All is Not Quiet on the Western Front

The 2015 Mahindra Road to Cheyenne Championship Bull Riding World Finals got underway taking over center stage at Cheyenne Frontier Nights. With the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, Navy Leapfrogs, and officers from the USS Cheyenne looking on, United States Army veteran Juan Alonzo would win the first leg of the two day competition.

Inspired by his military peers looking on, Juan Alonzo of Weslaco, Tex., stormed Frontier Park on CFD’s Military Monday, riding two for two to post a 179 average score and take the first lead in the CBR World Finals Average race.

“I came into Cheyenne very strong, working out and staying healthy, God has blessed me,” said the rookie rider who was one of nine cowboys to cover two bulls in the annual competition held in conjunction with Cheyenne Frontier Days.   

The top-24 bull riders in the CBR World Standings each got on two bulls, and the rider on top after two rounds in the World Standings race is still the number one man in the world, Cody Teel of Kountze, Texas.

“My goal is simple, you have to stay on bulls, ride five and I am only focusing on that for now,” said Teel.

The CBR Shoot Out in Cheyenne lived up to its name as the top bull riders in the world put on a show with a total of 29 qualified rides thrilling the record setting crowd on a windy cool night in Cheyenne.  

Brennon Eldred struck first with a solid 87.5 ride on Championship Pro Rodeo’s and Elite’s Boomer. Traveling partner Tanner Bothwell took the challenge and went 88 on Harris’ Bargain Bin. Before the end of section one, seven ride scores were on the board with Juan Alonzo taking the lead with 89 points on Loe and Melton’s Hood Rat, a bull that went away from his hand bucking with quickness and a significant degree of difficulty.  

That lead would hold including qualified rides by World Champions, Cody Teel and Sage Kimzey, until Chandler Bownds went 90 on a bull that was retired tonight in Frontier Park, Raven’s Mistake.  Joe Frost, cousin of the late Lane Frost, posted his first CBR world finals score riding Jeff Harris’ Gray Goose for 86 points.

Section three saw CFD leader Aaron Pass get on the board as well as Taylor Toves, Lane Toon, and Eli Vastbinder. Round one would end with seventeen qualified rides. 

Section IV, which began round two of the five round CBR World Finals, would have to wait five deep to see another scored bull ride, but the reigning World Champ, Sage Kimzey, proved he was here to ride five in his pursuit of back to back world titles.

Twelve cowboys went on to post scores in round two, but the most anticipated out was that of the 2012 PRCA World Champion Cody Teel. While easily riding Rogaine for 86, the #1 bull rider of the CBR was stepped on trying to escape the bull.  Although aggravating a previous injury, Teel will ride in tomorrow’s season finale. Teel’s and Kimzey’s scored were so evenly matched that Teel only gained one point on Kimzey for the world title race.

Nine cowboys posted double scores tonight with Brennon Eldred coming in at 89.5. He would finish second in the average behind Alonzo, numbers that would move him up to third in the World Standings. Eighteen year old rookie riding sensation Wyatt Rogers made an impressive debut riding two bulls he had not drawn before in the regular season tour. Rogers was 88 on No Hands of Cude Bucking Bulls and 89 on Jailhouse Socks, which moved him from seventh to fifth on the year end standings chart. 

Other World Championship competitors that posted two scores were Tanner Bothell, Eli Vastbinder, Joe Frost, and Taylor Toves.

Juan Alonzo sealed the average win riding his second bull, JQH’s Evel Knievel, for 90, thus edging out Brennon Eldred in the average by 2 points to advance to the Bounty Bull. 

Alonzo earned the right to attempt the $10,000 Bounty Bull, Dougie from Silver Creek Pro Rodeo. Dougie a bull who has not been ridden since October of 2013 when Corey Maier won the Los Fresno’s, Texas CBR event on him.

“I expected him to go left and stay left and he tricked me, he came out left but then went to the right and I was unprepared,” said a disappointed Alonzo after losing to Dougie.

The three round CBR Mahindra Road to Cheyenne format returns tomorrow night, and the event leaders will have the potential to get on three more bulls concluding with the Final Four Shootout Round that will determine the 2015 CBR World Champion.  CBR action returns to Cheyenne Frontier Nights on Tuesday 21 at 8:00 p.m.