The Waterloo Optimist Blue Army Bull Bash presented by Rural King
WATERLOO, Illinois – (September 18, 2019) – Last year’s Waterloo Optimist Blue Army Bull Bash bull riding champion, Matt Palmer has turned his truck north and on his way to Waterloo to defend his title of the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour’s (THBRT) Midwest Swing championship held at the Monroe County Fairgrounds at 7 pm on Saturday, September 21.
But Palmer has his work cut out for him as he is three bulls behind Albert LeBaron and two bulls behind Breakout rider Javier Garcia. The friendly foes are getting set to compete in Waterloo for the finale of the THBRT Wicked Rank Midwest Swing sponsored by Rural King.
The 2019 Bull Bash, sanctioned by Tuff Hedeman Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour (THBRT) is chocked full of hopefuls squaring off with the veteran riders. The talented bull riders are all headed to Waterloo this weekend in hopes of pocketing the largest purse and final prize package of the Wicked Rank Midwest Swing.
“All the riders have their sights set on winning the Midwest Swing and joining Tuff’s top tier tour event schedule that kicks off again in January,” said Noble.
This finale event offers this year's pool of talented bull riders an opportunity to earn an invitation from Hedeman to compete at his top tier televised tour events.
“We are in our ninth year of producing a good family-friendly time while supporting the area’s youth, new this year we are a pink event with $1 from each ticket going to the St. Judes Children’s Hospital,” said organizer Jim Probst.
“Fresh faces packed with talent, consistent veteran riders, and awesome pen of bulls from some of the best bull men in the business is what the fans can expect to see in Waterloo,” said Hedeman.
According to the committee, the annual Optimist Blue Army Bull Bash is now on the must-see events of the fall for Waterloo families and sports enthusiasts. Growing each year, Probst's sets his sights annually on selling out, and each year the attendance climbs, allowing the Optimist Club to spread good work.
For the second year, the tour has carried the Tuff Hedeman brand. Hedeman, who for 23 years piloted the PBR and CBR, and in 2017 formed the tour in his name. The Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer announced in addition to lucrative prize money, bull riders competing in Waterloo have the opportunity to be crowned the Series Champion which comes with a check, custom trophy saddle, and engraved silver trophy buckle.
Immediately following the action is the Blue Bash After Party and an opportunity to meet and take selfies with the bull riders.
The Midwest Swing produced by Matt Noble of Next Level Bull Riding had its own dog fight in the trenches this season with LeBaron’s consistency rising to the top with 340.5 points. Second is Javier Garcia with 261.5 and third is Jake Weber. Cory Atlwell and Adam McConnell round out the top 5.
“It is a close race, and any of the top ten have a shot at winning the Series finale and taking home the title,” said Noble.
Riding on confidence instilled from his first televised tour win in Huron, South Dakota in August and his success on the Midwest Swing, the adrenaline, points, and the bucks keep coming for nineteen-year-old Matt Palmer where he hopes to repeat.
This year's event festivities will begin at 4:00 pm when the doors open. There will be plenty of concessions available, including food and drink for young and old! The pro bull riding action gets underway at 7:00 pm and expected to conclude at 9 pm. Approximately 40 bull riders will face-off with 40 selected bucking bull opponents to win the lion's share of the $10,000 added prize money, a trophy saddle, and custom Silver trophy buckle.
"You don't need a hat, or boots, or any knowledge of the sport, it's a family-friendly event with great affordable food, horseback rides, and activities for the kids to do, and a top-level bull riding," said Optimist Event Chair, Jim Probst.
The Breakout Series is known for its dog fights to the finish line, and although the Championship comes with a check from Tuff Hedeman in Waterloo, it will live on with many legendary stories of the launching of several bull riding careers. With the surge of new cowboys knocking on the THBRT door, barrel man entertainer Josh Foster, and bulls arriving from some of the best-known bull men in the business, the Blue Army Bull Bash will be a spirited event.
Ticket Information: http://www.waterlooILOptimist.org or call 618-477-7240. Tickets also available: Waterloo Rural King, Waterloo Schnucks, Wm Nobbe John Deere, JVs Bar & Grill, Outsiders Bar, First National Bank of Waterloo - most Branches.
Event Location: Monroe County Fairgrounds, 4177 State Route 156, Waterloo, Illinois; gates will open at 4:00 pm
Event Chair: Jim Probst – email email@example.com or 618-477-7240 or Matt Noble, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 815-651-6661.