Matt Palmer and Hat Brand Rodeo win Baytown Fair and Rodeo Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding
BAYTOWN, Texas - (May 6, 2019 ) – 20-year-old Oklahoma bull rider Matt Palmer outlasted thirty-one bull riders to earn the championship title of the Tuff Hedeman Baytown Breakout bull riding held Saturday night at the finale of the annual Baytown Youth Fair. Palmer, a regular on the Tuff Hedeman televised tour, scored 86.75 points on a bull that is rarely ridden to earn the highest marked ride of the night and collect the championship buckle and prize package that included a check for $2,813.55.
"Bryce Redo told me he would be right around to the right and that he (the bull) wasn't ridden much, but I just kept hustling and moving my outside leg more and just took it to him, he did have a lot of power and speed and pulled me to my fingertips, I just kept telling myself not to let go," said Palmer.
31 bull riders from six states provided the quality outs powered by the Baytown Bull Team competition. The Baytown roster included THBRT regulars Trey Holston, Hunter Ball, Laramie Craigen, Juan Alonzo, Jonathan Brown, Matt Palmer and Clancy Hart, son of the 1999 PBR World Champion Cody Hart making his debut on the Tuff Hedeman tour. But at the end of the night, 3 THBRT rookies took home an average check.
“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 Rankin.
With only 6 qualified rides, Palmer, a twenty-year-old right-handed bull rider won the event on his first round score aboard 257 Heavy Duty, a bull from the Hat Brand Rodeo Co. string of buckers.
There were 5 qualified rides in round one with the lead going to Palmer. Second was 2018 National High School Rodeo bull riding champion Trey Holston of Fort Scott, KS with 85 on B7 Nightmare (Richardson Land & Cattle). In third was Donald Francis with 82.5 on 429 Can’t Get Right (Harris) followed by Tevin Weston and Timmy Vaughan with 81.75 and 77 respectively.
The Bulls took control in the 13 man championship round with only one rider, a hometown athlete, hearing the whistle. Ezekiel Mitchell of Baytown posted 79.5 points aboard MLB, owned by Todd Yount.
Palmer bucked off 521 Bowie Daze (Richardson L&C) in the short go and had this to say about the attempt.
"He ran me off my rope, and it felt like he wasn't turning back but moving in a boxing pattern," laughed Palmer.
“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. I was fortunate when I was young to have the Baytown Youth Fair as a place to show animals and to produce 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.
“We had an outstanding set of bull riders this year that tried hard, and they rode 5 in the long round, and although they only managed to ride one in the short round, that speaks to the incredible bull power, and a few guys rode right to the whistle, said event producer Chris Rankin.
Tuff Hedeman Break Out Bull Ridings created to allow new riders to break into the national bull riding tours.
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 Colten Sullivan of Hat Brand Rodeo Co. who's three-man bull team powered Palmer's winning ride. Their other two bulls 470 Redneck and 251 Scooby went unridden.
"Thanks to my family and friends who came out and helped the fair board s 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, Matt Palmer, Claremore, OK, 86.75 on 257 Heavy Duty, $3,396.48. 2, Trey Holston, Fort Scott, KS, 85, $1,813.55. 3, Donald Francis, Somerville, TX, 82.25, $1,108.05. 4, Ezekiel Mitchell, Baytown, TX, 79.5, $1593.60. 6, Timmy Vaughan, Tonganoxie, KS, 77, $302.95.
Baytown Bull Team Results
1, Hat Brand Rodeo, $8500. 2, Harris Bucking Bulls, $6,000. 3, Rawson Bucking Bulls, $4000.00. 4, Martinez Bucking Bulls, $2500.