For Jacob O’Mara, winning the Tuff Hedeman Championship Challenge turned out to be a hard night’s work.
The Baton Rouge, La., cowboy tamed three bulls that produced lofty scores.
O’Mara, 24, clinched the title after turning in a final-round score of 90. But the 90 came after he an 88 and an 89.5 earlier in the Saturday night show at Cowtown Coliseum.
“I really had to dig down deep,” O’Mara said. “I rode two really good ones in the long round. In the short round, I knew that bull was really big and strong and he kind of fought me in the box a little bit. After being on two bulls, and then getting on a third one, that kind of takes it out of you. I had to finish strong.”
When the title was at stake in final round, O’Mara conquered a bovine named Yellow Wolf, which is owned by Rawson Bucking bulls.
“It felt good,” O’Mara said. “With that bull, if I would have weakened at any point, he would have bucked me off. But I like that. It’s the type of situation where if you get lazy, the bull will buck you off.”
O’Mara earned $14,112 for the victory. He also received a coveted Luskey/Ryon trophy saddle.
Sage Kimzey of Strong City, Okla., finished second after turning in an 89.5 in the finals. Kimzey earned $7,887.
It was O’Mara’s third victory of the season on the Championship Bull Riding tour. He also has won titles in Lufkin and Rio Rancho, N.M.
After winning Fort Worth’s Hedeman event, O’Mara is ranked third in the CBR’s 2016 title race with 1,315.5 points. Kimzey is ranked No. 1 with 1,942. Cody Rostockyi is No. 2 with 1,412.5
Hedeman, a four-time world champion from Morgan Mill, said he was impressed with O’Mara’s riding abilities. O’Mara qualified for the 2011 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
“When he’s determined, I don’t think there’s very many guys that ride better than he does.” Hedeman said of O’Mara. “He makes great bulls look much easier than they are. That’s the key to being a great bull rider.”
Cutting horse update
At the National Cutting Horse Association Super Stakes, Kenneth Platt and Moms Stylish Player lead the 4-year-old open semifinal qualifier race with a two-ride aggregate score of 445.
The duo won the first round with a score of 226. While competing in the second round on Saturday, the duo turned in a 219.
The first round was Wednesday through Friday. The second round began Saturday and will conclude Sunday night at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.
The semifinal is scheduled for Friday and the final is Saturday.The open final is the second jewel of the sport’s Triple Crown Series.
In other action in the 4-year-old open division on Saturday, a horse named Cromed Out Cat and rider Geoffrey Sheehan turned in a 221. After posting a 216.5 in the first round, they are ranked second in the semifinal with a two-ride score of 437.5.
Matallic Mistress and Grant Setnicka are ranked third with a 437. The duo turned in a 222 in the first round and a 215 in the second round.
Metallic Mistress is owned by Texas Holy Cow Performance Horses of Weatherford.