World Champions Live Up to Top Billing at the 39th George Paul Memorial Bull Riding

Described by Tuff Hedeman as an athlete that will be recorded in history as the best bull rider of his generation, Sage Kimzey continues to prove why he is ranked the No. 1 bull rider in both Championship Bull Riding and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.


Riding the unridden bull, 1086 Big Lew, to win the bulk of the $11,300 in prize money, Kimzey struck first winning night one of the 39th George Paul Memorial Bull Riding at the Val Verde Fairgrounds Arena.


With only nine qualified rides in 43 outs, Kimzey took the lead in the second section of riders with his 90 point ride on the bull that’s namesake was in the audience cheering them both. Lewis Woodul from Laredo, Texas is a friend of the bull’s owners (D4 Cattle Company) and recently won a long battle with cancer that allowed him to make the trip to Del Rio to see his namesake perform. It was an exciting night for Woodul to see the winning ride as he watched the bull perform for the first time and then celebrated with selfies behind the chutes with Kimzey.


Kimzey was 90 points on Big Lew and had this to say about his first trip on the big bucker that bucked off each of his previous riders.


“He was really good to get on, he felt like that great bull Pepper of J.C. Knapp’s, he had me set back a little at the beginning but I just kept moving to balance and everything worked out,” said Kimzey shortly after his ride.


But Kimzey’s night was not without challenge, Cody Rostockyj was 88.5 points on 282 Party Foul from Lyndal Hurst. The other two World Champions on Friday night’s roster included Cody Teel and Cole Echols who posted 87.5 and 87 respectively while Del Rio native Colby Hill brought the house down with his 87.5 ride on a bull owned by Cody Rostockyj, 086 Up N At Em. Two-time NFR qualifier Aaron Pass finished in the money with 87 points on JQH’s The Abyss. CBR rookie rider De’Arion Loud and Kanin Asay posted 86 and 87 respectively.


Kimzey who was rewarded for his highest marked ride in round one, earned the opportunity to get on a second bull, Cowbanger, owned by Benny Cude and Championship Pro Rodeo, for a $10,000 bonus if he could make the 8 second whistle. 


Kimzey who bucked off this bull earlier this season in Lufkin, Texas, was looking forward to the challenge of the unridden title attached to the bull, but the bull would explode after a few seconds and Sage would come down early, less than two seconds shy of the $10,000 bonus money.


According to Tuff Hedeman who selected Cowbanger for the Famous Energy Bounty Bull, tonight’s performance was a result of what happens when you get two great one’s together like Sage Kimzey and 1137 Cowbanger.


“The bull bucked extremely hard, he started really strong and what happens to a bull like that is he usually doesn’t get ridden very far and Sage tested him and he didn’t know what to do when Sage lasted longer than he was used to - so he was just kind of throwing a fit, there was not much timing to the bull’s trip. If it happened again I think Sage would ride him, he just didn’t tonight.”


According to four time World Champion bull rider Tuff Hedeman, the bulls took center stage during the first performance of the 2016 George Paul Memorial Bull Riding.


“What I noticed most about tonight was the greatness of the bulls, they were second to none tonight and the fans were treated to some great rides, the bulls were over the top, the toughest set of bulls the riders have faced all year,” said the two time George Paul bull riding winner.


The reason for the stout bull riding talent could be that the CBR’s lineup includes a large prize and competition called the CBR BulL Team Challenge. Tonight’s competition finished as one of the tightest scored contests during the 15 city Road to Cheyenne tour schedule.


Cunningham and Scoggins from West, Texas were the winners of the Del Rio Cheyenne Challenge tonight with a total bull score of 275.19, just .31 points ahead of the JQH Bull Team of Amarillo, Texas. It was the first win for the duo of Mark Cunningham and Dusty Scoggins who were proud of their trio of buckers tonight.

“A lot of hard work and effort went into tonight and it feels fabulous,” said Mark Cunningham still clutching the jumbo check made out to his team for $20,000.


Winning the team event in Del Rio qualifies this team to compete at the CBR World Finals at Cheyenne Frontier Days in July. Cunningham, who went to Cheyenne with bull rider Cody Rostockyj a few years ago, was overwhelmed with their win.


“Going and competing in Cheyenne has been my dream for several years and thanks to the many friends here in the CBR, it came true tonight,” continued Cunningham.


Anchoring the winning team with an 87.5 ride score from Colby Hill, 086 Up N At Em posted an 86 bull score. 086 boasts a 78.57 buck-off percentage, before Del Rio. 211 Artic Air and De’Arion Loud marked 86 points to assist the team’s effort while J87 Lil Red bucked Christian Cox off in 7.19 seconds.


The George Paul Memorial Bull Riding continues Saturday night with the performance getting underway at 8 pm.


The public is invited to come to Ram Country Dodge, 3611 Veterans Blvd, Del Rio -  Saturday, April 30 at 1 pm to meet 3 time World Champion Sage Kimzey; CBR bullfighters Brandon Loden and Matt Baldwin at 2 pm; and bull rider Juan Alonzo at 3 pm. The box office is open or call (830) 775-9595. General Admission tickets can be purchased at Del Rio Feed and Supply, 111 East Gibbs, Cowboy John’s 611 East Gibbs and C&S Western Wear, 2200 Veterans Blvd.



Del Rio Horizon Series Results


1, Sage Kimzey, Strong City, Okla., 90 points on 1086 Big Lew (D4 Cattle) 3,254.40. 2, Cody Rostockyj, 88.5 points, 282 Party Foul (Hurst) 2,350.40. 3, Colby Hill (Del Rio) 87.5, 086 Up N At Em, (Cunningham/Scoggins) 1,446.40. 4, Cody Teel, 87.5 on 2 Socks, Burleson/Barnett, 994.40. 5, Aaron Pass, 87, 651 The Abyss (JQH) $632.80. 6, Cole Echols, 87,285 Wreck’Em (Hurst) $361.60.


Del Rio, TX Cheyenne Challenge Bull Team Results


1, Cunningham/Scoggins (West, TX) 275.10 points, $20,000. 2, JQH Bucking Bulls (Amarillo, TX) 274.88 points, $12,000. 3, The Jaynes Gang (Orchard, TX) 274.21, $8,000. 4, Harris/Rafter B-Rockin C (Palestine,TX) 274 points, $5,000.