Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash
Presented by the South Dakota State Fair
HURON, South Dakota - Since 2005, the late August stop on the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour has launched and funded many professional bull riding careers. Huron, South Dakota has been the site of grand comebacks, tragic and heartbreaking career endings, and in some years it has set the pace for the next season, positioning the bull rider to win a World title.
In front of a boisterous standing room only crowd, year after year the azure blue colored sky seems to stand still for a breathtaking sunset as Tuff Hedeman and the boys enter through the center gate.
There is no doubt that with 14 years of pro bull riding on the record in Huron, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash has been awarded. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 times the chute gates have opened for bucking bulls of the year, veteran and rookie cowboy athletes alike.
With a passion for the South Dakota State Fair, Red Wilk decided in 2001 to get the ball rolling on bringing a stand-alone bull riding to the fairgoers. Since 1986, Red Wilk Construction has been a corporate partner of the South Dakota State Fair. In 2001, the Fair discontinued the PRCA rodeo held annually, and Red decided to take on the task of bringing a professional level bull riding to the Grandstands.
“The South Dakota State Fair means a great deal to Red, and he and our family are very happy to be a part of the fair,” said Jenny Wilk.
The Bull Bash has grown over the years from a few hundred fans attending to over 5,000 people that come faithfully on Wednesday and Thursday night to watch the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour.
During the first two years (2001-2002) it was first produced by a company in Utah. For the following 15 years, CBR produced the event with Tuff Hedeman commanding the chutes for CBR. In 2017 Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding evolved and took the reins.
"I knew there was a need for it and I knew the people would love it," said Wilk.
From the first year until 2012 the annual two day Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash consisted of two days, with two rounds each day. In 2012 the format changed to the three-round sudden death format on day two which guarantees bull riders prize money in each round if they ride their bull. The riders earn additional money for each ride, and the event culminates in a sudden-death final round of four riders with a winner take all scenario.
Red Wilk first produced a bull riding at the Fair in 2001, but the traditional Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash began its run in 2005 with Tuff Hedeman in front of the chutes. Wilk began the centerpiece of the event, the American Hero Award in 2003. Being a Vietnam Veteran himself, he knows the importance of honoring Veterans for the sacrifices they have made for their country. Over the years, Red has honored 100 plus Veterans from South Dakota.
“The sacrifice these men make for our country is how we are able to do what we do today, right here in this very arena, and it is our honor to stand down and be part of this great rite of passage and remember why we can celebrate the freedoms we enjoy,” said Hedeman.
Red Wilk’s Bull Bash kicks off the Grandstand entertainment at the South Dakota State Fair each year, and according to the people of Huron, it is has reached legendary status… to bull riders, stock contractors and most importantly, the fans.
Meet the men who have built the history of the Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash and their path to a piece of South Dakota and bull riding history.
2018 Tristan Mize, Bryan, TX - Debuting at his first Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour, 21-year-old Tristan Mize found his way to the winners circle to accept the custom created trophy belt and check from Tuff Hedeman and Red Wilk for the average title on one ride. His 88 point domination of Jeff Harris' bull rider favorite, 277 Dirty Little Secret eventually won him the title He bucked off 21Z Gray Cloud (Burruss) in the Shoot-Out.
2017 Koby Radley, Montpelier, LA - NFR qualifier, CBR Year-End Horizon Champion, IFYR World Champion. After forty-one outs and nine qualified rides, it was the Louisiana cowboy who was the only bull rider to cover two during the 3 round event. Radley was 84.5 on JC Knapp’s Uptown Funk first then 89 points on L33 Tamale (Harris) in the semifinal round to eventually be declared the average champion and winner in 2017.
2016 Taryl Smith, Litchville, ND - NFR qualifier who rode 3 for the win including Shoot Out Round match-up J908 Outside the Box (J. Jaynes) for 92 points. He advanced from 1 to 2 on Commanche Moon (7Rocking X) followed by 89 points on Flab Slab (Jaynes) in the second.
2015 Sage Kimzey, Strong City, Ok - Zero rides in the Shoot Out round resulted in the average event title for 5-time PRCA World Champion, CBR World Champ, and 5-time NFR qualifier Sage Kimzey who rode JC Knapp’s salty bull…93Pepper in the second round for 90 points and the win.
2014 Corey Bailey - Paris, TN - 2011 Corey Bailey carries the average title from 2014 with 92 points aboard Evil Kneivel (JQH) but zero rides scores during the Shoot Out thus pushed the prize purse to the following event. Corey would launch a good career from Huron and become the 2018 IPRA World Champion Bull Rider.
2013 Aaron Pass – Dallas, TX - NFR qualifier Aaron Pass won the Shoot out and event title with a 90.5 on 117C Booger Red. He advanced with 88.5 on 265 Myspace.
2012 Ardie Maier, Timber Lake, SD - NFR qualifier, member of the $1,000,000 earnings club, and the oldest of the trio of bull riding Maier brothers, Maier was the comeback kid in 2012 after ending 2011 CBR season in the hospital at the yearend finals. Maier was 89 points in the Shoot-Out on Chin Music (Dakota). He advanced on 89.5 points aboard Buffalo Hump (Talbert) and 91 on Sandy Bob (Talbert). The only native South Dakota bull rider to ever win the Huron Bull Bash title, Maier is a beloved member of this community.
2011 Clayton Foltyn, Winnie, TX - CBR World Champion and NFR Qualifier. Foltyn was one of 2 to cover both bulls for 172 points. He earned the title with a pair of 86’s on 732 Notorious (McGuire Cattle) in the long round and 564 Big Stuff (Berger) in the short go.
2010 Scottie Knapp, Edgewood, NM – NFR Qualifier. The fans remember Kenny Westrope who was as 91.5 on Bucking Bull of the Year Double Scoop (B. Cooper Bucking Bulls) in the final round, but it was Knapp that won the average with two rides. 87.5 on CyberSpace (B. Cooper) and 91 points on 92 Walk the Line (Berger).
2009 Cling Craig, Mena, AR - An NFR qualifier who won both rounds with a 90 on Secret Mind (Shippy) in the long round and Walk the Line (Berger) 91.5 in the short round. “He did his job and made it look easy, it was the essence of a good bull rider, the win was a result of his emphasis on the mental game,” said TV broadcaster and 8-time World Champion Don Gay.
2008 Steve Woolsey, Payson, Utah - NFR qualifier who earned the title with 89.5 points on 23 Like Mike in the Championship Round. Woolsey advanced on Hugh with 86.50 points in the long round.
2007 Bonner Bolton, Odessa, TX - CBR World Champion and PBR premier tier rider. The current fashion model Bonner Bolton won the event in 2007 on PRCA Bucking Bull of the Year, HO3 Biloxi Blues when he brought the crowd to their feet with 91.5 points. He rode 47 Scorpion for 86 pts in the long round.
2006 Jay Dunford, Menoken, ND – After two days, 102 outs and 30 qualified rides, Jay Dunford was declared the winner with 173 points, narrowly edging out Bonner Bolton. He was 88 points on 007 Bond James Bond (Berger)and 85 points on 903 Blue Chip (Berger) to win the first round.
***Records and winners before 2006 were unavailable.
For more information contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, 940.902.1112 or firstname.lastname@example.org