Inspiration from two Icons Inspires the Horizon Series leader

 The 2018 CBR Horizon Series Kicks Off

WEATHERFORD, Texas – (August 21, 2017) - As the summer comes to an end and the CBR is loading the starting pistol to fire off the Fall Run of the Road to Cheyenne, the battle in the qualifying lanes is already underway. Beginning on August 5, the 2017-18 CBR bull riding season kicked off and a new list of World Champion hopefuls, and a few veterans, are fighting vigilantly to get back on the Road to Cheyenne by way of the CBR’s qualifying Horizon Series.

The Leader

Riding on confidence instilled by not one - but two World Champion bull riders - South Texas bull rider Braden Richardson takes the lead on the curved path that leads straight to the Road to Cheyenne.

With two second place finishes and one “wrecked out” event, the twenty-two year old Richardson has accumulated 351 points after three events and is safely entered and tucked in the draw for the CBR’s season opener next week in Huron, South Dakota and three days later in Window Rock, Arizona.

Richardson, who rode in his first CBR World Finals in July as an alternate, has his sights set on winning the Horizon Championship this year and hopefully a few top tier tour events as well.

The Plan

“I am trying not to not overthink my draws at this point and just believe in myself,” said Richardson who has a self-described “new confidence” gained after talking to former CBR bull riding and CBR bull team World Champion owner, Mike White.

“I always thought my riding style was a little like Chris Shivers and Mike White, and in Del Rio I met Mike and he really inspired me telling me I was a good rider and to believe in myself more, having someone of that caliber say that to me really helped and he pumped me up and I rode his and Elite’s Boomer bull for 90 points in round one,” continued the Jasper, Texas rider.

But there is another World Champion that was quick to verify Richardson’s talent and path.

“Braeden and I lived together in the same house my junior year in high school and we did not spend very many days apart,” said 2013 CBR Reserve World Champion and the reigning PBR World Champion bull rider, Cooper Davis.

“His strengths are that he is a catty rider, he can make things happen when you don’t see that it can happen – he tries hard and he always puts in the work and he is finally seeing that it pays off,” continued Davis who is also from Jasper.

Richardson, always friendly eager to talk about bull riding, states his early success is partly because he is not studying the bulls too much anymore.

“I am trying to just take it slow, one bull at a time, and react to each move and bull,” said Richardson who was called up to ride in Cheyenne as an alternate and made good use of the draw riding Harris’s Rolling Hill in round one for 89 points.

Davis who agrees with Richardson’s theory of not setting a trap had this to say about studying bulls too much.

“You can watch 100 videos of one bull and you get too much of one idea of what a bull might do, and that animal has a mind of his own,” agreed Davis.

Believing in yourself is also Davis’ advice to his longtime friend.

“I have been watching him lately and he has matured as a bull rider. He has come so far in a short period of time and it doesn’t matter what arena he is in if he focuses on believing in himself and doesn’t worry about losing, he will be surprised, he forgets how good he is and he will go a long way,” said Davis.

Richardson, fighting back to the top from an injury where he broke his back in the spring of 2013 while competing at the Texas High School Rodeo Association Region 5 Finals.

The Competition

The Horizon series has four of the top ten in its current standings as familiar CBR names, but six are fresh faces packed with talent, and that makes things really competitive on both tours throughout the season.

Three points behind Richardson and in second place on the Horizon is a veteran CBR rider and Road to Cheyenne event winner Billy Quade Phillips of Henryetta, Okla. Phillips is a former CBR World Finalist (2014) and multiple event winner including last week at the Boone County Fair Bull Bash, in Belvidere, Illinois where he took the first place prize check for $2,995, with an 89.5 ride. Quade was fourth in the Whiteside County Bull Bash in Morrison, Illinois.

Winner of stop number one, the Dierks Pine Tree Festival in Dierks, Arkansas was everyone’s favorite Okie, Lane Toon from Smithville. The CBR A-lister won $3,596.97 and seems to have his groove back in CBR competition where a series of injury and re-injury have sidelined him since January.  

Two veterans may have won two events, but the third place rider in the Horizon series is a true rookie. Trey Holston of Fort Smith, Kansas, the reigning National High School Rodeo Finals Champion, has ridden in his first pro CBR events and earned a place on the roster with 342 points.

Holston, the highest ranked rookie after three events, placed third in Belvidere and fifth in Morrison.  The 18-year-old from Fort Scott, Kansas, is already a pedigreed bull rider. He is the 2017 National High School Finals Bull Riding Champion, a two time KJSRA State Bull Riding Champion (2016-17) -and won the National Junior High Finals (2013) while in the seventh grade - where he says his passion began.

 “The older you get, the harder it is and the more work it’s going to take, but I am dedicated and know what direction I’m headed,” said Holston.

He cites his dad, Todd Holston, who was also a bull rider and former assistant rodeo coach of Fort Scott Community College, as his role model.

What does the rookie have to say about the CBR?

“The pen of bulls was great, all even, I mean there is always going to be one or two you would rather get on but overall they were all great and the kind you want to ride,” said the newest member of the CBR Rookie club.

Hoping to follow in Boudreaux Campbell’s footsteps, Holston is planning his trip to Huron where he is entered in the Horizon Series performance on night one and hopes to get a bull on his first Road to Cheyenne tour event on night two. As far as his bull draws thusfar, the just turned 18 year old had this to say.

“I couldn’t not have drawn any better, 307 of Randy Littrell’s in the first round and he was a perfect one, then I came up short on another Littrell bull, Gunsmoke, in the short round, I bucked off before the whistle, but he was a great bull too,” continued Holston who also liked Cory Check’s bulls which he had in both rounds in Illinois.

Holston went on to say that he is excited to enter the CBR as his first choice for a professional debut and feels like the bulls buck really good and the prize money is great.  

The Horizon Series is known for its dog fights to the finish line and although the Championship comes with a $20,000 check from Tuff Hedeman in Cheyenne, it lives on with many legendary stories - of the launching of many great bull riding careers.

With the surge of new cowboys knocking on the CBR’s door, the CBR 2017-18 Horizon is set to impress once again. Link to Horizon Series Standings as of August 21, 2017

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CBR Horizon Series Event Results

2017 Whiteside County Fair Bull Bash, Morrison, Illinois

August 15, 2017 - Produced by Matt Noble, Next Level Bull Riding

1, Brandon Parrish, Bellville, Texas - $2,880.2, Jackson Landgraf, Georgetown, Texas - $2,080. 3, Dixon Hestetune, Cashton, Wisconsin - $1,280. 4, Billy Quade Phillips, Henryetta, Oklahoma - $880. 5, Trey Holston, Fort Scott, Kansas - $440.6, Cody Schneider, Canyon, Texas - $440.

Boone County Bull Bash, Belvidere, Illinois

August 11, 2017 - Produced by Matt Noble, Next Level Bull Riding

1, Billy Quade Phillips, Henryetta, Oklahoma - $2,995. 2, Braden Richardson, Jasper, Texas - $2,163.20.3, Trey Holston, Fort Scott, Kansas - $1,331.20. 4, Andrew Alvidrez, Seminole, Texas - $915.20. 5, Brendon Averett, New Orleans, Louisiana - $582.40. 6, Travis Smith, Thayer, Missouri - $332.80.

Dierks Pine Tree Festival, Dierks, Arkansas

August 5, 2017 - Produced by Mike White

1, Lane Toon, Smithville, Oklahoma - $3,596.97. 2, Braden Richardson, Jasper, Texas - $2,253.62. 3, Brendon Averett, Maurepas, Louisiana - $1,287.21. 4, Dustin Boquet, Montegut, Louisiana - $882.20.