PUEBLO, Colo. – Reigning Stock Contractor of the Year Chad Berger is wheeling and dealing once again.
For the second time this season, and less than 6 months after purchasing 2012 World Champion Bull Asteroid, Berger has made yet another stunning acquisition in the bull business.
Berger announced on Tuesday morning that he has finalized a purchase for Pearl Harbor, which gives Berger another potential World Champion Bull contender heading into the second half of the season.
“I think Pearl Harbor has as good a chance as any to be Bull of the Year,” Berger said via phone. “To be in this business, you have to be constantly looking for that next great bull. If you are going to be in the business, every day you wake up in the morning you better be thinking about where you can get the next great one.”
Berger chose not to disclose the financial terms of the deal between he and Dave Kielhorn (Bar D Cattle Company), who had bought Pearl Harbor from Boyd and Floyd Bull Company earlier this year.
Pearl Harbor is 5-1 this season with an average bull score of 45 points per out.
The World Champion contender’s best performance came in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, when J.B. Mauney fought through an elbow injury to ride Pearl Harbor for 94.25 points.
Pearl Harbor was marked a career-high 46.25 points.
“J.B. just made an outstanding ride,” Berger said. “He could have been 95-96 and nobody would have said a word. That bull was 23 points that day and J.B. rode him perfect. That could have been a 23.5 and half, and with another 23.5, and you are at 96.”
Earlier this summer, PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert listed Pearl Harbor as a potential World Champion Bull contender.
“J.B. is the only one to have ridden him this year. That is something,” Lambert said. “Pearl Harbor doesn’t care if he spins to the left or right. He has lots of kick and lots of whip to the outside. Decent timing, but he bucks so hard that it is going to take those kind of riders to ride him.”
This is Pearl Harbor’s first full season on the BFTS and in his third out of the year he bucked off 2015 World Finals event winner Cooper Davis in 3.98 seconds for a 46-point bull score.
It was one of two times this season where Davis felt the wrath of Pearl Harbor. He also was bucked off in 1.75 seconds in Little Rock, Arkansas.
“He just annihilated him,” Berger said. “He is a rank bull. I am not ready to say he is the best bull in the world, because that sounds arrogant, but he can trade punches with any of them.
Davis called the pickup “a really good move” by Berger.
“He’s got two really strong contenders for (World Champion) now with Pearl Harbor and Asteroid,” Davis said from the Calgary Stampede. “Pearl Harbor is big and strong, but has the agility of a smaller bull. I’m really excited for Chad having so many great bulls this year, and if anyone knows how to pick them and take of them it’s him.”
Overall, Pearl Harbor is 13-2 on the BFTS with an average bull score of 44.28 points. The only other rider outside of Mauney to ride Pearl Harbor is Matt Triplett, who did so for 87.25 points in the bull’s second BFTS out during the 2014 World Finals.
“Well, for one thing, his athletic ability and his size, he is bigger and stronger than those other bulls,” Berger said, comparing Pearl Harbor to Jared Allen’s Air Time, SweetPro’s Long John and SweetPro’s Bruiser. “He has the athletic ability they have.”
Berger originally tried to purchase Pearl Harbor earlier this year from Boyd and Floyd, but was outbid. At the time, he thought he had missed out on getting a face of the franchise type of bull in Pearl Harbor.
“You know, honestly and truthfully, I was dealing with Boyd and Floyd for a while,” Berger explained. “Ever since he was a 3-year-old I kept saying, ‘I want to buy that bull when you sell him. I want to buy that bull.’
“I thought I had him bought last winter there, but David jumped in and gave a lot more money. Truthfully, I thought they were pulling my leg a little bit and I didn’t call their bluff and I lost him.”
That was until last week when Berger was able to reach a deal following multiple days of negotiating.
Now he has a 5-year-old beast that has the potential to possibly carry Chad Berger Bucking Bulls for the next couple of seasons.
“I really think he can be,” Berger said. “I have a lot of great bulls, but (Pearl Harbor) is one that can really lead the way for anybody that had him. It was one of those once in a lifetime chances and I was lucky enough to get two chances. A bull like that, you just can’t buy him. You just can’t come to a deal.”
Instead, Berger once again, with the help of his partners Clay Struve and David Currey, has pulled of a significant haul.
Pearl Harbor joins Asteroid, Crossfire, who Berger bought following the 2015 Built Ford Tough World Finals, as well as Smooth Operator, as the stalwarts of Berger’s pen heading into the second half of the BFTS.
Pearl Harbor is the son of Black Pearl – a three-time PBR World Finals qualifier who went 28-13 at the BFTS level.
“It solidifies our company,” Berger said. “It says we are not just here for a little while. We are here for a long while. It lets everybody know we are serious in what we do.”
Berger also closed a deal to acquire Red Moon from Riley Samford. Red Moon is 7-3 in two seasons on the BFTS and is 4-1 this year. He is averaging 43 points per out in 2016.
Berger plans on leaving Pearl Harbor with Boyd and Floyd Bull Company in Stephenville, Texas, until the conclusion of the 2016 World Finals. He will also do the same with Red Moon and Samford.
“I will probably flank them,” Berger said. “Both of them bulls will finish out the year with those guys. I want them to bring them to the events. I don’t want to change their environments. I don’t want to change nothing to anything they are not used to until the year is out. I will have a couple of months after the Finals to get them adapted.”
If he has his way, Berger will be taking a World Champion Bull contender back home to his ranch, as well as a sixth Stock Contractor of the Year title later this November.
Berger knows that if you want to win big in Las Vegas then you have to gamble some, and the long-time bull man is loading up to attempt to do it again Nov. 2 at T-Mobile Arena.
“It comes down to Vegas and it is a crap shoot for that World Champion Bull,” Berger concluded. “It is kind of like you have to some of the best in the world to have a chance. If you go to Vegas to play blackjack and you don’t have any chips, they won’t let you play.
“Well, I guess I have a bunch of chips so I am all in. I am betting on 21.”
Better yet, maybe he is betting on 1149 Pearl Harbor.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Throughout the month of July, PBR.com, and the PBR’s social media channels, will be featuring a variety of bulls in the race for the 2016 World Championship, as well as some of the other rankest bovines in the business.
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