Coming off a year in which he won the World Champion Bull title,
2012 hasn't quite gone as planned for Bushwacker.
He missed the early part of the season after having bone chips
removed from both back legs, looked great in three events -
Arlington, Texas; Albuquerque, N.M., and Kansas City, Mo. - and
then missed the event in Pueblo, Colo., because of a swollen back
right hock. Kent Cox, who handles and hauls Bushwacker for Julio
Moreno and Richard Oliveira, said the swelling is gone and he's as
agile as ever.
Cox said the plan is for Bushwacker to compete in Tulsa, Okla.;
San Antonio; Thackerville, Okla., and then again in Springfield,
Mo., in preparation for the World Finals in Las Vegas.
"I think he looks really good," Cox said. "He's moving around
really good. I can't ask him to be (any) better, really."
Luke Snyder attempts to ride Bushwacker in Kansas City,
Since Bushwacker won the world title last fall, Cox said this
season has been frustrating and nerve wracking for everyone
involved. In fact, he joked that after Bushwacker's most recent
five-week stay at the Elgin (Texas) Veterinary Hospital, "Dr.
(Gary) Warner lost the rest of his hair off this last deal."
Dr. Warner discovered the bone chips back in January. However,
there is no known cause for the most recent swelling, which was
controlled with the use of an anti-inflammatory. It's been
diagnosed as a sprained hock.
"It's not what we expected," Cox said of the slow season. "We
expected to come out of the Finals last year and just go and
"We went to three events and everything was rolling along fine,
no problem, and like I said, one morning I went to feed and
exercise him and his hock was swelled up a little bit. I kept an
eye on it for a day or two, and it got worse. That's when we took
him to Elgin."
Cox said that he'll consult with Moreno and Oliveira after each
outing and reevaluate Bushwacker.
"His performance proved that he is one of the best
Despite the lack of outs - Bushwacker has three outs this
season, compared to Asteroid's eight - all three men still consider
Bushwacker to be among the top contenders to win this year's
In his three outings, Bushwacker was marked 46 points, 46.5
points and 46.25 points.
"He hasn't gone to as many as Asteroid - by any means - and
won't go to as many as Asteroid this year, because of his
injuries," Cox said. "But in the three trips we have bucked him
this year, his performance proved that he is one of the best bulls
He's been ridden once in 32 career outs on the Built Ford Tough
Series, and has a career average of just a smidge over 46 points
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.