyone in the world who would it be? 

SKIP: I like my life a lot. We are busy, we have a lot of good friends and we get to take part in 2 different sports that I love, Rodeo and Cutting.

LAS:  What is something you learned early that you carry with you today? 

SKIP:  Nothing beats hard work

LAS: What are your favorite bucking genetics?

SKIP:  Ima Gangster

LAS:  Do you breed and raise or just haul?  

SKIP:  We breed, raise and train; we have about 175 head at the ranch

LAS:  What is your Pet Peeve? 

SKIP:  Not closing gates!!

LAS:  What is your perfect day like?

SKIP:  Sitting on a beach, in a recliner, with Elaine. Of course this can’t last but a day or 2 before I get stir crazy.

LAS:  What is the strangest thing in your truck or trailer? 

SKIP:  I’d rather not say! Lol.

LAS:  What was the best bull ride you ever made? 

SKIP:  I mostly donated. My best event was the dance after the rodeo.

LAS: What is the best out you ever flanked?

SKIP: Probably Lubbock Texas in 2013. J.W. Harris on Evil Kneivel. The first time I had flanked a bull that marked over 91.