PUEBLO, Colo. ― Stock contractors Julio Moreno and Chad Berger participated in a teleconference on Monday afternoon with members of the media for 20 minutes to talk about the upcoming DCB PBR Bull Riding Challenge, which is set for June 13-14 in Bismarck, North Dakota.
On Friday night, J.W. Harris will face Bushwacker for the chance to earn $100,000 in the Cooper Tires Match of World Champions. The Touring Pro Division event will be streamed exclusively on PBR LIVE and fans hoping to watch the event can sign up here.
Below are some highlights from the teleconference:
Berger on organizing the Bushwacker vs. J.W. Harris matchup:
“I just thought the hype that J.W. was getting crossing over from the PRCA and that he would be talked about a lot and he is a four-time PRCA world champ and Bushwacker is a two-time PBR champ on his way probably to three times. I just thought it would be a great match of World Champions that I could promote up here in my country. We have a huge rodeo fan base in North Dakota, not just PBR, and I thought it would be neat to have J.W. Harris. I thought he would be a good guy to promote on Bushwacker.”
Moreno on Bushwacker’s preparation for the matchup against Harris:
“Bushwacker will be ready. I have had him ready since – Las Vegas was his last out and I decided I better try and get this bull in shape because Chad’s bid on me is going to be up there a little bit to $50,000 to $100,000, so I thought I better try him.
“I don’t really think he is just another bull. He has so much power. He is not the same every time, but he has been lately kind of lazy acting in his outs, but I think he will really fire this time with the way I have been trying to get him ready for.”
Moreno explains what he means by Bushwacker potentially getting lazy:
“Well, when I say lazy, the last four or five outs the riders are just lasting two seconds, not even that maybe, and after that he bucks, but he just kind of gets ready to go back out the gate. Guilherme (Marchi) at Las Vegas rode him a little longer, a little further, than a lot of those last four guys had. He was different and when he came he really brought it and threw him. You saw it in slow motion, it hit him right in the face and then he fired but he was done bucked off him before he went to the left. So, as far as he is laziness, that’s what I mean. It’s not that he is big, fat lazy, it’s just nobody is really, they are trying him, but he is getting them right there right away. I got him to where I chase him on a horse a lot here lately, the last two weeks. I probably took 20 pounds off him maybe. I am guessing, I haven’t actually weighed him, but 20 pounds off since Vegas and I think he really looks good.”
Moreno on what makes Bushwacker so special:
“Kent Cox has done a good job with this bull, getting him big and powerful. He weighs 1,760 pounds and I really think a bull that big with the athletics he has with him, kicking over his head, he is just so powerful. Bushwacker has to have an ordinary day and the bull rider has to be 110, and I believe J.W. will be ready for him. I think that really puts the mark on that bull why he is so thoroughly gifted.”
Moreno on when he knew he had something different in Bushwacker:
“When I took him as a 3-year-old to the Wild Card, that’s where he was at and was ridden there by Markus (Mariluch). Then he went on and the last out, I think, Elliot Jacoby had him and then shot him in the air. I had Kent Cox next to me and I said, ‘Kent you are going to take this bull with you back to Texas and let’s see what we can do at the Classics with him.’ Well, Kent took him and I know he put weight on him and got him feeling good. I had him, I would say he weighed 14 and a half and he put 300 pounds on him, but muscle weight on him. Anyway, when he called me after every event, Kent was calling me and saying Julio he was 40-something, 40-something, 40-something and I start realizing this might be the real deal. This bull has the chance to win it all and then before too long it went a year and he hadn’t been ridden until J.B. (Mauney) got on him in Tulsa. So, yeah, I started realizing then that he was something special then.”
Moreno on Bushwacker still being on top of his game:
“He could probably go another year if I didn’t want to decide to do this to him. He is that much in shape and he is still young. There is no, knock on wood – he is sound – but there is no soreness in him whatsoever."
Moreno on Bushwacker moving to California:
“He has adapted. Where I have him, I have my cows out a ways over where he can see them and he’s definitely wanting to get to the cows, but I haven’t let that happen just yet. Yeah, he has adapted pretty good now.”
Berger on increasing his bounty to $100,000
“Well, we just kept talking around and getting a few more sponsors. I wanted it to be big. This is the one chance, once in a lifetime, we are going to see Bushwacker in North Dakota. We have a ton of PBR fans. Just because of Berger Bucking Bulls and the long history we have here, we have a lot of bull fans, bucking bull fans, and I thought it would be just a great treat to have Bushwacker here and make it as a big as we possibly could. I would like to make it a million, but it just isn’t possible. But we got it up to a 100 and I think that’s pretty exciting. You can count on your couple of hands how many times anybody has had a chance to ride one bull for $100,000. To have it happen here at my own event is something I worked hard at getting and we got it done.”
Berger on J.W. Harris’ toughness after taking on Shepherd Hills Tested with a nose injury:
“I think it shows a lot for his character to get on that bull all busted up, and he gave it 110 percent and almost rode Tested. I truly believe he is going to give 110 percent on Bushwacker. Bushwacker is an intimidating bull to a lot of them guys and they are bucked off before they even nod their head. I just think J.W., with his mentality, Bushwacker is going to have to buck him off. He is going to be hanging on until his head hits the ground and I really, truly believe it’s a great matchup and may the best one win. Either way I will be happy. I just can’t thank Julio enough for coming. One thing nobody mentioned is Julio is going to win $10,000 from Bushwacker to. It’s not quite as big as what J.W. can win, but it’s still something."
Berger on the excitement in Bismarck leading up to the Harris vs. Bushwacker showdown:
“We did it with (Chris) Shivers that first year and that was, I think, the biggest crowd we ever had. Then we did it with Adriano (Moraes) and Promise Land and this one here, we are ahead like 600 and some tickets on Friday night from a year ago. We have a huge walkup, you never know what you are going to sell, but you can already see Friday night is pre-selling just tremendous and it’s all because of the big matchup. Everybody likes to go Saturday night, but now you can see our Friday night is catching up with our Saturday night as far as tickets. They are excited. It is not just Bushwacker. We come out with a release in the newspapers and stuff with a list of the bull riders we got. We got Mike Lee and Guilherme Marchi, World Champions. J.W. Harris, a four-time world champion. We got Fabiano Vieira, just all of the good guys. Cody Nance, Kasey Hayes, Chase Outlaw, Billy Robinson, Pistol Robinson, Guytin Tsosie, Stormy Wing. The list goes on. Ben Jones. Ty Pozzobon. I would say we got the best lineup of any Touring Pro this year and I don’t think you will see a better lineup than that all year at a Touring Pro."
Moreno on Bushwacker’s intelligence as a two-time World Champion Bull:
“His outs are different. I talk to Cody Lambert about it and Cody was saying he feels those guys and he is smart enough to feel them. I don’t know if they adjust their rope different than some of them, I don’t know that part, but he says they are trying to figure them out just like Bushwacker is figuring them out. It is pretty good to just sit back there, well I am nervous when I flank him, but it is pretty good to watch him go and see that he does have different outs. I really want those guys to ride him the one, two, three jumps where they say that’s where he gets them. I really think he will show them that he does fire right there like he’s done when they have gotten close to riding him or whatever."
Moreno on Bushwacker’s previous matchup with J.W. Harris:
“J.W., I remember his first out on him, I remember Kent calling me and telling me the bull bucked and this J.W. tried him, and I really think that is good and J.W. is going to be, like Chad said, he is going to be 110 and he’s going to try him and it’s going to take everything that Bushwacker has to do to get him off. It will be a good matchup.”
“Well, he is probably 200-250 pounds bigger than he was when J.W. first got on him. He is smarter and he knows a little more tricks I would say. He knows the weight of the rider or them trying something to make a move, he feels all of that probably a lot more than when J.W. first got on him.”
Moreno on Harris’ confidence as a bull rider and if that affects his confidence in Bushwacker:
“Not really because I know there is not much I can do about it. I competed myself so I kind of know that part about getting nervous that way, but there is nothing much I can do. I know he gets in there and he kind of intimidates them by just standing there. I know a couple of times they have spurred him.
“Guilherme (Marchi) told me he was going to spur him just to wake him up in the chute and I said, ‘I think he will get mad’ and he did spur him so, I don’t know. It is a little nervous to me knowing that a guy is cocky, not cocky, but yet comfortable that he thinks he can ride him and I imagine they all do when they got him, but I know he will be ready for that. Bushwacker will.”
Berger on the impact of Harris potentially riding Bushwacker for 8 seconds:
“It would be tremendous. I was interviewed earlier this year about it and I said if they rode him at the Bismarck Civic Center would turn into an outdoor arena because they would blow the roof right off that place. It would do a tremendous amount of publicity for the PBR and everybody involved. Nobody tries to help the PBR more than I do, I talk to all of the fans and I try to get involved and try and make it better. I can’t think of anything that would be better than if they rode Bushwacker in Bismarck, North Dakota. It would be all over.”
Berger on this summer’s Touring Pro Division events featuring marque matchups:
“I think some people are. I have always tried to make mine bigger and better. Ever since the beginning that we started I have hired all of the PBR announcers and hired the PBR bull fighters and I got Flint Rasmussen there. That is something we haven’t talked about. Just to be lucky enough to have him in Bismarck, North Dakota, the last five, six years has just been great for our fan base. A lot of people just come out to see Flint. When you come to my event and you leave there, you don’t know that you are not at a Built Ford Tough. It is run that way. We have the big pyro. From start to finish, and I think there are several people trying to do the same thing and my hat is off to them because it makes the whole sport better. I would never want to put a PBR, and I don’t think they would want to put their name on something that wasn’t first class. That is the kind of mentality I have always had since I ever started putting these things on.”
Moreno on Bushwacker making his debut in North Dakota:
“This is Bushwacker’s first visit to North Dakota. That is what I thought when Chad first asked me about it. This is his last year and, yes it is a long way from California, but I said I think we can make this work. I will be there with him.”
Moreno on Bushwacker’s calves:
"Bushwacker ‘s calves are bucking. They sold one the other day for a little bit of money, but they are bucking. Cody Ohl has a couple of them. I have four of them and they really look good. I have yearlings and I am really, pretty proud of them. I think they are going to be pretty good.”
J.W. Harris on facing Bushwacker (quote via prior interview with Keith Ryan Cartwright):
“You don’t get a chance to get on great bulls like that every day, so you have to take advantage of it while you can.”
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