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01.12.2017
New Mexico Native Son Returns to the Arena

Entering the arena like gladiators walking thru rings of fire, twenty-five bull riders will be introduced from center stage at the beginning of the 7th Annual Hobbs Tuff Hedeman Championship Bull Riding held Saturday, January 21 at the Lea County Events Center at 7:30 p.m.

One of those 25 gladiators is New Mexico resident and native, Travis Briscoe who will be attempting to ride past the undisputed number one bull rider in the world, five time World Champion Sage Kimzey, as he attempts to make an unprecedented comeback on the elite CBR Road to Cheyenne televised bull riding tour.

In a sport where retirement often comes early, Briscoe, a highly decorated cowboy athlete who has competed for twelve years as a professional bull rider, will be coming out of the chutes in Hobbs in the same arena where he fell to injury just one year ago.

“I am excited to be back in action after I tore my bicep here last year,” said Briscoe.

Briscoe knows the perils of bull riding better than most of the young men he is now sharing the locker room with and after suffering many life threatening and career ending injuries, Briscoe anxiously returns to the dirt to support his family.

Briscoe turned professional in 2005, with total career earnings in excess of one million dollars. Riding primarily in the Professional Bull Rider’s organization, his best year as a pro was 2008 where he banked over $265,000 in a calendar year.

But after multiple injuries and sitting much of the last few years on the sidelines, the twenty-nine year old cowboy is happy to be back on the CBR’s Road to Cheyenne where he admires the structure and professionalism of the CBR and Tuff Hedeman’s events.

“Tuff is the kind of guy that has his heart for the bull riders and takes care of us – much different than what you see in the rodeo world, he makes sure we are taken care of and sees that the bulls we are getting on give us an opportunity to ride and earn a living,” continued Briscoe.

Briscoe will check in the locker room at the Lea County Expo Center next Saturday as the elder statesman in the locker room, a title he claims to like.

“Being around all the young guns, it feeds my fire, I love to be around that fire and they are like me when I was 18 and just starting my career. They have that hunger to win, it gives me motivation to be around hungry one’s again,” said Briscoe.  

Hedeman’s main event will be showcasing the talents of the reigning CBR and PRCA World Champion Sage Steele Kimzey of Strong City, Oklahoma, pitted against some of the greatest bull riders and bull talent in the game. On Kimzey’s heels is a young gun from Crockett, Texas.  Eighteen-year-old Boudreaux Campbell, a high school senior, is sitting in the number two position in CBR’s World Standings at the CBR season’s midway point. Campbell, who turned professional last August is the two time Texas High School Bull Riding Champion and is expected to sign with Sam Houston State University’s rodeo team later this spring and has already earned over $50,000 riding bulls in less than six months.

“Making that kind of money you think you will never see a broke day again, be smart with your money and cherish the time you have with your friends and opportunities because you don’t realize at that age and what you have tapped into – in a blink of an eye it can be gone – appreciate what you earned, know you have a chance to make an impact in the world – take care of those relationships, it’s what you will have left at the end,” replied Briscoe when asked what advice he has for the young super stars he is competing with in Hobbs.

This year’s event is the eighth stop on the Championship Bull Riding’s (CBR) Road to Cheyenne Tour, which pits the industry’s elite riders against the best bulls in a three round tournament style action. Doors open at 6:00 and action gets underway at 7:30 p.m. A stick-bull riding competition for the kids 6 and under will be held at 6:00 prior to the event with the finals during intermission. The young stick-bull riders will show us their best imitation of their favorite bull rider as they buck out of miniature chutes with the winner taking home the grand prize, a Tuff Hedeman Championship Buckle. Enter the stick-bull by emailing stickbullriding@aol.com for more information, limited contestants are being accepted.

“Organizing the Hobbs, New Mexico bull riding is like coming home”, said the 4 time World Champion Bull Rider who competed in New Mexico Junior RodeoAassociations as well as High School Rodeo representing New Mexico.  “I always look forward to this event, the fans, the sponsors and the whole Lea County community gets behind it and it’s a great way to give back to the people of New Mexico who have supported me during my career”, said Hedeman, the Chute Boss and Ambassador of Championship Bull Riding.

There are no guarantees in bull riding; the only way for cowboys to earn a paycheck is to ride better than the rest of the 25-man field.  The field of competition which starts with 25 riders, then 12 and finally 4 advance to the Shootout where they will battle for the lion’s share of $30,000 in prize money. The format appeals to new spectators and established fans alike because riders can challenge as many as three bulls in one performance.

The Hobbs event will also feature the “other side of the ride,” CBR’s Million Dollar Bull Team Challenge. Bull owners from all around the country will bring three bulls that are featured during the first two rounds of competition. The bulls are competing for points based on their performance in the arena. Additionally, the time the bull rider stays on is added to the bull’s score. At the end of the night, the owner with the three highest-scoring bulls will receive $20,000.  

CBR has become known for their action-packed performances that keep fans on the edge of their seats. Tuff Hedeman who coordinates every element of the event is known for having great bulls matched up with super star riders, upbeat music, and classic barrel man entertainment - there is something for everyone at the Hobbs Tuff Hedeman Championship Bull Riding.

Join Tuff Hedeman Thursday, January 19th from 5:30-7:30 PM at the Western Heritage Museum where video of some of his and other favorite and wild historical bull rides will be playing in the theater. On Friday, January 20th, Hedeman will be hosting a Meet and Greet at the Pacific Rim Restaurant from 5:00 -7:00 p.m.

Event Location: Lea County Events Center - 5101 N Lovington Hwy, Hobbs, NM 88240 (575) 391-2900

Date: Saturday, January 21, 2017 – 7:30 p.m.

TICKETS: Ticketing Link or Lea County Events Center Box Office (575) 391-2900

For interviews, press credentials and more information please contact Leigh Ann Schroeder 940.902.1112 or leighann@theshortround.com.


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