Hopes and Dreams on the Line at the Season Opener of the CBR Championship Futurity League

While most are still dreaming of success, Championship Bull Riding's futurity team owners wake-up and work hard to achieve it. A new bucker is like the beginning of all things-wonder, hope, and a dream of possibilities.

The bulls are on their way to Lufkin, Texas for the first futurity event of the 2015 CBR Championship Futurity League.  While many contractors have been sorting their calves for over a year in anticipation of this two-year-old bucking bull competition, others leave their bulls to grow, mature, and begin the selection process only after New Year's Day.

Some contractors think it is a process of careful selection and preparation; some think predicting the mood, pattern, and energy level of three young bulls is similar to playing roulette at a casino. But they all agree on one thing - they love the process and the competition.

Regardless of which theory you subscribe to, stock contractors have been pouring over bloodlines and stalking their pastures for livestock in an effort to determine which calves will be the next four legged superstars. 

"I think they are all superstars and they all get treated alike until I buck them for the first time in the late fall before their two year old year," said 2013 Stock Contractor of the Year, Mike Rawson of Martinsville, Texas.  His baby buckers have the shortest trip to the George Henderson Expo Center on Saturday as he lives just thirty minutes outside of Lufkin. Rawson has put together a team that includes the genetics of Sky king, -Bar F, and Lufkin Ranch and Rodeo's David's Dream.

Because these athletes are still growing, they are at a greater risk coming out of the chutes than the mature bulls that will power the CBR Lufkin Bull Bash on Saturday night.  

Opposite from Rawson, J.D. Dun, who has won over $300,000 bucking bulls in the last two years in aged competitive events, makes a six-hour trip to get to the Bull Bash. Dun of 01 Cattle Company is partnered on several teams that include bulls that have already won money and some making their first trip to the competitive arena. Dunn, who believes strongly in being prepared, believes good females is the foundation to raising successful futurity calves. 

Anchoring this team is 5A, After Midnight, who is sired by Midnight Mood and out of a daughter of Page's Crosswired, and has already earned $8,600 in 2015. A5, Hustlin Kitty is sired by 66T Hustlin, and out of a Stray Kitty daughter. But the calf my money is on is 96A, Hustlin Hotel sired by 77 Hustller. The super star genes in this calf come from the mama cow, the calf’s mother is none other than the great Mudslinger's mother.

Speaking of experts in young bulls, Brett Barrett, who also has an interest in several teams, will be flanking his ATM machine, #32 Playin’ With Fire, a Sure Fire calve out of a Back Fire cow. This calf has won $14,000 already in this less than 60-day-old futurity season.

HD Page, D&H Cattle Company of Ardmore, Oklahoma, is going the tried and tested route with 6A, who was second last year in Vegas at the yearling competition. This calf is sired by Shepard Hill Tested and is expected to be the best calf of this trio. Hustlin Hurricane, 98A, sired by Crossfire Hurricane is his second bull with a son of Fingerroll, 60-3, bucking in the third position.

Familiar to the day sheet is Benny Cude's 7 Rocking X Ranch bulls, owner of the reigning CBR Bull of the Year and Final Four Shootout bull, Penny Lover. Cude's calves will make their first trip to town and are powered by Cude Energy and Headliner bloodlines.

Four names on the day sheet is not unusual as the bucking bull business is full of partnerships and collaborations. Jeri Harmon whose Elite brand is synonymous with great bucking bulls such as Karaoke, is partnered on a team that features A10, a grandson of Reindeer Dippin, A12, a nephew of Roy Carter's 13X Kid Rock, both from Dunn and Schroeder, and calf 549 from Brett Barrett.   

Chad Ramer and David Finley's Rockin R Bucking Bulls are the reigning CBR Futurity League World Champions and no doubt his team will be locked and loaded in Lufkin. 

Although he doesn't like to talk about his young buckers until they prove themselves, you can bet futurity veteran Lyndal Hurst, the first man to cross the one million dollar earnings mark in limited aged events, will load three well bred, well-schooled, and capable youngsters in the Lufkin chutes.   

The competition gets underway early on Saturday morning at the George Henderson Expo Center in Lufkin, Texas at 8:00 am and is open to the public.

While time and space prohibits mentioning every bull on every team, there will be thirty teams of three bulls each competing for the $20,000 first place prize, buckle, and bragging rights to the Lufkin championship.  

One thing we know, these bulls will prove on Saturday morning that they have talent, heart, and agility. Now only time will tell who can, and who will, win it all.


A special thank you to Joanne Symons and Hyo Silver for providing Championship Bull Riding's trophy buckles!