The Captain is Back

It is hard to read anything during the month of July that does not include a World Champion Bull Rider being mentioned, but a 42-year-old bull rider at the top of his game is not something you read about every day.

Celebrating his return to the arena, 1996 World Champion Bull Rider, Owen Washburn returned to the winner’s circle after a two-year hiatus from the CBR Bull Team competition where he was the 2010 World Champion in the first edition of the CBR World Finals at Cheyenne Frontier Days.

The Captain, Washburn’s nickname during his 21 year professional bull riding career, led the way this year with his trio of bucking bulls scoring a total 291.73 to win the Bucking on the Rio Grande event in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Washburn used eight different bulls and admits he likes to mix up his team bulls week to week.

Mixing it up would prove profitable to the fellow bull riding colleague of Tuff Hedeman who would go on to place second the following weekend in El Paso earning over $32,000 in less than 10 days at the CBR . 

Washburn had this to say about his CBR success on the 2015 Mahindra Road to Cheyenne tour wins, “It does feel good to be back. This was as good a set of bull rider’s as I have seen in one place in a long time. You know that helps us out too.” 

Washburn, referring to us as his current career as a stock contractor and partner in Salt River Rodeo Company. Washburn and family raise their own bloodline of buckers that he started twenty years ago when he was still riding professionally.  

Washburn Bull Company was three for three in the Highest Marked Ride category at each of the three Mahindra Road to Cheyenne tour events where his bull team was entered.

Leading the way was S10 Good Cop with Craig Jackson posting a 92.5 in El Paso. S10’s performance would assist Jackson to his third consecutive win of the CBR El Paso event. S10 will anchor Washburn’s team during the 2014 CBR World Finals, but buckle up guys because he has bucked off bull riding’s elite riders. Those who have tried, but failed to hear the whistle are Sage Kimzey, Josh Barentine, Ardie Maier and Joe Frost. Good Cop has only three qualified rides in 37 attempts on the pro circuits. 

Second Highest Marked Ride score was earned by Washburn’s 41 Woody in Rio Rancho when Taylor Toves covered him for 91 points in round two. This would be the only appearance by Woody and Toves remains one of two riders to hear the whistle in over 22 recorded outs.

94 Rubberband was the High Marked Ride bull in Hobbs when event winner Brennon Eldred took him for a 91.5 point spin in round two. Rookie Wyatt Rogers rode him two weeks later in El Paso for 88.

The competition and opportunity the bull team format provided prompted Owen to get involved. “I feel like it’s a great opportunity to compete with bulls and not just haul them to bull ridings for out money. It just gets everybody involved and that’s the thing I like most about the bull teams,” Owen says. 

Every stock contractor’s job is to know his animals and choose the venue that suits them best. Owen felt his bulls were a good fit for bull team competitions. “I thought it would work really good for my kind of bulls. They’re bulls that are good to get on,” he said. 

Regardless of which bulls make the trip from Owen’s New Mexico ranch to Cheyenne for the finals, you can bet this world-class competitor will be heading north looking for a win.