PUEBLO, Colo. – One of the most difficult – and certainly one of the most feared – bucking bulls in the PBR will be the difference between one bull rider leaving Decatur, Texas, next week with an extra $50,000 or not.
The winner of the 15th annual J.W. Hart PBR Challenge on June 2 at the Wise County Fairgrounds will square off against three-time PBR World Finals qualifier Seven Dust in a bounty matchup, Hart announced this week.
Seven Dust is 53-5 in his career at all levels of competition, and the Gene Owen and Jack Clark bovine superstar has only been ridden three times in 43 outs on the PBR’s premier tour.
“He is big, and he is mean, and he is kind of scary,” Hart said. “He has a lot of bluff in him before the gates even open. It is going to take somebody that doesn’t bluff easy. It is going to take somebody that isn’t afraid of a big, scary son of a buck. We have seen it. We know it can be done.”
Owen said it is a privilege for him and Clark to receive the invite from Hart to have their bull be the $50,000 bounty bull.
“They have always done something special in Decatur in the past, so it is an honor for me and Jane that they decided our bull worthy for their event,” Owen said. “That is a special deal. We are pretty appreciative of that.”
The J.W. Hart PBR Challenge is consistently one of the premier events on the summer calendar. More important than being one of the better bull ridings of the summer, though, is that the proceeds from the bull riding always go to charity.
“We put a bull riding on for charity. That is the deal,” Hart said. “We are going to give another home away and we have another exciting thing coming on our charity that is going to be cool. They will unveil it all Thursday night (May 31) before. We have a big fundraiser. They will talk about it there. It is going to be cool.
Over the last 14 years, the J.W. Hart PBR Challenge – the first non-PBR premier series event to operate as a non-profit – and WC Challenger Charities has donated over $1 million – cash – to 50-plus charities.
In partnership with 1,000 Miles Till Home, WC Challenger Charities has also donated 15-plus homes valued at over $3 million.
Seven Dust will be no easy charity for any of the riders that may potentially win the opportunity for the $50,000 showdown.
The 8-year-old bovine athlete is 8-1 this season with an average bull score of 43.8 points in nine trips.
Three-time World Champion Silvano Alves highlights the field of 40 riders tentatively expected to compete in Decatur.
Other top riders such as No. 12 Fabiano Vieira, No. 14 Keyshawn Whitehorse, No. 19 Valdiron de Oliveira and No. 31 Cody Campbell are in the draw.
Seven Dust’s last three buckoffs have all come in less than 3 seconds – Fernando Henrique Novais (2.8 seconds), Stetson Lawrence (2.57 seconds) and Tanner Byrne (2.87 seconds).
Cody Teel is the last rider to reach 8 seconds on Seven Dust after riding Gene Owen and Jane Clark’s bovine athlete for 88.5 points at the St. Louis 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast event in February.
“He comes with a reputation of being a big, strong, mean, fast bull and is always left to someone in the draft,” Teel said. “You have to take all the aggression and grit he brings to the table and give it back to him. When you nod your head, you can’t predict what he’s going to do. You just have to know what you’re going to do. I wasn’t thinking of anything fundamentally I needed to do. I was just ready to take the fight to him because he means business.”
Lachlan Richardson (92.5 points), 2017 World Champion Jess Lockwood (87.5 points), Stetson Lawrence (89.5 points) and Beau Brooks (75 points) are the other riders to have successfully ridden the bull.
Owen said that over the years Seven Dust has developed the intellect to realize when a rider may be cheating to one side.
Seven Dust used to usually go right, but he has begun to switch it up on his opponents, which only makes him that much harder to rider.
“They have tried to trap him so many times that he has it figured it out, ‘I can get them off easier if I don’t go that way,’” Owen said. “He is hard to ride. He is strong and has a different bucking style than most bulls. He used to be to the right, but now he may go to the left. He may go two or three jumps before he turns. There is no telling.
“He has gotten older and is smarter. He gets them on the ground as easily as he can. He still gets them on the ground, but it is not as pretty as it used to be. He knows how to do it. He is up and down in the front end. If he starts to the right and feels the rider moving over there, he will just move forward if he has them bucked off.”
Seven Dust will likely be favored against whoever wins the J.W. Hart PBR Challenge, but Hart is rooting for the cowboys next weekend.
“It can be done and I hope they bust him,” Hart concluded. “I hope they get him. We will see.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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