Corey Bailey clinched the title at the 23rd Tuff Hedeman Championship Challenge and earned $10,500 on Saturday night at Cowtown Coliseum.
When the title was at stake in the four-man final round, the cowboy from Paris, Tenn., turned in a 90.5 aboard a bovine named Boomer. The bull was owned by Championship Pro Rodeo/Elite Bucking Bulls.
It was Bailey’s first title on the Championship Bull Riding tour.
No previous scores counted in the final round. Sage Kimzey of Strong City, Okla., the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s 2014 champion, finished second after turning in a final score of 90.
Kimzey conquered a bull named Black Magic (owned by Carr Pro Rodeo/Box K Cattle) and earned $7,200.
Neil Holmes of Houston finished third after turning in an 88.5 and pocketed $4,550. Cody Rostockyj of Hillsboro, the other final-round qualifier, was bucked off. He earned $2,250.
Bailey, 23, turned in remarkable scores throughout the two-hour performance. He qualified for the final after turning in scores of 89.5 and 90 in the qualifying rounds.
In the final, Bailey faced Boomer for the first time.
“I was just trying to stay humble, have fun and just ride,” Bailey said.
During the 8-second ride, Boomer first spun to the right and then spun to the left.
“When a bull turns back one way and then comes back the other way, most of the time it’s hard to make the adjustment,” he said. “But it worked out good for me. The bull turned back one way and then came back under me.”
Cutting horse update
At the National Cutting Horse Super Stakes, James Payne of Overbook, Okla., and DMAC Spicy Spoon advanced to the 4-year-old open division semifinals after finishing the first two rounds with an aggregate score of 438.
Payne turned in a first-round score of 222 and followed with a second-round score of 216. He posted the 216 during Saturday’s performance at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.
The second round began Saturday and will conclude Sunday night. A field of 60 horses will advance to the semifinal following the performance.
Payne’s aggregate score of 238 was the highest following Saturday’s performance. A horse named Lil Metallic Cat and rider Lee Francois of Murchison will move on to the semifinals after finishing the first two rounds with a 437.5 (218.5 and 219).
Francois won the 2010 Super Stakes’ 4-year-old open title aboard Reys Desire. Matt Miller of Poolville and Sweet Lil Amanda will also advance to the semifinals with a 437.5.
The semifinal is scheduled for Friday. The final will be April 18.