The United Bucking Bulls, Inc has completed the 2013 season and hosted it’s Year-End National Finals at a new home at the Kansas Star Casino & Arena in Mulvane, Kansas! The UBBI has now paid out over $3.8 million dollars in prize money and awards in it’s first three seasons. This year’s National Finals attracted members from 21 different states, including as far away as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado and Idaho – just to name a few!
“It’s been really awesome seeing our membership grow and to see new faces at our events and watch participants really having fun and enjoying their hard work with these bucking bulls,” stated Randy Schmutz, general manager of the UBBI. “Jerry Nelson and Jimmy Ray always envisioned a year-end finals like the one we just had at Kansas Star Arena. This event and seeing how much fun our members were having this past weekend has really put a fire under us all! We are really excited about the 2014 UBBI season!”
One Hundred Forty-Six different bulls including 47 Futurity, 50 Derby and 49 Classic bulls competed for over $200,000 in prize money, Tres Rios Silver Championship buckles and other awards at the 2013 UBBI National Finals. For the first time the UBBI awarded additional prize money to the Top 4 in each of the two go-rounds in the Derby & Classic plus money in the average. Once again the Finals Champion Futurity, Derby and Classic bulls also earned a $10,000 bonus in each category!
The weekend started on Thursday with the first round of the Derby competition and it was apparent to everyone that the three year olds were gonna put on a tremendous show. Owens & Lane with their bull #79 JoJo won the first round, posting an 89.75 point score and earning $1,145 in go-round cash and a Tres Rios Silver Champion go-round buckle. Allen Teller came all the way from Idaho and brought a Derby and a Classic bull from the Northwest and split 2nd/3rd in the first round of the Derby with #02 Justified.
Allen Teller said, “The event was second to none and the three year old bulls were as tough as anywhere you could go. The UBBI is doing an outstanding job. I’m really proud of Justified. He’s a calf we raised out of a Kish dam and he’s sired by D&H’s bull Bonafied (Mudslinger X 77 Yellow Jacket’s dam). We purchased Bonafied from Dillon and Justified is out of the first calf crop.”
Splitting 2nd and 3rd place with Justified was bull #001 Smooth Operator from Rockin Rafter P Ranch, both with scores of 88.75 points.
“Kathy and I thought it was a great event and that the UBBI really stepped it up with the Finals this year,” stated CJ Pilcek, owner of Rockin’ Rafter P Ranch. “The production, the bull riders and the crowd was as good or better than we could of hoped for. We were happy to have Smooth Operator step it up for us and we believe he’s turned the corner and we’re looking forward to his 4 year old season!”
In fourth place was bull #013 Quick Shot from Leschyshyn/4G Ranch with 88.25 points.
The Top 25 Derby bulls, after the 1st go-round returned to action on Saturday night to determine the National Finals Champion and the Top 12 Finals winners and the UBBI World Champion Derby bull. There was a 4 way tie for 25th place in the first round and the tie breaker called for adding all 6 judges scores together. The one bull with the highest total score would advance, but 3 bulls were still tied. The next tie breaker was the one bull with the single highest judge’s score and bull #102 Hombre from Stan Hamilton out of Mississippi posted a single high 21.75 point score and advanced to the final round.
Several Derby bulls stepped up their game in their second showing on Saturday night and flexed their muscle to try to move into the Top 12. Bull #61 Pegasus, owned by Box K Cattle Company made one of the biggest jumps, splitting 16/17 in the first round and finishing 4th in the second round to jump to 9th in the average and earn a total of $3,301. Another Box K Cattle Company bull, #63 Half Nutz also made a big move from the 10th/11th spot in the first round to 2nd in the second round and earning Reserve Finals Champion honors finishing 2nd in the average and pocketing $7,985.
The big Derby winner was bull #79 JoJo owned by Dennis & Jan Owens and Mike Lane (Owens & Lane). The spotted superstar seemed to have enjoyed his surroundings in Kansas and dominated the event by winning both rounds and the average. The rounds paid $1,145 each and the average paid $10,963 and together with the Finals Champion bonus of $10,000 JoJo bagged a total of $23,253 at this year’s UBBI National Finals! The most won by a single bull at this year’s event.
“We were really humbled by it all,” stated Dennis Owens. ”This year’s UBBI Finals was just really good. The facility was great and the crowd on Saturday night really made it a big deal. Lots of excitement and lots of energy and we were really proud of JoJo bucking so well in back to back outs!”
With his regular season earnings of $5,491 and $13,253 in qualifier earnings at the Finals, his total for the season was $18,744! Enough to move JoJo to the top, earning the crown of UBBI World Champion Derby Bull! There was a split for 12th thru 14th place and 14 Derby bulls earned prize money in the average and a buckle!
The fun continued on Friday morning inside the Kansas Star Arena with the Futurity event. Forty-seven 2 year old bulls from 17 different states bucked their hearts out to determine the Futurity Finals Champion and UBBI World Champion Futurity bull. There’s no denying the fan’s favorite was the number one bull #071 Air Snortin’ from McConnell’s Bucking Cattle and K.S. Bucking Bulls out of Missouri.
But when the Futurity event started, it was clear that #071 was up against a tough field of 2 year old bulls. When last ‘Ultra Blue Dummy’ was bucked off and the last futurity bull left the arena it was Moss Brother’s bull #626 Hard Time who walked away as the UBBI National Finals Champion 2 year old bull with a score of 89 points. Five seconds later Hard Time earned a Finals check for $10,363 plus a $10,000 Finals Champion bonus for a total of $20,363! Hard Time’s Finals qualifier dollars of $10,363 together with his regular season earnings moved Hard Time to the number 2 position in the world standings with a total of $14,654 and Futurity Reserve Champion honors!
“It was good to be able to share the win with my wife Mindy and our daughter Sophie,” stated Gideon Moss. ”My brother Eli was also with us at the Finals and it was great to win against such a tough field of bulls!”
The little bull from Missouri, #071 Air Snortin’ owned
by McConnell’s Bucking Cattle and K.S. Bucking Bulls had an outstanding Finals performance and produced an 88.25 point score. Air Snortin’ won 2nd place at the event and $7,772 and with regular season and Finals earnings had a year-end total of $22,162. Enough to hold on to the number one position and win the UBBI Futurity World Championship and the Tres Rios Silver Champion Buckle! Bull #D2 Thunderbird from Mike Rawson Bucking Bulls finished 3rd and cashed a check for $5,699 while bull #13 Lucky Draw 13 from Tom & Tish Peterson landed in the number 4 spot with a check for $4,663! There was a split for 9th thru 13th place and 13 bulls earned a Finals paycheck and a buckle. UBBI members from Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Missouri, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas placed among the Top 13 bulls!
The big boys got ready to play on Friday night as the 4 year old
Classic bulls filled the chutes for the second performance of the Don Gay Bull Riding Tour Finals and it was game on! This year the boys from the north came loaded with fire and you know what they say. . . . .’where there’s fire, there’s smoke!’ and that held true! Bierema Rodeo Company from South Dakota won the first round of the Classic competition with their bull #904 Fire & Smoke. Harvey Bierema’s red bald-face dandy posted an 89.25 point score and earned a buckle and a go-round check for $1,145!
The boys from Texas weren’t gonna be left out of the mix and Edward & Tino Martinez got in the game with bull #ME 101 Tommy Boy finishing second in the round with a score of 89 points. Third place belonged to another Northern Region contender from North Dakota. Bull #903 Red Hot from Berger/Scott put up an 88.75 point score and earned $572 in go-round prize money! In fact, 6 out of the Top 14 bulls were from the UBBI’s Northern Region.
Twenty-five Classic bulls returned to their second round of competition and bucked on Saturday night along with the Top 25 Derby bulls. Both the Derby and Classic bulls were bucked in reverse order from their first round appearances on Friday and Saturday night. The bull riders were randomly drawn and placed on each of the 50 bulls and the battle was on!
Larry McConnell and Kenny Vaught would both agree that their spotlight bull #901 For Sale didn’t fair too well in first round. For Sale split 10th thru 14th, scoring 87 points in round one but did advance to round two. It was there that For Sale showed what he was really made of, putting all doubts aside as to who the best bull of the night was! For Sale won the second round with the weekend’s highest score of 91 points and a combined total of 178 points in two rounds. For Sale edged out Rafter HB Cattle Company’s bull #9416 Bank Shot by only 3/4′s of a point to win the average and the Finals Championship.
“It’s really just overwhelming for us,” exclaimed Larry McConnell. ”It just hasn’t sunk in yet. Our goal was to be able to come to these events and be competitive and we’ve had our ups and downs just like everyone else. But to win at this level is just the greatest feeling!”
McConnell & Vaught’s bull won $12,108 in Finals cash, plus the $10,000 Finals Champion bonus for a Finals haul of $22,108! For Sale’s total qualifier dollars for the year was $24,764 putting him #1 and he was crowned the UBBI World Champion Classic bull!
Bierema’s Fire & Smoke earned $6,029 at the Finals and a total of $11,253 in MBBA and UBBI earnings to finish the year as the UBBI Reserve Champion 4 year old Classic bull! Other notable Classic bulls that really showed their stuff at this year’s UBBI finale were John McDonald’s bull #906 Zeppelin; Frontier/Ray/Folds/Strickland’s bull #C46 Flyboy; Frontier & Ray’s bull #980; Phenom Genetics (Matt Scharping) bull #911 Jared Allen’s H4WW Hy Test; Ivan Stotzfus bull #3444 Hot Corner and Nathan Wolfe’s bull #03 Red Bone rounded out the Top 10 Classic bulls in the average.
“This is the kind of Finals we can all be proud of,” stated Jimmy Ray, co-owner of the UBBI. ”We had a lot of good compliments and now we just gotta get to work on 2014 ’cause it’s just around the corner. We’re glad our members had a good time in Kansas and we look forward to going back to the Kansas Star!”
Jerry Nelson, also a co-owner of the UBBI said, “We told the UBBI members it’s all about them and it is! We gotta make them happy and wanna come back and I think we did. We’re gonna get right to work on next year and hopefully it’ll be bigger and better for everybody!”
A very special thank you to all of the Midwest Bucking Bull Association (MBBA) members for participating at the UBBI National Finals and to the Kansas Star Casino and Arena. The UBBI would also like to say ‘good job’ to our crew including Amber Schmutz, Kay Lee Pearson, Billy Saunders, Chase Foutch, Laramie Wilson, Hayden Shaw, Gary & Marilyn Poston, Wyatt Welsh, Ricky Aguiar, Dustin Palmer, Brandon McClagan, Donnie Landis, Blue Jeans, Charlie Gorzalka and Ethan McDonald.
Randy Schmutz stated, “Our goal with the UBBI has always been to provide a platform for everyone with a bucking bull to be able to come and compete and feel like you’ve got a real shot at the money. We wanted to put the Finals in a location where everyone in the country could come and be a part of our Finale. The Kansas Star Casino has provided us that location and with their help we’re gonna make it even bigger and better. All of us at the United Bucking Bulls, Inc owe the membership a big thank you for your support and congratulations to all of our 2013 Finalists. Hold on tight……..this ride is only going to get better!”