Sage Kimzey Strikes First on Mahindra Road to Cheyenne

Powered by the CBR’s Million Dollar Bull Team Challenge competition, the almost no hitter performance leaned heavily towards the bulls as they were the prominent winners of the first stop on the 2016 Mahindra Road to Cheyenne televised tour. The 2014 CBR and PRCA World Champion bull rider, Sage Kimzey of Strong City, Oklahoma, thrilled the capacity crowd at the South Dakota State Fair as he effortlessly rode his first two bulls for a total score of 177.5 to take home the average check and post the first points on the leader board of the CBR’s 2016 season. 

“Anytime you can come to such a great venue like Huron, and get on such great bulls it is an amazing night and I want to thank the fans who made this possible for us,” said Kimzey who won over $650,000 last year riding bulls.  

But like the 34 bull riders before him and the one after him, the reigning PRCA champ of the world failed to hear the whistle in the Final Four Shootout Round of the 12th Annual Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash at the South Dakota State Fair. It is only the second time in the history of the 3 round tournament format that no cowboy made the whistle, thus rolling the $20,000 prize money to the next tour stop and making the event in Window Rock, Arizona worth $50,500 to the cowboy with the highest score in the Final Four Shootout Round.

It is the first time in eleven months that a CBR rider did not step up to make a qualified ride in the final round of the CBR’s tournament style format.

Kimzey edged out Reid Barker, Comfort, Texas, who was 171.5 on two and the only other bull rider to make two qualified rides. There was a total of 10 riders to receive scores and out of the ten, three were classified as CBR rookies, making their first appearance on the Mahindra Road to Cheyenne. Although Kimzey took home the largest check of the night, the bulk of the $30,000 rolls over to the next event where the cowboy athletes will compete for a combined purse of $50,500. 

Round one introduced the bulls to the 29 cowboys and they all had a hard time getting acquainted.  In a strange twist of fate there were no rematches in the first lineup. Three of the night’s 10 scores were earned in section one. Eli Vastbinder jumped out to take the initial lead and his 87 would hold until Kimzey was half a point ahead of him with an 87.5 on Jeff Harris’s Shorty.  Army veteran Juan Alonzo brought the fans to their feet with 86 points on a night that honored the American Heroes of Foreign Wars with a solemn tribute to seven extraordinary veterans, including prisoners of war, from all divisions of the United States Military. The 2015 Horizon Series Champion, Cody Rostockyj, continues his momentum producing 87 points on Buck Stomp, who was making his debut at CBR with Jared Allen’s Pro Bull Team.  

The No.1 bull rider in the world, Kimzey, would stay in the lead until Dustin Boquet, the rookie from Montegut, Louisiana, captured Jared Allen’s Soldier’s Pride for 88 points. Corey Bailey, and Dixon Hesstetoon would be the only other two bull riders to advance on scores with four riders getting called back on time. Newly crowned CBR World Champion, Cody Teel, who was overpowered by Jeff Harris’ General Lee in 6.85 seconds was included as JT Pettitt, night one’s champion, Tell Wertz and South Dakota’s Kritter Lamb.

The Semi Final Round got underway with JT Pettitt earning 84.5  valuable points on Cude’s Money Talks as did Reid Barker who was the first to ride two as he conquered Boogie Man (Clark View Farms). With Kimzey and Boquet still on top of the chutes, Kimzey took the lead with what would be the highest marked ride of the night, a 90 on Knapp’s Pepper, JC Knapp’s bull who had an outstanding weekend supplying the bull team win to Knapp on both nights for a total of over $40,000 in earnings for the Texas based stock contractor. 

Rookie Boquet would come down just shy of the whistle on Allen’s Uncle Tink, but would qualify for the Shootout on the strength of his 88 in round one.

The Shootout Round featured three bulls from Chad Berger’s Dakota Rodeo Company and one from the Jaynes Gang. 

A gutsy pick by the champ, X18 More Big Bucks, cost Kimzey the win, but you can bet he has moved on as he heads to Arizona in an effort to win a share of the doubled purse up for grabs on Sunday in Window Rock. Kimzey, who was unfamiliar with any of his Huron draws knew exactly what went wrong on X18 and more importantly, when. 

“The bull beat me around the corner and I was hustling, but just didn’t have enough after I gave him the ground that I did - I just couldn’t get back in the right position,” said Kimzey from behind the chutes. 

Fueling the fire of the 35 buck offs in Huron was the first viewing of the new bulls brought in by the CBR stock contractors to compete in this year’s bull team challenge competition worth over half a million dollars to the bull owners. JC Knapp and Flip’Em Off Buck’en Bulls came out on top both nights in Huron for over $40,000 in total prize money. 

“I want to especially thank our CBR family and want them to know how much we appreciate them and how important they are to us,” said a very surprised Amber and JC Knapp as they accepted the Hyo Silver trophy buckle, custom Fenoglio boots, and a check for $20,000. The bull teams are also on a journey to qualify for the World Finals in hopes of winning the $100,000 bonus awarded to the winner at the World Finals that is held each July in conjunction with Cheyenne Frontier Days. 

Knapp, the owner of the 2015 CBR Bull of the Year, thought his super star bucker performed outstanding in Huron and couldn’t be any happier with his trio of bulls, especially CR Corpus Red, but it was Pepper that received the night’s Champion Bull honors with Sage’s 90 points.    

“Corpus was really rank tonight, changing directions and bucking hard with Keaton; he was ridden recently and he always comes back and seeks revenge on the next guy,” smiled Knapp as he talked about his longtime traveling partner.  Spotted Warfare was Knapp’s third and solid out and the big black and white spotted bull propelled Reid Barker to the next round. 

Mike Rawson’s 713 Little Shyster was rewarded the Bull of the Event title which goes to the bull with the rankest bull score. 713 had a particularly rank trip with Brett Stall and earned his 90 point bull score. “It was one of the top 2 rankest outs I have seen him have,” claimed the two time CBR Stock Contractor of the Year from Martinsville, Texas.  

In July, CBR crowned its 13th World Champion, Cody Teel of Kountze, Texas at the Frontier Park arena after two days and five rounds of grueling nonstop action. Teel, who rode five for five last month at the 2015 Mahindra CBR World Championships in Cheyenne bucked off both his bulls in tonight’s performance as did the three bull riders from South Dakota and the No.2 ranked PRCA bull rider and CBR World Finals Average winner, Brennon Eldred who is battling injury.   

The Mahindra Road to Cheyenne returns on Sunday, September 6th in Window Rock, Arizona at the Navajo Nation Fair at 8:00 PM. Round by round rider scoring results available on

Bull Bash Bull Team Results

1. Flip’em Off Buck’en Bulls     283.07   $20,000

2. Jared Allen’s Pro Bull Team     279.54   $12,000

3. Clark View Farms     278.50   $8,000

4. Rawson Bucking Bulls     275.97   $5,000