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04.24.2015
History on the Line as Tuff Hedeman Sets the Stage for Day One of Del Rio

Four Time World Champion bull rider and three time Del Rio Champion Tuff Hedeman, forty two bull riders, and one hundred bred to buck you off bovines are in Del Rio, Texas, home to the celebrated George Paul Memorial (GPM), the longest running stand-alone bull riding in the world.

For thirty eight years professional cowboys, bulls, and fans have made the trek to the border town to either make or be a part of bull riding history.  On the line for this year’s competitors - riding an unridden bull, the number one ranking of the CBR in both rider and bull categories and the advantage of traveling to the CBR World Finals in Cheyenne this summer with a point plus advantage.  

On the line in Cheyenne? A $100,000 bonus to the one bull rider that leaves Cheyenne as the top of the CBR World Standings and an engraved Hyo Silver gold buckle that says World Champion.  Statistically any rider in the top five positions is a contender for the number one ranking.  How well they ride in Del Rio will determine the final rankings of the CBR regular season. With 300 points available to each bull rider here is a run-down of where the top five stand.

 

1. Sage Steele Kimzey, Strong City, Oklahoma – the 2014 CBR and PRCA World Champion bull rider. Kimzey took the lead after winning his first event in March and riding all three of his draws in Fort Worth. He leads by 57 points, or more plainly put, it will take only one qualified ride to catch and surpass his 1116.5 points, but you can bet Kimzey, who won over $85,000 in the month of March riding bulls, is on a path to defend his 2014 CBR World Champion title.    

2. Cody Teel, Kountze, Texas – the 2012 PRCA World Champion bull rider has won two events on tour in 2015, Rio Rancho, New Mexico and Lufkin, Texas. He has led the standings on and off since February and after suffering spring injuries in 2013 and 2014 that kept him out of CBR World title contention, the former two time Texas State High School Champion, Intercollegiate National Champion and the 2012 champ of the rodeo world, is in better position than he has ever been at the end of the CBR regular season. He holds onto the number two position by 78.5 points.   

3. Cody Rostockyj, Hillsboro, Texas – Selected to represent Mahindra as one of their “young guns”, Rostockyj has lived up to his billing as he has ridden 43% of his bulls on tour this season, made the Shootout Round twice in this just his second season with CBR. He has not won an event title yet this year, but he is only one score away from the number two ranking and two scores from first place.    

4. Brennon Eldred, Sulphur, Oklahoma - The first of two rookies in the top 5, Eldred has also won two events on tour this year, Hobbs, New Mexico and Las Vegas, Nevada. Riding 50% of his draws, Eldred has seen his name on the leader board more than once this year and is anxious to join his traveling partner, Sage Kimzey, in the World Champion’s club. Eldred is 215 points from tying that first place lead held by Kimzey. Riding three bulls in Del Rio would help his cause.

5. Wyatt Rogers, Rose, Oklahoma – Riding 67.71% of the bulls he gets on, this eighteen year old high school senior has been one of the most consistent riders since he exploded on the scene winning the largest single purse in CBR history when he won the Mercedes Road to Cheyenne tour event and the $43,000 purse that went with it. Rogers is recovering from a groin injury that sidelined him from the last tour event. Rogers, now three scores off the lead will have to work hard at his first appearance in Del Rio as he is 237.5 behind first place.

 

On the line in the bull category is a trip to Cheyenne to compete on the other side of the chutes for the World Champion Bull Team title. Bulls will be judged and scored in both Friday and Saturday night performances with the winning bull teams earning their place among the premier bucking stock selected for the CBR World Finals in Cheyenne.

Representing eleven states and two countries, the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding will feature two performances. The legendary event once referred to as “The Super Bull” has evolved into a two day tournament style format with over 81 electrifying outs.

Night one will see a 40 man field of bull riders with a twelve man championship round. The winner will have the opportunity to get on the bounty bull, Dougie, for a chance to win a $35,000 truck provided by Nick Khouri of RAM Country. 

Performance two on Saturday night will feature a three round tournament style format with the winner being declared the 38th George Paul Memorial Champion.

Named in memory of George Paul, the bull rider that still holds the record for the bull rider with the most consecutive bull rides, 79 in 1968, the annual two day bull riding is a ritual for bull riding fans and western lifestyle enthusiasts in south Texas. Tickets may be purchased by debit or credit card by phone, 830-775-9595 or in person at the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding office at the Val Verde County Fairgrounds. 


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