Tickets on Sale for the Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash

Presented by the South Dakota State Fair

WEB THT Ft. Worth '18 278 Intro-Tuff Hedeman.jpg

HURON, South Dakota, - June 11, 2018 – Tickets http://www.sdstatefair.com/are on sale TODAY for the Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash, presented by and held as the kick off for the 133th edition of the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.  The Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour (THBRT) kicks off their fall schedule with a two night performance in the Grandstands at the South Dakota State Fair on Wednesday, August 29 and Thursday, August 30 beginning at 8 pm each night. The doors open at 6 pm nightly and tickets are $12 for youth and $20 for adults.

The pioneer of the sport of standalone bull riding, Tuff Hedeman, and local businessman Red Wilk together again will produce the fan favorite event featuring three rounds of adrenaline rush action packed traditional western entertainment. Early winners of the THBRT include 7-time World Champion Sage Kimzey, PBR World Champion Mike Lee, Navajo Nation Champion Cody Jesus, NFR qualifier Tyler Bingham, and National Intercollegiate Wrestling Champion Ruger Piva.

 PBR World Champion Mike Lee wins Hedeman's Fort Worth Championship Challenge

PBR World Champion Mike Lee wins Hedeman's Fort Worth Championship Challenge

To kick of this year’s South Dakota State Fair Red Wilk and Tuff Hedeman are pleased to introduce two new features to the ticket holders this year.  Red is having a custom designed “boxing style” trophy belt to be awarded to the bull riding champion, the belt will be unveiled by Wilk at a later date. In the arena, Hedeman heads north with his “invitation only” designed event format which yields the best roster of elite bull riders facing off with world class bucking bulls in five rounds of intense, high energy battle. 

The Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash features two nights and five rounds of pyrotechnics, family friendly action and the fan favorite Red Wilk American Hero Award ceremony at intermission.  The doors open at 6:30 with the event start at 8 pm on Wednesday night August 29, in Huron, South Dakota with the second performance on Thursday night August 30.  Tickets are available at ww.sdstatefair.com.

Hedeman, known for lining up elite riders to face off with world class bucking bulls brings the new “invitation only” format to the fair’s Grandstands for the first time.

 5 X National Finals Rodeo qualifier Trey Benton III

5 X National Finals Rodeo qualifier Trey Benton III

“We would not be in Huron without Red Wilk, we share the same ideas and values in producing great entertainment and the ceremony honoring the freedom that we all experience every day is truly amazing honoring the service record of some of the most decorated War heroes.

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

   “We would not be in Huron without Red Wilk, we share the same ideas and values in producing great entertainment and the ceremony honoring the freedom that we all experience every day is truly amazing honoring the service record of some of the most decorated War heroes," said Tuff Hedeman,     four time     World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer.

“We would not be in Huron without Red Wilk, we share the same ideas and values in producing great entertainment and the ceremony honoring the freedom that we all experience every day is truly amazing honoring the service record of some of the most decorated War heroes," said Tuff Hedeman, four time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer.

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.  Assisting Hedeman’s tour entertain the crowd will be top flight barrel man entertainers and the “gladiators of the arena” the cowboy lifesaver bullfighters who protect the life of the cowboy at every turn.

 Bullfighter Bryce Redo of Crosby, Texas  

Bullfighter Bryce Redo of Crosby, Texas  

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 go on sale June 11.  Tickets start at $12 for youth and $20 for adults and are available by calling 866-605-FAIR, or online www.sdstatefair.com. List of contestants will be available at a later date.

sdlogo.jpg

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

Bull Rider Profile

Cody Jesus

Sawmill, Arizona

WEB THT Ft. Worth '18 875 Cody Jesus.jpg

 

With the Spirit of the Navajo Nation on his shoulders, Cody Jesus, a left-handed bull rider from Sawmill, Arizona arrived on the professional bull riding scene and kept pace with World Champions from his first nod in 2016 to January 2018 where he received the largest payout of his young career.

The storied career of this young rider is rooted in faith, family, and friendship on both sides of the chute. Traveling with his brothers, continually hailed by the Navajo Nation we will no doubt see Jesus on September 5, 2018, for the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding in Window Rock, Arizona.

“It is exciting to see a young guy come into a big event and deliver, it is extremely difficult to be successful at the highest level, and he was riding with extreme confidence which is a very important factor in bull riding,” said Hedeman. 

As the event champion, Jesus earned 272.50 points on 3 bulls, and collect the $46,075.00 payday at the Hobbs Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding held annually at the Lea County Events Center in Hobbs, New Mexico.

Jesus is the former Indian National Finals Rodeo Junior Champion, the 2015 Navajo Nation Champion bull rider, and the 2017 CBR Finals Champion. Cody began riding with the Navajo rodeo associations in high school. He first came to the forefront when he won the 2015 Navajo Nation Fair. He earned his first professional title in Rio Rancho in 2017 thus demonstrating he could not only compete at the national level but to date, he has posted ten 90 points plus scored rides.

Battling the flu as he arrived in Hobbs, 19-year-old Cody Jesus managed to produce three spectacular 90 point plus rides to win a piece of the 2018 Hobbs Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding which paid out $100,000 to the bull rider athletes.  

WEB THT Ft. Worth '18 792 Cody Jesus-West Bound(RAW).jpg

“It was a life-changing moment for me tonight, I want to thank Tuff for providing such a great atmosphere to come and compete, the way I was feeling I was not sure my body could even last,” said the Navajo Champion bull rider holding his jumbo check.

Jesus led the event from the first two rounds of the three-round tournament style event and earned the right to pick first in the sudden death “shootout” round. He selected N1 Bet N Black.

“The first two guys came out and made 2 really great bull rides, that just fired me up,” said Jesus. Taking advice from Hedeman that the bull from Elite could go either way, Jesus, a left-hander, gambled on N1. Jesus was 92 points for the win as he glanced Hedeman’s way with a big smile.

“Bull riding is an individual sport and everyone has a different way of executing - learning to ride at the highest level is hard and I mean riding when it means something, no matter where you are,” continued Hedeman when asked about Jesus’s performance. 

The Navajo Nation, who annually brings bull riding to Window Rock is extremely proud of their new rising star.

 “The Navajo people love the sport of rodeo and especially bull riding and anytime a Navajo competitor in any rodeo event is doing well the people fully support the athlete because he or she represents the Navajo Nation and people.  I believe that Cody demonstrates that spirit in the sport he excels,” said Martin Begaye, Department Director at Navajo Parks and Recreation.

Jesus began his pro career after being invited by four-time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer, Tuff Hedeman, to ride in Window Rock, Arizona and then again in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Hedeman, a notorious mentor of young bull riding talent, Hedeman then cultivated Jesus’s career by assisting him with travel and arrangements. Jesus of Sawmill, Arizona, kept pace with three World Champions and surpassed the top three men to win the average title in Cheyenne last summer where the eighteen-year-old Navajo bull rider left the arena at Frontier Park with a $41,050.00, a life-changing moment of his young career…and life. 

“You are always going to have strong rookies because bull riding is a sport of hunger and desire and your flame as a new guy is burning pretty hot when you are young. We create opportunities for rookies that they don’t see everywhere else, our job is to give them great bucking bulls and a comfortable atmosphere,” continued Hedeman.

WEB THT Ft. Worth '18 917 Cody Jesus-Tuff Hedeman.jpg

 “He’s a bad cat, we witnessed the start of a long illustrious career and it’s happening right now to Cody. Last year in Window Rock he ask me to pull his rope and he was a pile of points and I knew he would be one to watch,” said World Champion Sage Kimzey on watching Jesus win the title he earned last year.

In the beginning

According to Heather Duncan, Cody’s mom it all started when he was fourteen years old.

“One beautiful summer morning when Cody woke up and walked into the kitchen he said "Mom, I want to ride bulls,” said the very grateful mom.

She quickly hung a barrel from two trees in the backyard and he was always on it.  Next, she found him a practice pen and eventually bought a bull and built a little arena.

“We have an old bull riding tape from 1995, which we are grateful we still had a VCR that worked so he would watch that. He began to watch his rides and comprehend the sport. I took him anywhere and everywhere so that he could ride. His older brother Miguel and him would set up lights at night and buck bulls early into the morning,” she continued.

What does a Mom think as her son prepares to ride on the biggest stage of his life?

“During the event, I just thought about how hard he worked to get to this moment. Our long drives, his dedication and desire to do what he wanted to do, the faith that carries him over and over to the next show. I just saw this young boy who always said that he has to try harder to make it and he will, I am so nervous every time he rides and I just pray for his safety.”

For more information please contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, tuffhedemanpr@gmail.com; 940.902.1112. @leighaschroeder.

Memorial Day Remembering Death by Celebrating Lives

How can we honor veterans on Memorial Day? Just ask Red Wilk of Huron, South Dakota.

redwilk.JPG

Memorial Day is an important time for Americans to remember our veterans and those who have served our country. It is also an opportunity to honor those loved ones who have gone before us.

Once again this year the heart of the Bull Bash will be Red Wilk’s American Hero Award ceremony, at an extraordinary intermission rite honoring veterans of Viet Nam, Desert Storm, Freedom, and Global War on Terrorism, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom. The Mayor of Huron, Attorney General Marty Jackley and United States Senator Mike Rounds have both participated as presenters.

Under the clear skies and bright stars of Middle America, not only does Red Wilk bring World class bull riders and elite bucking bulls to open the South Dakota State Fair, he produces an intermission ceremony honoring Veterans that quiets everyone in the stands, on the grounds, behind the bucking chutes, and Tuff Hedeman.

“This event is one of the great moments for me during the year, to meet the veterans selected as American Hero’s is an honor I look forward to in Huron.. The stories that are read about their service to our country puts life in perspective and we all thank Red Wilk for sharing the opportunity to witness and participate,” said Tuff Hedeman.  

The magic created by Red Wilk and his team is simple, he remembers death by celebrating lives. The American Hero Award ceremony has become an extraordinary intermission rite. Bringing in a wooden floor to allow wheelchairs and seating for the recipients and honorees, Red leaves no detail to chance, including honoring competing bull rider, Juan Alonzo, who is a veteran of the U.S. Army.

If you have not been, the intermission is worth the price of admission. Members of South Dakota's National Guard present the flag while Taps is played to honor America's fallen at the break of the Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash each year. With thousands of people in the grandstands, elite bull riders standing at attention, and even the bulls staying quiet for the invited elected official and Red to present a commissioned flag that has flown over the White House and a commerative coin to a group of men who served their country in a way only a few will ever experience.   

While who and how many veterans will be honored this August is still under wraps at the Red Wilk Construction office for later announcement, we would be amiss if we did not thank and honor Red Wilk. Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour is proud to partner on the presentation of the upcoming Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash in Huron, South Dakota (August 29, 30) with such a great man of honor, Red Wilk.

Tickets on Sale for the Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash on sale June 11.  

TUFF AS NAILS

Jockey Mike E. Smith Justifies His Career Choice

by Leigh Ann Schroeder

Mikesmithonbull.jpeg

Mike E. Smith at Booger Bryants Bull Riding School 

"He was gutsy and fearless as a kid and it’s no surprise to anyone that he is now one of the most successful jockeys on the planet,” ...Tuff Hedeman

At 11 years old Mike E. Smith wanted to be a bull rider. He attended Booger Bryant’s bull riding school but was too small against the power and size of 1970’s style bucking bulls.

“He was gutsy and fearless as a kid and it’s no surprise to anyone that he is now one of the most successful jockeys on the planet,” said his long-time friend, Tuff Hedeman.

52 year old jockey Mike Earl Smith is this week’s Tuff as Nails choice after piloting the gifted race horse Justify to the winner’s circle for the second time in two weeks. Justify's fifth start saw him remain undefeated through the first two legs of the Triple Crown. He now boasts earnings just shy of $3 million. He changed history as he rode Justify in to the history books as the only horse since 1892 (Apollo) to win the Derby and the Preakness without running as a two year old.

“This week we veer from the bull riding and rodeo world to honor one of the world’s great athletes’ and someone I look up to personally and professionally, a rock star on the racetrack, a super star rider who won his first race at age 16, but who recently won the 2018 Kentucky Derby and on Sunday - the Preakness. On June 9, he launches his bid to win the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes.

 Justify, the only the second horse in history to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness who did not run as a two year old, on his way to the Start gate at Sunday's Preakness  

Justify, the only the second horse in history to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness who did not run as a two year old, on his way to the Start gate at Sunday's Preakness  

“He is a 52-year-old in a sport where youth, comparable to bull riding, is tough to compete against, you have to be in the best shape physically and mentally and it just doesn’t happen much. There are guys that have ridden at that age, but it’s a short list. Nothing comparable to what Mike’s accomplished,” said Hedeman.

Hedeman describes Smith as a once in a lifetime gifted athlete with the one quality that separates him from the rest – Desire.

“I have watched him master the horse skills, develop the innate ability to read and react therefore helping the horse,  not hurting his performance – that is not an accident. He is flawless in every part of the job. He understands the two biggest challenges of a racetrack – timing and finesse,” continues Hedeman.

“The other coolest thing about Mike Smith is you wouldn’t know he’s who he is by the way he presents himself – he’s great with fans, celebrities, the media - just everyone. Sunday after the race we were going to eat with his fiancé and his aunt and he’s responding to the 500 plus congratulation messages on his phone. I promise he returned every one of them – now that’s tough as nails!”

The Story

Tuff and Mike got to be friends after sharing a common upbringing on the racetrack with both their father’s career in racing.

“We both started doing well at about the same time, Mike was 16 and I was 18. I followed his career and over the years he came to the NFR, we stayed friends and we reconnected one year at the Espy’s Awards event and have been great friends and stayed in touch. After Trevor and Lane graduated and finished High School rodeoing, I have been able to make it to the Debry, Preakness and Belmont races in recent years.

 Jockey Mike Smith, Trainer Bob Baffert, and Tuff Hedeman  

Jockey Mike Smith, Trainer Bob Baffert, and Tuff Hedeman  

Mike Smith is a highly decorated Hall of Fame jockey winning his 5,000th victory of his Hall of Fame career in 2012. He is not only one of the highest earning jockeys and winningest jockeys in history but he exemplifies and represents the sport according to the 2014 Lafitte Pincay Jr. Award. Recipients are given the award for having served the sport of horse racing "with integrity, extraordinary dedication, determination, and distinction."

"When we started this award back in 2004, Mike Smith was absolutely the sort of person we had in mind as one of our winners," Pincay said.

Mike Smith was born in Roswell, New Mexico, August 10, 1965. Smith began riding races in New Mexico at age 11. Shortly after launching his licensed career in 1982 at age 16 he won his first race in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“Balance and physically getting in riding shape is the challenge of most athletes, but for a jockey, I mean when you look at the body of any jockey, they are the thinnest guys in the world,” continued Hedeman.

Justifyinfogwithgroom.JPG

Hedeman explains firsthand what it was like to grow up in the race horse industry like he and Mike Smith.  With rock star racehorse jockeys and fathers who prepared and handled both the riders and the horses, their boyhood heroes were the stars of the show.

“When I was an 8 year old kid I was always at the racetrack with my Dad who was a valet, the person responsible for preparing both jockey and horse for racing. As a teenager I was 5’4 and weighed 110 pounds and thought I was going to be a jockey, one of the ‘Cool Guys’.  We looked up to them, they were the exciting guys at the track. It’s pretty exciting to be around them, they were the ones with the best sports cars, sunglasses, hot girlfriends - everything. We looked up to them”

As a teenager, Tuff began breaking and galloping horses at Sunland Park Racetrack in New Mexico, just miles from his hometown of El Paso, Texas he was developing skills that aided his future career choice of sport that required many of the same skills, balance, instinct, and the ability to react. 

“I would love to have been able to ride races, but by the time I had enough experience I got too big, I was 135 pounds.” 108 – 118 pounds is standard for jockey weight.

What was it like to be at the Preakness?

Tuff:      This year’s Preakness was an odd race because the fog came in right when they got on the track – when you watch him at the Derby he was so good, but you couldn’t see him run the whole race due to the weather conditions. Standings next to that magnificent horse is amazing and just seeing all my old friends in the Jockey’s locker room is entertaining.

What was it like to see Justify in person?

Tuff:      Standing next to him you instantly know he is different. The look of that horse - He is a horse who has instant presence. You just know he is a great one.  The great ones - it is in them to be great all day every day and up to the team to know how and when to get the best performance out of them.

Justifyloading.jpeg

Who makes up Justify’s team?

Tuff:      Bob Baffert is the trainer, assisted by a great guy named Jimmy Barnes. Baffert is a remarkable trainer that told me the feeling right before you compete – “it never gets old” – I am suree it was the same feeling you had right before the gate opened when you're riding only I'm not risking my life." I feel the same every time I step back into the racetrack venues. He is a Hall of Famer and Triple Crown winner in 2015 with American Pharaoh. His awards are too many to mention – Google him! 

BobandSmokey_Belmont_June_2015_1800x_resized6-5-2015-13-52-56-479.jpg

"It never gets old, the feeling you get just before you compete, " Bob Baffert

When did you connect with Mike Smith?

Tuff:      He is two or three years younger than me, when I started doing well riding bulls was about the same time he was doing well (16 years old) so I kept up and began following his career.

You went to all three Triple Crowns in 2017 and two of the three this year, what is it like hanging out with a World renowned jockey?

Tuff:      It’s like going to the Super Bowl with Tom Brady

TuffatRubys.jpeg

Mike and I visiting with race officials in the Jockey's Locker Room  

We think of you as a rodeo personality, what is it like to be back among your roots of the Thoroughbred world?

Tuff:      I grew up around many of the now elite Thoroughbred jockeys, trainers, and racehorse experts at Sunland Park near El Paso – it’s why I enjoy going to the big races. Its amazing thing to me because I grew up around so many of these guys who I saw get their start and I had the privilege of watching these individuals continue on to have amazing success in the Thoroughbred racing industry. It is fun to see the guys at the races that I have known for ever and they are now at the top of their fields, the best of the race horse world and many of them Hall of Famers like Jerry Bailey, Pat Valenzuela, Mike Smith, Bill Cazner, Bob Baffert, Todd Pletcher, Steve Assmussen and D. Wayne Lucas.

What qualities do you recognize from your background that you see is special about Mike Smith?

Tuff:      Reading the situation and reacting. Knowing what to do when with the horse is a learned skill Mike has mastered, to do that with a horse you have to be able to learn and know from actions because there are no words from the horse.

Are there any similarities in training bucking bulls and racehorses?

Tuff:  Like a bull – you can’t do a whole lot to make them better than they are – it’s up to you as a trainer and an owner to give them the best chance to win and be competitive – It’s important in racehorses to get them in shape and knowing what that is so the team can produce a winning performance.

Tuff will join his friend Mike Smith in New York for the Belmont Stakes as he attempts to change history.

What makes the Triple Crown difficult? Is it the turf changes, the distance, the weather changes? In Hedeman’s opinion it is the fact that the horses are being asked to produce so much - three different tracks at three different distances - in such a short period of time and they are competing against fresh horses at each race.  It takes a rare horse to do what so many try to accomplish.

Justifyfrominfield.JPG

Sounds like a little more than the 8 Second challenge for the bucking bull, but conditioning and soundness still key.

About Mike Smith - Michael Earl Smith (born August 10, 1965) is an American jockey who has been one of the leading riders in U.S. Thoroughbred racing since the early 1990s, inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2003, and has won the most Breeders' Cup races of any jockey with 26 Breeders' Cup wins. Smith is also second leading jockey all-time in earnings with over $312 million.

Robert A. "Bob" Baffert is an American racehorse trainer who trained the 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Baffert's horses have won five Kentucky Derbies, seven Preakness Stakes, two Belmont Stakes and three Kentucky Oaks. Baffert holds the distinction of becoming the first trainer in history to win the Derby and Preakness in back-to-back years.

 

TUFF AS NAILS

  Bull Riding Hall of Fame Inductee Wacey Cathey

waceycathey.jpg

This week's Tuff As Nails honor goes to the ironman of the National Finals Rodeo, 14-time NFR qualifier Wacey Cathey of Big Spring, Texas. Wacey, who holds the record with Ted Nuce, qualified for his first NFR in 1976 and his last in 1991. Cathey's top performance year was 1986 when he rode 7 bulls for a total of 30,450.00

Kudos to Wacey for being selected this year to be inducted to the Bull Riding Hall of Fame. The Bull Riding Hall of Fame recognizes and commemorates the legends of the sport of Bull Riding.

Wacey is the kind of guy bull riders name their kids after (Wacey Dalton Hart) and mother's cheer for from the stands of the Superbowl of rodeo. Hedeman and Cathey are friends to this day and you can find Cathey at the VIP table during several Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour events.

Tuff reflects on his favorite story about Wacey Cathey:

"I remember before the NFR in 1990, Wacey Cathey had a pretty big lead going in, and he'd never won the NFR. I liked Wacey- I looked up to him. Anyway, I was talking to my mother and she made the comment, ‘I sure hope Wacey wins it this year.' I said, ‘Really? You know I'm entered, right?' She said ‘Yes, but you've won a couple already and Wacey deserves it...' I said ‘Okay, you go ahead and pull for him. I'll be the only rider in the history of the finals whose mother was in the stands pulling for someone else.'

He Looks Soft but he rides Hard was a title to an article about Cathey in the newspaper during the 1988 NFR. Jim Murray writes:

waceybest.jpg

"You would think you had a mental picture of a guy who would ride a bull in a rodeo. A wild-eyed, wild-haired, hare-brained young kid with the leather skin and chapped lips of a guy who never slept in a bed in his life or drank coffee out of anything but a can. A hundred years ago he would have been holding up stagecoaches or drawing down on frontier marshals and he would have the life expectancy of a sick coyote. Wacey's secret is not hard to guess: The bulls take one look at him and they figure this is one of those midnight cowboys who thinks this is just a video arcade game. They figure they'll throw him up in the lights. The next thing they know, the horn has sounded and he's sitting there like a guy on a bus reading the financial pages. He rides the bull like a commuter. Even to the bull, he looks like one."

He's the oldest and certifiably the best bull-rider in the National Finals Rodeo, the Super Bowl of the cowboys-and-Indians set, up here at the Thomas & Mack Arena this week. The best 15 bull-riders in the world qualify for this event on the basis of money won and Wacey has won more than any of them--$70,413 to date in 150 rodeos this year.

Wacey Wayne Cathey was born to Bob and Ruth Cathey, June 29, 1953, in Big Spring. Wacey was raised on the family ranch and at 16 began to rodeo. Among Cathey's wins are: Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Cheyenne Frontier Days, Prescott, AZ, Oakdale, CA, San Angelo, Big Spring, and San Antonio TX., Ellensburg, WA, Oklahoma City, OK, Sikeston, MO., Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo/TX State Fair, Greeley, Colorado, Edmonton, Canada, Madison Square Garden, The Summit Presidential Rodeo, North Platt, and Colorado Springs, CO. Wacey won the $50,000.00 Purse in Calgary, Canada in 1983 and 1990. Breaking the record at the 1990 Calgary Stampede with a 92 point ride. He received the Texas Circuit Championship in 1982 and the Pro Tour in 1985.

Wacey has two children, a daughter Shelley and a son Sloan.

Today, he is a respected bull riding judge and continues to work and reside on his family ranch with Jeannie Woodruff.

catheythree.jpg

This year's, 4th annual, Induction Ceremonies and Reunion will be held May 18th and 19th in the legendary Fort Worth Stockyards. Pam Minick and Donnie Gay return this year as co-hosts and masters of ceremonies. http://www.the-bull-riding-hall-of-fame.com/

 

 

KEEP CALM AND CALL THE RODEO MOM

  “I could not have dreamed of the life I have been lucky enough to live, but I’m sure my mom did. My mom always believed in and supported our dreams. She taught us by example to never quit, to lend a helping hand and to work harder than the guy in front of you. I do not know anyone who is tougher or kinder than my mom. Love ya ClaraBelle,”  Tuff.

“I could not have dreamed of the life I have been lucky enough to live, but I’m sure my mom did. My mom always believed in and supported our dreams. She taught us by example to never quit, to lend a helping hand and to work harder than the guy in front of you. I do not know anyone who is tougher or kinder than my mom. Love ya ClaraBelle,”  Tuff.

Mother’s Day is Sunday and for many bull riders, their Mom was their first career coach and undeniably their original sponsor. Mothers of professional bull riders have seen and sat through it all. Some sit quietly clutching a rosary while others jump up and cheer loudly while the clock works its way to the 8-second buzzer.

While the fans enjoy the drama of the battle on the dirt, Moms only relate to one type of ending – healthy. 

It is hard to watch the bull rider athletes and not wonder about their extreme sport style lives and the impact on their families. What’s it like to have an extreme job? Many are married and all have a mom.    How exactly does that work in everyday life when each time you go to work you face extreme danger and the possibility of injury or worse? What must it be like waiting for that text or phone call signifying safety?

One mom, in particular, knows the routine. She has sewed an endless number of flashy shirts, driven more miles than we can count, fed more chicken enchiladas to cowboys than Joe T. Garcia’s, stood on the chutes and sat in the stands for over 60 years. Clarice Hedeman - matriarch, leader and enforcer to the rowdy Hedeman rodeo clan is hailed often by her offspring’s competitors as the original “Rodeo Mom, long before the tee shirts were made to identify them.”

WEB CBR Hobbs '14 761 Cody Sosebee~Tuff's Mom.jpg

 At 89 years of age, Mrs. Hedeman still passes on her pearls of wisdom whenever she gets a chance with hairstyle and fashion tips, bull riding event and individual ride analytics, and the trait her family remembers as most important to her…family first. For decades Mrs. Hedeman’s home was open to any and all rodeo cowboys whom she so graciously always considered family, that needed a roof and a hot meal and the food (and advice) was complimentary.

“She no doubt will never be replicated; the mold has been broken. She has taken care of more cowboys, race track kids and really anyone who needed a little help. Her huge heart and straight-shooting advice; has made her infamous. She has been and will always be the most amazing woman in all our lives,” daughter Jane Hedeman.

Advice from your mom comes in various ways and is usually private given most bull riding events have a “no mom behind the chutes” policy. Tough love as inspiration is normal among rodeo kids, but one conversation defined his Mom.R

“I walked up on my Mom talking to Wacey Cathy at the World Finals one year, she was telling him she thought he would win and good luck. Mom, you do know I’m entered - right?” recalls Tuff as the conversation continued.

Clarice Hedeman was born on a ranch in northeast New Mexico, near Farley.

“My granddad was a rancher and my folks were ranchers,” she said. “I started running barrels when they first started doing that. I rode cutting horses, showed cattle a lot. I was a bookkeeper for a number of years. I worked at Sunland, La Mesa, and Raton race tracks.”

clarabellegirl.JPG

At 15, Clarice Hedeman was working for her Dad driving a truck.

Seven children later, she always enjoyed horses, the track and rodeo. Having a pair of sons in harm’s way is not exactly some people’s idea of a relaxing way of life. But worry?

Clarice said, “I don’t worry. Some fool down here’ll run over you while you’re getting the mail outta the mailbox. The thing I worry is they have to do so much driving. But I just figure they know what they’re doing – in the rodeo and away from it. They were raised in it.”

“I could not have dreamed of the life I have been lucky enough to live, but I’m sure my mom did. My mom always believed in and supported our dreams. She taught us by example to never quit, to lend a helping hand and to work harder than the guy in front of you. I do not know anyone who is tougher or kinder than my mom. Love ya ClaraBelle,”  Tuff.

Since the first Mother’s day celebration, May 8, 1914, moms have been claiming the best Mother’s Day gifts are ones that come from the heart.

Greeting cards and perfume mega companies insist the ultimate gift moms give and receive is their children’s unconditional love…best expressed by purchasing a card with a box of the latest perfume and chocolate covered strawberries. But in a cowboy’s world, their best gift is staying alive.

Riders are probably reminded of home more often with pre- and post-ride texting.  Most of them are in agreement that no matter what decade you competed in you have faced a tough loss, and it is your mom who always has your back. “See you soon…Sunday roast in the oven or listen to your momma…she knows what’s best for you.”

We asked a few professional bull riders and one World Champion mom what motherhood looks like in the sport of professional bull riding.

Terri Lee, mother of PBR World Champion Mike Lee”

Teri & Mike Lee_04.jpg

Mike and Terri Lee

“The most important traits a bull rider’s mom should have is to have a lot of faith in the Lord and to be fearless. Whenever I’ve been asked how I can watch my son ride bulls (and I have been asked countless times) my answer has always been “if the bull riders can face any fears or doubts they might have and convince themselves they can and are going to win the battle against animal so much bigger and stronger, then the least we can do is to be strong enough to be there to support them and pray for their safety.”

Gaile Bingham, Honeyville, Utah, Mother of Tyler and Tim Bingham

tylertimmom.jpg

“I love my mom and wouldn’t be where I am today without her,” Tim Bingham.

“My mother said to always remember your family and put them first, a rodeo mom has to be supportive whether times are good or bad. My Mom never tried to get us to quit rodeoing or riding bulls, she asked if this is what we wanted to do even through all the broken bones and helped us get to every rodeo we wanted to go to from the time we were young and all the way up to helping us drive to pro rodeos. Now she doesn’t go to many but still works out all our flights and travel. I love my mom and would not be where I am today without her.”

Jennifer Kimzey, Mother of Trey and Sage Kimzey

"Trey, boots, hat, belt, what'd you forget?" "The best advice she gave me was God first - then everything will happen the way it should and her superhero trait was driving and being tough."

 Super Rodeo Mom Jennifer Kimzey with Trey, Dusta, and Sage   

Super Rodeo Mom Jennifer Kimzey with Trey, Dusta, and Sage

 

Chantel Haynes, Houston, Texas – Mother of Demond Haynes

haynesmothersday.jpg

Demond and his Mom, Chantel Haynes

 

“Most important thing my Moma ever told me is follow my dreams and watch my friends - she never was a big rodeo mom because she was scared if she came to watch I would get hurt. She records all my rides that come on TV and I talk to her a lot while I’m traveling.  I talked her to coming to Humble a few years ago and I won the rodeo, but got hung up and she was about to jump into the arena to kill the bull,” laughed Demond.

“She texts and calls till she reaches me, 100 times back to back sometimes. She’s been there since day one with nothing but love and support and that little lady payed more fees for me than any sponsor I had along the line. Happy Mother’s Day MOM.”

Jeanna Rostockyj, Waco, Texas – Mother of Cody Rostockyj

“Mom never gave to much advice that I can remember out right. But what she did that has always stuck with me was her demeanor towards others. We didn’t grow up with much money or things but she was always nice to everyone and tried to help if she could. And even though I saw it bite her in the rear sometimes, it put plenty of good people that helped us out some in life as well. So even though I never really took any advice - I did try to take some of her sincerity and kindness to help others to heart and I try to help who I can on and off the road.”

 

 

 

 

TOONING UP AT THE BAYTOWN YOUTH FAIR

baytownwin2018.JPG

Lane Toon and Jeff Harris Win Baytown Tuff Hedeman Breakout Bull Riding

BAYTOWN, Texas - (May 6, 2018 ) –  Oklahoma bull rider Lane Toon outlasted forty one bull riders to earn the championship title of the Tuff Hedeman Baytown Breakout bull riding held Saturday night highlighting the closing of the Baytown Youth Fair. Standing in the arena with four time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer Tuff Hedeman, the Oklahoma cowboy collected the championship buckle and prize package that included a check for $3,396.48.

“I guess I just wanted it bad enough and I just listened to Tuff and dug down deep and tried really hard,” said Toon accepting his buckle and check from event producer Chris Rankin and bull riding icon Tuff Hedeman. 

toonhedemanbaytown.JPG

“What I really like about these events is seeing unknown young bull riders that show up and make outstanding bull rides and they contend with the hottest guys on tour and hang with them,” said Hedeman who was making his first appearance in support of the Youth of Baytown and enjoyed signing autographs, boots and hats at the conclusion of the event. 

baytownfans2018.JPG

Toon, a twenty-five year old left handed bull rider was the only competitor to ride two bulls. He scored 83.75 points in round one aboard Houdini Martini from Mike Rawson’s string of buckers. He came back as the sixth rider in the 12 man Championship round and made an 87.25 point ride aboard Harris’ 44 Red Wing.  Hanging on to hear the buzzer Toon exemplified everything Hedeman said to him in the shoots. “Sometimes it’s all about the try.”

There were 10 qualified rides in round one with the lead being split between NFR cowboy Boudreaux Campbell and Crosby’s Demond Haynes, both with 86 points. Rookies Colby Jones (Dayton) and Foster McCraw (Navasota) tied for third and fourth in the round with 85.5 points. Nick Landreneau and Laramie Craigen finished fifth and sixth with 85.25 and 84 points respectively.

“The Baytown Fair & Rodeo bull riding each year is an event we bring to the community and we try our best to bring the best bulls and bull riders that are available to benefit the Baytown Youth," said Rankin.

Several alumni riders and Baytown Jr. Bull Riding champions returned to compete in the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding after competing as a youth in previous years. World Champion Josh Bar entine, Boudreaux Campbell, Demond Haynes, Mason Taylor, and Parker McCowan.

I was fortunate when I was young to have the Baytown Youth Fair as a place to show animals and producing the bull riding here is my way to give back to a great organization that taught me a lot growing up, but the biggest thing is seeing the Fair Association continue to grow and succeed so that more young people can have the same opportunities that we had,” said Rankin.

Cowboys from seven states and Brazil provided the 53 quality outs, but in the end, Toon was the only rider to hear the 8 second whistle twice during the two-hour performance. The veteran bull rider from Lane, Oklahoma was the only rider to cover his bull in the short round riding 44 Red Wing of Jeff Harris Bucking Bulls for 87.25.  

“We had an outstanding set of bull riders this year that tried hard and we raised the bar, they rode 9 in the long round and although they only managed to ride one in the short round, the bull power was incredible and a few guys rode right to the whistle, said event producer Chris Rankin.

Tuff Hedeman Break Out Bull Ridings were created to give new riders the opportunity to break into the national bull riding tours.  Hedeman had the opportunity to see several state high school bull riding champions, the intercollegiate southern bull riding leader, just to name a few of the rising young stars that were in competing Baytown.

Rankin, lining up buckers from three former stock contractors of the year, as well as several bulls who buck day in and day out on the pro circuits, had bull power to rival any competition in the country.

The Baytown Open Bull team competition was won by a World Champion bull team stock contractor Jeff Harris of Palestine. Harris earned the open bull team title with 278.15 total points and was the only contractors to post two qualified rides. Harris’s check for $7,500 came from Demond Haynes leading long round on 451 Scarface and the second bull was Lane Toon’s winning ride on 44 Red Wing. Harris' third bull on the three bull team was Tamale who bucked Cole Skender off in 4.15 seconds but with an 86 point bull score.

 “I was bucked off that 44 Red Wing bull and had to hustle, I said to myself, not to tonight,” laughed the always happy go lucky Lane Toon.

“Thanks to my family and friends who came out and helped us and the fair board for giving us the opportunity, it was a pretty awesome event”, said Rankin immediately following the awards presentation. The event was sponsored by Ron Craft Chevrolet and WOW Equipment.  

Baytown Tuff Hedeman Breakout Series Results

1, Lane Toon, Lane, OK, 171 on two bulls, $3,396.48. 2, Demond Haynes, Crosby, TX, 86, $2,282.88. 3, Boudreaux Campbell, Crockett, TX, 86, $1,494.08. 4, Colby Jones, Dayton, TX, 85.5, $983.68. 5, Foster McCraw, Navasota, TX, 85.5, $644.96. 6, Nick Landreneau, Sulphur, LA, 85.25, $385.12. 7, Laramie Craigen - $92.80.

Bull Team Results

1, Jeff Harris, Palestine, 278.15, $7500. 2, Jaynes Gang #1, 276.54, $5,000. 3, 4GMcKenzie/Novak, 275.68, $3,500. 4, Hat Brand Rodeo, 274.25, $2,000.

 

 

World Champion and PRCA Rookie of the Year Ready to Ride in Baytown tonight

 

 

 

Baytown Fair and Rodeo Bull Riding and Concert presented by Ron Craft Chevrolet Cadillac

 A Tuff Hedeman Breakout Bull Riding

WEB PRCA NFR '17 Rd 9-2560 Boudreaux Campbell-Revelution(SMTH).jpg

Boudreaux Campbell

 

Nationally and internationally ranked bull riders from seven states and two countries have landed in Houston and are making their way to Baytown, Texas for the Baytown Fair and Rodeo Tuff Hedeman Breakout Bull Riding held tonight at the Baytown Fairgrounds at 6:30 pm.

Highlighting this year’s list of competitors is Pro Rodeo’s Rookie of the Year, Boudreaux Campbell of Crockett, Texas who will join Four Time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer Tuff Hedeman tonight in Baytown in support of the Baytown Youth. Campbell, who won round 9 of the NFR and  finished 10th in the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association world standings in 2017 joins top ranked riders including World Champion Josh Barentine, NFR qualifier Aaron Pass, and Luis Blanco of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Bryce Redo of Crosby, Texas, a former Bullfighters Only champion, will be joined by Caleb Oostenryk from Morrison IL, as the cowboy lifesaver bullfighters who will be protecting lives at every turn.

WEB THT El Paso '18 615 Bryce Redo-324A Heartaches & Grease(BRRT)-Reride bull.jpg

Bullfighter Bryce Redo

 

These bullfighters are within inches of the bulls showcasing true athleticism to save the cowboy’s life and while attempting to stay out of harm’s way themselves.

Local entries include 21 year old Ezekiel Mitchell of Baytown who has found recent success winning over $10,000 this season. Returning to Baytown are members of the bull riding group known as the Houston Solution, Jonathon Brown, and Demond Haynes. Bull Riding Champions Parker McCowan from Montgomery Tx, and Ross Freeman from Kountze TX join the list of 46 bull riders who will be competing in the two round event worth over $10,000 in prize money.

Powering the rides will be bulls from some of the country’s top breeders and stock contractors including Stock Contractor of the Year Mike Rawson, several World Champion Bull Team owners including Jeff Harris and Billy Jaynes’ Gang. The bulls will be competing for prize money alongside the riders which adds excitement to the event.  

Tuff Hedeman will be signing autographs with the famed bull riders in the arena following the event. Immediately following the bull riding only event will be EMI Records Nashville and Grammy nominated artist Eric Paslay in concert.

“Events like these are crucial to our sport and are created to give bull riders the opportunity to “break out” and be noticed alongside some of the industry greats and it is imperative the events at this level survive, and I am just there to help out if I can,” said Hedeman.

Known as the Baytown Fair & Rodeo Challenge Bull Riding and Concert presented by Ron Craft Chevrolet and Wowco Equipment, the local event is in its 8th year.  Immediately following the bull riding action ticket holders will be treated to the musical talents of Nashville country music artist Eric Paslay who was nominated for his “Forever Young” song released last year.

The Baytown Youth Fair is a 100% self-funded 501 C3 non-profit organization. In addition to maintaining the fairgrounds and providing the youth of Baytown many opportunities with their livestock, the organization, also provides valuable scholarships each year. “Its’ all about the kids”, said President Tony Dahlquist.

The gates open at 5:30 pm with the Bull Riding action beginning at 6:30 p.m. followed by the concert at 9 p.m.  Ticket price is $15. Bull Riders and bull fighters will be available to sign autographs for the kids and ticket holders after the event. Event address: 7900 N. Main Street in Baytown.

Tickets available at the gate and online at dirtroadtickets.com and for more information about the events at the Baytown youth fair visit www.baytownyouthfair.org

 World Champion Josh Barentine 

World Champion Josh Barentine 

About the Baytown Youth Fair – To provide facilities and opportunities for area youth to exhibit their work in agricultural and homemaking projects; to promote improvement of livestock in the community and in the adjoining territory; to promote understanding and better knowledge of proper selection and care of livestock; to give youth an opportunity for training in leadership and sportsmanship; to provide additional facilities and opportunities for youth of the community and of the adjoining territory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuff As Nails JW Harris

WEB THT El Paso '18 592 JW Harris.jpg

JW Harris Wins Del Rio

 

The first installment of “Tuff As Nails” kudos is awarded appropriately to a member of the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding family - J.W. Harris of Mullin, Texas. Harris won his second (2011, 2018) George Paul Memorial Bull Riding title last weekend in Del Rio at what is known behind the chutes and in bull riding history as the Super Bull - a time-honored tradition in the sport of bull riding which honors the legacy of George Paul, a bull rider who rode 79 bulls consecutively in the 1968 before perishing in an airplane crash.   

Harris added $7,085 to his PRCA yearly earnings and another of what one bull rider described as the  “coolest buckle in the industry” to his long list of accomplishments which includes 4 gold buckles inscribed PRCA World Champion.

41st George Paul Memorial Bull Riding Results: 1. J.W. Harris, 179.5 points on two head, $7,085

Bull riding: First round: 1. Bryce Barrios, 89.5 points on United Pro Rodeo's Graffiti, $4,251; 2. (tie) Jeff Askey and J.W. Harris, 89, $2,834 each; 4. (tie) Lon Danley and Lex Oakley, 87, $1,275 each; 6. Trey Benton III, 86.5, $709; 7. (tie) Cody Jesus and Brett Custer, 85.5, $496 each. * Finals: 1. J.W. Harris, 90.5 points on Rafter G Rodeo's J lazy, $5,101; 2. Joseph McConnel, 87, $4,346; no other qualified rides. Average: 1. J.W. Harris, 179.5 points on two head, $7,085; 2. Joseph McConnel, 172, $5,432; 3. Bryce Barrios, 89.5 on one head, $4,015; 4. Jeff Askey, 89, $2,598; 5. (tie) Lex Oakley and Lon Danley, 87, $1,417 each; 7. Trey Benton III, 86.5, $945; 8. (tie) Cody Jesus and Brett Custer, 85.5, $354 each. *(all totals include ground money).

Del Rio, Texas, April 27-28

Bull Riding Industry Mourns Loss of a Treasured Talent

Nicky Dan Wheeler

Mighty Mouse.jpg

Nicky Wheeler riding "Mighty Mouse", 9th round of 1977 National Finals Rodeo where he rode 9 of 10 bulls.

Photo Credit: Jim Fain 

June 25, 1956 – April 15, 2018

Nicky Dan Wheeler’s friends, family, colleagues and cowboys said goodbye in an emotional ceremony last week at Cross Brand Cowboy Church with Terry Holland and Marcus Jackson officiating. Wheeler suffered a heart attack and died on April 15.

“Nicky was a great bull rider regardless of what era it is - there are very few people that go to the NFR and ride 9 out of ten,” said friend and colleague Tuff Hedeman.

WEB Bossier '17 212 Jeff Harris-Nicky Wheeler.jpg

 “Whatever he did he was successful, a smart guy, and he treated everyone like they wanted to be treated,” added Hedeman.

Saying goodbye is always difficult -- especially when, as in Nicky Wheeler’s case, we're forced us to do so with no warning. We always remember that sick feeling in our stomach, the lump in our throat when we hear about such a sudden tragedy for friends still in their prime.

Nicky Wheeler is remembered as a “great guy”, a dedicated father and husband, a superior bull riding judge, a bucking bull man, rodeo producer, and talented fundraiser, but on the minds and hearts of so many attending his service was he was first and foremost a bull riding champion.

“I didn’t know him until after I won my first world title, we had some bull riding schools in his arena and I got to know him there. He is a super guy, super Dad, and anytime I could get him to judge I would - he judged in Fort Worth, Lufkin, and Bossier, but his kids were always first on his schedule and priority list,” continued Hedeman.

Most of the bull riders from that era say he could have won as many world titles as he wanted to – he had the kind of talent like Jim Sharp and Sage Kimzey he looked flawless riding bulls. He was described as never moving his head, his free arm was perfect and was always in complete control.

“Nicky Wheeler had the talent and had the best personality and sense of humor and taught me what the word humble meant -I didn’t have much humbleness as you know and I didn’t care – but I learned what it was by being around him – he did not get excluded from anything, just a great person,” said 8 Time PRCA World Champion bull rider Don Gay.   

In 1977 he jumped in the truck and airplane with Don Gay and ended the year riding 9 of ten bulls at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City and won two rounds - earning around $2,000. That year the PRCA did not pay average money. Don Gay remembers the story.

“After the NFR in 1976 his Dad called and said he wanted me to take his boy to the NFR, I’ll pay for everything and you take him to the NFR. I replied that you take care of the plane gas and I can get him to enough rodeos but Nicky is going to have to take himself to the NFR! He will have the opportunity,” said Gay.

“I loaded him up and Nicky was kind of a homebody, barely out of high school and he wanted to go home when he could so having just married going home was keeping me out of trouble – this would be perfect. He didn’t have to go to as many rodeos as I did but this boy could ride, he could ride really great.

“He had more ability than me, Tuff Hedeman, and Jim Shoulders all rolled together,” continued Gay.

wheelertwo.jpg

Described by Gay as having an inherent unique natural ability. We would ride the same bull and I would marvel at how easy he made it look.

“He made Shoulder’s Might Mouse look easy, and he was a handful,” said Gay.

In the 1970’s there were some great bulls but going to a rodeo there might be 15 guys a night and three or four of them actually had a good enough bull to place and win some money.

"The fact there are more good bulls to win money on, in the 70s, it was a lot more luck of the draw when you went to a rodeo to compete," said one former champion bull rider.

As the years have passed, those bulls have changed and Nicky Wheeler was a big part of that change.

Along the way he was buying green cross bred bulls to buck at his arena. Wheeler’s arena became a mainstay in developing bulls and bull riding talent in East Texas.

 "I counted up, there was at least 20 professional bull riders from right in this immediate area," said Wheeler in 2016. "I mean, you could almost get on a bull somewhere any night."

After retirement from riding Nicky produced numerous rodeos at Wheeler Arena. He was one of the first to give away a truck in a bull riding series at the Peltier Rodeo, a summer series. Wheeler is described as a pioneer in breeding top-level bloodline bucking bulls.

Nicky had a true love of his sport and was loved by all he met. Nicky went on to teach numerous others to compete and to love rodeo as well.

Never met a man that was more loved than Nicky Wheeler. He had a big heart and never met a stranger. You will be missed my friend.

---------------------------------------------------------

Nicky Wheeler passed away Sunday, April 15, 2018 in Tyler. He was born June 26, 1956 in Lubbock, Texas to Johnny and Lola Wheeler.  Nicky graduated from Robert E. Lee High School. He is co-owner of Fresh Country Fund-Raising in Longview, Texas.

Nicky was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Billy Don Wheeler. He is survived by his loving family, including his wife of 36 years, Beverly Conine Wheeler; his sons, Trent Wheeler, Cole Wheeler and Blake Wheeler; siblings, Alan Neil Wheeler and wife Rachel, and Jimmy Wheeler; his uncle, Lloyd Wheeler and aunt, Sandy, as well as many nieces and nephews; and his lifelong friend Ricky Blalock.

Nicky met the love of his life, Beverly Conine, in 1981, and married her a short 6 months later on April 24, 1982. Together, with the help of Nicky’s parents, Nicky and Beverly started Fresh Country Wholesale in 1983 in Longview, TX. This grew into a family venture with the addition of Nicky’s brother, Jimmy, in 1985, when the fundraising portion of the business began. Nicky, Beverly, and Jimmy have worked over the ensuing years with various FFA groups, elementary schools, and others, spanning five states. These groups and their members mean so very much to the Wheeler family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association at P.O. Box 841125, Dallas, TX 75284-1125 or The Hospice of East Texas Foundation, 4111 University Blvd., Tyler, TX 75701.

Rode Jim Shoulders' famous oxen "Mighty Mouse" for 71 points in the 9th go-round... and successfully rode 9 of 10 bulls @ the 1977 National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City. photo: Jim Fain

 

 

 

Baytown Fair and Rodeo Readies for Bull Riding and Concert presented by Ron Craft Cheverolet Cadillac

WEB THT Ft Worth '18 7700 Tuff Hedeman-Chris Rankin.jpg

A Tuff Hedeman Breakout Bull Riding

May 5 - Baytown Rodeo Arena

BAYTOWN, Texas – April 15, 2018 – Following 58 years of providing opportunities for Baytown area youth, organizers of the Baytown Youth Fair are boosting the star power this year in their efforts to assist the youth of Baytown. Chris Rankin, Baytown Fair and Rodeo bull riding producer announced that four time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer, Tuff Hedeman selected the Baytown annual event as a Tuff Hedeman Breakout Bull Riding and he will be there in support of the local youth and watching the next generation of rodeo and signing autographs. Immediately following the bull riding only event will be EMI Records Nashville and Grammy nominated artist Eric Paslay in concert.

EricPaslay.jpg

"A good example has twice the value of good advice,” said Baytown bull riding production manager Chris Rankin in describing Hedeman’s decision to join the area’s do-gooders and sponsors. The professional announcer and bull riding production manager, Chris Rankin of Normangee brings this top-flight event to Baytown each year to benefit the youth livestock exhibitors of the Baytown Fair and Rodeo.

baytownyouthfairpic.jpg

“Events like these are crucial to our sport and are created to give bull riders the opportunity to “break out” and be noticed alongside some of the industry greats and it is imperative the events at this level survive, and I am just there to help out if I can,” said Hedeman.

Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour supports the Baytown event after recently completing the first half of the season with events in Hobbs, El Paso, Las Vegas, Bossier City, and Fort Worth. Hedeman, known for mentoring and selecting top talent to compete will be in Baytown for the first time in the history of this event.

 “This will mark the 8th year for the Baytown Fair & Rodeo to host a bull riding event, each year we try our best to bring the best bulls and bull riders available to the event. Any time you have World Champions and top riders like Cody Rostockyj, Cole Echols, Josh Barentine who are ranked in the top ten nationally - at a local event you know it is going to be a good night and we appreciate everyone’s efforts especially Tuff’s in coming personally to Baytown,” said Rankin who will be producing this year’s event from beginning to end with the help of his family.  

cropbaytown.jpg

John Pitts - 2017 Baytown Bull Riding Champion

Known as the Baytown Fair & Rodeo Challenge Bull Riding and Concert presented by Ron Craft Chevrolet and Wowco Equipment, the local event is in its 8th year.  Immediately following the bull riding action ticket holders will be treated to the musical talents of Nashville country music artist Eric Paslay who was nominated for his “Forever Young” song released last year.

The May 5 Baytown fair closing bull riding event will bring heart-stopping bull riding action from some of the nation’s top cowboys as they take on the 2,000-pound foes, each hoping to win his share of the $10,000 total purse with Tuff Hedeman on-hand.  

In addition to 2012 World Champion bull rider Josh Barentine, Johnson’s Bayou, La., and several top-ranked bull riders from the national Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour, being entered, the infamous Bryce Redo, a former Bullfighters Only champion from Crosby and Caleb Oostenryk from Morrison IL, will be making the trip to Baytown as the cowboy lifesavers protecting lives at every turn.

Local entries include nationally ranked Demond Haynes, the bull rider known on tour as part of the “Houston solution”, former Baytown Fair & Rodeo Jr. Bull Riding Champions Parker McCowan from Montgomery Tx, and Ross Freeman from Kountze TX.

Fans will have the opportunity to see the riders compete as each man will ride one bull and the top 12 riders will advance to the “short round” where the total aggregate score will determine this year’s Baytown champion. 

The Baytown Youth Fair is a 100% self-funded 501 C3 non-profit organization. In addition to maintaining the fairgrounds and providing the youth of Baytown many opportunities with their livestock, the organization, also provides valuable scholarships each year. “Its’ all about the kids”, said President Tony Dahlquist.

The gates open on May 5 at 5:30 pm with the Bull Riding action beginning at 6:30 p.m. followed by the concert at 9 p.m.  Ticket price is $15. Bull Riders and bull fighters will be available to sign autographs for the kids and ticket holders after the event. Event address: 7900 N. Main Street in Baytown.

For tickets visit dirtroadtickets.com and for more information about the events at the Baytown youth fair visit www.baytownyouthfair.org  and entries for the May 4th  Junior Bull Riding contest call Chris Rankin (979) 220-4677.  Media inquiries contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, leighann@theshortround.com or 940.902.1112.

About the Baytown Youth Fair – To provide facilities and opportunities for area youth to exhibit their work in agricultural and homemaking projects; to promote improvement of livestock in the community and in the adjoining territory; to promote understanding and better knowledge of proper selection and care of livestock; to give youth an opportunity for training in leadership and sportsmanship; to provide additional facilities and opportunities for youth of the community and of the adjoining territory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honorary Thunderbirds Hedeman and Kimzey Mourn the loss of Pilot

Thunderbirds_1.jpg

 

 Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and the entire US Air Force Thunderbird squadron as they mourn the loss of Major Stephen Del Bagno who was killed last week during a routine aerial demonstration training flight.

Major Del Bagno, call name “Cajun”, was a member of the flight demonstration team, the “Ambassadors in Blue” for the United States Air Force, who represent the pride, precision, and professionalism of the United States Air Force and was described as a pilot who lived to fly and inspire the next generation.

 Major Stephen Del Bagno

Major Stephen Del Bagno

“The mission of the Thunderbirds is to go out and represent the awesome airmen of the United States Air Force and we have been blessed to stand with them and honor them on the floor of the bull riding arena during Military Monday at Cheyenne Frontier Days for the last several years,” said Honorary Thunderbird Tuff Hedeman who flew with the famed pilots in 2011. World Champion Bull Rider Sage Kimzey is also an Honorary Thunderbird as he flew with the esteemed team in 2016.

kimzeybestthunderbird.jpg

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds pilot was killed when his F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed over the Nevada Test and Training Range on April 4.

WEB CBR Tuff USAF Thunderbirds 121.jpg

Major Del Bagno, of Valencia, California, was an experienced pilot in his first season with the Thunderbirds, he was the squadron’s slot pilot and flew its No. 4 jet. Del Bagno graduated from Utah Valley State University in 2005 and got his commission when he graduated from Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama in 2007.

The US AirforceThunderbirds are preparing to hold a memorial service for Del Bagno this week to “honor Cajun’s legacy and celebrate his amazing life.

 

 

Tickets on Sale for Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash

WEB THT Ft Worth '18 9997 Intro-Pyro (1).jpg

Huron, South Dakota Tour Date Announed

HURON, South Dakota - April 10, 2018 – The most recognizable cowboy in the world Tuff Hedeman will return with his team, bringing the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour to the Grandstands at the South Dakota State Fair on August 29 and 30. Four time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer Tuff Hedeman and local businessman Red Wilk together again will produce the fan favorite event featuring three rounds of adrenaline rush action packed traditional western entertainment. New this year is Hedeman’s “invitation only” designed event which yields the best roster of elite bull riders facing off with world-class bucking bulls in five rounds of intense, high energy battle that kicks off the South Dakota State Fair in 2018.

The Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash features two nights and five rounds of pyrotechnics, family friendly action and the infamous Red Wilk American Hero Award ceremony at intermission.  The doors open at 6:30 with the event start at 8 pm on Wednesday night August 29, in Huron, South Dakota with the second performance on Thursday night August 30.  Tickets are available at www.sdstatefair.com beginning at $17.

Hedeman, known for lining up elite riders to face off with world-class bucking bulls brings the new “invitation only” format to the fair’s Grandstands for the first time.

“We would not be in Huron without Red Wilk, we share the same ideas and values in producing great entertainment and the ceremony honoring the freedom that we all experience every day is truly amazing honoring the service record of some of the most decorated war heroes War heroes.

The highpoint 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.

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.  Assisting Hedeman’s tour to entertain the crowd will be top flight barrel man entertainers and the “gladiators of the arena” the cowboy lifesaver bullfighters who protect the life of the cowboy at every turn.

Hedeman recently formed the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour and made the decision to go out on his own 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.

“At this point in my life, it’s best for my family to be solely responsible for my destiny. 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.

The Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash celebrates its 14th year as the opening show that kicks off the 134-year-old State Fair tradition in South Dakota. Tuff Hedeman and the team’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, 890 3rd Street SW, Huron, SD 57530.  Tickets start at $12 for youth and $17 for adults and are available by calling 866-605-FAIR, or online www.sdstatefair.com. List of contestants will be available at a later date. For more information regarding THBRT and for media credentials or interviews please contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, 940.902.1112 or tuffhedemanpr@gmail.com.

WEB THT Bossier '18 288 Intro-Tuff Hedeman.jpg

Hedeman Tour Team Heads to Huron for Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash for the opening event at the South Dakota State Fair

Finding his Second Wind Mike Lee Wins Legendary Tuff Hedeman Fort Worth Challenge

 

WEB THT Ft Worth '18 Mike Lee-10 Damn Frustrating(4G).jpg

World Champion Mike Lee

FORT WORTH, Texas – April 8, 2018 - At 35 years old, PBR World Champion Mike Lee said he has no plans to retire. He defied the odds and expectations of an aging athlete and extended his career Saturday night when he was the only cowboy athlete to ride three bulls to win the Tuff Hedeman Fort Worth Challenge Bull Riding presented for fourteen years by the Michael Gaughan family and the South Point Hotel and Casino Las Vegas.

“People you surround yourself with are going to determine what you end up like and you really need to look into that and who you are spending time with and who your friends are. It will advance you or hurt you,” said Lee following the Tuff Hedeman classic event that birthed stand-alone bull riding 26 years ago in the same arena.

Riding in the same arena he competed in since he was ten years old, Lee said he was very comfortable and found his zone. When it came to what one world champion says to another, he chuckled remembering what Hedeman said just before he left the chute.

“You have the best bull in here, don’t screw it up,” said Hedeman who Lee has known since he selected bull riding as his profession.

While the city is called Cowtown because of its history as a center for the cattle and beef-processing industry, it also has been a fortress for pro bull riding.

“I always look forward to this event, the fans, the sponsors and the whole Ft Worth community gets behind it and it’s a great way to give back to the people of Fort Worth who have supported me during my career”, said Hedeman who had founded and piloted the two largest pro bull riding organizations for the past 23 years and the recently renamed Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour.

30 bull riders including two World Champions and seven top PRCA ranked bull riders headlined the event where Hedeman celebrated the future of the sport with the past.

Twisted J Stick Bull Riding

The Cody Johnson Twisted J Stick Bull Riding for budding bull riders 6 years crowned champion Brently Alford who demonstrated how he was eventually going to ride a bull and earned the 2018 Twisted J Stick Bull Riding gold buckle.

WEB THT Ft Worth '18 Cooks Hospital Check.jpg

Twisted J’s Cody Johnson led the Build a Cowboy Bear workshop with Cook Children’s Hospital patients and Western Wishes and was joined by Hedeman, broadcaster Ali Dee, bull riders Cody Rostockyj and Jeff Askey and past World Champion Scott Mendes. The Cody Johnson family are the owners of Twisted J in Stephenville, Texas.    

Cripple Creek Junior Steer Riding Championship  

Thirteen year old Jett Harkin, who won his first national title riding calves at 8 years old was no stranger to the bucking chutes in Fort Worth. It is no surprise to anyone who knows Jett Harkins that success on bucking stock was in his future. And while he loves the sport and has no plans of stopping, Harkin said he understands there is an element of danger to it.

Legend has it Harkin’s been telling his parents since he was in diapers that he wanted to ride bulls and he did just that on Saturday night turning in a 90 points performance in front of an adoring crowd with  his professional bull riding peers on the back of the chutes cheering him on.

WEB THT Ft Worth '18 Steer Riding Check Presentation.jpg

Round One

Cody Jesus thrilled the crowd with a hellacious battle ending in a 93 point ride score on 12B Hellfire (Whisnant/Shaw). National Finals Rodeo qualifier Cole Melancon was on his heels with 89.5 to take second in the round, getting getting past Winston and Melton’s 435 Time to Shine. Rookie Lane Nobles made his presence known with an 89 point victory against Rawson’s 220 High Voltage.

Trey Kimzey earned every fraction of his 89 points on Break the Chain (JQH). Kimzey the younger brother of 7 time World Champ Sage Kimzey, is making his mark on the Tuff Hedeman Tour.

Mike Lee was behind Kimzey and began his race with 88.5 points aboard a familiar opponent, JC Knapps Kookabura.

“This bull bucked me off three times in the PBR, he slams them pretty hard cause he keeps moving forward. I stayed in front of him, if you get behind him he will bring you to the ground pretty hard. He halfway faked left and went right pretty hard. I knew at the third jump I had him,” said Lee who was thrilled to finally hear the whistle on JC Knapp’s prize bucker.

Trey Benton III, the 2017 and current number two ranked PRCA rider in the World, the only rider on the chutes to participate in Fort Worth as a junior steer rider and come back to win the bull riding in 2014 turned in a hard fought 88.5 point score on 257 Heavy Duty (Hat Brand)

Koby Radley, David Hudson, Brett Custer and Mickey Andrews completed the list of qualified rides from round one where only ten of the 30 heard the whistle while still aboard their bull.

Semifinal Round

The bulls took complete control of the colisieum allowing only three qualified rides in the 12 man semifinal round. Cody Jesus was in control of the average with an 89 on 480 Westbound, a new bucker on Mike Rawson’s string, which put him 182 on two bulls.

Lee would steady his qualifying course with 87.5 on 3034 Fraeulin (Jaynes).

 “I didn’t know the bull at all – he brings good bulls and he was on the left delivery – it was tempting to think he would go left but he faked left and went right,” said Lee who says at this point in his career “I leave the chute and my mind goes blank.”

Oklahoma bull rider Mickey Andrews came to ride turning in an 88.5 on 151 Arkansas Flash (Barrett/Willis) and was third behind Jesus with 172 points.

Shoot Out Round

With only three riders making the whistle on two, Cole Melancon was drawn into the final four shoot out on his first round 89.5 score. The stage was set Jesus selected the left hand delivery Calico Kickin (Jaynes) which forced Lee’s hand for the only other left hand delivery bull, 10 Damn Frustrating. Andrews selected 157 Legacy (Whisnant/Shaw), who is unridden in 2018, and that left 210 Chaos Ghost for Melancon.

Melancon bucked off first followed by Andrews who lost his battle when seasoned veteran bull 157 Legacy felt Andrews - the bull regrouped and bucked him off.

32 seconds later Mike Lee was the only one left standing and was in the winner’s circle accepting the check from Panhandle Slim’s Gina Chancelor, Tess Wyle, and Hedeman.

“I was second coming back to the four man and Jesus took the better bull on the left hand delivery – I took the second left hander. Tuff said what he was going to do, the bull faked me out a little but finally went left. The stock contractor said I had been on him before, but I don’t remember it,” laughed Lee while taking photos with Westernwishes.org Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding wish recipients.   

 

Thanking the fans who have supported him in the Fort Worth area since he began his career 17 years ago, Lee and Hedeman joked about being the old guys in the room.

Lee who joined the Tuff Hedeman tour this year with family and friends in mind had this to say about his decision.

 “My dad was a horse trainer and I grew up cleaning stalls and breaking horses, then on the weekend we would go to bull ridings, the bull riding kept me out of trouble,” said Lee.

WEB THT Ft Worth '18 Intro-Mike Lee.jpg

“I want to spend time with my kids and they are getting close to being teenagers and I need to make sure they grow up right and be there for them, I want them to love God and honor him and enjoy what they have – Tuff’s tour allows me to do that.”

Fort Worth has a strong case for claiming to be the bull riding capital of the world and the story that is now a legend, began twenty-six years ago when four time World Champion and Hall of Famer Tuff Hedeman produced the first Tuff Hedeman Challenge at the Cowtown Coliseum in the historic stockyards of Fort Worth. That western entertainment tradition lives on today in bull riding only events in thousands of cities around the world with its roots the invitation only Tuff Hedeman Challenge bull riding in Fort Worth, Texas.

With a host of invitation only champion riders that include World Champions and National Finals Rodeo stars including Trey Benton III, Jeff Askey, Cody Rostockyj, US Army veteran Juan Alonzo, and Australia’s Ben Jones - the roster was second to none as the fans have come to expect from the Tuff Hedeman Fort Worth Challenge.

Fort Worth Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Challenge Results

1, Mike Lee, Alvord, Texas, 263.5 points, $21,000. 2, Cody Jesus, Sawmill, AZ, 182 points, $2,250. Mickey Andrews, Weatherford, OK, $2250. 4, Cole Melancon, Liberty, TX, $1500.

Fort Worth Bull Team Challenge Results

1, Hat Brand Rodeo, 281.22, $30,000. 2, Bob Whisnant/Hayden Shaw, 280.35, $22500. 3, Knapp Bucking Bulls, 279.7, $15,000. 4, Mike Rawson, 278.22, $7500.

Cripple Creek Junior Champion

Jett Harkin, Stephenville, Texas, 90 points, $1,000

Twisted J Stick Bull Riding Champion

Brentley Alford

 

 

 

A Chance to Compete

Benton and Boquet Top Tuff Hedeman’s Fort Worth Challenge Invitation Bull Riding Roster

WEB PRCA NFR '17 Rd 1-1983 Trey Benton.jpg

Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour announced today the roster of bull riders and future bull riders selected to compete at the 26th Tuff Hedeman Fort Worth Challenge Bull Riding and Junior Championships being held Saturday night at 8 pm at the Stockyards Coliseum.

Leading the pack of invitees is Trey Benton III, from Rock Island, Texas who is the only bull rider on the roster that returns to Cowtown in an effort to win Hedeman’s coveted bull riding title for the second time. Benton, the 2014 Tuff Hedeman Fort Worth champion is the only bull rider who reached his dreams of being professional after competing at this event after competing in the youth portion of the event when he was 14 years old. The Cripple Creek Junior Championships is held annually at intermission during the event.

2018 Junior Hedeman invitees include Jadon Hayes, Cisco, TX -Youth Bull Riders World Finals; Mecate Trammell, Millsap TX  - Texas Youth Bull Riders; Dusty Rhodes  Sanger TX  Texas Youth Bull Riders, Kaiden Loud   Kaufman TX , Texas Youth Bull Riders; Carter High, Weatherford TX -  Texas Youth Bull Riders; Jett Harkins, Stephenville TX, Youth Bull Riders World Finals.

Joining Benton on the hallowed ground of the Fort Worth Stockyards Coliseum are two Cajun cowboys including Dustin Boquet, who broke the top 5 of the PRCA World Standings with an Extreme Bulls win in Lawton, Oklahoma last week. Boquet, a Louisiana cowboy from the Deep South city of Montagut is currently sharing the spotlight with Koby Radley as one of the two latest bull riding sensations to come out of the Bayou state. Radley, also ranked in the upper portion of the PRCA is scheduled to compete at Hedeman’s 26-year-old classic that cowboys say is on their bucket list of “must win” buckles.

WEB Boquet, Dustin 1-31-18-AP-398.jpg

Benton, the 2012 PRCA Rookie of the year is a decorated bull rider with earnings in excess of a million dollars from riding bulls. Benton has qualified for the National Finals Rodeo four times (2012-14, 2017) finishing second last year while amassing 2017 PRCA earnings of $322,208 – half of that earned at the NFR with a valiant attempt at unseating 7 time World Champion Sage Steele Kimzey.

Benton started riding calves and sheep at five years old, then graduated to bareback horses and breakaway roping when he was nine. He can rope both ends in the team competition, but he let bulls guide even his young career including a second place finish at the Junior High School National Finals.

Twenty five year old TB3 was born with undeniable gifts, a jumble of DNA that bestowed on him a boyish charm, a scanning intelligence which earned him a degree from Sam Houston State University in Communications, and a strong arm built from roping calves and hundreds of hours in the gym.

He’s the kind of guy that you don’t mind waiting on for an interview as he is pulling trinkets out of his rigging bags for young fans while signing autographs.

Nonetheless, of all the traits Benton was born with, the one that has served him best, during months of multiple injury recoveries followed by insanely competitive comebacks, isn’t his analytical mind or his physical strength, but his painstaking temperament.

“Just goes to show you every moment of every second counts,” Benton once told me after bucking off at the whistle to lose a $50,000 purse.

Benton has suffered injuries in the previous years including a broken femur in his leg that would have persuaded most bull riders into selecting a new career, but refusing to show any signs of personal doubts, Benton carried on keeping the injuries in perspective.

“A chance to compete is all I wanted.”

He holds a place in history with Lane Frost as one of two bull riders to win back to back George Paul Memorial Bull Ridings, in fact Benton has won three GPMBR titles in Del Rio where Bad Company Rodeo’s Mack Alitizer was the first to put him on bucking stock as a kid.

Trey Benton, III is no stranger to competition and has learned thru injury to focus on quality not quantity and carefully selects where he enters to preserve his strength, maximize earnings and success and limit risk of injury. 

Benton, a four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo bull riding qualifier is currently ranked second in the PRCA World Standings as of April 4 and will compete in Fort Worth on Saturday night against a field of 26 bull riders including 7 ranked among the top 20 PRCA riders and two World Champions.

Tickets on Sale now ranging from $35 to $100. Fans are encouraged to get their tickets now as the show has sold-out in past years and is expected to do so this year,

Tickets:  Box office at 121 E Exchange Ave, Fort Worth, 76164. Online at Stockyardsrodeo.com or tuffhedemanbullriding.com. Stick bull riding entries email - stickbullrider@aol.com.

Event Location: Cowtown Coliseum, 121 E Exchange Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76164

The riders, the bulls...the Legend Returns to Fort Worth

Fort Worth Tuff Hedeman Challenge Bull Riding

April 7, 2018

CBR Ft Worth '14 225 Tuff.jpg

Fort Worth has a strong case for claiming to be the bull riding capital of the world and the story that is now a legend, began twenty-six years ago when four-time World Champion and Hall of Famer Tuff Hedeman produced the first Tuff Hedeman Challenge at the Cowtown Coliseum in the historic Stockyards of Fort Worth. That western entertainment tradition lives on today in bull riding only events in thousands of cities around the world and this week it has come full circle - back to its roots as an invitation-only bull riding in Fort Worth, Texas on Saturday night, April 7, 2018 at 8 pm.

The Fort Worth Tuff Hedeman Challenge is known as an event that can make and break your career and the buckle that comes with it is coveted by all who wear it.

Twenty-five bull riders own a Fort Worth Champion buckle and each one of them is remembered for their effort and superior athletic ability at what is widely considered the event that provided the foundation for what has become a multi-million dollar sport.

WEB THT El Paso '18 789 Joe Frost-49B Top Line(WHIS).jpg

2017 Champion -Joe Frost

11 of the former Fort Worth champions would go on to win World Champion titles. Many of the world’s elite riders including Jim Sharp, Cody Hart, J.W. Harris, Cody Teel, and Cooper Davis, have stood in front of the chutes and talked to Tuff about their night and that legend will continue on Saturday night at Cowtown Coliseum. Hedeman’s signature event has always been known to bring in the best bulls to test the best riders and this year’s event will be no different.

With a host of invitation-only champion riders that include National Finals Rodeo stars Trey Benton III, Jeff Askey, Cody Rostockyj and United States Army veteran Juan Alonzo, the roster will be second to none as the fans have come to expect from the Tuff Hedeman Fort Worth Challenge.

Past Winners include 2017 Joe Frost, 2016 Jacob O'Mara, 2015 Corey Bailey, 2014 Trey Benton, 2013 Cooper Davis, 2012 Cody Teel, 2011 Cooper Kangiesser, 2010 Friday Wright, 2009 JW Harris, 2008  Chad Castillo, 2007 Pistol Robinson / B J Schumacher, 2006 JB Mauney, 2005 Matt Austin, 2004 Mike Collins, 2003 Cody Hart, 2002 Jim Sharp, 2001 Cody Custer, 2000 Troy Dunn, 1999 Norman Curry, 1998 Tuff Hedeman / Rogerio Ferreira, 1997 Brian Herman, 1996 Aaron Semas, 1995 Gilbert Carrillo, 1994 Clint Branger, and 1993 Cody Lambert.

Gilberthedeman.jpg

1995 Champion Gilbert Carrillo 

While the city is called Cowtown because of its history as a center for the cattle and beef-processing industry, it also has been a fortress for pro bull riding. One contributing factor for Fort Worth’s status as a major provider to the sport is its claim of being the first rodeo to feature bull riding in the listing of rodeo events, the other is four-time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer, Tuff Hedeman who gives credit where credit is due.

“I always look forward to this event, the fans, the sponsors and the whole Ft Worth community gets behind it and it’s a great way to give back to the people of Fort Worth who have supported me during my career”, said Hedeman who had founded and piloted the two largest pro bull riding organizations  for the past 23 years. This is the first year since 2003 that the event is again his own.

Tickets on Sale now ranging from $35 to $100. Fans are encouraged to get their tickets now as the show has sold-out in past years and is expected to do so this year,

Websites:  Tickets or tuffhedemanbullriding.com. Stick bull riding entries email - stickbullrider@aol.com.   Event Location: Cowtown Coliseum, 121 E Exchange Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76164

For interviews, press credentials and more information please contact Leigh Ann Schroeder 940.902.1112 or tuffhedemanpr@gmail.com. Follow us on Facebook and IG at Tuff Hedeman Official

 

 

Hedeman Set to Celebrate 26 Years of Legendary Bull Riding in Fort Worth

                                                             

WEB THT El Paso '18 206 Intro-Rider Line Up.jpg

Tuff Hedeman Fort Worth Challenge Bull Riding

 

 

  

 FORT WORTH – Returning to the site where it all began, the pioneer of the sport of bull riding, Tuff Hedeman returns to Fort Worth for the recently renamed Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour presented by South Point Hotel Casino and Spa. The four-time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer is preparing to celebrate twenty-six years of the first stand-alone bull riding he produced for the first time in 1993 in Fort Worth’s Cowtown Coliseum. Hedeman announced today that tickets are on sale and expected to sell out before the doors open on April 7.

“I look forward every year to crowning a champion in Cowtown, it is a special place for me where the sport and bull riding athletes, now known world wide by millions, got it’s start,” said Hedeman.

WEB FW '13 252 Cowtown Coliseum.jpg

Competing on the same dirt floor in the same arena, Hedeman will once again pack the house and entertain bull riding fans and newcomers in town who are looking forward to experiencing a traditional western entertainment event featuring the industry’s elite riders pitted against world-class bucking bulls in Hedeman’s sudden death three-round tournament style action.

Hedeman’s annual event includes a Stick bull riding for kids 6 and under, an intermission steer riding for up and coming bull riders representing the sport’s future athletes.

This classic bull riding competition is widely acknowledged as one of the cornerstones for “bull riding only” events in the United States. The bull riding leader has been producing bull riding events that have been thrilling audiences with his two-hour adrenaline rush entertainment style punctuated with the two things he knows fans want to see great rides and high scores. 

The one night only Saturday night bull riding is once again being held as the premier event during the annual western heritage celebration in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards and will begin at 8 pm in the historic Stockyards Coliseum on April 7.

“We have enjoyed an amazing partnership throughout the years with our Fort Worth friends and fans and we look forward every year to providing the Fort Worth and surrounding communities with a top rated bull riding competition and great entertainment,” said Hedeman.

For three decades Tuff Hedeman has been a part of providing opportunities for bull riders and the result is evident.  Hedeman returns to Fort Worth in 2018 with his signature “invitation only” event with a roster of World Champions and National Finals Rodeo contenders (NFR). 

After retiring from riding bulls in 1998, Hedeman has made a name for himself in the production of great bull riding events. Hedeman formed the THBRT making the decision to go out on his own 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.

“At this point in my life, it’s best for my family to be solely responsible for my destiny. 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.

WEB THT Bossier '18 798 Stick bull rider.jpg

Kids

Pre event activities begin when the doors open at 6:30 with a Stick Bull riding contest featuring a trophy buckle to the champ and trophies to all contestants entered for this two-round competition for kids 6 and under. Bull Riding action gets underway at 8:00 p.m.

 The field of competition starts with 24 riders, top twelve advance and finally a four-man finale Shoot Out round where the bull riders will battle for the lion’s share of $30,000 in prize money. The format appeals to new spectators and established fans alike because riders can challenge as many as three bulls in one performance.

    Hedeman’s invitation-only THBRT Bull Team competition will highlight the first two rounds of competition where superstar buckers including World Champion and NFR bulls competing in groups of three.

Hedeman announced the return of Cody Sosebee, rodeo’s top entertainer, to Cowtown. Sosebee, the 2017 NFR entertainer will be roaming the crowd and giving away merchandise during breaks in the action.

Tickets on Sale now ranging from $35 to $100. Fans are encouraged to get their tickets now as the show has sold-out in past years and is expected to do so this year,

Websites:  Tickets or tuffhedemanbullriding.com. Stick bull riding entries email - stickbullrider@aol.com.

Event Location: Cowtown Coliseum, 121 E Exchange Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76164

Hedeman is available for interviews. For interviews, press credentials and more information please contact Leigh Ann Schroeder 940.902.1112 or tuffhedemanpr@gmail.com

Bossier City Appearance Schedule Announced

WEB THT Vegas '18 BOOT BARN 465.jpg

Meet Tuff and Greet the Cowboys as the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour Arrives in Bossier

 

SHREVEPORT - The Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour (THBRT), one of the fastest-growing extreme sports tours today, announces multiple opportunities for bull riding, country music, and rodeo fans to meet Tuff Hedeman and greet the cowboys as they arrive in the ArkLaTex for the Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding presented by Landers Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram.

From world standings superstars and irreplaceable legends to the hottest new bull riders climbing the ranks, Tuff Hedeman invites them all and now he is inviting you to join him and snap a selfie, gather autographs, and not only meet but spend time greeting several of the biggest stars in the industry including local country music artist Cody Cooke.

Tuff and the cowboys arrive in Shreveport this week and begin appearances around town including stops at the Eldorado’s Celebrity Lounge on Friday from 5 pm to 7 pm. National Finals Rodeo qualifier Cody Rostockyj and last year’s Bossier bull riding champion, Tyler Taylor of Stephenville, Texas will be outside the Celebrity Lounge with the THBRT crew including the THBRT bullfighters and celebrity chute reporter Ali Dee.

WEB THT El Paso '18 328 Cavenders_preview.jpeg

Cavenders in Bossier 

 

Saturday

 

11 am - 1 pm 

Saturday 11:00-1:00 join Tuff and the bull riders at Cavender’s at 2340 Airline Drive, Bossier City.  If you can’t make it out and about that early, Tuff and the boys will be signing and assisting ticket giveaways on the radio starting at 1:30 pm to 3 pm at Landers Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram at2701 Benton Road, Bossier City.

WEB THT El Paso '18 803 Cole Skender-027 Concealed Carry(RKR).jpg

Cole Skender - Hamburg, Arkansas

 

Two Louisiana native World Champions, Josh Barentine and Cole Echols and a rising young Arkansas star Cole Skender have been selected to compete for $30,000 alongside 24 top-ranked bull riders as the pioneer behind the sport of professional bull riding, returns to North Louisiana with his signature style newly titled Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour.

WEB THT El Paso '18 340 Josh Barentine-006 Carbine(RKR) - Copy.jpg

Landers Bossier

 

Saturday

 

1:30 - 3 pm

 

The annual Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding (THBRT) presented by Landers Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram comes to Bossier on Saturday night, March 17, at the Century Link Center in Bossier at 8 pm with two-hours of action-packed invitation only bull riding followed by special guest country music artists Cody Cook and the Bayou Outlaws playing in concert with their brand of southern country rock.

Hedeman, a four-time World Champion and pro rodeo Hall of Famer, has been producing events for over 25 years and his annual trip to Bossier will once again keep fans and the World Champion athletes on the edge of their seats with what he knows the fans want to see – great bull rides and high scores.

In addition to a star-studded competitor lineup, THBRT has recruited some of the industry’s leading entertainment and personnel, including 2017 NFR Barrel man Cody Sosebee, who will be signing autographs with the THBR bullfighters on the concourse at 7 pm prior to the event. 

OPPORTUNITIES FOR KIDS

WEB THT Hobbs '18 Stick Bull Rider 104 - Copy.jpg

To Enter email stickbullrider@aol.com

Kids six and under can enter the Stick Bull Riding competition for a chance to win a Tuff Hedeman buckle, email stickbullrider@aol.com to enter and receive details. The competition is held prior to the bull riding.

Bossier will be the fourth stop on the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour in 2018. The competition in Bossier follows previous events held in Hobbs, New Mexico, El Paso, and Las Vegas where bull riders earned points towards a World Finals bonus and World title.

WEB THT El Paso '18 679 Cody Rostockyj.jpg

Cody Rostockyj 

 

Friday, March 16 , 2018 - 5 pm – 7 pm

Meet Tuff Hedeman and cowboys at the Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport at the Celebrity Lounge. 451 Clyde Fant Pkwy, Shreveport, LA 71101

Saturday, March 17 - 11 am to 1 pm       

Meet Tuff Hedeman and cowboys at Cavender’s and enter to win free merchandise. 2340 Airline Dr, Bossier City, LA 71111

1:30 pm to 3:30

Meet Tuff Hedeman and cowboys at Landers Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram to enter to win free tickets.  2701 Benton Rd, Bossier City, LA 71111

6:30 pm

Doors Open at the Century Link Center and Tuff Hedeman Merchandise Booth opens

7:00 pm

Bullfighters and barrel man Cody Sosbee will be signing autographs on the concourse

8:00 pm

Eldorado Resort Shreveport Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding presented by Landers                              Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram

10:00 pm   

Autograph session immediately following the event on the floor of the Century Link Center       

Tickets for the Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding tickets start at just $25 and provide fans with multiple ticket options for individuals and families. Tickets are available at bit.ly/tuffbossier and at the Century Link Center box office.

Follow Tuff Hedeman on Facebook and Instagram @TuffHedemanOfficial.

TICKETS: Link to Tickets or Box Office at CenturyLink Center, 2000 CenturyLink Dr, Bossier City, LA 71112 (318) 747-2501, or Box Office at Barksdale Air Force Base, Barksdale Website.

Hedeman Taps Three Louisiana Natives for Tour Stop in Bossier

WEB THT El Paso '18 340 Josh Barentine-006 Carbine(RKR) - Copy.jpg

 

Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport Tuff Hedeman Championship Bull Riding presented by Landers Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram

SHREVEPORT - Two Louisiana native World Champions, Josh Barentine and Cole Echols and one rising young star, Koby Radley have been selected to compete for $30,000 alongside 24 top-ranked bull riders as the pioneer behind the sport of professional bull riding, returns to North Louisiana with his signature style newly titled Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour.

The annual Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding (THBRT) presented by Landers Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram comes to Bossier on March 17, at the Century Link Center in Bossier at 8 pm with two-hours of action-packed invitation only bull riding followed by special guest country music artists Cody Cook and the Bayou Outlaws playing in concert with their brand of southern country rock.

Hedeman, a four-time World Champion and pro rodeo Hall of Famer, has been producing events for over 25 years is known for keeping the fans and the World Champion athletes on the edge of their seats as he promises what he knows the fans want to see – great bull rides and high scores.

Hedeman has selected several natives including rising star Koby Radley of Montpelier, Louisiana, who is knocking on the door of the top ranking, to compete against the 24 nationally ranked riders and world-class bucking bulls. Hedeman comes to Bossier for a one night only performance that includes a roster of World Champions and National Finals Rodeo (NFR) athletes to compete for the championship title.

“I have either been competing or producing bull riding events for the Shreveport Bossier fans for over 15 years, and we have enjoyed an amazing partnership throughout the years with our friends at the Eldorado and we look forward every year to providing the Shreveport and Bossier communities with a top rated bull riding and some great entertainment,” said Tuff Hedeman.

In addition to a star-studded competitor lineup, THBRT has recruited some of the industry’s leading entertainment and personnel, including 2017 NFR Barrel man Cody Sosebee, who will roam the crowd giving away merchandise and providing his own style of comic relief. 

WEB THT Hobbs '18 Stick Bull Rider 104 - Copy.jpg

Kids six and under can enter the Stick Bull Riding competition for a chance to win a Tuff Hedeman buckle, email stickbullrider@aol.com to enter and receive details. The competition is held prior to the bull riding.

The THBRT Bullfighters will be saving cowboy lives on the dirt and will sign autographs prior to the bull riding at the Tuff Hedeman Merchandise booth located on the concourse.

The Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding event pits man versus bull in a two-hour long bull riding competition that promises to captivate and entertain fans. Throughout the event, 24 bull riders and approximately 40 bulls will compete in a three-round tournament-style sudden death format that keeps fans on the edge of their seat as their favorite riders challenge up to three bulls in one performance. The event concludes in a final four-man round where the competitor must ride to win the lion's share of the prize money.

Bossier will be the fourth stop on the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour in 2018. The competition in Bossier follows previous events held in Hobbs, New Mexico, El Paso, and Las Vegas where bull riders earned points towards a World Finals bonus and World title. The roster of competitors will be released at a later date.

Tuff and the bull riders will be in town to meet fans, take selfies, and sign autographs beginning Friday, March 16.

THBRT Appearance Schedule:

Friday, March 16 , 2018 - 5 pm – 7 pm

Meet Tuff Hedeman and cowboys at the Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport at the Celebrity Lounge. 451 Clyde Fant Pkwy, Shreveport, LA 71101

Saturday, March 17 - 11 am to 1 pm       

Meet Tuff Hedeman and cowboys at Cavender’s and enter to win free merchandise. 2340 Airline Dr, Bossier City, LA 71111

1:30 pm to 3:30

Meet Tuff Hedeman and cowboys at Landers Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram to enter to win free tickets.  2701 Benton Rd, Bossier City, LA 71111

6:30 pm

Doors Open at the Century Link Center and Tuff Hedeman Merchandise Booth opens

7:00 pm

Bullfighters and barrel man Cody Sosbee will be signing autographs on the concourse

8:00 pm

Eldorado Resort Shreveport Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding presented by Landers                              Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram

10:00 pm   

Autograph session immediately following the event on the floor of the Century Link Center       

Tickets for the Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding tickets start at just $25 and provide fans with multiple ticket options for individuals and families. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster, www.tuffhedemanbullriding.com and at the Century Link Center box office.

Follow Tuff Hedeman on Facebook and Instagram @TuffHedemanOfficial.

TICKETS: Link to Tickets or Box Office at CenturyLink Center, 2000 CenturyLink Dr, Bossier City, LA 71112 (318) 747-2501, or Box Office at Barksdale Air Force Base, Barksdale Website.