PUEBLO, Colo. – When Matt Scharping was debating what to name his stock contracting company 11 years ago, he knew he wanted to do something different.
Matt Scharping Bucking Bulls just seemed to blasé to him.
Scharping, a former competitive go-kart and Sprint Car race car driver with over 15 years of experience behind the wheel, began to google different words and phrases that he thought may be fitting for a bull team.
The one thing Scharping knew he wanted his company to represent was power and strength, two qualities that would eventually represent the majority of his PBR bucking bulls.
Getting into the stock contracting business was going to feed two of Scharping’s biggest passions – competitiveness and livestock – and he also wanted a company name that would play off his former racing career, but also give homage to his agriculture background from growing up on his parent’s farm in Arlington, Minnesota.
That is when the idea of Phenom Genetics came to mind.
“There used to be a kart chassis we had when we ran that was really good,” Scharping recalled. “When I was going through and looking at names and what not, I came across phenom. It was something different. It was everybody’s individual names and bucking bulls. I wanted it to be different. I wanted it to be a brand.”
Phenom Genetics took a backseat in recent years as Scharping and his company became the behind-the-scenes driver for Jared Allen’s Pro Bull Team and former World Champion Bull contender Air Time.
Still, Scharping and Phenom Genetics had only been getting stronger outside of the limelight as Jared Allen’s Pro Bull Team and Air Time soared to popularity. And for those that may think Allen was the one driving the competitive bus for the last four years, don’t think that Sharping wasn’t just as competitive – if not more competitive – than the former four-time All Pro NFL defensive end.
Not only did Scharping win championships on the dirt track, he is a determined competitor in all phases of his life.
One example came during his previous profession as a tool seller. In three years, Scharping became Cornwell’s national top-seller (2005) a year after finishing runner-up.
Scharping’s burning desire to win and succeed is just one example of why there is not expected to be any setbacks in 2018 as he takes over ownership of Allen’s PBR bucking bulls Magic Train and Bad Beagle.
Scott Accomazzo now owns a portion of Magic Train, while Kris, Mary and Eva Rothe have bought into Bad Beagle.
“Nothing changes for the bulls,” Scharping said. “(Jared and I) are still partners and I still take care of all Jared’s stuff, but he is just not focusing on the PBR. Jared is refocusing what he wants to do. That is fine. That is his call. I was not willing to do the same in regards to walking away. I honestly like what the PBR is and I want the rank bulls.”
Ah, yes, the rank bulls.
Scharping wants to continue to focus on the pillars of Phenom Genetics with the 2018 season right around the corner.
You can rest assured that Magic Train and Bad Beagle will be at the forefront of the bull power on the Phenom Genetics bull trailer.
“I want the bulls that are super strong,” Scharping said. “The bulls that are the freaks and take a lot more care. I love that. That is what my program is designed around. After having Air Time for as long as I had him, it was forced to be that way. After the pressure of trying to learn all of that stuff, I am not going to utilize that.
“It is a big advantage in what we do.”
Scharping has already scheduled out roughly 12-14 PBR Premier Series events he plans on bringing his Phenom Genetics trailer too, and fans are highly anticipating what Bad Beagle and Magic Train will bring to the table.
Bad Beagle is expected to make his season-debut in Chicago on Jan. 13. Magic Train will first buck in Oklahoma City in mid-January.
The 5-year-old is coming off a career-year in which he went 14-0 on the Premier Series with a 44.2 average bull score. He saved his best for last too, bucking off Matt Triplett (3.9 seconds) and Brennon Eldred (3.98 seconds) at the PBR World Finals for career-high bull scores of 45 and 45.75 points.
Magic Train was then a part of history at the Finals when he teamed up with Jose Vitor Leme for a sensational 94.5-point ride on the last ride of the 2017 season.
“Honestly, to me that is a dream come true,” Scharping said of his two staples. “Going in like we are doing this, I could have went different way. I know Magic Train and Beagle real well. I have been around them for a long time. They kind of represent who we are. That is what I want.”
Both bulls turned a corner during the second half of the season in large part to the second half of Scharping’s company.
Scharping is a self-proclaimed “geek” when it comes to experimenting, studying and finding the perfect nutritional cocktails for his animals. He will pay top dollar to ensure his animals are getting the best nutrition. He has looked as far as Europe for certain minerals and has his hay shipped in from Arkansas.
Scharping also worked with his local veterinarian to create a specialized pellet feed for his bulls.
His attention to nutritional detail, which involves a lot of research into how to get a bull as lean as possible without affecting his energy output, paid off big time during the second half with Bad Beagle and Magic Train.
“I love to figure out what you can do to help them,” Scharping said. “I want people to understand how much we truly love these animals and give them anything and everything they need to feel 100 percent. I love that part of it.”
Scharping is beginning 2018 extremely confident in his program, especially when it comes to Bad Beagle and Magic Train, and is excited to see the growth of his young bulls as he continues to develop more short-round caliber bulls.
The Arlington, Minnesota, native aspires to one day have the kind of bull pen of 10-15 short-round bulls like Circle T Ranch and Rodeo used to have 10 years ago.
To get to that level Scharping knows that Phenom Genetics cannot become 100 percent satisfied. Phenom Genetics has to keep improving.
“If I told you I am not looking for the next thing, I would be lying to you,” Scharping said. “I am always looking and trying to figure what else we can do. Where we can improve.
“I am never satisfied.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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