Hobbs Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour at the Lea County Events Center
HOBBS, New Mexico – Two familiar sparring partners faced off on the arena floor when 23-year-old JT Moore made a big move in front of a packed house to stay on top of Hou Did He Buck for 89 points in the Shoot Out round to win the annual Hobbs Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding (THBRT).
"I am extremely blessed and got on some great bulls here tonight, I would not want to be anywhere else than here, thank you Tuff, and I want to thank Jesus Christ, my savior for allowing me to do this, all the glory to God first," said an emotional Moore as he accepted his first THBRT event win check and custom trophy buckle from Hedeman.
Fans were watching the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour streaming live for the first time on TuffRideTV.com, witnessed Moore execute a perfect 3 for 3 night outlasting thirty of the industry's top competitors collecting $26,625, the largest win check of his young career.
Moore added he plans to let the winnings bankroll his dream of becoming a World Champion bull rider.
Moore, one of three riders to hear the whistle on all three bulls, thrilled the rowdy crowd at the Lea County Events center edging out veteran rider Jeff Askey when they both posted 89 points in the final round. THBRT rules defer to the back judge in the event of a tie, and Moore received the higher score and was declared the 2019 Hobbs Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Champion.
Moore, a former CPRA and UPRA champion, began his career riding sheep and progressed to the pro events thru the ranks of junior and youth rodeo. He is a three-time Region 7 Texas High School bull riding champion, and in addition to the THBRT, he is currently riding in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
On a night where the bull riders were in control and in hot pursuit of the biggest payout on the THBRT, the fans enjoyed 22 qualified rides from forty-eight outs. Hedeman’s two-hour adrenaline rush bull riding has entertained west Texas fans for nine years with the sidesplitting humor of barrel man JJ Harrison, Stick Bull Riding Championships, t-shirt throws, and this year an emotional moment of recognition for Patriot U.S. Marine Veteran Justin Rokohl, who lost both legs in service to our country.
The Hobbs THBRT produced by 4-time World Champion bull rider and pro rodeo hall of Famer Tuff Hedeman featured a field of 30 elite bull riders including World Champions and 12 PRCA NFR qualifiers.
"The fans here are awesome, and they love watching bull riding…you can't beat the atmosphere, they are knowledgeable about the sport, from the introductions to the last rider they are as loud as you can ask for and it's always fun to come here," said Hedeman who transitioned from riding to producing when he retired from riding in 1998.
“For me transition from retiring as a cowboy athlete was easy because I went from competing to producing and I love both, I put the same amount of effort and energy into producing events as I did while I was competing. I love coming back to Hobbs, I grew up coming here and have a lot of friends here, it was a great night night,” said Hedeman.
The bull riders came ready to ride and posted 13 qualified rides in the opening round. The first gunner Juan Alonzo opened up the round and the event with an 87.5 ride on Nightmare (Richardson Land & Cattle). Alonzo would retain the lead past Trey Benton (85 pts), Tyler Tayler (82), Brody Yeary (86) and Riker Carter (85). But in section two, JT Moore drew 2801 Speckled Chicken (Rawson) and was 88 points to win the round in spite of noble efforts from Boquet (87), Tyler Bingham (87), Koby Radley (86), Jeff Askey (84), Parker McCowan (83) Matt Palmer (83), and Lane Nobles (81).
"My first bull I had gotten on before, and he bucked me down in San Angelo, and tonight he was right around to the right, but he started to push back a little, and I had to bow my chest out, but at about 6 seconds I started spurring, and it worked out," said Moore about Mike Rawson's Speckled Chicken.
Seven qualified rides highlighted the 12- man semifinal round with six riders now with two scores. Parker McCown stole the show with the first and only 90 point ride of the night. Bringing the crowd to their feet, McCown scored the highest marked ride of the night aboard Owen Washburn's 191 Big Jake, an NFR and CBR World Finals bull who is rarely ridden and McCown was now in the lead with 174 on two bulls.
Jeff Askey was not sure he was going to get out of round two as he describes his bizarre twist of fate when he was fouled twice and got on three before posting his 85.5 scores to clock in at 170.5 on two.
"I knew my second bull Divinity from watching a buddy win the round on him at the NFR, I was excited to have him, but he got kind of caught up in the ground and went down, so I got a re-ride. The next bull was a black bull that wore us both out in the box, and then he hipped himself causing a second foul resulting in a re-ride. Then I saw a familiar face loaded as the re-ride bull Savage Moves which I had won a rodeo on him before, and he was right around to the left and jumped out of his pattern a little, but I got the score (85.5) to move on."
Watching and waiting thru the Askey drama, gave Moore more time to think about riding Gin Smoke Lies (Winston/Melton) and he posted an 88 for the final ride of the round and was now in the lead with 176 on two earning the first bull pick of the Shoot Out round.
"My second bull was one of Cory's (Melton), and he was a great bull to get on, just right there around to the left kicking and spinning the whole time," continued Moore as he signed autographs.
SHOOT OUT ROUND
The four-man was set with the top four average scores coming back to duke it out for the check, which the amount is determined by the number of scored rides in the three rounds.
Six bull riders posted scores on two which resulted in Lane Nobles and Matt Palmer being edged out by Tyler Taylor, Parker McCown, Jeff Askey, and the event leader JT Moore determined by aggregate scores at this point in the competition.
Tyler Taylor bucked off first. Askey, now boarding his fifth bull of the night let Cody Rostockyj pick his bull. Wearing his color of cash green chaps, Askey was right on the money with Rostockyj’s pick and seemed to be glued to Chaos Ghost (Melton) for 89 points and the first man to go three for three.
“I have won several events and have never picked my own bulls - Cody said he would fit me and would be right around to the right and he was,” continued Askey.
Parker bucked off, and that left JT Moore who was confident and excited to put his rope on Hou Did He Buck, a familiar opponent.
"This was an easy pick for me, it was my South Texas buddy Dennis Davis's bull and I had been on him and ridden him twice, he was right there around to the left. I rode him two years ago, and I felt really confident," continued Moore. "You know when you come to Tuff's events that you are going to get on really good consistent bulls and then it's up to us with what we do with that."
Tuff Hedeman Bull Team Challenge
Mike Rawson collected the $30,000 check and custom trophy buckle from the 15 team TH Bull Team competition. His trio of buckers posted three qualified rides to put him in the winner's circle. Riker Carter was 86 points on 220 High Voltage, and JT Moore won the first round with 88 points on NFR and CBR Finals bull 2801 Speckled Chicken. Demond Haynes took 490 Westbound for an 87 point spin in the Semifinal round clinching the win for Rawson.
“Tuff got the best lineup of bull riders you could ask for for this event and I was blessed tonight to draw three good riders who all gave great effort, Speckled Chicken led the team with a grudge match, but JT won, and he was 88 with a good trip," said Rawson of Martinsville, Texas.
2.55 points behind Rawson was JC Knapp with 276.45 total points from two road warrior bulls, Uptown Funk and Kookaburra and a new bull named Simple. In contrast to Rawson, Knapp earned his check in Hobbs from rank bull scores with Kookabura leading the night of rank scores in an all-out 6-second effort by Trey Benton in the semifinal round.
Billy Jones who returned to THBRT with partners Carr Pro Rodeo and Ferguson earned his check with 3 bucks offs and solid bull scores that totaled 276.08 points.
In fourth place was Winston and Melton Bull Company with two qualified rides from Tyler Taylor and JT Moore and a 7.39 time by Cody Rostockyj on 435 Time to Shine.
Hobbs Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Results
Shoot Out Round
1., JT Moore, Alvin, Texas, $26,625. 2, Jeff Aksey, Athens, Texas, 89 pts on 15,375. 3, Parker McCown, $2,250.4,Tyler Taylor, Stephenville, Tex., $2,250.
1., JT Moore, 265 pts on 3. 2, Jeff Askey, 259.5. 3, Parker McCown 174. 4, Tyler Taylor 170.5. 5, Matt Palmer 169.5 on 2.
TH Bull Team Challenge Results
1, Mike Rawson Bucking bulls, 279 points, $30,000. 2, JC Knapp Bucking Bulls, 276.45 pts, $22,500. 3, Carr/Jones/Ferguson, 276.08, $15,000. 4, Winston/Melton/Bull Co. 275.87, $7500.