Tuff Hedeman Taps Unridden Bounty Bull for the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding

Statistics don’t always help Tuff Hedeman in making an evaluation when he is trying to determine whether an animal is the right selection for the George Paul Memorial Famous Energy Bounty Bull.

1137 Cowbanger is Hedeman’s choice for the peak moment the fans have become accustom to on Friday night, April 29, at the Val Verde Fairgrounds when one bull rider will attempt to ride the Famous Energy Bounty Bull for a bonus check worth $10,000. 

The 1,200 pound black bull owned by Benny Cude’s Championship Pro Rodeo is best described as electric. He comes to Del Rio for the first time in his young, but storied eighteen-month career as a professional bucking bull.

He is bred to buck. Sired by the great bucking bull I’m A Gangster and his mama was sired by the first bull to sell for one million dollars, Frontier Rodeo’s Big Bucks.

There are two kinds of statistics, the kind you look up and the kind you make up, except in bull riding where the whistle determines whether the stats are marked into the ride or no ride column.    

Cowbanger is undefeated in CBR competition and has been ridden once in his career when he was on the bull competition circuit as a three year old. But like most athletes, they get better in time and with solid coaching and handling.

The same can be said of this great bucker. His bull scores have risen to a high of 47 points, which is way above average high for a bovine athlete. Management decisions have helped him be his best when it was discovered which chute he clears the best after the gate is opened.

Since he has been loaded a certain way, his points for effort have exceeded expectations and average scores in both professional rodeos and bull riding only competitions.

He has been tried by six riders on this year’s Road to Cheyenne and no bull rider, including 3 time World Champion, Sage Steele Kimzey of Strong City, Oklahoma, has ridden him.

5.19 seconds is the longest any rider has stayed on his back and that was accomplished by the CBR rookie bull rider Joseph McConnel; but why is he so hard to ride?

“He has a hop and a skip coming out of the chutes while exploding underneath you,” says stock contractor and manager, Brett Barrett, of Championship Pro Rodeo. In his opinion it will take a rider that slides his rope back, rides loose, keeps shuffling and is constantly moving as opposed to a rider that sits up and centered.

“CBR Horizon Series Champion and the No. 2 rider on tour, Cody Rostockyj (Lorena, Texas) or National Finals Rodeo qualifier Aaron Pass (Kaufman, Texas) are best suited to him,” chimed in Champion Pro Rodeo’s co-owner, Zach Craig. 

If you are a George Paul Memorial Bull Riding aficionado you might see the resemblance of Cowbanger to the great Little Yellow Jacket, the deceased bull that was a three time World Champion Bull. He is often compared in bucking style and pattern. But the George Paul Memorial can upset the best of the bovine world as the arena is unique. The majority of the Road to Cheyenne stops are in indoor arenas, and some of the bull owners are cautious of the “outside load” chutes which is unique to Del Rio. Will this affect Cowbanger or not?

Not even Tuff Hedeman knows the answer, but what we do know is that the highest marked ride of the long round on Friday night gets the chance to make CBR history and collect $10,000 if he completes the 8-second ride.