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04.27.2016
No. 1 Bull Rider in the World Heads to Del Rio

When the No. 1 ranked bull rider in the world for both Championship Bull Riding (CBR) and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) pulls out of his driveway and heads south to Texas, he has three gold buckles to choose from when packing his gear. This week he is traveling to Del Rio, the last regular season stop on the CBR’s Road to Cheyenne televised tour, in an effort to win the one piece of hardware that his collection does not include, the George Paul Memorial hand crafted Juan Jose Muñoz Andrade buckle that is the exact replica of the previous 38 buckles awarded since the event began. Kimzey has competed twice at the George Paul, but this year and this event are different. The oldest continuous bull riding competition in the world, the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding, is the benchmark of stand-alone bull riding in the United States.

Sage Kimzey is a twenty-one year old bull rider that is the 2014 CBR World Champion and the reigning 2015 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association World Champion Bull Rider from Strong City, Oklahoma. Kimzey burst on the professional bull riding scene in 2014 winning an event-record-tying four rounds of the 2014 National Finals Rodeo (NFR), which secured him the average title and his place in history by becoming the second rookie bull rider in history to ever win a gold buckle. He also took home the Ram Truck Top Gun Award that year for his record breaking earnings, placing his overall 2014 season earnings over $300,000.

Kimzey’s 2015-16 CBR and PRCA seasons have been star studded as well with super-sized wins at CBR Bossier City, San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, Rodeo Houston, the Calgary Stampede, the Pendleton Round-Up and his PRCA 2015 season by becoming the only bull rider in history to win the PRCA World title in both his rookie and sophomore season.

Kimzey’s first quarter in 2016 has him on the same trajectory path as previous years. Creating his own version of March Madness, Kimzey banked over $100,000 during the month of March alone and currently sits at the top of the leaderboard in pro rodeo bull riding earnings.  

Kimzey arrives in Del Rio as the number one gunner for Championship Bull Riding as well and as he is introduced into the Val Verde arena this year he receives high praise from the bull rider that has been in his position, four time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of famer, Tuff Hedeman.

“Kimzey rides fundamentally flawless, he rides with tremendous amount of determination and effort each time he pulls his rope,” said Hedeman.

Kimzey hopes to add his name to the wall of fame in the GPMBR office that features photos of his predecessors including the 2015 defending GPMBR champion, World Champion Cody Teel who is also competing this weekend. Teel and Kimzey who battled last year for three rounds in Del Rio are both entered in the Friday and Saturday performances of the GPMBR, but this year’s event is not just between the two World Champions.

CBR Horizon Champion and top ten PRCA cowboy, Cody Rostockyj, the No. 2 ranked rider who held the CBR lead from August until late in February wants to be back on top. But Rostockyj and Kimzey have to get past the hottest bull rider on the circuit, Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s Jacob O’Mara who has won three CBR event titles on the 2016 Road to Cheyenne.  

The legendary event started with George Paul himself, the 1968 Rodeo Cowboys Association (now the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) World Champion and world record holder of 79 bulls in a row, who died in a plane crash in 1970. Ten years after his death, his brother began producing the bull riding to memorialize the talented bull rider who eight-time World Champion Don Gay described as the greatest natural bull rider ever.

Limited tickets are available for the two nights of competition. Friday night starts with 40 riders and ends with the highest marked ride of the night given the opportunity to get on the Famous Energy Bounty Bull, an unridden bull named Cowbanger. The rider wins a $10,000 bonus if he stays on the required 8 seconds.

Saturday night’s performance will feature the CBR’s tournament style format with 26 riders taking the dirt. The best 12 from round one will advance to the semifinals with the top four then competing in the Shoot Out round where the bulk of $30,000 prize monies will be paid.

This event is of major importance to the CBR Bull Team Challenge competition bulls and the bull rider athletes as the results in Del Rio determine who qualifies for the World Finals in both categories.

The CBR Road to Cheyenne Tour ends in Wyoming July 25 & 26 at the historic Cheyenne Frontier Days where the CBR World Champion will be crowned. Along with the title, championship buckle and awards the World Champion will earn a $100,000 bonus.

With 38 years of history and over $137,500 to be awarded in total prize money on the line, the 2016 GPMBR is the top sporting event in the Del Rio area. 

The list of winners of the George Paul trophy buckle include names of legendary bull riders and World Champions Lane Frost, Tuff Hedeman, Charles Sampson, Jim Sharp, Cody Snyder, Jerome Davis, BJ Schumacher, JW Harris, Hugo Pedrero, Trey Benton and Cody Teel. In the thirty-eight year history, several bull riders have had repeat wins at the George Paul and included are Denny Flynn, Charles Sampson, Lane Frost, Tuff Hedeman, Jim Sharp, Jerome Davis, and Trey Benton.

Reserved tickets can be purchased for the April 29-30, 39th George Paul Memorial Bull Riding at the bull riding office, Val Verde County Fairgrounds located under the grandstands. The box office is open from 9-5, Monday thru Friday, 830-775-9595. General Admission tickets can be purchased at Del Rio Feed & Supply, 111 East Gibbs, Cowboy John’s 611 East Gibbs and C&S Western Wear, 2200 Veterans Blvd. Performance times are 8 PM Friday and Saturday nights, April 29-30. For a list of previous winners go to http://www.georgepaulmemorialbullriding.com/bullriders.htm.

 

Appearance Schedule

Location: Ram Country Dodge, 3611 Veterans Blvd, Del Rio, Texas

Friday, April 29

2 pm – 3 pm -  Famous Energy Bullfighters Craig Check and Matt Baldwin

3 pm –  4 pm – Bull Riders Cody Rostockyj and Juan Alonzo

Saturday, April 30

Location: Ram Country Dodge, 3611 Veterans Blvd, Del Rio, Texas

1:00 pm   - Three time World Champion Bull Rider Sage Steele Kimzey

2 to 3 pm – Famous Energy Bullfighters Craig Check and Brandon Loden

3 to 4 pm – Bull Rider Juan Alonzo 

 

The 39th George Paul Memorial is presented by Title Sponsor, Ram Country Dodge. Other sponsors include Ramada Inn, Tractor Supply and Del Rio Feed and Supply.

For more information, contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, 940.902.1112


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