O’Mara Celebrates Third Title on the Road to Cheyenne

For the third time this season, Louisiana bull rider Jacob O’Mara stood in front of the bucking chutes to accept the trophy package and check from Tuff Hedeman for winning a Championship Bull Riding title on the Road to Cheyenne televised tour, but this time was different.

O’Mara, standing on the red dirt in the historic Fort Worth Cowtown Coliseum - the birthplace of four time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer Tuff Hedeman’s 24-year-old tradition - was humbled to win the annual event, the Fort Worth Tuff Hedeman Championship Challenge Presented by the South Point Hotel and Casino of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Taking his place among the legends that won before him he was overwhelmed with grace and gratitude that allows him to pursue his ambitions in a sport that has presented many challenges to him as a competitor. O’Mara first burst on the bull riding scene in 2011 qualifying for his first National Finals Rodeo.

“I have been waiting, planning and dreaming of this for years and I feel very blessed,” said O’Mara still holding the jumbo check for $14,112.50 and taking photos with fans, media, and family.

For a while I was doubting myself after being banged up for a few years and a lot of injuries and now being healthy really helps my confidence,” continued the Cajun cowboy who travels with his wife of three weeks Kortlin, and her bull riding brother Koby Radley who won the CBR Salina Showdown on March 26.

O’Mara who gets on practice bulls frequently, does not stress over what bull he draws. “I see what bull I got when I get here so I can put my rope on the right bull,” laughed O’Mara, but that’s about it.

The South Louisiana bull riding family that has taken the CBR by storm, together winning four event titles since January 30, says they study, talk, and get on bulls constantly at home so they are ready when they get to an event.


Round One

With Tanya Tucker on hand to sing the national anthem and the voice of Cheyenne Frontier Days, Andy Stewart, with his hand on the microphone, the bull riding began with Tuff Hedeman and his seven year old friend from Western Wishes, Alex Wells, welcoming the twenty five competitors to the firestorm of buckers that has become synonymous with the Tuff Hedeman Fort Worth event.

Hedeman’s selection of buckers for the event were also competing alongside the bull riders for an additional $45,000 in prize monies and their competitive spirit was in rare form holding the riders to only 16 qualified rides in 41 outs. Eleven riders heard the whistle in round one with the last rider to pull his rope, Brennon Eldred of Sulphur, Okla., leading the pack riding Exclusive Genetics’ 1925 Painkiller for 89.5 points to win the round.

“Painkiller is a great bull that I got some revenge on him as he had bucked me off in Jackson and I lost the $10,000 bounty money,” said Eldred after riding two and placing fourth in the final average.



With one rider, Trey Benton, drawing back on time, the Semifinal round got underway with the first section of six riders failing to post a ride score on a night where rank bull scores told the story including D4 Cattle Co.’s big bucker 1086 Big Lew bucking off veteran bull rider Aaron Pass and posting the rankest mark ride of the night.  The second section came to life when Jacob O’Mara was the first to ride two. In a grudge match against Jeff Harris’s Big Baby, O’Mara won posting 89.5 points on 231 who dumped him in 7.69 seconds earlier this season in the Shoot Out round of Bossier City. Cory Atwell scored the highest mark of the night, 90.5 on the perennial JQH bucker, Jack Tar, but the crowd fell silent when 3 time World Champ Sage Kimzey bucked off CBR Bucking Bull of the Year, Championship Pro Rodeo’s 050 Gold Buckle.

“That bull had me over the top of my hand the whole time and my feet were light the entire ride and I was trying to get more weight in there, but I knew I couldn’t go too far because of the way he moves you have to stay out and work your way in, I felt strong on him but my right foot got a little light and that was it… he was just better than me tonight,” smiled Kimzey who has ridden 81.2 percent of the bulls he has attempted in 2016.

Seizing the window of opportunity, Eldred rode 93 Pepper for 87.5 and was the third rider to cover two for a 177 average score. “I have seen Sage ride him a couple of times, great bull from JC Knapp and he was out there around to the left and felt really good,” said Eldred as he qualified for his fourth Shoot Out appearance and upped his ride average to 50 percent on the Road to Cheyenne.


Shoot Out Round

The stage was set with O’Mara, Atwell, Kimzey and Eldred poised for the Shoot Out round. With 179 for the lead on two Cory Atwell earned first pick and he selected Silver Creek’s Something Else.

“Can’t go wrong with Mike Rawson so give me Yellow Wolf,” was Jacob O’Mara’s battle cry as he selected second with 177.5 average and took the bull that was making his first final four appearance.

Eldred was looking forward to getting Jimmy Jaynes’ J908 Outside the Box for the first time - knowing he could be in the 90’s to win. That left the World Champ Sage Kimzey with an unknown bull to him, Rawson’s 011 Hondo.

Kimzey struck first getting 89.5 points out of 011 followed by Eldred’s early exit on J908 which he explained as just a plain and simple buck off. O’mara was next and after a battle with the bull in the chutes, O’Mara earned 90 points on the bull that went left into the leftie’s hand before changing directions to help O’Mara score the points needed to take the lead.

With one rider left to nod his head, Atwell would come down when Something Else lived up to his name. O’Mara earning his third title on the 2016 Road to Cheyenne had this to say about the win. “That bull felt great, but if I had weakened at any point he would have bucked me off.”

CBR Ambassador, chute boss and event commander Tuff Hedeman is one of the most recognizable cowboys in the history of rodeo and continues his passion with the production of great bull riding events and for 24 consecutive years the Tuff Hedeman Fort Worth event has added to the legacy of bull riding in Cowtown.

“Organizing the Fort Worth bull riding is like coming home”, said the 4 time World Champion Bull Rider who held the first stand-alone bull riding in this arena in 1993.

“I always look forward to this event, the fans, the sponsors and the whole Forth Worth Stockyards community gets behind it and it’s a great way to give back to the people of our area who are big bull riding fans and who have supported me during my whole career,” said Hedeman.

In addition to lucrative prize money, bull riders accumulate points which qualify them for the World Finals, part of the legendary Cheyenne Frontier Days celebration held Wyoming next July. At the end of the World Finals, the contestant who has the most points will be crowned the World Champion and receive a $100,000 bonus.


World Standings Race

The CBR bull rider with the three World Champion titles, Sage Kimzey, widened the gap this week in the CBR World Standings race. Riding two of three bulls in Fort Worth, Kimzey sits at the top of the leaderboard with 1,942 points which translates to a 6 bull lead, or 530 points ahead of Cody Rostockyj who did not compete in Fort Worth due to a scheduling conflict. Rostockyj remains in second place with 1,412 points, less than 200 points ahead of the man who made the biggest jump, Jacob O’Mara now in a tie with Cody Teel at 1,316 points. Brennon Eldred had a good event riding two and he rounds out the top 5 with 1,246 points.

The end of the CBR regular season is rapidly approaching and the last opportunity to earn points to qualify for the World Finals will be on April 30 in Del Rio, Texas at the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding. Complete CBR World Standings available at


CBR Bull Team Challenge

With the swagger of the stockyards carrying over to the bovines, the Fort Worth Bull Team Challenge, which features the “other side of the ride” was a night to remember. Bull owners from all around the country hauled in to compete with their three bulls that are featured during the first two rounds of competition. The bulls competed for points based on their performance in the arena and at the end it was Scott Winston and former super star bull rider, Cory Melton, that found their name at the top of the $20,000 check.

With two bulls posting rank scores that were in the top 5 of the night’s bovine performance ratings, Winston/Melton Bull Co. had a good night. According to Melton he thought K912 All Shook Up and 169 Crimson King were both outstanding and although they have two very different styles of trips, he was pleased and thought they both bucked great.

“K912 got stronger the longer Koby rode him, and after he turned back he just really came on hard,” said Melton who admitted his star bucker is hard to predict. “He can go either way and he keeps me guessing.”

169 Crimson King was the first to strike with a 90.5 buck off of Denton Fugate in 4.68 seconds. Sage Kimzey showed 161 Firehouse, the bull Melton says he would like to get on, for the team’s only qualified ride, 88.5 on the ride side and 87 on the bull side. Last but never least, K912 Western Hauler’s All Shook Up who was the anchor of this rank team posting 91.5 bull score points against Koby Radley who hung on for 5.91 seconds.

Mike White and Jeri Harmon’s Elite Buckin Bulls would come in second led by 626 Karaoke and Newt Brasfield’s 88.5 on 166 Big Tex who was a big bucker in Cowtown.

JQH would finish in third with their bull, JQH C735 Jack Tar picking up the Champion Bull honors for the second time this year and the only team in the money to post two ride scores with Tyler Taylor riding Wicked Ways for 87 and Corey Atwell earning 90.5 on C735. Championship Pro Rodeo and Kevin Ruggs were fourth with 050 Gold Buckle as their team’s anchor bull score of 89 points against Sage Kimzey.

The CBR Bull Team Challenge features a formula where in addition to the bull score, the time the bull rider stays on is added to the bull’s score. At the end of the night, the top four teams share the $45,000 purse and each team competing receives valuable points towards qualifying for the CBR World Finals where the pot is over $370,000.


Bull Team Challenge Results

1, Winston/Melton Bull Company, 287.59, $20,000. 2, Elite Buckin Bulls, 284.59, $12,000. 3, JQH, 282.48, $8,000. 4, Championship Pro Rodeo/Kevin Ruggs, 281.80, $5,000.

Shoot Out Round Results

1, Jacob O’Mara, 90 points 222 Yellow Wolf owned by Mike Rawson, $14,112.50. 2, Sage Kimzey, 89.5 points on 011 Hondo, Rawson, Rawson, $7,837.50. 3, Cory Atwell, 0 on 051 Something Else, Silver Creek Pro Rodeo. 4, Brennon Eldred, 0 on J908 Outside the Box, Jimmy Jaynes.