Justin McBride's risky decision to take a re-ride proved to be worth a whopping $56,051 as he topped the field Saturday at the PBR's Anaheim Open, the 10th stop of the 29-city $9.5 million Built Ford Tough Series.
McBride of Elk City, Okla., scored 88 points on his reride "Rooster Foot" of Salt River Rodeo and that sent him into the 15-man Built Ford Tough Championship Round as the leader after two rounds. Since McBride maintained his lead through the event championship, he was awarded the $25,000 Ford Truck Moment of Truth bonus check.
"I took a reride because to win at these events you have to ride three great bulls," McBride said. "If you want to be a world champion bull rider, the PBR is where you've got to be and you've got to stay on."
McBride's highest-scoring ride in Anaheim was a 92-point-effort while winning the Built Ford Tough Championship Round on Don Kish's bull "Smokin' Gun." He finished with 266.5 points on three bulls.
Chris Shivers is now eight seconds away from wining a bonus check worth $1-million. The bull rider from Jonesville, La., got the best of Don Kish's famous bull "Ugly" during the Bud Light Million Dollar Challenge presented by Ford Trucks. The 24-year-old Shivers turned in a score of 92.5 points in front of the packed house at Anaheim and now has one more bull to ride for the big check.
"I'll do just about anything for $1 million," Shivers said. "I was a little nervous before my ride, but I tried to do other things all day today so that I wouldn't think about Ugly. For a bull rider to be able to ride for $1 million is something that's never been heard of until now and I'm just glad that I can be the first guy to have a chance at it."
Ugly had been ridden twice in its PBR career, once by Australian Troy Dunn and once by Oklahoma bull rider Lee Akin.
"Ugly's about as tough as they come," said PBR Livestock Director Cody Lambert. "(Chris Shivers) is only 24 years old and he's already a legend, but this bull is already a legend, too."
The Anaheim Open will air at 1 p.m. Saturday on NBC TV.
Calf roper Jade Conner from Iowa, La., was the top money winner at this year's $520,000 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo at the all-new SBC Center. Conner roped and tied three calves in 25.1 seconds to win the title and $13,387.
Bryan Fields from Conroe, Texas, was close behind Conner at the pay window. Fields dropped three steers in 12.9 seconds to win the bulldogging championship and a little more than $13,000.
Jason Stewart from Royal City, Wash., won his second consecutive San Antonio team roping title Sunday. He shares this year's championship with veteran heeler Mike Beers from Powell Butte, Ore. Beers and Stewart each won $8,011.
In our rags to riches story, Steven Turner, from Cochrane, Alberta, Canada started the week with only $17 in his Wranglers. He left the SBC Center with $10,621 in winnings and the bull riding title. He scored 228 points over three rounds.
Other winners at San Antonio include: Sherry Cervi, of (Marana, Ariz.) barrel racing, $9,523; Lan LaJeunesse, of (Morgan, Utah), bareback riding, $10,167; and Mike Outhier, (Utopia, Texas), saddle bronc riding, $9,523; Casey Branquinho of Los Alamos, Calif., won All-Around cowboy honors with more than $7,000 in the calf roping and steer wrestling. He also collected a $25,000 bonus for the win.
Pendleton writer Butch Thurman's rodeo column appears here weekly.