OKLAHOMA CITY ― It’s only fitting that Julio Moreno and the PBR would announce the farewell season for two-time World Champion Bull Bushwacker in downtown Oklahoma City.
Today’s press conference took place at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, which opened in 2002, across from The Myriad (now known as the Cox Convention Center), where Moreno competed in the team roping competition the last time the National Finals Rodeo was in Oklahoma before moving to Las Vegas.
That was 1984.
Moreno was the top header at the event and finished second in the world standings in establishing himself as one of the great ropers of his era.
Thirty years later, the veteran bull man is still roping bulls for the PBR at numerous Built Ford Tough Series events – a role he shares with James DeBord, Mike White and others.
But his prized possession – Bushwacker – is in a league of his own and second to none.
Bushwacker first won the world title in 2011 and again last year in 2013.
He’ll buck this weekend in Oklahoma City and is currently scheduled to compete 11 more times including Anaheim, Calif.; Arlington, Texas (Iron Cowboy V); Albuquerque, N.M.; Fresno, Calif.; Nampa, Idaho; Billings, Mont.; Las Vegas (Last Cowboy Standing); Tulsa, Okla.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Biloxi, Miss., before wrapping up a stellar career in Las Vegas at the World Finals.
In five-plus seasons he set the all-time PBR mark with 42 consecutive buckoffs of the top-ranked riders in the world at Built Ford Tough Series events before J.B. Mauney rode him last August in Tulsa for 95.25 points.
The 7-year-old bull has amassed a laundry list of accomplishments ranging from winning $250,000 in 2010 as the ABBI World Champion Classic Bull, a pair of world titles and he has been the high-marked bull more times than any other bull in the past three years.
He’s bucked off 67-of-70 riders that have faced him – two of those qualified rides came when he was barely 3 years old – and for those daring enough to have attempted Bushwacker, his average buckoff time is 3.31 seconds.
He’s been featured in “The Wall Street Journal” twice, the body issue of “ESPN The Magazine,” “USA Today,” “CBS This Morning,” ESPN’s award-winning series “E:60” and numerous other media features—making him the most famous bovine in history.
PBR Livestock Director Cody Lambert, 52, has said Bushwacker is the greatest bull he’s ever seen.
This is the first time the PBR has announced a farewell tour for a bull.
Several riders, who have unsuccessfully attempted to ride Bushwacker, were asked for their recollections and whether or not they hope for one more attempt at making the 8-second whistle on a bull that has attained legendary status.
SHANE PROCTOR: “I think he’s probably the greatest bull of all time. The athletic ability and height and extension of Bushwacker’s kick and the power he brings when he starts to come down is unmatched. I would love to get on him again and it might take a couple more tries, but I still believe I will ride him.”
AUSTIN MEIER: “He’s by far that next step above the rest. Like in basketball, there are players that are and will be known as great players, but then there are a few that are in a league of their own like Michael Jordan. Bushwacker is in that type of league and, yes, I’d love another chance at him. I was one of the first guys to get on him, so it’d be cool to be one of the last, but hopefully with a score.”
ROBSON PALERMO: “Bushwacker is an outstanding bull. He has some moves that other bulls don’t have. He’s a very smart bull and has proven himself and his capability.”
L.J. JENKINS: “Bushwacker is like no other bull I’ve been around or been on. He’s a totally new definition of rank. When I got on him words can’t explain how powerful he was. He will go down in history as one of if not the rankest of all time. I would love another chance at him. He’s got two years on him since (our) last match, so maybe he’s slowed down.”
PISTOL ROBINSON: “In the history of bull riding there have been some great bulls: Tornado, Oscar, Red Wolf and Bodacious. My generation had Bushwacker, but as bulls go he’s hands down the rankest bull to ever grace the world of bull riding. Do I believe there will be ranker bulls? Absolutely, but Bushwacker will go into history as one of the best ever… so far. It’s my belief that every bull rider that aspires to be great would want to not only attempt to ride him, but actually get the job done. His bucking action is really unlike any other bull I’ve ever tried. When I tried him, his third jump had three different moves when most bulls mainly have two—a forward motion and either a left or right turn. Bushwacker moved and made a huge move to the left and in mid-jump back to the right. Another example of this is when Douglas Duncan got on him at the (World) Finals in Vegas. It was such that it caused him to slap the bull. I’m sure that many guys will be fighting to slay the dragon Bushwacker. Everybody wants to be the hero in this game, including me.”
DOUGLAS DUNCAN: “I wasn’t around when all the other greats were, but when all the old timers say he’s the best they’ve seen, he must be special. I would love another chance at him. Would rather it be with a healthy hand/wrist, but you don’t have that many chances left.”
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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