WNFR Bucking Bull Profile 343 Rio – Hurst Pro Rodeo

 WNFR Bucking Bull Profile

343 Rio – Hurst Pro Rodeo

You can blame the night, blame the beer, blame the moon in her eyes, but when all else fails . . . if you are a bull rider at the NFR in Las Vegas you might can . . . Blame it on Rio!

Hurst Pro Rodeo’s home grown 343 Rio is on the roster to buck at this year’s super bowl of rodeo, the  Wrangler National Finals beginning December 7 at the Thomas and Mack Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

343 is a four year old bull who is a son of Hurst’s infamous bull Mooseknuckle (deceased) and out of a daughter of Houdini.

Sporting a near perfect buck off percentage in PRCA competition you might see 343 in what fans refer to as the “rank pen” at the 2017 WNFR in Las Vegas beginning Dec 7.      

343 Rio has 15 recorded PRCA outs in 2017 and 5 for 2016. lists his buck off percentage as 93.3 with an average bull score of 42.60. 343 has only been ridden once in PRCA competition and that was with three time PRCA World Champion bull rider Sage Kimzey as the pilot. Kimzey rode him for 86.5 points and the win in the long round of the Fort Worth Extreme Bulls. 

But if you can’t find Kimzey in Vegas and you see your name next to his on the NFR draw, the bull rider’s consensus to covering the good natured bull would be to phone a friend.  Left handed riders statistically fair better against him.  Colton Jesse rode him at the Cheyenne CBR World Finals in July and Juan Alonzo covered him and both times the bull produced a 45 point bull score.

But hold on, don’t count the top guys out yet, there are two guys on the NFR list of qualifiers that Hurst thinks might get him ridden.

“Ty Wallace and Trey Benton are clutch riders, they get it done when it means the most,” continued Hurst who believes either would have an excellent chance at a qualified ride on him.

Trey Benton went 6.19 seconds on him in the final four at Tuff Hedeman’s Championship Bull Riding in Fort Worth last April.

“The bull does not weaken, he speeds up and as he gets faster the whip gets a little harder to ride,” said Hurst.

Additional Joe Frost has attempted him twice bucking off also at 6.19 seconds in Enid last January one week later in Jackson, Tennessee, both in CBR competition.

What to expert from 343? According to Hurst, a quiet opportunity as he stands still in the chutes and allows the rider a clean out.

“Josh Frost picked him once in the final four where you get to draft your own bull because he said his brother had bucked off him twice and he wanted a shot,” chuckled Hurst.

Managing bulls selection for multiple CBR bull teams and providing stock year round for pro rodeos including prestigious rounds at Rodeo Houston, and Fort Worth.  Hurst has managed to find winning combinations for all levels of his pen of buckers.

“I just love to compete and if there’s a chance to buck bulls and earn money, I’m in,” Hurst says.

Throughout the years Hurst has had several famed bulls including CBR Bull of the Year Got It, Palace Station John Doe, One Eyed Jack, Mooseknuckle, Boomerang, and Jaw Breaker to name a few. With so many great bulls to choose from, Hurst’s final roster for the bull team finals isn’t set in stone yet.

Despite having attended nearly every major bull competition in the last decade, Hurst is excited about the chance to return to the finale of the PRCA year which is worth over 8 million dollars in prize money to the cowboys.

“They treat us really well at the NFR, it’s an honor to be included and stand on the back of the chutes to flank bulls for the top 15 cowboys in rodeo,” said Hurst.

Hurst who is known as an ace in selecting stock and developing buckers is also known as very bull rider friendly and has helped develop as many bull riders over his 30 year career as bulls.

Recently relocating to the previous home of Lufkin Ranch and Rodeo, Hurst and his wife Leslie are enjoying the semi-retired life of a stock contractor and bucking bull breeder.  Rio will be enjoying the sprawling pastures of his new digs and getting a little daily excersice with Hurst before the 1,385 mile trip to Las Vegas.

Hurst adds that he’s already planning and preparing for next season’s competition. “I’ve got a good set of Mooseknuckle three-year-olds that are ready to go. I’m really excited for next year as well,” he says.

·       WNFR = Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

·       CBR = Championship Bull Riding.