A meeting of the past and present

Highlights

  • H.D. Page drew the infamous bull Bodacious three times during his bull-riding career, including twice in back-to-back weeks.
  • Page has hauled many of Bodacious’ descendants, such as 77 Hustler, throughout the Built Ford Tough Series.
  • Bodacious has 23 sons with professional outs, earning him the top spot on the ABBI’s all-time producing sire’s list.

In This Article

ARDMORE, Okla. ― It may come as a surprise to some that master bull handler H.D. Page was not always on the back of the chutes with a flank laced through his fingers.

In fact, he spent a good portion of the '90s packing a rigging bag and nodding his head alongside many of the most celebrated bull riders of all time. 

During his bull-riding career, Page drew the notorious blonde, bomber Bodacious a stunning three times. In that respect, the six-time PBR Stock Contractor of the Year is the only person to know Bodacious from both a rider's perspective and a breeder.

"The first time I got on Bo was at Edmond, Okla., at an IPRA rodeo in '90 or '91," Page said. "He smashed my face pretty good on the way up."

The next time Page drew the bull was at his hometown rodeo in Ada, Okla., at a $1,000-added PRCA event. While $1,000 seems like peanuts for getting on a bucker that usually sent his rider to the emergency room, Page didn't hesitate to cowboy up.

"I guess it just depends on how good of a rider you are, as to whether you like bulls with his genetics and bucking characteristics or not."

He still remembers it with plenty of color. 

"K.J. Pletcher had his face smashed pretty good and had this big, green helmet he'd been wearing. I don't know how, but they talked me into wearing it," Page remembers. "Then just like before, Bo hit me again, but this time on the way down, right in the helmet.

"So then the helmet spins around on my head. I could've killed those guys for talking me into wearing that helmet. I couldn't see where I was or how to even get to the fence with this helmet on sideways. I was trying to see out the earhole. It was pretty embarrassing with the whole town there to watch me."

Page's luck didn't get any better when it came to drawing the bovine nobody wanted to get on the very next weekend at Athens, Texas. The bull rider couldn't believe it when they told him he had drawn Bodacious a third time.

"When I called back and they told me I drew him again, back-to-back weekends, I said, 'You got to be kidding me!' So, this time, I got me a game plan together," Page said.

Although Page doesn't think Bodacious bucked as hard the second time around, his friends that were present all disagreed. 

"I didn't think he bucked as hard as he usually did," Page said. "These guys say he did, but either way he was still up and down and circled around to the out gates. He still hit me in the face again on the way down."

However, this out had a much different outcome. There was no comedic overtone; just that of disappointment. 

Page attempts Bodacious

D&H Cattle Co.'s H.D. Page attempts to ride Bodacious in 1990.

Page ended up staying aboard the infamous bull, but to his dismay one judge called him for a slap and disqualified him. 

"I was going to be 90-something on one side and on the other the judge said I slapped him. I'm not too sure that I did though. Especially since that judge didn't particularly like me," laughed Page. 

Hating Bodacious as a draw from a rider's perspective is one thing, but judging him as a producer is another. Since Page is the only person to both climb aboard the bucker and also to haul bulls that have Bodacious' blood pumping through their veins, nobody could give more insight into this multidimensional bovine. 

"I wasn't real high on him as a producer initially, but I've seen some pretty good stuff out of him-especially his daughters," Page said. "Most of the Bo offspring are pretty droppy. Some guys like that style - up and down with a lot of drop, but some prefer bulls that are a little smoother.

"I guess it just depends on how good of a rider you are, as to whether you like bulls with his genetics and bucking characteristics or not."

Page agrees with many other industry opinions when it comes to Bodacious' production performance as a sire. He knows there's a large amount of Bodacious' blood out there from which success stories have been plucked.

Nonetheless, Page is one of a handful of contractors who can also appreciate what it takes to promote a bucker as a sire. 

"I mean there was a lot of his genetics out there, but nobody promoted a bull better than (Bob) Tallman promoted Bo," Page said. "He really pushed that bull to be a prominent sire."

Page has hauled a good number of Bodacious' descendants, many of them produced by his daughters, on the Built Ford Tough Series.

One of the most celebrated bulls is 77 Hustler. The most recent D&H Cattle Company bull is a great example of the power of Bodacious' genetics. 

Footnote: Sammy Andrews' Bodacious was the very first bucking bull ever registered and boasts ABBI #10000708. Bodacious, who passed away in 2000, has 23 sons with professional outs, earning him the top spot on the all-time producing sire's list.

For more info on ABBI, visit AmericanBuckingBull.com and  BackSeatBuckers.com.

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