PUEBLO, Colo. – SweetPro’s Bruiser was standing inside the bucking chutes like a silent soldier during Round 2 of the 2017 Built Ford Tough World Finals last week in T-Mobile Arena.
Longtime stock contractor H.D. Page glanced at his reigning World Champion Bull and looked puzzled.
For a quick second, Page thought, ‘Is he awake?’
Bruiser then blinked his eyes, twitched his ears and licked his lips.
“That is just his deal,” Page said with a chuckle. “He is cool as a cucumber.”
A few minutes later, Bruiser roared to life out of the bucking chute and the almost sleeping giant sent Emilio Resende crashing to the arena dirt in only 1.91 seconds.
Bruiser was marked 47 points, which was his second highest score of the season, and he was well on his way to winning a second consecutive YETI World Champion Bull title.
“I know he is going to buck, there is no question about that,” Page said. “But I sometimes want to say, ‘Come on buddy! Get your game face on!’”
Sure enough, on Championship Sunday, Bruiser did what he does best and almost helped propel Ryan Dirteater to a round win and massive payday before Dirteater was sent off the side of Bruiser at 7.19 seconds.
The two buckoffs and bull scores propelled Bruiser to the 2017 championship.
Against Dirteater, Bruiser got so high in the air halfway through the out that he was nearly as high as the arena side fences.
“He’s so big, that’s the thing,” J.W. Hart said. “It’s hard for a bull that big to get that far off of the ground, and he does it.”
Bruiser concluded the season with a 12-4 record and a career-high 46.02 average bull score. He was marked 45 points or higher in all 16 of his outs, including a career-high 47.25-point score for bucking off 2017 World Champion Jess Lockwood in Springfield, Missouri.
Even though Lockwood was knocked unconscious in Springfield, Bruiser has rarely a mean bone in his body.
He looks the part of champion in the arena for 8 seconds, and then he takes on the role of man’s best friend in the back pens or pasture when he is alongside Page or H.D.’s father, Dillon.
“That is just him,” H.D. said. “It’s his disposition I think, but he truly loves his job. He loves what he’s doing and that kind of snowballs from the way he acts. That’s just the way he is. He doesn’t dread any part of this. He doesn’t dread getting on the trailer and coming to the event. He doesn’t dread getting in the chute. He’s not lazy. He’s conservative in the back, but when that gate opens he brings it.”
PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert said he has never seen H.D. have such an emotional connection to one bull like he does with Bruiser.
It is apparent Bruiser is not just a bucking bull to Page, but a pet and member of the family.
“Bruiser’s got it all and he’s got the best personality,” Lambert said. “He’s the coolest bull. He’s the biggest pet. Everything about him, we’ll never see another one. We might see one that bucks that hard, but he’ll probably be mean and then we might see one that’s that gentle, but he might not buck that hard.
“We’ll never, ever see another Bruiser.”
Bruiser was born on March 2, 2011 and is the son of World Finals qualifier Show Time and a daughter of 2006 World Champion Bull Mossy Oak Mudslinger.
He may not have the most intimidating presence in the bucking chute, but Bruiser continues to win championship after championship.
Bruiser won the 2015 ABBI Classic title as a 3-year-old star on the rise. He also finished runner-up to World Champion SweetPro’s Long John.
If not for Long John, Bruiser could easily have won three consecutive World Championships.
Regardless, he is now a reigning two-time World Champion Bull with the potential for a third in 2018.
The defending World Champion Bull is the fourth bovine superstar in PBR history to win back-to-back titles and joins 1995 World Champion Bodacious as the only bulls to win both the PBR championship and PRCA Bull of the Year honors.
Bruiser joins three-time World Champion Bull Bushwacker (2013 & 2014), three-time World Champion Little Yellow Jacket (2002, 2003 & 2004) and Dillinger (2000 & 2001) to successfully repeat.
He won’t go down as the rankest bull of all time, but he is certainly in the conversation as one of the best.
“He’ll be in the conversation of all-time best bull, but I don’t think he’s in the conversation for the rankest,” Hart said. “The degree of difficulty is just not near that of Bushwacker or Dillinger, but he’s got the show.
He is honest every time he bucks with the riders. He does the same thing almost every time and riders know what to expect in and out of the chute with him.
Bruiser has been ridden nine times by five riders (J.B. Mauney, Joao Ricardo Vieira, Mason Lowe, Derek Kolbaba and Stormy Wing) in 46 BFTS outs over the course of his four-year career.
Those five riders have won over $1.5 million on the back of Bruiser, which includes Mauney’s $1 million World Champion bonus for his world title-clinching 92.75-point ride on Bruiser at the 2015 Built Ford Tough World Finals.
Normally Bruiser is the one helping hand out paychecks to the cowboys, but his 2017 season ended with him bringing home $125,000 – $25,000 from being named Bull of the Finals – to D&H Cattle Company.
Page has learned over the years to never doubt his gentle giant, even if he does sometimes look a little sleepy in the chutes.
“That happened a long time ago.” Page concluded. “Maybe getting the ground work laid helped. That bull really trusts me and I trust him.”
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