Championship Bull Riding Partners Shine in Cheyenne

Much has been said, written on Facebook, tweeted, and snapchatted about the World Champions and winners recently inaugurated at the 2016 CBR World Finals at Cheyenne Frontier Days, but the loot they take home in addition to the jumbo checks is alone worth the trip to Wyoming!

Standing next to the winners on the dirt in Frontier Park Arena on championship night was a compilation of prizes which will no doubt last longer than the money. The prizes will last a lifetime to remind the winners of the cherished memories made in front of the grandstands at the Daddy of ‘Em All!


Each prize awarded to the recipients represents a partnership with Championship Bull Riding but serves to inspire and reward these professional athletes on our twelve month Road to Cheyenne nationwide professional bull riding tour.


Let’s take a look at the monetary and prizes associated with the 2016 season and the CBR World Finals and who strapped their new custom engraved Hyo Silver trophy buckle (32 were awarded) on their waist before leaving Cheyenne.


2016 CBR World Finals Money Pay Out and Prizes

$372,500 was paid out to 22 different CBR Bull Team Contractors with five-year Bull Team Challenge veteran Jeff Harris (Rafter J) from Palestine, Texas, taking home the big first prize check for $120,000, a 24 foot stock trailer from Neckover Trailers, but most importantly - the title of World Champion Bull Team, the CBR’s top dog this year in the three round tournament style format that concluded the 2016 year for CBR.

“These bulls have been around all year and the riders have had the opportunity to watch them even if they haven’t been on them and we (contractors) want them to ride our bulls and in my opinion that is the key to the success of this competition,” said Harris following his first World Champion Bull Team title.


Paying 17 places, the CBR Bull Team Challenge competition payout included:


1, Harris Bucking Bulls, $120,000. 2, Flip Connolly / J.C. Knapp, $60,000. 3, Mike Rawson / Tom Baker / Lyndal Hurst, $41,000. 4, Winston Loe / Cory Melton, $30,000. 5, Mark Cunningham / Heath Scoggins, $35,000. 6, Mike Rawson, $15,000. 7, Bubba Storey / Rhon Brown. $13,000. 8, Skip and Elaine Jones, $11,500. 9, Jared Allen, $10,000. 10, Mike Rawson / James Probst, $8,500


Next in line at the pay window in Cheyenne was Sage Steele Kimzey of Strong City, Oklahoma, who took home the $100,000 bonus check and additional monies for winning the World Finals Event average title as well. Kimzey and the additional top four riders took home a combination of $50,000.


The riders splitting the pot with Sage were number 2, Eli Vastbinder, Statesville, NC, $22,000. 3, Cody Rostockyj, Lorena, Tex.,$6,000. 4, Tyler Taylor, Stephenville, Tex., $5,000. 5, Cody Teel, Kountze, Tex. $4,000.


Harris and Kimzey, the newly decorated 2016 CBR World Champions, also left Cheyenne with a pure beaver felt hat from American Hat Co., who provided cowboy hats to all the Road to Cheyenne event winners in 2016. Jeff also added a Juan Jose Muñoz Andrade Custom Saddle to his trophy room and will be sporting new full quill exotic handmade custom cowboy boots by Fenoglio Boot Company which presented custom logo boots to all Bull Team Challenge winners on the Road to Cheyenne for the second consecutive year.




But standing next to Sage Kimzey and Jeff Harris in the arena was a one of a kind custom work of art that will probably last longer than the money of that great night in Cheyenne.


Juan Jose Muñoz Andrade has spent twelve years crafting western saddles, and his innovation, tenacity, and passion has landed him his dream job. 


“We have been honored in making the CBR World Champion trophy saddle for 5 years now,” said Juan.


Juan, who admits to repeatedly watching video tapes of Tuff Hedeman’s greatest rides, reiterates that while the eye catching silver and tooling is what attracts people to a saddle it is the construction of the tree and the superiority of the materials used that are most important to the quality of the saddle.


“That particular piece takes anywhere from forty to eighty man hours just to build the basic part, the hand tooling and silverwork add even more to the production time,” continued the saddle maker from Chihuahua, Mexico. It is here that Juan Andrade shares the passion behind his life’s work.

This year’s saddle was recreated from a photo of the legendary, Lane Frost. Juan had this to say of his work, "When I think of Cheyenne, Lane Frost comes to my mind too, one of my heroes as a kid as well as Tuff, so I thought it would be cool to put this one in the World Champion Bull Rider Saddle."


Knowing the importance of the saddle and its legacy, Ted Kimzey, Sage’s Dad, who was a former rodeo star himself, quickly made room and took the saddle to his RV for his son’s second work of art from one of the leading saddle makers in the industry.


In addition to the monies and the saddle Kimzey’s prize package for landing on top of the CBR World Standings and the World Finals event title included: two American Hat Co. pure beaver felt hats, two pair of Full Quill, Exotic Hand Made Custom Boots by Fenoglio Boot Company, and two Hyo Silver trophy buckles to add to his growing collection.




What is it worth to throw yourself in front of an erratic 1,500 pound energetic bucking bull month after month on the Road to Cheyenne? This year Brandon Loden was rewarded for his willingness to do just that and risk his life for the cowboy athletes in CBR. Loden was crowned the 2016 Road to Cheyenne Famous Energy Bullfighter of the year, which comes with a Hyo Silver trophy buckle and a $5,000 check.




It is kind of hard to impress a bucking bull with anything but quality hay and top grain groceries, but CBR does its best to reward the elite animal athlete and his owner. This year’s recipient of the coveted CBR Bull of the Year was William Barnett’s Cowtown Cartel who thrilled the crowd taking Sage Kimzey for a 93-point spin as the final out of the CBR World Finals, one of the highlights of Cheyenne Frontier Nights.


Cartel who was the bovine half of the two highest scores earned on the 2016 Road to Cheyenne (the other was Eldred’s 93 points to win the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding in Del Rio) won the award by secret ballot voting of the World Finals qualifiers of riders and and CBR stock contractors. Barnett, who is recovering from a back pen bull accident in April at a benefit bull riding is sure to enjoy his prize package including an American Hat Co. pure beaver felt hat, his first Juan Jose Muñoz Andrade Custom Saddle, a pair of CBR logo hand made custom boots by Fenoglio Boot Company, and a Hyo Silver trophy buckle which identifies him as the winner of this year’s award.


Commanding presence as a front man, a confirmed self-confessed workaholic and always working towards perfection, Mike Rawson of Martinsville, Texas has become the Bruce Springstein of Championship Bull Riding. Tying Harlan Robertson’s record for the number of Stock Contractor of the Year titles within Championship Bull Riding, Rawson, who won the award for the third time stands steadfast on the reason he is able to keep winning this title.

“These are my friends and family and I want every one of them to win and succeed. We live eat and breathe with these bucking bulls and I only want to bring the best ones that the guys can win on to the show.”

Rawson who cherishes the family style relationships he has with the riders and other contractors as well as with CBR staff, was anxious to add his American Hat Co. pure beaver felt hat, Juan Jose Muñoz Andrade Custom Saddle, CBR logo hand made custom boots by Fenoglio Boot Company, and engraved Hyo Silver Trophy to his growing collection. He also won his second 24-foot Neckover Trailer and needed it to get the prize package worth over $50,000 home to Texas.

According to Neckover’s corporate office, partnering with the CBR, allows Neckover to be active in the livestock community and have a hands on approach so we can better understand the needs of our trailer owners. We do this to show support for all Neckover trailer owners and the great associations that make their passions a reality.

When the three-time stock contractor of the year loads up and heads out to his next bull riding competition, he will head out with 21,000 pounds of steel underneath his precious bull cargo knowing his Neckover trailer is made from the highest quality and most reliable product available. It is this “bull tuff” quality in its production that Rawson has become accustom to after winning his first trailer last season. Mike ordered four cuts in his 32-foot custom so he could haul up to 10 bulls on both CBR tours. A few of the features ordered by the South Texas bull guru were heavy duty gates, a lifetime guarantee with the rubber floor, and multiple reinforced axles.

 “I am just tickled to death with it,” stated the two time award winning best bull man of the CBR.

 “I also got a hydraulic jack on the front that comes with a remote control.”


Although injuries interrupted rookie rider Koby Radley’s plan for his first CBR World Finals, he managed to make it to the CBR Gala and pose with Tuff Hedeman for his Hyo Silver custom engraved buckle and $20,000 check for being the number one rider for the 2016 CBR Horizon Series. Radley who finished tenth in the CBR’s Road to Cheyenne televised tour completed his first season with CBR in 2016. The Horizon Series serves as the qualifying tour for the Road to Cheyenne.


The 2016 CBR World Finals at Cheyenne Frontier Days will air on FOX Sports Networks Sunday, August 28th & September 4th.