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Championship Bull Riding in Tennessee


Photo by Jeremie Churchill

Photo by Jeremie Churchill

Photo by Jeremie Churchill

Photo by Jeremie Churchill

Photo by Jeremie Churchill

Photo by Jeremie Churchill

Photo by Jeremie Churchill
By Jeremie Churchill

In the sport of bull riding, three-time PRCA World Champion Tuff Hedeman is legendary. Currently Championship Bull Riding (CBR) Ambassador, his remarkable career spans most of his lifetime. Riding since he was 4 years old, Tuff worked his way through the ranks of bull riding, earning the New Mexico High School Rodeo Association Championship in 1980 and multiple top honors in collegiate bronc riding, bull riding, team roping and steer wrestling.  He secured the National Collegiate Finals Championship in 1983, then turned pro and began touring and claiming titles with the legendary Lane Frost. Tuff's credits include 3 World Championships: his first in 1986 when he set a world record

with $137,061 in earnings, his second in 1989, and his third in 1991. Shortly thereafter, Tuff co-founded the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) and secured the 1995 PBR World Championship title. “Without Tuff there would be no stand-alone bull riding events other than BRO (Bull Riders Only). Without Tuff the PBR would never have happened,” said 8-time World Champion Donnie Gay.

The iconic bull rider was in Jackson, Tennessee on January 17-18, 2014 directing the Championship Bull Riding Bud Light Bull Riding Classic. The two-day televised event, presented by Alan Vines Automotive, drew six World Champions and professional bull riders from across the country, including several from Tennessee. The audible excitement of the large crowd was heard each time a local bull rider broke from the chute.

Brandon Carter riding Priddy Cool was the first to go on Friday. The twenty-eight-year old from Brownsville, Tennessee first started riding cows when he was seven. He and his best friend would make their own bull chutes, practicing with cows before switching to bulls when they were older.

Corey Bailey fell in love with bull riding after his first ride at the age of ten. The Paris, Tennessee native, who grew up riding horses, aspires to win a bull riding championship and be World Champion. The three-time Tennessee High School State Rodeo Champion is currently ranked third in the CBR World Standings. When he’s not riding, the quiet, soft-spoken, twenty-two-year old spends “all his time” watching videos.

“I learn by watching, getting it stuck in mind. I visualize myself, repeating the motions over and over in my head until I can do it in my sleep,” he said humbly.

Wes Woods, from Lexington, Tennessee, riding Little Z, was the last local rider to go. The son of Roger Woods, a world champion in penning, was himself team penning Novice Champion in 1995. He started riding bulls when he was fifteen. He rode pro until the untimely death of his older brother Brad in 2005. After several years away from the sport he loves, the thirty-five-year old business man and father of two, returned to professional bull riding in front of a thundering crowd.

Results: The four-man final shoot out round pitted Cooper Davis, CBR second place finisher in 2013 against the reigning Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) champion J.W. Harris, from Mullin, Texas, Friday night’s event winner and the 2012 PRCA champion Cody Teel from Kountze, Texas, and Sage Steele Kimzey, a rising star in the sport from Strong City, Okla., and the son of Ted Kimzey, a former PRCA barrelman and bullfighter. Eventually, the title and check came down to Harris and Davis. Davis scored 91.5 on Mike Rawson’s Raven’s Mistake, ahead of Harris who had a 90 on Exclusive Genetics’ Flab Slab. When their scores were tabulated, Cooper Davis had a three-point advantage over Harris for the win.
Article & photos by Jeremie Churchill

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