Press Release (ePRNews.com) - EL PASO, Texas - Feb 19, 2017 - Selecting the bull that bucked him off and cost him an event win two weeks prior, Sage Kimzey made a big move to stay on top of Big Lew in the final four man Shoot Out round to take home the $23,000 check and the championship title of the 2017 Casa Ford Tuff Hedeman Championship Bull Riding presented by Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.
Kimzey, the only rider on the roster to ride three bulls, thrilled the sellout crowd at the EL Paso County Coliseum winning the title for the second time in his young career. Kimzey, the reigning CBR and PRCA World Champion launched his career from El Paso when he won his first CBR Road to Cheyenne event here in 2014.
“El Paso is special to me, I have great memories from right here in this building. I won my first CBR here in 2014 and got my first 90 point score here at the rodeo in this building,” said Kimzey.
“El Paso is always special, this is my home, I have been coming to this arena since I was a toddler and I love it here, and I love putting this event on for true bull riding fans and the people who are just a fan of this event,” said Hedeman.
The bulls took an early lead bucking off the first two riders in section one before Kimzey posted the first qualified ride of the night with 88 points on a bull he did not know.
Koby Radley was the only other cowboy in section one to ride and he worked hard for his 87.5 points on 107 Come On Baby, also from C & M. Four buck offs followed Radley until section two saw rookie Boudreaux Campbell light up the crowd and take the lead with 89 points on 9639 Crystal City from Championship Pro Rodeo.
JC Knapp’s rookie bull, 108 Shark Bite, gave Tyler Taylor the assist as they scored 86.5, but the bulls remained in control as the next seven riders failed to make eight. In the final section of round one Eli Vastbinder heard the whistle while still aboard 116 Rock On from K & G and was 88.5.
Jeff Askey got some help from his new friends in the Casa Ford section and moved to the top of the leaderboard with a 91.5 ride on 3381 Wet Willy to win the first round.
With only six riders earning a score in round one, the Semifinal round got started drawing six riders back on time ridden.
Casey James Kirwan was the first man in the second round to score with 87 points on Hudgins 136 Hurricane Harry. Travis Briscoe, Rorey Maier, Juan Alonzo, Tyler Bingham, and Francisco Garcia came down early before Sage Kimzey would be the first to ride two.
Kimzey was 90 points which put him in control of the four man with 178 points on two followed by Eli Vastbinder who easily handled Owen Washburn’s Blind Spot for 88.5 points and 177 average on two. Campbell had his hands full with 029 Backjackin and would be frustrated when his effort fell short of the whistle at 7.91 seconds.
Askey, making a bid to win his third title on the Road to Cheyenne, came down quick as he bucked off of 3112 Dirty Blonde in 2.52 seconds.
Shoot Out Round
The four man was set with the top four ranked bull riders in the CBR World Standings coming back to duke it out for the CBR check which is determined by the number of scored rides in the three rounds.
Vastbinder and Kimzey each rode two and they were joined by the next two highest marked rides in the preliminary rounds which were Boudreaux Campbell and Askey who were 89 and 91.5 respectively.
“I didn’t even look at the rest of the field when I saw Big Lew…Tuff asked me what I thought and I said I know this bull bucks, but I like him,” said the five time World Champ as he selected the bull that ended his night early two weeks ago in Bossier City, Louisiana.
Campbell would ride first and be overpowered by Rhon Brown’s 22 Cowboy Cut. Askey came down quick from 911 Hy Test when the bull got him raised up with no chance to recover which left the top two cowboys of the CBR left to ride. After a vigorous struggle in the chutes, Melton’s IV37 Astro ended Vastbinder’s bid for his second tour win in 2017.
“Sage Kimzey is always up for a challenge, he’s a realist and he would have had a chance to win the event on another bull, but he knew he would win if he rode that bull,” said Hedeman.
This was Kimzey’s third time on Big Lew. In what most thought was a buck off at four seconds, Kimzey made a big move back towards center that would save the ride and even though Big Lew never quit hustling Kimzey, the champ would win the fight and be rewarded with a 91 point bull ride to win his third event tile on the 2017 Road to Cheyenne.
“This was my third time on him, but he is a very different bull now than last year in Del Rio, he is bigger, but most importantly he’s a lot stronger and he’s smarter and he never quits moving, and that’s what threw me off in Bossier,” added Kimzey still out of breath from the victory ride.
Results – Shoot Out Round
1, Sage Kimzey, Strong City, Okla., 91 points, $23,000. 2, Eli Vastbinder, Statesville, NC, NS, $1,000. 3, Jeff Askey, Athens, TX, NS, $1,000. 4, Boudreaux Campbell, Crockett, TX, NS, $1,000.
1, S.Kimzey, 269 points, $23,000. 2, E. Vastbinder, 177, $2,250. 3, J. Askey, 91.5. 3, $1,500. 4, B. Campbell, 89, $1,500.
CBR Link (http://www.cbrbull.com/news.html?n_id=462636)
Championship Bull Riding