Tuff Hedeman Breakout Series Bull Riding
JACKSONVILLE, Texas - With the dream of becoming a professional bull rider since he was four years old, nineteen year old Mason Taylor thrilled the packed house outlasting forty cowboys as the only bull rider to ride two to claim the 2019 Nicky Wheeler Memorial Bull Riding title, a Tuff Hedeman Breakout Series celebrating the life of Nicky Wheeler, a cowboy, a hero and a legend of the bull riding industry.
“Both of my bulls were just what you want, plenty of kick and spin, and I was really glad to string two together to get the win,” said Taylor of Maypearl, Texas.
Taylor was in complete control both times the gate latch cracked earning him a combined 170.5 points on two bulls. Taylor was all smiles as he accepted his first check signed and presented by four-time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of famer, Tuff Hedeman, Beverly Wheeler, and event producers Jeff Harris and Haley and Brian Beasley.
Taylor, the 2019 IFYR Bull Riding Champion, says when the gate opens the nerves go away, and he proved that Saturday night in front of a packed house in the Jacksonville Rodeo Arena.
Forty bull riders joined Tuff Hedeman to pay tribute to Nicky Wheeler, a champion bull rider who rode nine out of ten bulls at the 1977 PRCA National Finals Rodeo. Wheeler was a pioneer in the bred to buck bloodlines of today’s premier bucking bull athletes as well as a proud father, businessman, and rancher from Flint, Texas. Wheeler passed away in the spring of 2018.
Riding two Taylor earned the $2,134.40 paycheck plus a $2,500 bonus to take home, a Corientea Silver custom buckle, and prize package paycheck of $4,634.40.
Matched against donated bucking bulls brought to Jacksonville to assist the youth fundraising effort, stock contractors Mike Rawson, Lyndal Hurst, Terry Williams, and Jeff Harris squared off with the veteran and young gun bull riders.
Braden Richardson quickly took control of the event winning the long round 87.5 points on 93 Banana Split of Jeff Harris Bucking Bulls.
A pair of bulls sired by the legendary Mooseknuckle and owned by Hurst Pro Rodeo powered the second and third place rides of round one. Laramie Mosley was on Richardson’s heels with an 87 on Hurst’s 6188 Guitar Man and Mason Taylor’s 85.5 on 5713 Wack A Do put him in at third in the long round.
With twelve qualified rides in the long round including scores from veteran riders Tyler Taylor, 85 points on 72 Yellow Belly (Harris) and Dantley Eldridge earned 85 on Terry Williams Buzz Zaw. Dane Doggett rode 607 Spook for 84.5, and former Jacksonville Champion Austin Patterson covered Hurst's Mojo.
Ten riders came back to compete in the final round with Reginaldo DaSilva being the last rider to qualify for the championship round with an 83.5 in round one.
After a heartfelt tribute to the Wheeler family and a presentation from the Harris and Beasley families, event co-producers, the bulls were once again locked and loaded and this time…in control.
Five consecutive buck-offs before Taylor would ride Harris’s 103 Pancho Villa for 85 points. Taylor was in control from the beginning stepping off easily when he heard the whistle.
Taylor, a decorated junior rider began his professional career in the fall of 2018 and in April won his first major career win, the Sioux Falls PBR.
Co-producers Haley and Brian Beasley, and the Jeff Harris Family organize the annual bull riding event as the primary fundraiser for the 4–H and FFA Youth Scholarship programs of Cherokee County.
“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, and I was proud to call him my friend, said Jeff Harris, co-producer of the Nicky Wheeler Memorial.
Nicky Wheeler Memorial Bull Riding Results
1, Mason Taylor, Maypearl, Texas, 170.5 on two, $4,634.40. 2, Braden Richardson, Jasper, Texas, 87.5 pts, $2,097.60. 3, Laramie Mosley, Palestine, Texas, 87 pts, $1,361.60. 4, Dantley Eldridge, Yoakum, Texas, 85 pts, $662.40, 5, Tyler Taylor, Stephenville, Texas, 85 pts, $662.40. 5, Dane Doggett, Ft. Worth, Texas, 84.5 pts, $294.40.