Rookies Rule the Tuff Hedeman Las Vegas Shootout

It is hard to refer to Brennon Eldred as a rookie bull rider in Championship Bull Riding. Beating the odds of outscoring four World Champions, the twenty year old cowboy from Sulphur, Oklahoma, riding in his first year with CBR proved why. Eldred, the only cowboy to ride three bulls, thrilled the standing room only crowd at the South Point Hotel Arena for the Tuff Hedeman Vegas Shootout presented by Boot Barn & Discount Tire. With his outstanding performance on the ninth stop of the Mahindra Road to Cheyenne Tour, Eldred not only stepped up to the number two ranking in the Championship Bull Riding (CBR) World Standings, but more importantly to him, he moved several steps closer to his dream of winning a gold buckle in Cheyenne. 

“It is never easy to ride three bulls, but I drew great bulls tonight and my position coming back second into the final round allowed me to pick the same bull I had in Conroe last year and was 91 points on”, said Eldred about his selection of Mike Rawson’s Raven’s Mistake to win the Shootout Round and the Las Vegas title. 

Eldred, who earlier in the season won the CBR event in Hobbs, New Mexico, qualified for his first National Finals Rodeo in 2014 and with two CBR Mahindra Road to Cheyenne event titles to his name in 2015, he has now ridden 50 percent of the bulls he has attempted in CBR competition. More impressively Eldred has earned 90 point plus rides five times during his CBR rookie season, and is well on his way to his first CBR World Finals in conjunction with Cheyenne Frontier Days in July in Wyoming. 

Eldred was among the nine qualified rides in round one. Striking first was rookie Taryl Smith, Litchville, North Dakota, with an 89 on Mike Seller’s Smooth Talker. Eldred then turned in 90 points on Lyndal Hurst’s NFR bull Iron Horse and shared the number three ranking of the round with Juan Alonzo, who recently returned to the United States after serving five years in the United States army. Alonzo, riding Mike Rawson’s Little Shyster, had a great trip spurring over half of the ride on Rawson’s bull that resembles an ATM machine for cowboys. Kody Lostroh, who took the lead at the beginning of section II and finished first in round one, shared the round honors with the rookie Lane Toon, both earned 90.5 points. 

Lostroh, making his first CBR appearance rode 9100 Kojack, a two time NFR bull who has won not only cowboys a lot of money, but his owners as well. In an odd twist of fate, Toon, who also rode Kojack at the season opener in Jackson, would tie the round and advance thanks to another Championship Pro Rodeo bull Gold Buckle. 050 Gold Buckle, who began his stellar career on Lyndal Hurst’s trailer, assisted a bull rider to the 90 point plus club for the fifth time this yzear on the Mahindra Road to Cheyenne. 

Rounding out round one would be Corey Maier and Chris Roundy who would advance with 89 points each. Eighteen year old Wyatt Rogers, advanced with 87 on Rawson’s Moonshine, joined Ardie Maier who was the ninth man to advance on a qualified score with 83.5 on JQH’s Raptor.

Stepping up their game for the Semi Final Round, nine of the twelve bull riders would advance on scores and three, Pistol Robinson, Kritter Lamb, and Cody Rostockyi would advance on time ridden. Ardie Maier would be the first man to ride two with a 91 on Seller’s Black Betty, but on his heels was the rookie, Wyatt Rogers, sixteen years his junior, who would make a smooth move at 7 seconds to earn a 90 on Rawson’s White Wolf. Rogers, 176.5 on two would bump Maier’s lead.  Roundy would follow with an 87 to to tie Roger’s 176.5 average score on two bulls. Taryl Smith would easily score on Jeff Harris’s Bargin Bin to finish 177.5, but it was Juan Alonzo who would bring the fans to their feet with his eight seconds of hustling to earn 91 points on JQH young bucker Wicked Ways and win the Semi Final, but more importantly it put him in the average lead with 181 points and the opportunity to be the first cowboy to select his Shootout Round bull.  After watching his traveling partner win the CBR World finals on 33-8 Ragin JT, Eldred would easily post an 89.5 score on the super star bucker from Zach Craig and Brett Barrett to place second in the Semi Final Round with 179.5 on two.

Rogers, who has made the Final Four Shootout round four of the six times he has ridden on the 2015 Mahindra Road to Cheyenne Tour, lost the tiebreaker to Chris Roundy based on scores earned from the back judge during the Semi Final Round.

Alonzo, a rookie from Weslaco, Texas, making his third appearance in 2015 in the final Shootout Round, selected Jeff Harris’s Grey Goose. Eldred had his eye on a rematch, Raven’s Mistake, a bull he rode for 91 at the Conroe Bull Mania in October of 2015. Taryl Smith chose Money Talks which left Chris Roundy with the 2014 CBR Bucking Bull of the Year, Penny Lover.

Representing North Dakota, Utah, Oklahoma and Texas, the final four cowboys were all rookie bull riders. After careful consultation with 4 time World Champion, Tuff Hedeman, the young guns determined their draws by selecting their bulls in order of their average score.

Looking like he might be the second man to ride Penny Lover, the Utah bull rider, Chris Roundy came down early at 6.49 seconds when Penny Lover changed directions in an effort to unseat the rookie making his first Shootout Round appearance. Taryl Smith did not make the corner on Money Talks and came down hard after 2.62 seconds. Eldred, with the only rematch of the entire night, survived the first big jump and hard right corner of Raven’s Mistake for a 91 point score and the first qualified ride of the Shootout Round. Riding for the first time in the number one position, the pressure was on the rookie Army man. With the crowd firmly behind him, the unridden Grey Goose from Jeff Harris Bucking Bulls, a bull Juan Alonzo had never seen, would diminish the rookies dream of his first CBR win at 2.87 seconds when he turned back away from Alonzo’s riding hand.

Brennon Eldred, the twenty-year-old rookie bull rider from Sulphur, Oklahoma would win the $17,000 check, custom CBR Fenoglio boots, trophy buckle from Hyo Silver, and a bucket of points that would move him into the number two position in the horse race that has become the CBR World Standings.

Riding two bulls tonight would push Wyatt Rogers back into the number one position in the CBR World Standings. The leader coming into the Las Vegas events was Craig Jackson with Cody Teel only fifteen points behind the Houston cowboy. Jackson and Teel would both buck off in round one which allowed the two rookies, Eldred and Rogers to move ahead of them in the national rankings. 

Only sixteen qualified rides resulted from the chute gates opening a total of 45 times during the Las Vegas event. Those stats alone prove why the CBR bull team challenge was the better bet if you were trying to beat the house at the South Point Events Center. Powered by twelve stock contractors who made the trip from seven states, at the end of the night it was Mike Rawson from Martinsville, Texas who won the lion’s share of the $45,000 purse up for grabs for the men and women who own the “other side of the ride”. Rawson, winning an unprecedented eighth event title since joining the CBR Bull Team Challenge in 2011, enjoyed his second win in the City of Lights. Rawson was the 2014 Las Vegas Bull Team Challenge winner after placing second twice in the previous years.

“I moved my bull White Wolf to come out on the opposite delivery side than I usually put him on,” answering the question of what he did different with his three bull team to win the Las Vegas event for the second time. Rawson holding the oversized check for $20,000, supplied five bulls including Eldred’s winning ride on one of his favorite bull’s 743 Raven’s Mistake, sired by Zorro and out of a Whitewater Skoal bred cow. 743 has won three rounds for cowboys on the Mahindra Road to Cheyenne and been the round winning rankest bull twice on the CBR tour since making his debut in January of 2013. Championship Pro Rodeo and Benny Cude were second with 285.83 points. Mike Sellers finished third, just .31 points behind CPR/Cude’s team. Championship Pro Rodeo’ s partnership with Elite Bucking Bulls produced the fourth place team with 282.28. Mike Sellers’ Black Betty was the high marked ride (91.5) of the bull team challenge and Cadillac Red was the rankest scored bull of the night with a 91.5 point score from the four judge panel of experts.

 The Mahindra Road to Cheyenne returns to action on March 14th in Bossier City, Louisiana at the Eldorado Casino Resort Tuff Hedeman Championship Bull Riding. For more information contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, 940.902.1112 or


Las Vegas Results

Round One

1, Kody Lostroh 90.5 points on Kojack (CPR/Elite Bucking Bulls). 2, Lane Toon, 90.5. 3, Brennon Eldred 90. 4,Juan Alonzo 90, 5, Taryl Smith 90. 6, Corey Maier 89 points. 7, Chris Roundy, 89. 8,Wyatt Rogers, 86.5.Ardie Maier,84.5

Semi Final Round

1, Ardie Maier, 91.5 on Black Betty, 2, Juan Alonzo, 91. 3, Wyatt Rogers 90. Brennon Eldred 89.5. Taryl Smith, 88.5. 6, Chris Roundy 87.5.


Brennon Eldred 91 points on Raven’s Mistake from Rawson Bucking Bulls


Las Vegas CBR Bull Team Challenge Results

1. Mike Rawson and Probst 288.45

2. Championship Pro Rodeo/Cude Bucking Bulls 285.83

3. Sellers Bucking Bulls 285.52

4. Championship Pro Rodeo/Elite 282.28