Old School is in at the South Dakota State Fair

When World Champion Bull Team owner, Jeff Harris of Palestine, Texas describes his award-winning bucking bull, who was selected as the Bounty Bull at the Red Wilk Construction CBR Bull Bash, Harris sounds very much like the movie trailer for the 2003 American comedy film, Old School.

“You have to pace yourself... he goes the way they don’t, he’s going to match you move for move,” said Harris, the stock contractor who doubles as the bull’s owner, chauffeur and personal trainer.

Four time World Champion Bull Rider and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer, Tuff Hedeman selected H8 Old School to be the last bull out on Wednesday night at the Bull Bash when the bull rider with the highest score in the first performance will have the opportunity to ride him for a $10,000 bounty check. If he hears the 8 second whistle while still on the bull’s back he gets the check.

This big “old school” looking floppy eared bucking bull was nominated this year for bull of the year, the highest honor a bucking bovine can receive. He earned that right after eleven unanswered career outs on the professional tours. He has not been ridden since January 23 in Hobbs, New Mexico and the ticket holders for Wednesday night will get to see him put on a show for the opening night of the CBR’s Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash.

“There are no tricks about that really good bull of Jeff’s, he is just really rank,” said the last rider who attempted Old School in Cheyenne.

The bull earns half (50) of the 100 points score available to the bull rider in competition. Old School was four points shy of perfect when he was awarded 46 points for his last two outs on the CBR tour.

H8 Old School is owned by the reigning CBR World Champion Bull Team owner and former CBR Stock Contractor of the Year, Jeff Harris of Rafter J Ranch, Palestine, Texas. According to Harris, one of his best performances was in April in Del Rio, Texas when he bucked off five time National Finals Rodeo qualifier, Kanin Asay in round one at the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding.

“You know I expect the guys to ride him more than they do, he’s got something about him and Kanin Asay said it best, the bull just really bucks,” laughed Harris.

“He will go either way, he has lots of buck and kick and a lot of whip to him when he turns back,” continued Harris about his young four year old rising star.

“I raised him so this bull is special because I developed him from a calf and to be on the list for bull of the year with that group of bulls was a proud moment… he is just getting strong enough to show what he is capable of on the tour,” added Jeff Harris.

The story of here to there for this Gunslinger sired bull is quite interesting. Harris received a load of commercial cows from someone he did business with frequently and that also raised bucking stock. There huddled up between the cows was two bull calves.

“He looked like a wood rat, he was pretty pitiful, after six months I got him stout enough to even carry the little dummy and he bucked great with the dummy. Bucked him three or four more times, when he was two and a half years old. When he turned three I took him to a local UPRA rodeo and they won first and second on him at that rodeo on two consecutive days.”

Old School has a strong career average buck off percentage of 76.92 and that holds true within CBR competition as well. Old School bucks off right-handers 83 percent of the time they mount him, but left-handers stand a better shot with his left hand buck off average at 33 percent.

He would finish the season with three qualified rides on the CBR’s televised tour with his highest scored ride coming from Jackson, Tennessee in January with World Finals qualifier Neil Holmes where together they posted 89.5 points. One week later CBR and NFR qualifier Aaron Pass rode him in Hobbs, New Mexico for 87.5 points.

Old School has won the round for bucking the best and hardest on tour where the judges rewarded him with the highest bull score three times including being the highest marked bull at the CBR World Finals in July at Cheyenne Frontier Days. Statistically Old School is having his best year ejecting 75 percent of the riders who attempt him.

Old School will be waiting patiently in the pens in Huron to see whose name will survive round one and who will the chance to put their rope around him.


What’s it going to take to ride him?

Statistically a left-hander will have a better chance.

“Stay down and stay right against him and you can’t make any mistakes. If you get away from him just a little he’s going to buck you off,” advised Harris.