FORT WORTH, Texas - A busy run of Touring Pro Division events in June and July will prove to be an important time of the year for Edward Martinez and his father Tino.
The Texas-based stock contractors said the summer months are when "we start a lot of our 3- and 4-year-old bulls. That's when we get them exposed to the road and get them exposed to better riders."
This weekend, Edward will be hauling bulls to the event in Rock Springs, Texas, as well as Springdale, Ark.
One particular bull they're going to be hauling is 55 Bugs.
The 4-year-old had a horn infection earlier this year, which took him out of contention for the ABBI Classic title, but Edward is still confident he will be "a really good bull."
Another bull they're hauling is Mad Max II.
"Hopefully, there will be a couple in there that can make the Finals."
He's a full brother to three-time World Finals qualifier Mad Max and, according to Edward, "looks exactly like his brother.
"He's a good 3-year-old that we're going to crack out in Springdale, Ark., and see how he does."
The next few weeks, leading up to and coming out of the busy Fourth of July season, will be especially crucial for the Martinez family.
The past couple years, they've had three bulls qualify for the World Finals, and the upcoming TPD events will go a long way toward determining which bulls they take on the road with them once the Built Ford Tough Series resumes in Tulsa, Okla.
"After the summer break, you have to take bulls that are possibly going to make the World Finals," Edward said. "That's all (PBR livestock director) Cody (Lambert) is looking for after the summer break - bulls that can possibly make the Finals, so that's what we try to do.
"We try to expose them and, hopefully, there will be a couple in there that can make the Finals."
At this point, he's confident that he and his father have two bulls that have already proven themselves worthy of a trip to Las Vegas in October.
One is a Classic bull named Wilson, and the other is Meathook, who has been used as a short round bull at recent BFTS events.
In fact, in Pueblo, Colo., Meathook was used in the 15/15 Bucking Battle, where he was marked a career-best 46.25 points, bucking off Justin Koon in 2.26 seconds. He's only been ridden one time, when Harve Stewart covered him for 89.5 points in Albuquerque, N.M., earlier this year.
"I never want to go backwards," said Edward, who in addition to Wilson and Meathook added, "I have possibly a couple others that could go along with them."
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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