$50,00 Cash Money Up for Grabs for the top hands headed to Huron

 

The Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash

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HURON – $50,000 is up for grabs as professional cowboy athletes make their way to Huron for the 2019 Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash.  Returning for two performances, the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding tour is the lead Grandstand event at the South Dakota State Fair on August 27 and 28 at 8 pm. The 2019 edition features a fierce battle of great bulls matched up against top riders - wrapped around upbeat music and enthusiastic fans.

The Bull Bash is a fifteen-year-old tradition at the fair with Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer and four-time World Champion Bull Rider Tuff Hedeman commanding the chutes since 2005. The pioneer of the sport of bull riding returns with 40 professional bull riders this year, veterans and young guns who will face the top bulls on tour to kick off the fair with the fabulous family-friendly good time event.

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“I am never happy with just good, our team works harder each year to bring a better experience to the fans," said Hedeman, who has been producing bull riding since 1992.

New this year at the fairgrounds will be the Tuff Hedeman Stick Bull Riding competition. Hedeman invites boys and girls six years of age and under to strut their stuff before the professional cowboys take the dirt. There is zero entry fee for the budding bull riders, and girls and boys are welcome — entries email Jacie.Hupp@state.sd.us.  

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In addition to the bull riding action, Red Wilk will introduce a Western Wish grant recipient and honor veterans at the American Hero Award ceremony, at an extraordinary intermission rite.

“The true meaning of the American Hero award is Red Wilk, proving that people care about these guys and what they did. It's unbelievable how important that is, and this ceremony reminds people as a country we can never forget and never let them think we don’t care,” said Hedeman.

Three South Dakota bull riders attempting to make a name for themselves and pick up a hall pass to the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour will compete in Huron on Wednesday and Thursday night against the field of champions and top-ranked bull riders.

“Greatness is earned and not given and these new riders, some from South Dakota, that show up here and have talent, we give them an opportunity to compete, they are earning it,” said Hedeman.

South Dakota bull riders Trevor Easton, Wessington Springs, Dustin Hall of Redfield, Dillan Cronk of Mitchell, will compete against athletes from 10 states and Mexico. Young hotshots like to compete and you betcha the local fans will be cheering to help them make 8. The Red Wilk Construction THBR Bull Bash at the South Dakota State Fair is the only Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding stop in South Dakota.

A few of the contenders entered this year include Foster McCraw, Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo bull riding champion, Clancy Hart, son of 1999 PBR World Champion Cody Hart. The only bull rider to win the National High School and College bull riding finals, Trey Holston, returns after winning in Huron in 2017.  Isanti Pro Rodeo champ and Cheyenne round winner Matt Palmer and Cheyenne top 5 finisher Joseph McConnel, to name a few.

In addition to the bull riding action Red Wilk will honor veterans at the American Hero Award ceremony, at an extraordinary intermission rite.

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Night one will include a $10,000 long round and a bounty bull worth $10,000, but the highest score from round one rider has to hang on long enough to hear the whistle if he plans to collect the cash. The bounty bull is selected by Hedeman and will be announced at a later date.

Thursday night’s lineup will follow Hedeman’s three-round tournament-style format which is popular with fans as it allows them to see their favorite riders challenge as many as three bulls in one night. As the bull riders progress each earning money for their qualified rides, the final four-man Shoot Out round determines the winner and the bulk of the $30,000 prize money.

The stick bull riding will begin at 6:30 followed by the bull riding action at 8. This year’s line-up includes barrel man extraordinaire Johnny Dudley and the Tuff Hedeman cowboy lifesavers, bullfighters Bryce Redo and Beau Schueth.

The competition is also part of the Tuff Hedeman Bull Team Challenge. Bull owners will bring three bulls featured during the first two rounds of competition with $50,000 up for grabs for the teams with the highest scores.

Immediately following the bull riding, fans will get a chance to meet and get autographs from the bull riders and Tuff Hedeman.

The Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash will be held at the South Dakota State Fairgrounds, 1060 3rd St. SW.  Tickets are on sale. Tickets are $12 for youth and $20 for adults and are available by calling 866-605-FAIR, Red Wilk Construction Bull Riding tickets or online www.sdstatefair.com.

A list of contestants will be available at a later date.

For interviews, press credentials and additional information please contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, 940.902.1112 or tuffhedemanpr@gmail.com.

 

Jacksonville Bull Riding Announces Ultimate Fan Experience Premium Tickets on Sale

Nicky Wheeler Tuff Hedeman Breakout Series Bull Riding

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JACKSONVILLE, Texas - Want to entertain, impress, and reward your best clients or your most valued employees? Support the local 4-H and FFA Scholarship Programs, or maybe you just want to do something special for friends and family?

The Nicky Wheeler Memorial Bull Riding committee is pleased to announce tickets are on sale for its annual bull bash with an option for the ultimate fan experience with the addition of “Premium” Seating options for the Tuff Hedeman Breakout Series bull riding held at the Jacksonville Rodeo arena on September 28.

This annual event powered by the fans and the local community is the largest benefactor event for local FFA and 4-H college scholarships. Providing self-sufficiency and local jobs for future generations in the agricultural community is the goal of these scholarships and agricultural-based programs.

“Each of our Premium Seating options offers an array of benefits and advantages, but this year you will have the chance to sit ringside on the dirt with concierge services including a meet and greet with Tuff Hedeman in your preferred seating and a waiter to tend to your every need,” said Haley Beasley, Co-Chair of the event.

Concierge Boxes are limited so you will want to reserve yours soon. Price is $150 per box which includes six seats. Box Seats within the grandstands are available again for $100 and consists of six seats.

The two-round annual event will be held on September 28 at the Jacksonville Rodeo Arena where the bull riders will compete for prize money and a custom engraved Corriente Saddle and Buckle trophy buckle.

This year’s event will once again be produced by a host of dedicated volunteers including previous Stock Contractor of the Year and World Champion bull team owner Jeff Harris and family of Palestine and Haley and Brian Beasley of Jacksonville.

Hedeman’s Breakout Tour event allows new riders to break into the ranks of professional bull riding and advance to the national level tours.

General Admission price is $10 in advance with tickets available online at Nicky Wheeler Memorial Bull Riding and thru Raven Jute’s Boutique and Salon Facebook page or in person at the Boutique in Jacksonville. The price will be $12 at the gate.

For more information on the event and premium seating options, Contact Haley Beasley 903-747-7199.

About the Nicky Wheeler Memorial Bull Riding

The Nicky Wheeler Memorial was established to pay tribute to an industry great, former champion bull rider and stock contractor who passed away in April of 2018. Formerly known as the Bull Bash Revolution, the name was changed this year to honor a great man. Nicky devoted his life to helping kids in FFA and 4H chapters statewide. The Wheeler family owns Fresh Country Fund Raising, a statewide fundraising company supporting 4H and FFA chapters nationwide.

 

Coleman Rude Captures Title at his first Tuff Hedeman Breakout Series event

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Midwest Swing Tuff Hedeman Breakout Series at the Whiteside County Fair

Photos by theadventurecollector.com

MORRISON, Illinois - The fourth stop of the WickedRank.com Tuff Hedeman Midwest Swing Series got off to a slow start at the Whiteside County Fair Bull Bash on Tuesday night with only one rider posting a qualified ride in the first round.  With a little encouragement, the field of 17 competitors heated up for the championship round and a shot at the lion’s share of the $5,000 added prize purse.

When it was all said and done and time to ride the Ferris wheel, the last cowboy on the day sheet, Coleman Rude of Silver Lake, Indiana, was triumphant with a 90.5 ride on Cory Check’s bull Mr. Wilson. Rude’s ride would be the highest score of the event and earn him the title and a check for $1,704.48.

“The first bull didn’t go my way, and the second came out and jumped two and long and then came back to the left into my hand – he faded before the whistle towards the chutes, but I made it,” said 25 year old Coleman Rude making his first appearance at a Tuff Hedeman Breakout Bull Riding.

Also breaking out at the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Series was Matthew Weaver of Grovespring, Missouri who was the only bull rider to hear the whistle while still on the back of his draw , P4 Mr. Midnight (Shop Creek) during round one.  Weaver won $1,608 for his 85.5 effort on a bull he had not seen before.

Matthew Weaver

Matthew Weaver

“I drew a really good bull from Randy Littrell, he said he would be good to get on, and he went out two and around to the right into my hand, and I just got to do what I love, and it fell into place," said Weaver has competed on all stops of the Tuff Hedeman Midwest Swing Series this year. Weaver plans to compete $10,000 added finale in Waterloo on September 21. "All the Glory to God," the 20-year-old cowboy added.

Fan enjoying selfies with the bull riders.

Fan enjoying selfies with the bull riders.

The chant “Cowboy Up” could be heard behind the chutes as the young guns took to their bulls and produced five qualified rides in the Championship Round. Riding for the highest score in the event was  Coleman Rude for 90.5 points.   Kyle McDaniel was second in the round with 89.5 points followed by Caleb McCaslin’s 88.  Javier Garcia, who should be positioned with points for a shot at the finals next month, was 87 points and Nick Goldsmith was 86.

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In addition to lucrative prize money, bull riders accumulate points which qualify them for the $10,000 added money Wicked Rank Tour Midwest Swing Finale to held on September 21 in Waterloo. At the end of the Midwest Swing, the bull rider who earns the most points will be crowned the Series Champion and receive a check, Custom trophy saddle, and buckle.  Ticket Link.

The Whiteside County Fair is produced by said The Whiteside County Central Agricultural Society which was formed May 28, 1872, in Morrison, Illinois. Its purpose is to promote all the industrial pursuits of the county, especially the agricultural, horticultural, floricultural, and mechanical interests and also the fine arts and domestic manufactures.  2020 will be the 150th celebration of this historic event.

Whiteside County Fair Bull Riding Results

1, Coleman Rude, Silver Lake, Indiana, 90.5 on two bulls, $1704.48. 2, Kyle McDaniel, 89 pts, 954.08. 3, Caleb McCaslin, 88, $611.04. 4, Javier Garcia, 87, $375.20 5, Nick Goldsmith, $107.20

For more information contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, 940.902.1112 or tuffhedemanpr@gmail.com

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The Boys of Summer Celebrate the History of the Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash

 

Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash

Presented by the South Dakota State Fair

Tuff Hedeman and Red Wilk

Tuff Hedeman and Red Wilk

HURON, South Dakota - Since 2005, the late August stop on the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour has launched and funded many professional bull riding careers. Huron, South Dakota has been the site of grand comebacks, tragic and heartbreaking career endings, and in some years it has set the pace for the next season, positioning the bull rider to win a World title. 

In front of a boisterous standing room only crowd, year after year the azure blue colored sky seems to stand still for a breathtaking sunset as Tuff Hedeman and the boys enter through the center gate.

There is no doubt that with 14 years of pro bull riding on the record in Huron, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash has been awarded. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 times the chute gates have opened for bucking bulls of the year, veteran and rookie cowboy athletes alike.

With a passion for the South Dakota State Fair, Red Wilk decided in 2001 to get the ball rolling on bringing a stand-alone bull riding to the fairgoers. Since 1986, Red Wilk Construction has been a corporate partner of the South Dakota State Fair.  In 2001, the Fair discontinued the PRCA rodeo held annually, and Red decided to take on the task of bringing a professional level bull riding to the Grandstands.

 “The South Dakota State Fair means a great deal to Red, and he and our family are very happy to be a part of the fair,” said Jenny Wilk.

The Bull Bash has grown over the years from a few hundred fans attending to over 5,000 people that come faithfully on Wednesday and Thursday night to watch the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour.

During the first two years (2001-2002) it was first produced by a company in Utah. For the following 15 years, CBR produced the event with Tuff Hedeman commanding the chutes for CBR. In 2017 Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding evolved and took the reins.

 "I knew there was a need for it and I knew the people would love it," said Wilk.

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From the first year until 2012 the annual two day Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash consisted of two days, with two rounds each day.  In 2012 the format changed to the three-round sudden death format on day two which guarantees bull riders prize money in each round if they ride their bull. The riders earn additional money for each ride, and the event culminates in a sudden-death final round of four riders with a winner take all scenario.  

Favorite sons of the Bull Bash are South Dakota natives Ardie Maier, Corey Maier and Kritter Lamb bring the crowds to their feet when they are announced.

Favorite sons of the Bull Bash are South Dakota natives Ardie Maier, Corey Maier and Kritter Lamb bring the crowds to their feet when they are announced.

Red Wilk first produced a bull riding at the Fair in 2001, but the traditional Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash began its run in 2005 with Tuff Hedeman in front of the chutes.  Wilk began the centerpiece of the event, the American Hero Award in 2003.  Being a Vietnam Veteran himself, he knows the importance of honoring Veterans for the sacrifices they have made for their country. Over the years, Red has honored 100 plus Veterans from South Dakota.

American Hero Ceremony at the Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash began in 2003

American Hero Ceremony at the Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash began in 2003

“The sacrifice these men make for our country is how we are able to do what we do today, right here in this very arena, and it is our honor to stand down and be part of this great rite of passage and remember why we can celebrate the freedoms we enjoy,” said Hedeman.

Red Wilk’s Bull Bash kicks off the Grandstand entertainment at the South Dakota State Fair each year, and according to the people of Huron, it is has reached legendary status… to bull riders, stock contractors and most importantly, the fans.

Meet the men who have built the history of the Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash and their path to a piece of South Dakota and bull riding history.

2018 Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash Champion, Tristan Mize

2018 Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash Champion, Tristan Mize

2018      Tristan Mize, Bryan, TX - Debuting at his first Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour, 21-year-old Tristan Mize found his way to the winners circle to accept the custom created trophy belt and check from Tuff Hedeman and Red Wilk for the average title on one ride. His 88 point domination of Jeff Harris' bull rider favorite, 277 Dirty Little Secret eventually won him the title He bucked off 21Z Gray Cloud (Burruss) in the Shoot-Out.

Koby Radley

Koby Radley

2017      Koby Radley, Montpelier, LA - NFR qualifier, CBR Year-End Horizon Champion, IFYR World Champion. After forty-one outs and nine qualified rides, it was the Louisiana cowboy who was the only bull rider to cover two during the 3 round event. Radley was 84.5 on JC Knapp’s Uptown Funk first then 89 points on L33 Tamale (Harris) in the semifinal round to eventually be declared the average champion and winner in 2017.

Taryl Smith, 2016 Champion

Taryl Smith, 2016 Champion

2016      Taryl Smith, Litchville, ND - NFR qualifier who rode 3 for the win including Shoot Out Round match-up J908 Outside the Box (J. Jaynes) for 92 points. He advanced from 1 to 2 on Commanche Moon (7Rocking X) followed by 89 points on Flab Slab (Jaynes) in the second.

5-time PRCA World Champion Bull Rider, Sage Kimzey was the 2015 Red Wilk Champ. Photographed on Jeff Harris’ Shorty.

5-time PRCA World Champion Bull Rider, Sage Kimzey was the 2015 Red Wilk Champ. Photographed on Jeff Harris’ Shorty.

2015      Sage Kimzey, Strong City, Ok - Zero rides in the Shoot Out round resulted in the average event title for 5-time PRCA World Champion, CBR World Champ, and 5-time NFR qualifier Sage Kimzey who rode JC Knapp’s salty bull…93Pepper in the second round for 90 points and the win.

2014 Bull Bash Champion Corey Bailey on Lyndal Hurst’s Ironhorse

2014 Bull Bash Champion Corey Bailey on Lyndal Hurst’s Ironhorse

2014      Corey Bailey - Paris, TN  - 2011 Corey Bailey carries the average title from 2014 with 92 points aboard Evil Kneivel (JQH) but zero rides scores during the Shoot Out thus pushed the prize purse to the following event. Corey would launch a good career from Huron and become the 2018 IPRA World Champion Bull Rider.  

Aaron Pass

Aaron Pass

2013      Aaron Pass – Dallas, TX - NFR qualifier Aaron Pass won the Shoot out and event title with a 90.5  on 117C Booger Red. He advanced with 88.5 on 265 Myspace.

2012      Ardie Maier, Timber Lake, SD - NFR qualifier, member of the $1,000,000 earnings club, and the oldest of the trio of bull riding Maier brothers, Maier was the comeback kid in 2012 after ending 2011 CBR season in the hospital at the yearend finals. Maier was 89 points in the Shoot-Out on Chin Music (Dakota). He advanced on 89.5 points aboard Buffalo Hump (Talbert) and 91 on Sandy Bob (Talbert). The only native South Dakota bull rider to ever win the Huron Bull Bash title, Maier is a beloved member of this community.

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2011      Clayton Foltyn, Winnie, TX - CBR World Champion and NFR Qualifier. Foltyn was one of 2 to cover both bulls for 172 points. He earned the title with a pair of 86’s on 732 Notorious (McGuire Cattle) in the long round and 564 Big Stuff (Berger) in the short go.

2010      Scottie Knapp, Edgewood, NM – NFR Qualifier. The fans remember Kenny Westrope who was as 91.5 on Bucking Bull of the Year Double Scoop (B. Cooper Bucking Bulls) in the final round, but it was Knapp that won the average with two rides. 87.5 on CyberSpace (B. Cooper) and 91 points on 92 Walk the Line (Berger).

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2009      Cling Craig, Mena, AR - An NFR qualifier who won both rounds with a 90 on Secret Mind (Shippy) in the long round and Walk the Line (Berger) 91.5 in the short round. “He did his job and made it look easy, it was the essence of a good bull rider, the win was a result of his emphasis on the mental game,” said TV broadcaster and 8-time World Champion Don Gay.

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2008      Steve Woolsey, Payson, Utah - NFR qualifier who earned the title with 89.5 points on 23 Like Mike in the Championship Round. Woolsey advanced on Hugh with 86.50 points in the long round.        

2007      Bonner Bolton, Odessa, TX - CBR World Champion and PBR premier tier rider. The current fashion model Bonner Bolton won the event in 2007 on PRCA Bucking Bull of the Year, HO3 Biloxi Blues when he brought the crowd to their feet with 91.5 points. He rode 47 Scorpion for 86 pts in the long round.

2007 Huron Champion and Dancing With the Stars competitor Bonner Blue Bolton..

2007 Huron Champion and Dancing With the Stars competitor Bonner Blue Bolton..

2006      Jay Dunford, Menoken, ND – After two days, 102 outs and 30 qualified rides, Jay Dunford was declared the winner with 173 points, narrowly edging out Bonner Bolton. He was 88 points on 007 Bond James Bond (Berger)and 85 points on  903 Blue Chip (Berger) to win the first round.

***Records and winners before 2006 were unavailable.

Tickets available at Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash Tickets or TuffHedemanBullRiding.com. 2018 and 2019 Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Season available for view on TuffRideTV.com.

For more information contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, 940.902.1112 or tuffhedemanpr@gmail.com

 

Wicked Rank Midwest Swing Breakout Series Returns to Whiteside County Fair

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The Tuff Hedeman Breakout Bull Riding Series

Photos by Doug Wade

Morrison, Illinois -  (August  12, 2019)  – Professional bull riding athletes from 10 States and one from Mexico will face a field of competitors at the Whiteside Fair Arena on Tuesday night. Up for grabs, the lion’s share of the $5,000 added prize money and a custom trophy buckle. The Whiteside Country Fair Bull Bash gets underway at 7:00 pm and the family-friendly show is expected to last two hours. 

Tuff Hedeman, the pioneer of the sport of bull riding and 4-time World Champion bull rider has lined up a competitive roster for the fourth stop of his Midwest Swing which includes the champions from the first three stops of the Wicked Rank Tuff Hedeman Midwest Swing Series which began in Woodstock on August 1 and concludes on September 21 in Waterloo with $10,000 bonus added money and a custom engraved saddle to the Series winner. 

Photo by Doug Wade

Photo by Doug Wade

Grandstand tickets are included in the gate admission price to the fair. The annual event producer a Matt of  Next Level Bull Riding and sanctioned by Tuff Hedeman Breakout Bull Riding Series. 

"For 14 years we have been bringing this family-friendly bull riding tradition to the fair-goers, and we enjoy supporting the community in this way and bringing a great line up of riders ready to put on a good show and win some money, "  said Matt Noble.  

The Tuff Hedeman Breakout Bull Riding Tour is a two-round format featuring traditional western entertainment from the barrel, and the cowboy lifesaver bullfighters Josh Jacobs and Caleb Osternryk.

Bullfighters Josh Jacobs and Caleb Osternryk.   Photo by Doug Wade

Bullfighters Josh Jacobs and Caleb Osternryk. Photo by Doug Wade

 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 field. The evening concludes with a bounty bull and $1,000 bonus check waiting if the cowboy can ride the required 8 Seconds. 

If you like a little insider information, according to produce Matt Noble, the breakout cowboy athlete  to watch in Morrison is Javier Garcia. 

 “I have been impressed with Javier, he’s made a couple of great bull rides, shows good form, and hustles up on his rope consistently and will it make it fun to watch for the fans,” said Noble.  

Mexico’s Albert Lebaron leads the most bulls covered (4) showing consistency on the Midwest Swing. Last year’s tour champion, Matt Palmer, is always a threat and he proved that riding for 91.5 points to win the Belvidere stop on the MWS Series on Thursday night.   

The Whiteside County Fair is produced by said The Whiteside County Central Agricultural Society formed on May 28, 1872, in Morrison, Illinois. Its purpose is to promote all industrial pursuits of the county, especially the agricultural, horticultural, floricultural, and mechanical interests, the fine arts, and domestic manufacturers. 2020 will be the 150th celebration of this historic event. 

 In addition to lucrative prize money, bull riders accumulate points which qualify them for the Wicked Rank Tour Midwest Swing Finals to on September 21. At the end of the Midwest Swing, the bull rider  who has the most points will be crowned the Series Champion and receive a check, Custom trophy saddle, and buckle. 

TICKET INFORMATION - Free Grandstands with fair gate admission

EVENT LOCATION: Whiteside County Fair, 201 West Winfield Street, Morrison, IL 61270

CONTACT: Matt Noble, matt@nextlevelbullriding.com or call 815-651-6661.

Tuff Hedeman interviews or information contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, tuffhedemanpr@gmail.com – 940.902.1112. Bull Rider entries and inquiries [G5] matt@nextlevelbullriding.com.

 



Palmer and Lebaron Win Hedeman's Midwest Swing Stops in Illinois

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Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Breakout Series

Photos by Doug Wade

The race is on for the championship title of the Midwest Swing Breakout Bull Riding Series. Four-time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer Tuff Hedeman traveled to the suburbs of Chicago to crown two champions this weekend on stop two and three of the WickedRank.com Midwest Swing. Professional bull riding athletes Matt Palmer of Chelsea, Oklahoma and Albert LeBaron of Mexico took home event wins at the Belvidere Bull Bash and the Big Rock Plowing Match bull riding, respectively.

Matt Palmer wins Boone County Bull Bash in Belvidere, Illinois with a 91.5 aboard Mudd Puppy from Shop Creek Cattle Company. Photo by Doug Wade

Matt Palmer wins Boone County Bull Bash in Belvidere, Illinois with a 91.5 aboard Mudd Puppy from Shop Creek Cattle Company. Photo by Doug Wade

In Belvidere, on Friday night Matt Palmer squeaked by Javier Garcia in the average by one point. Palmer won round one and the bull riding event title with a 91.5. Veteran rider Corey Atwell was second with 89 points. The short round was competitive with no rider covering two bulls, but Javier Garcia rode for 90.5 points. Albert Lebaron was the only other rider in the short go to cover his bull with 88 points.

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In Big Rock, Albert Lebaron would seek revenge and win the title as the only rider to cover two bulls and a total of 169 points on two head. Second place would go to Corey Atwell’s after an 88 point ride in the short round. Adam McConnel would place third and round one winner Shea Russell fourth.

The Tuff Hedeman Breakout Series tour is designed to award new riders the opportunity to break into the ranks of professional bull riding and advance to the national level tours. The Breakout Series has many of the familiar top names on the roster and fresh faces packed with talent making the Series competitive and exciting.

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With a total of $60,000 in prize monies available in five events, the race for the Midwest Series Swing is on, and Matt Palmer is the one to beat. Palmer won the first and second events in Woodstock and Belvidere. Next up – Whiteside County Fair Bull Bash, Morrison, Illinois on August 13.  Morrison Ticket link.

Belvidere, Illinois Bull Bash – August 9, 2019

1, Matt Palmer, Chelsea, Okla., 91.5 points on 2 bulls, $2,515.60. 2, Javier Garcia, 9.5 on 2, $1,926.60. 3, Corey Atwell, 89 on 2, $1,223.60. 4, Albert Lebaron, 88 on 2, 900.6. 5, Cole Miller, 86, $661.20.

Big Rock Plowing Match Results - August 10, 2019

1, Albert LeBaron, 169 on two head, $1,866.80. 2, Cory Atwell, 88.5 on 2, $1,840. 3, Adam McConnell, 88 on 2, $1,104. 3, Shea Russell, 86 on 2, $1310.02. Chris Sallie, 85.5 on 2, $728.28

Five events will complete the fall schedule of the Midwest Swing Series which began on August 1 in Woodstock, Illinois at the McHenry County Fair. Buckles, saddles, and bonus money have the competitors with their eye on the bigger prize.  Hedeman awards the Breakout champions an invitation to compete on the premier televised Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding tour where the purse increases to $30,000. See www.tuffhedemanbullriding.com for the schedule and ticket sales.

For more information, contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, tuffhedemanpr@gmail.com or 940.902.1112.

August 13, 2018 -  Whiteside County Fair Bull Bash, Morrison, Illinois

$5,000 added and Custom Trophy buckle

August 13 - $5,000

September 21, 2018 -Midwest Swing Series Finale, Waterloo, Illinois

Waterloo Optimist's Blue Army Bull Bash

$10,000 added purse, Trophy Saddle and buckle

Tuff Hedeman and the Boys are back for the Boone County Fair Bull Bash

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 BELVIDERE, Illinois - (August 5, 2019) – The most recognizable cowboy in the world, 4-time World Champion bull rider and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer, Tuff Hedeman, announced today he is headed to Belvidere. Friday night lights at the Boone County Fair grandstands will feature the second stop of the Tuff Hedeman Break Out Series Midwest Swing sponsored by WickedRank.com. The two-hour adrenaline rush action begins at 7 pm on August 9 at the Boone County Fairgrounds arena.

“I am excited to becoming up to Belvidere this year for the Bull Bash and look forward to meeting some of the great bull riding fans and the people of this area that love bull riding, come out and see us, I’ll be in the arena after the show,” said Tuff Hedeman.

Jake Weber is all smiles after his winning ride on the first leg of the Tuff Hedeman Midwest Swing in Woodstock, Illinois on Aug 2. Tuff Hedeman and the bull riding boys head to Belvidere Friday night for the second stop of the five city tour. The Midwest Swing Series is sponsored by WickedRank.com  Photo by Tricia Carzoli

Jake Weber is all smiles after his winning ride on the first leg of the Tuff Hedeman Midwest Swing in Woodstock, Illinois on Aug 2. Tuff Hedeman and the bull riding boys head to Belvidere Friday night for the second stop of the five city tour. The Midwest Swing Series is sponsored by WickedRank.com

Photo by Tricia Carzoli

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 field in a two round format with a bounty bull and $1,000 the prize for staying on the required 8 Seconds. 

“The Wicked Rank tour is now a Tuff Hedeman Breakout Series event and for 14 years we have been bringing this family friendly bull riding tradition to the fairgoers and we enjoy supporting the community in this way and bringing a great line up of riders, said event producer Matt Noble of Next Level Bull Riding. 

     This year’s Bull Bash will be the second stop of the Tuff Hedeman Wicked Rank Midwest Swing tour is a five city tour including stops in Woodstock, Belvidere, and Morrison where bull riders accumulate points to compete at the finale on September 21 in Waterloo with $10,000 added prize money to the cowboy athletes. At the end of the Midwest Swing the bull rider who has the most points will be crowned the Series Champion and receive a check, Custom trophy saddle and buckle.

This year’s event festivities will begin at 6:00 pm when the doors open.  The Mutton Bustin’ begins at 6:30 followed by the pro bull riding action at 7:00. The bull riding is expected to conclude at 9 pm and immediately following the event, Tuff Hedeman and the riders will be in the arena signing autographs.

Tuff Hedeman heads to the Tuff Hedeman Breakout Series Midwest Swing. Hedeman will make appearances in Belvidere and Big Rock, IL.

Tuff Hedeman heads to the Tuff Hedeman Breakout Series Midwest Swing. Hedeman will make appearances in Belvidere and Big Rock, IL.

The Tuff Hedeman Breakout Bull Riding Tour pits the industry’s elite riders against the best bulls in a two round format featuring traditional western entertainment from the barrel, and the cowboy lifesaver bullfighters Josh Jacobs and Caleb Osternryk. Bull riders will face a talented field of selected competitors for the lion’s share of the 7,500 added prize money, and custom engraved trophy buckle.

 TICKET INFORMATION -  Grandstand seats are $10. Tickets available at the ticket office at Gate 1.

EVENT LOCATION: Boone County Fairgrounds, Belvidere, Illinois

CONTACT: Matt Noble, matt@nextlevelbullriding.com or call 815-651-6661.

Tuff Hedeman interviews or information contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, tuffhedemanpr@gmail.com – 940.902.1112. Bull Rider entries and inquires matt@nextlevelbullriding.com.

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Weber Wins first stop of the Tuff Hedeman Midwest Swing

Jake Weber Wins season opener of the Tuff Hedeman Mid West Swing Breakout Series in Woodstock, Illinois. Photograph: Weber on bounty bull “Y” Mr. Wilson from CC Bucking Bulls for 92.5 points. Photo by V Veronica Pizor.

Jake Weber Wins season opener of the Tuff Hedeman Mid West Swing Breakout Series in Woodstock, Illinois. Photograph: Weber on bounty bull “Y” Mr. Wilson from CC Bucking Bulls for 92.5 points. Photo by V Veronica Pizor.

 Wisconsin Bull Rider Jake Webber wins first stop of Midwest Swing

McHenry County Fair Bull Bash  

WOODSTOCK, IL – August 3, 2019  –  Wisconsin cowboy Jake Weber thrilled the fans scoring 92.5 points on a bull named  Mr. Wilson to earn the additional $1,000 Wicked Rank.com paycheck and the championship prize package on the first stop on the Tuff Hedeman Midwest Breakout Bull Riding Series.

It was Weber’s first win in the Tuff Hedeman Breakout Bull Riding and he took home the prize money, buckle and title of the Tuff Hedeman McHenry County Fair Bull Bash.  He earned the average win and paycheck of $2,428.80 in addition to valuable points for the Midwest Swing Series competition which comes with an additional money, a custom trophy saddle and buckle on concudes on September 21 at the finale stop in Waterloo. 

Weber finished the night going two for three, but it was hard fought. Bucking off in round one he advanced on time ridden to round two where he earned 89.5, the highest marked ride of the second round and the championship title of the McHenry County Fair Bull Bash.  The win earned Weber the opportunity for the third bull, Mr. Wilson, brought to Woodstock from CC Bucking Bulls. An 8 Second ride earns the bull rider an additional $1,000. Capitalizing on his momentum in round two, Weber made the whistle and claimed the bounty prize. 

“It was a great night for the fans to see some great bull riding and they packed the stands on a Thursday night to see a good group of talented young bull riders and have some fun at the fair,” said Matt Noble, producer of the Midwest Swing Series.

The five event series produced by Matt Noble’s Next Level Bull Riding kicked off in at the McHenry County Fair and continues on next week with stops in Belvidere, Big Rock, and Morrison ending with a series finale in September in Waterloo

Tickets and information for the Midwest Swing are available on www.tuffhedemanbullriding.com.   

 “Since 1949 the week-long McHenry County Fair Association has been entertaining the community during the first six days at the beginning of August and the addition of the pro level bull riding is exciting, “ said Frank Kerns of the Fair Board.

Hedeman’s events have become known for their action-packed performances with great bulls matched to super star riders and upbeat music.  

Media inquiries and interview requests available by calling or email – Leigh Ann Schroeder, tuffhedemanpr@gmail.com – 940.902.1112. Bull Rider entries and inquires matt@nextlevelbullriding.com.

McHenry Bull Bash Results

1, Jake Weber, Turtle Lake, Wisconsin, 89. 5, $2,428.80. 2, Nick Pelke, 88 pts, $1,398.40. 3, Adam McConnell, 87 pts, $883.20.

 

 

Tuff Talks

LANE FROST'S LEGACY LIVES ON 30 YEARS AFTER HIS PASSING

BY TRACY RENCK | JUL 30, 2019

Sports Machine broadcaster George Michael interviews Lane Frost and Tuff Hedeman - Photo by Sue Rosoff

Sports Machine broadcaster George Michael interviews Lane Frost and Tuff Hedeman - Photo by Sue Rosoff

http://www.prorodeo.com/news-notes-archive/2019/07/30/lasting-legacy-of-lane-frost

COLORADO SPRINGS – The date is etched in rodeo history – July 30, 1989.

That is the day the rodeo world lost a legend in PRCA World Champion Bull Rider Lane Frost.

Frost passed away as a result of injuries sustained when the bull he was riding struck him after a ride during the short round at the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days Rodeo. Frost was 25.

Frost won the 1987 PRCA world championship. He would have been 55 years old this year.

“The thing that has surprised me the most is how his legacy has lived on,” said Frost’s mother, Elsie. “I just never dreamed after 30 years that anyone would even mention him or remember him, and of course, we have to give the movie ‘8 Seconds’ a little bit of credit for that. Our grandson (Stetson Frost) started a Lane Frost Brand that has really taken off and that has really helped bring Lane’s name back around too. Of course, in some ways, it seems like yesterday (that it happened) and other ways it seems like quite some time ago. I know he would be so proud that people still remember him.”

The late Luke Perry portrayed Frost in the movie “8 Seconds,” which debuted Feb. 25, 1994.

Although the movie wasn’t quite a true depiction of Frost’s real-life story, the movie played a key role in keeping Frost’s legacy alive.

 

Making a name, becoming a legend

Frost’s family moved from Utah to Lane, Okla., in 1978.

“When we first moved to Oklahoma, Lane wasn’t well-known,” recalled Frost’s sister, Robin Muggli. “When we got to Oklahoma, I was a senior in high school, and he was a freshman. He pulled a much, much stronger rope than anybody I have ever known. One of the first rodeos we went to, we were at Duncan (Okla.) at the rodeo and Lane said you’re going to have to come pull my rope. Well, back then, it was very, very frowned on for girls to be behind the chute. I didn’t want to do it, but he said he couldn’t find anybody else who he trusted to do it. I went back behind the chute, which immediately made the stock contractor mad, and he was screaming at me.

“I had pulled his rope many times, but on this bull, I could not get it tight enough. Somebody else jumped up there to pull the rope and they couldn’t pull the rope either. They had to get two, great-big guys who finally got it tight enough for him. He rode the bull and won the rodeo. From then on, he was known in the area.”

He’s not just known in the area anymore.

“I have a Western store (Frost Ranch Wear) in Atoka (Okla.),” Muggli said. “Cowboys and kids stop through here, and what blows my mind is the young kids, anywhere in age from 4 to 12 to 19, are just as excited about him and enamored with him today as they were 10 years ago. It blows my mind. He was gone 20 years before some of these kids were even born and they still are excited about him as ever.”

Elsie believes faith played a role in people gravitating to Frost.

“I have said all along I think God gave Lane the personality that he did to draw people to him, because God knew the big picture in what was going to happen,” Elsie said. “Lane liked everybody. It didn’t matter if you were 80 or 8, he wanted to visit with you. He was bad at remembering names, but he never forgot your face. If he saw somebody a year later that he visited with at that rodeo, he remembered them. He had a God-given talent to draw people to him.”

Tuff Hedeman was Frost’s best friend. Just months after Frost’s death, Hedeman was crowned the 1989 PRCA World Champion Bull Rider.

“The reality of it is, is he was as advertised,” Hedeman said. “He was the coolest, best guy you would ever meet. He was The Guy when he was alive. He was the kind of guy if you ever wanted to be somebody, you wanted to be him. He was to everybody, not to just me. He was a very genuine, sincere, kind guy. I still stay in touch with his mother and father (Clyde), and I think we continue to be amazed that he’s a bigger deal now than he was 30 years ago. I think that is rare is any walk of life.”

Elsie said her faith is how she dealt with the death of her son.

“I don’t know how anyone can lose a child without the faith in God and without God to give them the comfort and assurance that he’s in Heaven,” she said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s in Heaven because he accepted Jesus as his savior and that was only about a year-and-a-half before he died that he did that. We know we are going to see him some day and that’s a comfort. Even though we have missed him for 30 years and the hurt is still there, we know we are going to see him someday.”

About five years after Lane’s passing, Elsie said paperback New Testament Bibles were printed with a picture of Lane on the front.

“We have given away about 330,000 of those bibles over the years,” said Elsie, who gives the Bibles away through her Bible ministry. “On the inside front cover, I tell them about Lane’s salvation and how to be saved so that anyone who reads it knows what they need to do to accept Jesus as their personal savior.” 

Frost, who was posthumously inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1990, has had a lasting impact on bull riders today – few of whom were born before he died. That includes PRCA bull rider Sage Kimzey, 24, who has won five consecutive PRCA world championships.

“Anybody who walks into a rodeo arena now, Lane had some influence on whether it be through old cowboy stories or from the movie (8 Seconds) or whatever the reason may be,” Kimzey said. “I feel like everybody looks up to him. I watched videos of Lane riding, and I think everybody has watched 8 Seconds about a million times. With him leaving this Earth too soon, he became that larger-than-life character. I know for me at least, and my generation of cowboys, it was always when you grow up you wanted to be like Lane Frost. There are only a handful of icons in bull riding, and Lane is definitely one of them – not only how he rode bulls, but how he carried himself and the person he was.” 

One goal

The fact Frost became a bull rider was no surprise to Elsie.

“His dad was a saddle bronc rider and a bareback rider and bulldogged, and most kids wanted to do what their dad did, but not Lane,” Elsie said. “From the time he was litte bitty, he wanted to be a bull rider. He had a lot of God-given talent, but he also worked at it hard. He did whatever it took to do what he wanted to do. That’s what I remember, just his passion for it. We would have much rather had him choose something else to do, but you just can’t deny a child who has that much passion for something. You want them to do what they want to do, and I’ve always said, if he had to go that would have been his choice of the way to go. He just loved it so much.”

Muggli echoed her mom.

“All in all, I don’t know how you would have changed things because Lane wanted to ride bulls from a really, really young age, and it was obvious that’s all he wanted to do,” she said. “There’s no way you could have changed things even knowing what was going to happen because you wouldn’t have been able to convince him not to have gotten on. There was no option for another event, he only wanted to be a bull rider. I still hate that it happened (that he passed away riding a bull), but I don’t know how you would have changed it.”





Tuff Hedeman Breakout Series Bull Riding Returns to McHenry County Fair

TH Breakout Series Midwest Swing - Woodstock, Illinois

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WOODSTOCK, IL - July 25, 2019  – Top-ranked riders are expected in Woodstock next week as the Tuff Hedeman Breakout Out Bull Riding series returns to the McHenry County Fair on Thursday, August 1 at 7 pm. Four-time time World Champion bull rider and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer, Tuff Hedeman announced details today of the first stop on the five-city tour which kicks off at the McHenry County Fair and Rodeo Bull Bash located at 12015 Country Club Rd.

 "Last year's event was a complete sell-out, and we were so excited to host the event again this year - we are pleased to announce we have added 2,600 seats and hopefully we will not have to turn away anyone that wants to see the bull riding,” said Cyndie Erckritz, Director, McHenry County Fair board.

 The Breakout Series event pits the industry’s veteran and newcomer riders against a collection of great bulls in a two-round format. Traditional western entertainment includes barrel man Josh Foster, the cowboy lifesaver bullfighters Josh Jacobs and Caleb Osternryk along with the voice of the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour, Chris Rankin, who will provide play by play and color commentary from the announcer’s stand.

 At the debut of this series in 2019, the sold-out grandstands cheered on 32 cowboys from 11 states and two international bull riders who provided two hours of high energy adrenaline rush entertainment.  Ticket Link.

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“It was a great experience to see such dedicated fans pack the house on a night in the middle of the week, the Breakout Series is a great way to give the dedicated bull riding fans of the Midwest a chance to see a great production and a good group of talented young bull riders,” said Tuff Hedeman who made his first trip to Woodstock in 2018 to assist the production.

 Tuff Hedeman is one of the most recognizable cowboys in the history of rodeo. For 23 years he has made a name for himself in the production of great family-friendly bull riding events, and for the second consecutive year, he is bringing his legacy of bull riding back to Woodstock.  

 The annual Woodstock event is part of the Midwest Swing Series worth over $60,000 in total prize monies and is open to all levels of professional level bull riding athletes. The Breakout series was created to award new riders the opportunity to break into the ranks of professional bull riding and advance to national level tours.

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 This year’s event festivities will begin at 6:00 pm when the doors open and the bull riding action gets underway at 7:00 pm and expected to conclude at 9 pm. Bull riders will face a field of approximately 40 selected competitors for the lion’s share of the 7,500 added prize money.

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 40 man field.  The field of competition begins with all attempting to ride one bull in the "long round." The top 8 ride scores will advance to the championship round where they will battle for the prize money and trophy buckle and invitation from Hedeman to compete on the premier televised Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour event.

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  In addition to lucrative prize money, bull riders accumulate points which qualify them for the Midwest Swing Finals held on September 15. At the end of the Midwest Swing, the bull rider who has the most points will be crowned the Series Champion and receive a check, Custom trophy saddle, and buckle and an invitation to compete in Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour event.

Tickets are available at the fair box office and online at https://www.showclix.com/event/tuff-hedeman-break-out-tour-bull-riding.

Event location: 12015 Country Club Rd, Woodstock, IL 60098.  Media inquiries and interview requests available by calling or email – Leigh Ann Schroeder, tuffhedemanpr@gmail.com – 940.902.1112. Bull Rider entries and inquires matt@nextlevelbullriding.com.



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Tuff Talks...J.Pat Evans

Tuff and the late Dr. J Pat Evans, circa 1989.

Tuff and the late Dr. J Pat Evans, circa 1989.

Dr. J. Pat Evans, a founder of the Justin Sportsmedicine Program, inductee into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame (2004) passed away July 22 at 88 years of age.

I rode bulls professionally for 15 years. I have had nine different surgeries in my life, and none were performed by J. Pat or Tandy. However, every surgeon I’ve ever had is because J. Pat or Tandy selected them because they were the very best in their field. I am 56 years old and I am often asked if I’m in pain when I get out of bed in the morning. They are always surprised when I say no I am not; I feel good. I’m sure if I had not had the support and help of Dr. J. Pat Evans, Dr. Tandy Freeman and the Justin Sportsmedicine Team my answer would be different.

J Pat’s commitment as a physician and friend was a game changer.

J Pat’s choice to care for rodeo cowboys changed all of our lives. Simply put, before Dr. J Pat Evans sports medicine and competent physicians at rodeos were pretty much nonexistent. He left the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks as a team doctor to take care of rodeo cowboys and helped create the Justin Sportsmedicine program. He was a man of great compassion and a true friend. It did not matter if you were a permit holder or world champion, he made sure that you were taken care of regards to finances.

Early in my career I was stepped on in Vernal, Utah and I called J. Pat around midnight. He was at the Dallas Cowboy training camp in Thousand Oaks, California and told me to get on the first flight to LA. I got there mid-morning and he was conducting a physical on a player as I walked in the room and told the player to “get lost” for a while and he treated me.

In 1991 I would not have been able to finish the week let alone compete for the world championship if it wasn’t for J. Pat, Dr. Tandy Freeman and the Sportsmedicine team. I hung my foot leaving the chute and severely sprained my ankle. I was sure that it was broken, because of the pain and I could put no weight on it. An early x-ray the next morning showed just a severe sprain. I spent all day in the training room icing, stretching and trying not to cry. An hour before the performance J Pat told me to look the other way while he worked on my ankle. I peeked and saw the biggest syringe and the longest needle I’d ever seen. I bit my lip and tried not to pass out. An hour later it was taped, and Justin Boots had brought me lace up boots three sizes bigger to wear, because of the swelling and tape. When I left the training room I barely limped. I got on my re-ride from the night before, the flank came off, so I got another re-ride. I ended up getting on three bulls that night, riding two. The next night I scored a 91 which was the highest score of the week and went on to win my third world championship two days later.

Additional story on link available http://www.prorodeo.com/news-display/2019/07/23/dr.-j.-pat-evans-co-founder-of-justin-sportsmedicine-passes-away

Photo by Sue Rosoff

Huron Native Granted Dream Come True by Western Wishes Charity


The Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash

 South Dakota – (July 21, 2019) -  Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Western Wishes, Tuff Hedean,4-Time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer, and Red Wilk are pleased to announce a Western Wish granted and dream come true for 13 year old Kyle Flute of Huron, South Dakota.

Accepting the invitation from Hedeman and Wilk, Flute and his family will be their special guests at the Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash on Wednesday, August 28th at the kick-off and opening performance of the South Dakota State Fair.

Hedeman and Wilk have joined forces to give Kyle the ride of his life, not on a bucking bull, but a trip to the see his heroes compete on world-class bucking bulls and meet Tuff and the elite bull riders of the Tuff Hedeman Tour. 

“Kyle is so excited about being the wish kid for the Red Wilk Tuff Hedeman bull riding!  He has already been through a lot and has a tough road ahead of him.  Our family is so grateful for this opportunity and cannot wait to come,” said Kyle’s mom Allison.

 “Thanks to my friend Red Wilk we will have the opportunity to introduce Kyle to Bull Riding in a way most kids just dream about and see on television. Red and I know that through these experiences if we are lucky, we might just have the chance to ignite hope, and strength for Kyle and his family and just let him have a little fun before he faces the reality of his disease again," said Hedeman.

Kyle suffers from Friedreich’s Ataxia, a genetic disorder that causes progressive nervous system damage and movement disorders. In 2017, after seven years of testing, Kyle was diagnosed with this rare disease that is known only to afflict one of 40,000 people. He suffers from muscle control issues and has trouble walking.  Friedreich’s Ataxia also affects the heart, and Kyle is being treated and monitored for that complication as well.

There is no cure for Friedreich’s Ataxia, only treatments to assist with symptoms. As the disease progresses, most affected will be confined to a wheelchair. In spite of his illness, Kyle is an active 13-year old boy who loves swimming and riding his bike. He enjoys art activities including drawing which he excels in spite of the difficulties produced by Friedreich's.  

Western Wishes recipient Kyle Flute will be a special guest at the Red Wilk Construction TH Bull Riding in Huron.

Western Wishes recipient Kyle Flute will be a special guest at the Red Wilk Construction TH Bull Riding in Huron.

Kyle resides in Huron with his mother and four young siblings who often assist him with walking.

During the 2019, the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding tour is honoring the 25th Anniversary of the Western-based Charity founded and led by Donnalyn Quintanna, former wife of the late John Quintanna, a former PRCA World Champion Bull Rider.

Founder of Western Wishes Charity, Donnalyn Quintanna and Tuff Hedeman. Together they have been granting “Western” wishes to children for 25 years. www.westernwishes.org.

Founder of Western Wishes Charity, Donnalyn Quintanna and Tuff Hedeman. Together they have been granting “Western” wishes to children for 25 years. www.westernwishes.org.

Since 1994, Tuff Hedeman and Donnalyn Quintanna, have been granting western-style wishes to children faced with medical and sometimes just tragic life challenges. Through the help of dedicated professionals in rodeo and other walks of life, many celebrities, including the late Luke Perry, have dedicated their time and money to assisting Western Wishes. In 2014, an 8 Seconds Reunion Gala held at Cheyenne Frontier Days including Luke Perry and Stephen Baldwin.

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Sonny Burgess, director of clinical performing arts at Cook Children’s Health Care System, the hospital in Fort Worth Hedeman frequents, discusses the impact of having Hedeman visit the children.

"More than anything, [the kids] are used to seeing somebody come in and give them a shot, some doctor comes in, over and over, and for somebody like Tuff to come in, what an incredible relief," Burgess says and adds, "I think that he's just got a great perspective on life and achieving things. He's very grateful for what he's got in his life,” said Burgess.

Tuff Hedeman and Caleb with NASCAR Xfininty driver Jeremy Clements, @JCR Racing at the spring race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Tuff Hedeman and Caleb with NASCAR Xfininty driver Jeremy Clements, @JCR Racing at the spring race at Texas Motor Speedway.

About Western Wishes

Western Wishes specializes in granting wishes for challenged children who otherwise might not get to have experiences associated with the western lifestyle. The charitable organization has helped children of all ages attend western events from bull riding to rodeo to equestrian performance events. Western Wishes (westernwishes.org) a foundation created by Donnalyn Quintanna, the former wife of the late PRCA World Champion bull rider, John Quintanna. Western Wishes contact: Mandy Shaff, lea2480@yahoo.com; www.westernwishes.org

About Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding

The Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash South Dakota State Fairgrounds, 1060 3rd St. SW.  Tickets are on sale. Tickets are $12 for youth and $20 for adults and are available by calling 866-605-FAIR, or online www.sdstatefair.com. A list of contestants will be available at a later date.

Media contact and press credentials:  Leigh Ann Schroeder, 940.902.1112 or tufhedemanpr@gmail.com or www.tuffhedemanbullriding.com.

Follow Tuff Hedeman on Facebook and Instagram @TuffHedemanOfficial

“This will be the 3rd collaboration between Western Wishes and Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding this year. I’ve always heard such great things about this event and Red Wilk and Tuff Hedeman are going to provide a fantastic opportunity for Kyle that he will always remember. I am really looking forward to representing Western Wishes and hosting Kyle and his family in South Dakota.” - Mandy Shaff, Ambassador for Western Wishes.

“This will be the 3rd collaboration between Western Wishes and Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding this year. I’ve always heard such great things about this event and Red Wilk and Tuff Hedeman are going to provide a fantastic opportunity for Kyle that he will always remember. I am really looking forward to representing Western Wishes and hosting Kyle and his family in South Dakota.” - Mandy Shaff, Ambassador for Western Wishes.

 

$1.8 million Lures Top Bull Riders to Stay on the Road in July

The PRCA’s Cowboy Christmas may have ended after the 4th of July week, but bull riders remained on the trail earning a living and battling for a top 15 spot on the PRCA’s roster when the NFR qualifying perior ends in late September.

On the rodeo road competing for a piece of the $1.8 million in prize money available for July 8 – 14 was a pack of rookie, veteran, and champion bull riders. Congratulations to Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour competitors who led the way: 

5-time PRCA World Champion Sage S. Kimzey wins the infamous Calgary Stampede for an unprecedented 3rd time and collects the $100,000 paycheck.

5-time PRCA World Champion Sage S. Kimzey wins the infamous Calgary Stampede for an unprecedented 3rd time and collects the $100,000 paycheck.

Calgary Stampede Bull Riding Champion Sage Steele Kimzey wins an unprecedented 3rd title with a 92.5 point ride on c-201 Night Moves to claim the win worth $100,000.

Trevor Kastner won $17,800 from an 87.5 ride on Vold Rodeo’s Whirlwind to win Pikes Peaks or Bust Rodeo and the $17,800 prize check. Winning 3 of the 4 rounds and stacking up PRCA bucks were Koby Radley, Cole Melancon, and Tyler Bingham.

Tyler Bingham

Tyler Bingham

Prescott, AZ Bull riding champ was Parker McCown, 87 points on 4L & Diamond S Rodeo's Foolish Dreams for $6,806

Koby Radley

Koby Radley

Sheridan WYO, PRCA champ was Jordan Spears, 86.5 points on Sankey Pro Rodeo & Phenom Genetics' Ghost Rider, $5,635.

 Isanti Firefighters Rodeo best bull rider was Matt Palmer who took 90 points on Dakota Rodeo's Gambini, $5,070.

Matt Palmer

Matt Palmer

Lyndal Hurst’s bull Yellow Hair assisted Estes Park Rodeo winner Nathan Hatchel who was 87.5 points to earn $4,202.

Jeff Askey for the win in Hamel, MN PRCA where he was 87 points on Trump Train and added $4,027 to his bank account.  

Jeff Askey

Jeff Askey

Heart of the North winner was Rorey Maier, 88.5 points on Barnes PRCA Rodeo's Centrifuge, $3,550;

Rorey Maier, Timer Lake, South Dakota

Rorey Maier, Timer Lake, South Dakota

Winning close to home in Gallup, NM was Cody Jesus for 89 pts at the inaugural $10,000 Wild Thing Open Bull Riding Championship, a fundraiser for the Manuelito Children’s home.

Cattleman’s Days saw Trevor Kastner, 89 points on Universal Pro Rodeos' East Side, $2,540.

Brett Custer was 86.5 points on JK Rodeo's Reaper, $1,812 to win Laramie Jubilee Days in WY.

*PRCA’s Prorodeo.com referenced.

 

Brett Custer

Brett Custer

 

Hedeman Taps Bantering Backflip Johnny for Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash Barrelman

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 2019 Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash

Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour

HURON, South Dakota - Tuff Hedeman announced today that Backflip Johnny Dudley, a retired U.S. Marine sergeant, will debut as the barrel man in both performances of the Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash, August 28 – 29, in Huron, South Dakota as the THBRT kicks off the South Dakota State Fair.

“Johnny’s probably one of the hottest talents in time-honored western entertainment, his quick wit and off the cuff banter is headed to Huron.,” said 5-time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer Tuff Hedeman.

Dudley is a highly decorated clown who has been chosen twice for the Turquoise Circuit Finals rodeo, five times for the PRCA's All American Finals, and nominated twice for PRCA Comedy Act of the Year is known for his athletics and finding time for every kid and fan on the grounds.

But as impressive as what Dudley has done in the arena, is what he did before entering the rodeo world.

Dudley, a professional clown on the rodeo and bull riding circuits since 2000, spent eight years as a United State Marine.  While Johnny's path was unconventional, it was Johnny's mom that guided him to his eight years as a United States Marine. After reaching Sargent status and serving in Kosovo, he received an honorable discharge to pursue his advanced degree in International Business.

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“I saw a rodeo clown act while serving as a United States Marine and thought he was funny and cool. I went up to him and asked about it.  I wanted to try it, and when I got out of the Marines I moved back to Dayton I found a local practice rodeo arena where I could learn the craft, and next thing you know, here we are 19 years later, and I'm still doing it," said Dudley about getting his start in pro rodeo.

Hands down the favorite part of being a rodeo clown for former U.S. Marine is putting smiles on people’s faces.

“Everyone in this world has problems going on in their life. Whether its money, loss of family, cancer, and at a rodeo that person might be sitting next to someone with no problems, if I can make both of them seem like the same person for just that two hours, it makes it worth it,” said Dudley from behind the chutes in Nebraska.

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Athletic ability separates Dudley from the field of clowns.  Nicknamed Johnny Backflip Dudley that specific skill separated the newcomer into the established, generational, and crowded field of clowns and specialty acts.

"The athletic ability to do backflips while fighting bulls and jumping over bulls is what makes me unique I guess, no one expected that from the barrel man,” continued Dudley.

According to Dudley, in addition to athletics, Dudley has improved in other areas as well. Honing his skills on the road over the previous 19 years, Dudley says his timing has improved.

“In rodeo, you have to learn to work both ends…I know when to say what and I understand production, so I am not in the way,” laughed the Dayton, Texas native.

Dudley’s claims his knowledge of production stems from moonlighting as a rodeo announcer.

“When I started rodeoing for a living I worked some as a clown, and I announced some too, I really did not know which way I wanted to go. I believe that announcing experience helps me be a better clown. If the announcer is struggling I can jump in…or out.”

Looking forward to working in Huron for the first time, Dudley explains how he got the job.

Production manager Chris Rankin has called me before, but the scheduling never worked out. I do not know Tuff personally, but his reputation for top production is well-known.

 “I met Tuff in 2006 at an Extreme Bulls competition, and that was the only time I met him. I am looking forward to working with the production team at his events. He has the reputation of good money, great bull riders, announcers and the top people of their field - which makes a very nice environment to work in,” said Dudley.

Dudley invites you to his debut performance on the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding tour where Red Wilk, Tuff and the team of great bull riders and crew guarantee they will help you forget about your problems and laugh and have fun for two hours.

“If I can accomplish that, it’s absolutely my favorite part.”

The Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash will be held at the South Dakota State Fairgrounds, 1060 3rd St. SW.  Tickets are on sale. Tickets are $12 for youth and $20 for adults and are available by calling 866-605-FAIR, or online www.sdstatefair.com. A list of contestants will be available at a later date.

For more information on the Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash contact Leigh Ann Schroeder 940.902.1112, tuffhedemanpr@gmail.com. Follow us on Facebook (Tuff Hedeman) and Instagram Gram @TuffHedemanOfficial, and Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Website.

 

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Texas bull rider Maverick Potter wins IFYR Championship

Maverick Potter pictured on Flea Flicker (88.5 pts) at the Fort Worth Tuff Hedeman Challenge bull riding in April. Potter was the only qualified ride in the championship round to seal the win at the the IFYR Championship bull riding title in Shawnee, Oklahoma on July12.

Maverick Potter pictured on Flea Flicker (88.5 pts) at the Fort Worth Tuff Hedeman Challenge bull riding in April. Potter was the only qualified ride in the championship round to seal the win at the the IFYR Championship bull riding title in Shawnee, Oklahoma on July12.

Congratulations to Maverick Potter of Waxahachie, Texas. We first saw Maverick Potter this season as a pro bull rider in April at the Tuff Hedeman Challenge Bull Riding in Fort Worth. Potter when he returned to the site of his youth where he rode and won the Tuff Hedman Cripple Creek Jr. Challenge Steer riding competition as a youth.

Potter’s Facebook post on July 10, 2019 from Shawnee, site of the IFYR Finals.

Potter’s Facebook post on July 10, 2019 from Shawnee, site of the IFYR Finals.

Last night he outlasted the long list of accomplished bull riders from around the world to take the IFYR 2019 bull riding title and a total earnings check for $2,250.90.

The 27th International Finals Youth Rodeo (IFYR), the world’s richest youth rodeo, came to a close July 12 in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The IFYR awarded more than $250,000 in prize money, championship saddles and buckles at the final performance.  

Bull Riding Champion- Maverick Potter
Maverick Potter was the only one to cover his bull in the short round of the IFYR. He came in first in the average to the short go. “He was a good bull, he was away from my hand, a little strong, spinner – he’s one of the ones you wanted,” said the 18-year-old from Waxahachie, Texas. Maverick started riding when he was 9 years old along with his cousin. “We went to a guy named Lonnie Austin and he helped me.”

He high school rodeoed through the years, but sat out this year due to a broken ankle. He has a rod from his hip to his knee as well as no growth plates in his ankles. “I hobble around, but I love riding bulls – it gets your adrenaline going.” This is his second year at the IFYR. “I like the atmosphere – it’s like a pro rodeo – the crowd gets real loud.”

He’s going to put his earnings from the IFYR into more entry fees or buy something nice for his girlfriend, Mallory Witherspoon. Maverick flies out Sunday to enter pro rodeos in Idaho. “Then I’m going to Cheyenne – that was one of my goals. My family and my girlfriend give me the motivation and support to keep going.”

2019 IFRY Champions (complete list below)

2019 IFRY Champions (complete list below)

The IFYR boasted 825 registered contestants and 1,304 event entries. The week long competition included two long-go’s and 10 performances, with the top 15 contestants with the highest averages from each event competed in the finale held last night. 

IFYR Final Bull Riding Results

1, M. Potter, Waxahachie, TX, 155.5 points on 3 bulls, Total Earnings: $2,250.90. 2, JR Stratford, Bronaugh, MO, 154.5 on 3, $4,007.70. 3, T. Armstrong, Broken Bow, OK, 111 on 3, $1070.55. 4, Cole Skender, Crossett, AR, 79.5 (round 1 win) on 3, $1,290.15.5. ryleen Dees, Paola, KS, 75 on 3, $850.95

The 2019 International Finals Youth Rodeo Champions are:
Bull Riding Champion Maverick Potter of Waxahachie, Texas

Bareback Bronc Riding Champion Hunter Ramsey of El Dorado, Arkansas

Team Roping Champions Stran Morris of Woodward, Oklahoma, and Jessen James of Moyers, Oklahoma
Pole Bending Champion Reagan Davis of Alto, Texas

Steer Wrestling Champion Winsten McGraw of Gill, Colorado

Saddle Bronc Champion Timothy Troyer of Columbia, Kentucky

Goat Tying Champion Heather McLaughlin of Bunnell, Florida

Tie Down Roping Champion Trevor Hale of Perryton, Texas

Barrel Racing Champion Patricia Walden of Wister, Oklahoma

All Around Cowgirl Faith John of Punta Gorda, Florida
All Around Cowboy Connor Atkinson of Needville, Texas

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Big Rock Plowing Match Announces Addition of Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding

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Next Level Bull Riding adds Big Rock, Ilinois to the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Breakout Series Midwest Swing

Next Level Bull Riding adds Big Rock, Ilinois to the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Breakout Series Midwest Swing

 Most Recognizable Cowboy in the World Coming to Big Rock

Big Rock, Illinois - Tuff Hedeman, one of the most recognizable cowboys in the history of rodeo, will make the trip to northern Illinois for the inaugural pro-level bull riding event at the Big Rock Plow Match. Celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Match, Chairman Bob Raymond announced today that tickets are on sale for the Tuff Hedeman Breakout Series Bull Riding on August 10 at 7 pm at Plowman’s Park..

"We are thrilled to have Tuff, a five-time World Champion Bull Rider and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer be here in person and participate in this milestone year celebration, and we invite everyone to come out and meet Tuff and enjoy the pro level bull riding and traditional western entertainment," said Raymond, Chairman of the Big Rock Plow Match Bull Riding event..

Tickets are on sale for the Tuff Hedeman Breakout Bull Riding at the Big Rock Cafe, DeKane Equipment and Vacationland.

Tickets are on sale for the Tuff Hedeman Breakout Bull Riding at the Big Rock Cafe, DeKane Equipment and Vacationland.

Since 1993, Hedeman has been producing bull riding events thrilling audiences with his two-hour adrenaline rush style entertainment punctuated with the two things he knows fans want to see great rides and high scores. Event producer Matt Noble added the Big Rock venue to the Tuff Hedeman Midwest Swing Breakout Series worth over $45,000 in price monies and includes stops in Whiteside, Belvidere, and Waterloo.

“The Big Rock Plowing Match celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values of the people here, and we are excited to bring bull riding, a sport also deep-seated in tradition to the celebration," said Tuff Hedeman.

Recognizing this event that exemplifies the families who represent the true values of agriculture, the committee is proud to bring such a high-quality event to the fans and people of this area with elite rider and world-class bucking bulls.

Breakout Series bull rider Hunter Ball (Carsonville, Michigan) got his pro start at the Tuff Hedeman Midwest Swing in 2018 and an invitation followed to compete on Hedeman’s premier televised tour.

Breakout Series bull rider Hunter Ball (Carsonville, Michigan) got his pro start at the Tuff Hedeman Midwest Swing in 2018 and an invitation followed to compete on Hedeman’s premier televised tour.

“The event will feature a long round with each bull rider getting on one bull followed by a top ten championship round wrapped around high energy music and a funny man entertaining in between to keep you laughing,” said  Noble of Next Level Bull Riding.

Pre-sale ticket prices are $12 for pre-sales and available at Tickets. Children age 7 and younger are free with a ticketed adult. Online sales end at noon on August 9. Tickets at the gate, if still available, will be $15 per person.

Gates will open at 5 pm with the bull riding action getting underway at 7 pm at 48W508 Hinckley Rd, Big Rock, IL 60511. Immediately following the competition will be music provided by the JC Hopkins Band. Rain or Shine the event will proceed, and free parking is offered to ticket holders.

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About the Big Rock Plowing Association

It all began in 1894. Today the Big Rock Plowing Match is one of the longest running annual events and the only one of its kind that remains active in Illinois. For 124 years, the Association has showcased our agricultural heritage by sponsoring the Big Rock Plowing Match. The years have been good, filled with changes and improvements. Since 1950, buildings have been constructed, Kenny Field was created, the Plowing Match expanded and Plowman’s Park hosts many community and family events, all under the majestic oaks. The Big Rock Plowing Match Association is a nonprofit 501C (4) organization. Funded solely from cash donations, in-kind contributions of materials, equipment or services, the auction of baked goods from the Junior and Ladies Fair, as well as park rental fees. Plowman’s Park is privately owned and maintained by the Association, without any tax or public funds.

About Tuff Hedeman

Richard Neale "Tuff" Hedeman (born March 2, 1963, in El Paso, Texas) is an American retired three-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) World Bull Riding Champion as well as the 1995 Professional Bull Riders (PBR) World Champion Bull Rider, and a ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Bull Riding Hall of Fame inductee. Previously, Hedeman was the president of the PBR. He is one of the co-founders of the PBR. In 1999, the PBR honored him with the PBR Legends and Heroes Celebration: Ring of Honor. Followed by an affiliation with Championship Bull Riding (CBR) for 12 years. He is known for having been one of rodeo icon Lane Frost's closest friends as depicted in the film 8 Seconds and historic clashes with the infamous bucking bull Bodacious. He has three sons, Lane, Trevor, and Ryker and currently makes his home near Morgan Mill, Texas. 

For more information on Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding or media requests contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, 940-902-1112 or tuffhedemanpr@gmail.com. Information about the Big Rock Plowing Match contact event chairman Bob Raymond at 630-688-9940 or bob@bigrockusa.com. 

 

Tuff Hedeman Announces $60,000 Purse for Fall Breakout Series

Jenny and Red Wilk present Trey Holston with the custom trophy belt for winning the Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash Breakout Series event on night one of the 2018 South Dakota State Fair.

Jenny and Red Wilk present Trey Holston with the custom trophy belt for winning the Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash Breakout Series event on night one of the 2018 South Dakota State Fair.

                                                                                                                                               

Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Breakout Series

 

FORT WORTH, Texas - Four-time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer Tuff Hedeman announced today the dates of the upcoming Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Breakout Series worth over $60,000 in prize monies to professional level bull riding athletes. The Breakout Series tour is designed to award new riders the opportunity to break into the ranks of professional bull riding and advance to national level tours.

Six long-standing events and one new one will complete the fall 7 stop Breakout schedule as the tour resumes August 1, in Woodstock, Illinois at the McHenry County Fair. In addition to buckles, prize packages, and money, many of the competitors have their eye on a bigger prize. Hedeman awards the Breakout champions an invitation to compete on the premier televised Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding tour where the purse increases to $30,000.

“The Breakout Series always brings in a new class of young guns battling the experienced veteran contenders and what I really like about the series is we see relatively unknown young bull riders that show up and make outstanding bull rides and contend with the hottest guys on tour and hang with them,” added Hedeman.

Each of the 7 Breakout events on the fall schedule will follow the two-round format including a long round which includes each entry competing on one bull followed by a championship “short go” where the top ten rider scores advance to a second bull. The overall event winner is the rider with the highest combined score on two bulls.

MIDWEST SWING - Illinois

"Woodstock, Belvidere, and Big Rock have $7,500 and Whiteside is $5,000 added money to the competitors. Each event will feature what the fans like most, traditional barrel man entertainment with the cowboy lifesaver bullfighters at each event, and great bull rides,” said Midwest Swing producer Matt Noble, owner of Next Level Bull Riding.  

The Series concludes on September 21 in Waterloo at the Blue Army Bull Bash with $10,000 added money and the championship title of the Midwest Series will be on the line.  The winner will receive a custom engraved trophy saddle awarded based on cumulative points from all Midwest Swing events.

See Tuff Hedeman Breakout Series and below for the list of scheduled events.

The Midwest Swing consists of five events in Illinois, followed by the first night of bull riding in Huron, and then back to Illinois for the final Midwest Swing Finals. The following weekend the bull riders head south to Jacksonville, Texas the annual Nicky Wheeler Memorial on September 28.

"It is a great chance to come out and see Tuff Hedeman and the high-quality competitors and great bulls that do not get to this part of the country very often, I have been producing this event for several years, and it is always one of the highlights of my year," said Next Level Bull Riding producer Matt Noble who brings Hedeman's Break Out bull ridings to the Midwest.

RED WILK CONSTRUCTION BULL BASH – Huron, South Dakota

The Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash celebrates its 16th year as the opening show that kicks off the 136-year-old State Fair tradition in South Dakota and night one is the Breakout Series two-round format. The highest scored rider and winner of the first performance will have th eopportunty for a $10,000 Bounty Bull. If he completes the 8 Second ride he receives the bonus check of $10,000.

“I would like to thank Matt Noble for the great series of bull ridings and giving us an opportunity to compete. I have been fortunate to draw really good bulls and to ride in front of a sold-out crowds at each city gives me the confidence I needed," said Palmer winning the inaugural Midwest Swing in 2018.

“I would like to thank Matt Noble for the great series of bull ridings and giving us an opportunity to compete. I have been fortunate to draw really good bulls and to ride in front of a sold-out crowds at each city gives me the confidence I needed," said Palmer winning the inaugural Midwest Swing in 2018.

Tickets are on sale for the Breakout Series which will feature several of the top bull riding names on the roster, as well as the industry’s fresh crop of extreme athletes coming from the high school and college ranks and packed with talent. Hedeman’s 2019 Breakout Series’s began on May 4 in Baytown, Texas with Matt Palmer winning the Baytown Youth Fair and Rodeo bull riding event.

Nicky Wheeler Memorial – Jacksonville, Texas

The Nicky Wheeler Memorial, formerly known as the Bull Bash Revolution, is scheduled for September 28 at the Jacksonville Rodeo Arena. Produced by Brian and Haley Beasley and stock contractor Jeff Harris, the annual fundraiser is the premier benefactor for the local FFA and 4-H scholarship program.

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The Breakout Series will have several of the familiar top names on the roster, but many fresh faces packed with talent will make the professional bull riding event competitive. The Nicky Wheeler Memorial was first produced in 2018 with the name change and pays tribute to an industry great, former rodeo and professional bull rider and stock contractor who died suddenly in April of 2018.

The schedule is listed below. For ticket and more information log on to www.tuffhedemanbullriding.com/tour for details. For tickets in Huron see Huron, SD Tickets for Wed. Aug 28 Breakout.

BREAKOUT SERIES SCHEDULE

August 1, 2019 - McHenry County Fair Bull Bash, Woodstock, Illinois

$7500 added purse and Custom Trophy Buckle

August 9, 2019 - Boone County Fair Bull Bash, Belvidere, Illinois

$7500 added purse and Custom Trophy buckle

August 10, 2019  - Big Rock Plowing Match, Big Rock, Illinois

$7,500 added purse and Custom Trophy Buckle

August 13, 2019 -  Whiteside County Fair Bull Bash, Morrison, Illinois

$5,000 added and Custom Trophy buckle

August 28, 2019 Red Wilk Construction Breakout Series, Huron, South Dakota

$7,500 added with a $10,000 bounty bull

September 21, 2019 - Midwest Swing Series Finale, Waterloo, Illinois

Waterloo Optimist's Blue Army Bull Bash

$10,000 added purse, Series Championship Trophy Saddle (cumulative points) and Trophy buckle

September 28, 2019 - Nicky Wheeler Memorial Bull Riding, Jacksonville, Texas

$7,500 added and Custom Corriente Trophy Buckle

For more information on the Tuff Hedeman Breakout Series and media, questions contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, 940-902-1112 or tuffhedemanpr@gmail.com. Nicky Wheeler Memorial contact is Haley Beasley 903-747-7199; Midwest Swing contact is matt@nextlevelbullriding.com.

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TUFF AS NAILS

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Cody Rostockyj Rolls On

by Leigh Ann Schroeder Photos by Todd Brewer

On February 16, 29-year-old Cody Rostockyj pitched a perfect three for three night as he began the 2019 season riding past the fresh crop of young pro’s 11 years his junior to win the Casa Ford Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding in El Paso, Texas. 34 days from that victory, Rostockyj would say said goodbye to a career he cherished and clung to, even pushing beyond good medical advice on occasion.

As a competitor, Cody Rostockyj earned the respect of the men and women on both sides of the chutes.

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“It was fun to see a guy that has been around and loves the sport be so competitive - he always tries hard, and he had to fight hard to get past two of the industry's hottest riders,” said Hedeman after his El Paso win.

Two-time Super Bowl winner and legendary Dallas Cowboy quarterback Roger Staubach said the injuries were part of a complex equation of family, health and athletic factors that added up to "a gut feeling" when it was time to quit.

Cody Rostockyj did not have the gut feeling…but his neurologist did. After taking a hit in the face in Waxahachie, Texas in what he characterized as a "not so bad wreck," he was stunned and paralyzed for two minutes including numbness and tingling that persisted.

“After an MRI, I went to the doctor, and he walked in and said bull riding’s done…you have bruised your spinal cord and I’m telling you it’s done, you can be hard headed and go try it again and be paralyzed, or you can take my advice.”

Tuff Hedeman introduces the 2015 World Finals contenders to the concert crowd in Cheyenne. Left to Right: Eli Vastbinder, Ali Dee, Boudreaux Campbell, Cody Rostockyj, and Tuff Hedeman.

Tuff Hedeman introduces the 2015 World Finals contenders to the concert crowd in Cheyenne. Left to Right: Eli Vastbinder, Ali Dee, Boudreaux Campbell, Cody Rostockyj, and Tuff Hedeman.

The message was loud and clear, get hit again, and you might be paralyzed the rest of your life.

“So I am hard headed by not ignorant,” continued Rostockyj.

“At 29 going on 30 years old I knew retirement was coming sooner than later, it’s a young man’s game, and you don't ride till your 50,  I honestly thought I had a couple years left, and I just never put a date on it.”

Not mentioning the outcome of the appointment with anyone, Rostockyj took a few days to tell even his wife, Tomile.

"I had to come to grips with it myself, and I had to grasp what was really happening. They ran more scans to be sure."

Rostockyj, known for defining his moment his way, ordered 60 pounds of crawfish and threw a retirement party to tell his family and friends.

"Someone posted it on Facebook, and then the PRCA called me."

Maybe the best parts of life as a writer are those moments when you get to go eye-to-eye with the athletes, and your "job" is to engage them in conversation.

After listening to over five hours of previously recorded interviews spanning eight years, the words repeated most from this week’s Tuff as Nails spotlight characterized perfectly the heart, soul, and career of a recently retired professional bull rider, Cody Rostockyj.  

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“You know he’s the kind of guy you hope your kids grow up to be like,” said Hedeman who followed Rostockyj’s career from the 2008 College National Finals Rodeo thru retirement.

I had one last question for the bull rider who in my book could teach a college level course on bull riding public relations. Do you remember the sacrifices and failures as much as the victories?

Rostockyj, a leader in the locker room, was tapped by the PRCA to serve as bull riding director in April of 2019.

Rostockyj, a leader in the locker room, was tapped by the PRCA to serve as bull riding director in April of 2019.

Cody Rostockyj, a multiple event champion bull rider with total career earnings passing the $500,000 mark earned many championship titles including National Finals Rodeo qualifier and round winner (2016), PRCA’s Texas Circuit Finals, 2015 CBR Horizon Series, multiple CBR event titles spanning 8 years, and finished in the top 10 of the CBR World Standings most years he competed.

Rostoscyj on Andrews Monkey Punch at the 2016 Nationals Finals Rodeo where he split the Round 7 win.

Rostoscyj on Andrews Monkey Punch at the 2016 Nationals Finals Rodeo where he split the Round 7 win.

The family man and father of two who missed his daughter’s birth, but won the rodeo, began many sentences about many subjects with “to be brutally honest,” and that phrase characterized my decade of covering the thrills, spills, triumphs, and tragedies of the Waco, Texas bull rider.

Rostockyj on a Roll began in 2015 with the CBR Horizon Series year-end championship, accepting the check from Cicily Cross Blair and Lindsay Ray.

Rostockyj on a Roll began in 2015 with the CBR Horizon Series year-end championship, accepting the check from Cicily Cross Blair and Lindsay Ray.

Rostockyj’s honesty earned him the opportunity to sit in the television broadcast booth next to 8 time World Champion Don Gay and commentate the inaugural season of the Tuff Hedeman bull riding tour. The decision would turn heads as he was the first to commentate the sport while still competing, a trend used later that same year by the National Finals Rodeo broadcast.

THE RIDE

“You know Tuff has meant so much to the sport and we all know he is always for the riders first and foremost and to win that one in Tuff’s hometown (El Paso) with the incredible energy in that building, it's one I'll never forget and that night will always be special to me, “Rostockyj reflected.

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According to Cody, qualifying for the Wrangler NFR in 2016 was a career accomplishment and was a dream come true. He placed in four rounds and split the Round 7 win on an Andrews Rodeo bull, but it was a different Andrews’s bull on a different day and time that he will remember as his best ride.

Cody recalls being close to home in Waco at the Texas Circuit Finals in 2015.

"I was battling Cody Teel for the Circuit Finals win, it came down to the last bull, and I was the last contestant. I rode him for a big score and won.”

Cody Teel and Cody Rostockyj spent years as competitors…and friends. Photographed at the 2016 NFR in Las Vegas. Photo by Todd Brewer

Cody Teel and Cody Rostockyj spent years as competitors…and friends. Photographed at the 2016 NFR in Las Vegas. Photo by Todd Brewer

Vowing never to attend the WNFR unless he was competing, in 2016 Rostockyj finished sixth in the Wrangler NFR average and earned $64,718 and left Las Vegas seventh in the world standings with $153,287.

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Included in Rostockyj’s greatest hits would be two 92.5 point rides (Outside the Box and Corpus Red) in CBR competition including televised event wins in Jackson, Tennessee, Laughlin, NV, Fort Worth, Texas, and Salina, KS and multiple Horizon titles including the Horizon Series Championship.

“We’ve known Cody since we first started going to the CBR events. He was always a god draw for whoever was lucky enough to get him. Always gave 100% and helped a lot of people win money, a fine man that loves his family. He will be missed as a competitor.  We are happy to call him a friend, said stock contractors Skip and Elaine Jones of JQH Bucking Bulls.

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FAMILY FIRST

With wife Tomile and a son Collin, 6 and a daughter Zoey, 3, Rostocky is not worried about having something to do or looking for the next adrenaline rush.

"I have always put 100 percent into anything I do, so, for now, my family gets that attention. As a Dad my goal is to be better and get better every day, I had a great dad to look up to so I want to be the same, even better if that's possible."

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I thought when I left the sport I would be finished with it entirely, but here I am sitting in a hotel room in Reno, working for the PRCA, laughed Cody who is currently employed as a bull riding director for the PRCA.

Rostockyj’s bull riding career did not begin like most rough stock riders, he didn’t start riding bulls until he was fourteen. 

“My dad, when I told him I wanted to ride high school rodeo, made me go for a year to the practice pen without ever going to a rodeo or anything so I could get everything down basics-wise and then went to high school rodeos.”

 “I just thought I was awesome and could go and do it and went and wasn’t as good as I thought,” he recalls with humor. 

He went back to the steady course he knows, building up his resume.

He college-rodeoed for Hill College, competed in amateur rodeos and then entered the CBR Horizon Series. 

“I got all of it down better than I had anticipated and just slowly came into it,” said the Hill College elementary education graduate.  

IT’S ALL BUSINESS

In addition to being the class clown, Rostockyj’s resilience on and off the chutes became character building. Most memorable was in Cheyenne where he was knocked out in the first round of the CBR World Finals. He would recover riding the following night and ultimately finish the event riding three of the four bulls he attempted.

Cody Rostockyj won and lost money on a bull he feuded with frequently - J908 Outside the Box.

Cody Rostockyj won and lost money on a bull he feuded with frequently - J908 Outside the Box.

“Rostockyj on a Roll,” was a headline I typed once and thought often. But in addition to always being humorous, he was a natural leader in the locker room. When Tuff Hedeman first developed and implemented the sudden death format, it was Cody who instantly supported and credited the three-round tournament style as confidence building.

"Tonight I just kept building on my confidence. After getting one down it works to your advantage to only go up against 11 in round two. With fewer people to beat and a bull I had ridden in Ft Worth last year, it was the confidence I needed,” said Rostockyj after an event win in 2016.

Cody Rostockyj meets and greets fans, sponsors, and the media the same as everyone who crosses his path – with a huge smile and time to give.

 “Honestly, it’s a business, so you’ve got to treat it like one,” said Rostocky, who was selected to represent Mahindra Tractors as one of the first Mahindra Young Guns.

For 16 years, first, as an amateur and then professional, Rostockyj competed in multiple pro bull riding organizations at the highest level.  There is nothing about bull riding or event planning that Cody Rostockyj does not know, or understand. The bulls, the crew, the pens, the schedule, and probably the license plate numbers of the 18 wheelers that arrive with the arena.

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In 8 years he was the only cowboy ever waiting on me in the lobby at 5 am to make a television morning show appearance. He would strut the latest fashion on air if asked, participate in goofy 8-second challenges on the radio, dance at openings of Whataburger’s, look after the rookies, and offer solid and honest commentary on or off the air when asked.   

I only know of one missed autograph signing and he had a doctor’s excuse.  In July of 2016 in Cheyenne, Rostockyj left the arena on a stretcher after a collision with a bull, and he lost consciousness. With a chin full of stitches, he would thrill the crowd getting on for the second night's performance and finishing the CBR World Finals riding three of the five bulls he attempted.

He carried that resilience thru 2016 qualifying for the NFR and it was the beginning of 2017 when the rodeo side of Rostockyj’s career would sideline the father of two.

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“I didn’t expect or plan on a collapsed lung in Arcadia (Florida) to take me off track again in the spring. I managed to ride one in Fort Worth and then two weeks before Del Rio I broke the scaphoid bone in my wrist which is by the way - the slowest healing bone in the body according to my doctors,” continued Cody.

Rostockyj, who admittedly enjoyed time with the family while he was healing, was able to enjoy his son’s first year of T Ball without interruption and he is grateful for that, but acknowledged in one interview it was difficult to sit out.

“You know you go home and you get hungry to get back on a bull and compete.”

WHAT’S NEXT

Although a trip to Disney World is probaby in Cody Rostockyj’s future, he is currently serving the PRCA as a bull riding director, and honing a new skill as broadcast analyst for the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding on TuffRideTV.com.

In April, Rostockyj, well-known as a leader in the locker room, was selected by the PRCA to serve as the bull riding director.

“As much as a prankster as Rostockyj is he is an educated guy that loves the sport and is honest with everyone. He will be a huge asset for not only rodeo, but bull riding as a whole,” commented Sage Kimzey, 5 Time PRCA World Champion Bull Rider, 3-time CBR Champion and THBRT Bossier Champion. .

He is expecting a new home remodel assignment from his wife, as well as his part-time jobs of rodeo husband, playday groom-Dad and a little regular work mixed in here and there. Rostockyj is respected by bucking bull owners as having a good eye for the bulls the riders want to get on so a part-time gig as a stock contractor is not completely out of the question.

Rostockyj was tapped by the Hedeman’s for his first Television broadcast job in 2018. Left to right, chute reporter Ali Dee, Cody Rostockyj, and Cheryl Hedeman.

Rostockyj was tapped by the Hedeman’s for his first Television broadcast job in 2018. Left to right, chute reporter Ali Dee, Cody Rostockyj, and Cheryl Hedeman.

Rostockyj once told me in an interview he was a laid back family man who enjoyed any activities on or near a lake. Imagine my surprise when he responded with my favorite answer to the question of what would you be if you were not a bull rider.

"I think I'd have gone into the Marines, and still tried to be someone a kid can look up to," said Rostockyj 8 years ago.

Retiring while he is physically able to play catch with his son, saddle his daughters' pony, and dance with his wife at his daughters wedding is undeniably someone we all can look up to.

 

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Tickets on Sale for the Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash presented by the South Dakota State Fair

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HURON, South Dakota, - June 20, 2019, – Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding in conjunction with the South Dakota State Fair announced that tickets (Ticket link) are on sale for the annual Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash, presented by the South Dakota State Fair on August 28-29, 2019.

The highly anticipated event returns to Huron as the annual kick off for the 134th season of the South Dakota State Fair. The Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash features two nights and five rounds of high energy family friendly action with pyrotechnics and the fan favorite Red Wilk American Hero Award ceremony at intermission.  The doors open at 6:00 pm and you can bet Hedeman will have the bulls locked and loaded ready to buck at 8:00 pm nightly.

The Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash is a longstanding tradition and family-friendly event that kicks off the South Dakota State Fair.

The Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash is a longstanding tradition and family-friendly event that kicks off the South Dakota State Fair.

Together, the pioneer of the sport of standalone bull riding, Tuff Hedeman, and local businessman Red Wilk produce the fan favorite event with a 16 year history of thrilling audiences as the opening grandstand event at the Fair.

The highlight of each year’s event in addition to the bull riding action is Red Wilk’s tribute to US veterans in hi American Hero Award ceremony, at an extraordinary intermission rite.

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“We would not be in Huron without Red Wilk, we share the same ideas and values in producing great entertainment for the bull riding fans in South Dakota and we look forward each year to the American Hero ceremony, the service record of some of the most decorated war heroes is truly amazing and we are blessed to part of that special presentation,” said Hedeman.

2019 will be no different as Hedeman’s three round sudden death format returns with an adrenaline rush event wrapped around traditional western entertainment and the extraordinary intermission American Hero Awards Ceremony.

2019 PRCA Rookie of the Year leader, Stetson Wright winning the 2019 Fort Worth Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding

2019 PRCA Rookie of the Year leader, Stetson Wright winning the 2019 Fort Worth Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding

Bull Riders winning individual Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour event championships include Pro Rodeo’s top ranked riders including leading PRCA Rookie of the year, Stetson Wright, 7-time World Champion Sage Kimzey, NFR qualifiers Boudreaux Campbell, Roscoe Jarboe, Tyler Bingham, Ruger Piva and JT Moore.  

Hedeman’s signature three round tournament style format is popular with fans as it allows them to see their favorite riders challenge as many as three bulls in one night. As the bull riders progress each earning money for their qualified rides, the final four man Shoot Out round determines the winner and the bulk of the prize money. 

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”My original goals have not changed since 1992. I’m still committed to producing bull riding events that give each bull rider entered the chance to win first and make sure the fans at every event are getting more than expected,” said Hedeman.

Assisting Hedeman’s tour entertain the crowd will be top flight barrel man and former U.S. Marine,  John Dudley and the cowboy lifesaver bullfighters including Bullfighters Only Champion Bryce Redo. These gladiators of the arena protect the life of the cowboys at every turn.

Tuff Hedeman bullfighter and former Bullfighters Only Champion Byrce Redo

Tuff Hedeman bullfighter and former Bullfighters Only Champion Byrce Redo

Hedeman formed the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour after serving for a combined 23 years as the former head of the two nationally organized professional bull riding organizations (PBR and CBR) since his retirement as a rider from the sport in 1999. Tuff Hedeman and the rider’s appearance schedule with rider roster to be announced at a later date.  Immediately following the bull riding, fans will get a chance to meet and get autographs from Tuff Hedeman and the bull riders.

The Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash will be held at the South Dakota State Fairgrounds, 1060 3rd St. SW.  Tickets are on sale. Tickets are $12 for youth and $20 for adults and are available by calling 866-605-FAIR, or online www.sdstatefair.com. A list of contestants will be available at a later date.

For interviews, press credentials and additional information please contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, 940.902.1112 or tuffhedemanpr@gmail.com, or @leighaschroeder.

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