PUEBLO, Colo. – Two-time World Champion Justin McBride was relaxing in his chair during a CBS Sports television production morning meeting prior to Last Cowboy Standing when the conversation shifted toward the bull power at the final PBR Major before the summer break.
McBride quickly sat up and exclaimed, “Deep Water! Man, I love that bull. He was awesome in Tacoma!”
The CBS Sports Network commentator was certainly not alone in his thoughts about Deep Water either.
Even though, world No. 1 bull Pearl Harbor may have stolen the headlines during the final two Built Ford Tough Series events before the summer break, but it was Deep Water that won the eye test.
Pearl Harbor and Deep Water were the only two bulls to post back-to-back 45-plus bull scores in Tacoma and at Last Cowboy Standing.
“They were really good,” PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert said. “They were just like I expected. The bulls overall (at Last Cowboy Standing) were really good.”
It was in Tacoma, Washington, when Deep Water exploded, leaped and twisted high in the air – nearly above the bucking chutes – with Cody Campbell hanging on for dear life for a career-best 45.5-point bull score.
The 5.71-second buckoff is the kind of wild and western one that leaves a lasting impression on all kinds of fans.
Deep Water had never been marked 45 points in his career, but he was well worth the score inside the Tacoma Dome.
“Deep Water was awesome today,” McBride raved on air from Tacoma. “Check this out right here, watch the air this bull is getting. Cody Campbell is up in the big screen. Holy smokes. That is some major air right there. He does it again. Not just once. He keeps bringing it and finds a turn back. I think this bull should be the highest-marked bull of the weekend.”
Deep Water followed up his sensational out in Tacoma by then dismantling No. 6 Jess Lockwood in 3.13 seconds in Round 3 of Last Cowboy Standing for a 45-point bull score as he burst out of the chutes and begin to fade toward the middle of the outdoor arena.
Nine-tie World Champion Ty Murray was impressed with Deep Water’s initial exit out of the chute.
“He just blasts out of there almost in a run,” Murray said on CBS Sports Network. “It slides (Lockwood) off his rope, jerks him back, therefore it is jerking him forward at the wrong time. So (Lockwood’s) counter movement is messed up right from the get-go. It is like he is pulled forward instead of moving forward.”
Lockwood was more disappointed in letting a great opportunity to advance to Round 4 slip by.
“Shoot, he was the easiest bull in this tough round,” Lockwood said. “I thought he was going 100, so I was going 110, and he was going freaking 75. He was just good and I thought he was going to be really good. I overrode him. I tried to get out of there and just screwed myself.”
Reigning Stock Contractor of the Year Chad Berger admits it has taken some time for him to learn how to haul and flank Deep Water.
“We just got him, and I learned he don’t take a very tight flank,” Berger said. “He likes a light snug flank. He seems to like that so we are going to run with that.”
Berger and Heald Pro Bulls purchased the bull from Cody Hebert and Hebert Bucking Bulls in February.
Deep Water had bucked off 15 riders on the Built Ford Tough Series before Cody Teel rode him for 86.5 points in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
“I just figured I had to play with him and feel him out,” Berger said. “Cody Hebert has done a great job with that bull. I thought he was a great bull when I bought him and he is turning out to be more than I thought he was.”
Berger was quick to credit the Heberts for a lot of Deep Water’s success.
“Hats off to the Heberts,” Berger said. “I want to thank them for raising such a great animal.”
Deep Water is 5-1 this season with a 43.83-point average bull score. He is 16-2 with an average bull score of 43.1 in his two-year career.
The 5-year-old bull is the son of High Society and the grandson of Playboy Skoal and Twisted Mind.
Deep Water is not involved in the World Champion Bull race just yet, but he may be a bull to keep an eye on come the second half if his last two outs were a sign of thing to come.
So far the World Champion Bull Race is pretty muddy outside of top tier contenders Pearl Harbor and 2016 World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser.
TLW’s Big Cat (44.83 points per out) has shown promise and will be a bull to keep an eye on as well once the BFTS second half begins on Aug. 11 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Big Cat needs two more outs to reach the eight-out minimum to be eligible for the 2017 World Championship.
Here is the Top 5 of the World Champion Bull race as of the summer break
1. Pearl Harbor (46.25-point average)
2. 2016 World Champion SweetPro’s Bruiser (46-point average)
3. TLW’s Big Cat* (44.83-point average)
4. Spotted Demon* (44.57-point average)
5.Seven Dust* (44.56-point average)
*Bull still has yet to reach the 8-out minimum.
The 2017 World Champion Bull will be determined based on the Top 8 outs during PBR Built Ford Tough Series regular-season events plus two outs at the PBR World Finals. The bull with the highest average bull score across those 10 outs will be crowned the PBR WCBB and earn the $100,000 WCBB bonus."
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
© 2018 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.