Vastbinder Grabs All Three Rounds to Win CBR Laughlin

Between the bright lights and the desert heat of the Colorado River, Eli Vastbinder was the first and the last bull rider the fans saw make a qualified ride in Laughlin, Nevada as he rode three bulls to win $14,437.50, a pair of custom Fenoglio boots, a Hyo Silver custom engraved buckle, an American Hat Co. western hat, and the third stop of the 2016-17 Made in America Road to Cheyenne professional bull riding tour.

“Last night I was thinking about the events I did do good at, and I repeated my pattern of when I won,” said Vastbinder.

This was the second event win for the veteran CBR tour rider who rides his best when money and titles are on the line. Vastbinder rode five of five bulls during the 2016 CBR World Finals at Cheyenne Frontier Days in July.

Vastbinder has been on tour with CBR since 2014 when he won the CBR Las Vegas Shoot Out his rookie year. He finished 2014 ranked number five in the CBR World Standings and after a stellar World Finals he finished sixth in the World Standings for the 2016 CBR season.

Vastbinder feels he is best under pressure and has been working out, rodeoing, and getting on practice bulls to stay in shape.


Round One

The fourth edition of the Colorado River Chute Out began with Eli Vastbinder riding everybody’s favorite draw, 059 Boomer for 89 points. Six bull riders would try to top that score but in the end it was Vastbinder who lead the event after 25 riders took their turn to complete round one.

Lovelady High School’s Boudreaux Campbell from Crockett, Texas would finish the round in the number two slot with 88.5 points on JQH’s 651 The Abyss. Campbell, a rookie who has advanced to the final four in his first two events, would finish second in the round.

2016 CBR World Champion, Sage Kimzey rode rookie bull 342 Sniper, flanked by World Champion Bull Rider and stock contractor, Mike White, for 88 points to advance to the second round. 

Rounding out the first round with qualified rides was Denton Fugate, 87.5 on X37 Ink Slinger and Tyler Bingham who was 87.5 on Harris’s new bull, 01 Red One. Keeton Moody and Kritter Lamb would advance to round two with 87 and 81 points respectively.



Five riders would advance to the semifinal round on time ridden. They joined the seven who had qualified rides in round one. Neil Holmes would strike first with a rematch on seven-year-old bucker J908 Outside the Box, who was the winning ride in Laughlin last year for Cody Rostockyj. It was Holmes’ third trip aboard J908 and he is up 2 to 1 now with Jimmy’s Jayne’s bull after his 89 point performance.

Lane Toon easily handled Rawson’s Too Juicy with 88.5 points followed by Mickey Andrews 87 on Fire Fly (Championship Pro Rodeo). The next five would buck off before the crowd witnessed Sage Kimzey, the first man to ride two, who posted a 90.5 on Jeff Harris’s 1101 Rolling Hills representing Okeechobee Bull Co. 

Rookie rider, Boudreaux Campbell would come down early off of Rawson’s 61 Bad Black leaving the veteran, Vastbinder to determine his own fate on the storied bucker 626 Karaoke.

“I got on him at a pro rodeo and he bucked me off at the whistle, so I was ready for him tonight and knew what to expect and he felt great,” said Vastbinder.

The judges agreed and rewarded the North Carolina cowboy 91.5 points and after twelve outs, the semifinals round would go to Vastbinder and put him in the driver’s seat for the bull selection of the Shoot Out round.


Shoot Out Round

Vastbinder quickly selected his final four ride and let Tuff Hedeman know he would be attempting EG1925 Painkiller, owned by JR and Amy McKinney.

“I wanted to pick him (EG1925 Painkiller) two years ago in the final four at Cheyenne and I got talked out of it and regretted it, so I knew he was the one for tonight, I always wanted to get on him. I finally had a chance to get him and I knew he would fit me good,” said Vastbinder.

Kimzey took EG25T Destination Unknown. Holmes, who trusted Tuff Hedeman to select his ride, would attempt 440 Walking Tall, a CBR World Finals bull flanked by Mike White.

Lane Toon and Boudreaux Campbell were tied and a coin flip went to Toon and he would attempt Mike White’s 3820 Mayhem. 

Toon was fouled on his first bull and was awarded a reride. Holmes bucked off 440 as did Toon on his fourth bull of the night. Kimzey would get the most out of his rematch on 25T and thrill the crowd with a 90 point ride.

Vastbinder, who said he felt less pressure after the World Champ rode his bull because if he hadn’t it would have been all up to him to be the only one to ride in the Shoot Out round, was in complete control and was 91.5 points for the outstanding performance on the bull he regretted not picking two years ago in Cheyenne.


World Standings Race

It was Jerilyn Harmon’s and Mike White’s first event for the 2016-17 CBR Bull Team Challenge season and they made the most of it winning the $20,000 first prize with three seasoned buckers. Event champion Eli Vastbinder was crucial to this team’s success in Laughlin as 626 Karaoke anchored the team with Vasbinder’s 91.5 semifinal round win.

059 Boomer who is considered by the riders as the number one bull to draw if he’s on the day sheet, did his job and he and Vastbinder teamed up in round one for 89 points. Big Tex, Harmon and Elite’s third bull, posted an 88 point bull score as he bucked off Corey Atwell in 6.19 seconds.

The winning team scored a total of 286.19 points for the win, 3.73 points ahead of second place team JQH Bucking Bulls Team 1. JQH, owned by Skip and Elaine Jones, who have placed second twice in the three competitions held this season,  had two qualified rides and finished with 282.46 points, $12,000, and Jack Tar as their anchor rank bull score of 88.5 points bucking off Newt Brasfield. 

Okeechobee Bull Co. finished third with reigning World Champion Bull Team owner Jeff Harris flanking for two qualified rides, one buck off and a check for $8,000. Championship Pro Rodeo and Kevin Ruggs took the last check for fourth place with 281.38 points, a check for $5,000 and 9100 Kojack producing their anchor bull score.       


Colorado River Chute Out Results

Shoot Out Round

1, Eli Vastbinder, Statesville, NC, 91.5 points on Painkiller (JR and Amy McKinney), $12,187.50 2, Sage Kimzey, Strong City, OK, 90 points on EG25T Destination Known (Jaynes Johnston & McKinney),$6,562.50. 3, Neil Holmes, Houston, Texas, 0 on Walking Tall (M-H), $1,000. 4, Lane Toon, Lane, OK, 0 on 3820 Mayhem (M-H). , $1,000.

Average Results

1, Eli Vastbinder, 272 points, $14,437.50. 2, Sage Kimzey, 268.5. 3, $8,812.50. 3, Neil Holmes, 89 points,   1,000.  4, Lane Toon, 88.5, $1,750. 5, Boudreaux Campbell, 88.5. $500.00

Laughlin Bull Team Challenge Results

Jerilyn Harmon’s Elite Bulls Team 2, 286.19 points, $20,000. 2, JQH, 282.46, $12,000. 3, Okeechobee Bull Co., 281.57, $8,000. 4, Championship Pro Rodeo/Kevin Ruggs, 281, 38, $5,000.

Champion Bull was a tie between Jerilyn Harmon and Elite’s 626 Karaoke and Jaynes EG1925 Painkiller. Bull of the Event (rank score) was rookie bull 118 Reaper, representing Jerilyn Harmon’s Elite Bull Team 2. 118 posted a 91.5 rank bull score as he bucked off Denton Fugate in the semifinal round.