New York (January 9, 2011) - There’s always been something about the Steiner family that Tom Teague has admired.
It was in 1973 that Bobby Steiner retired after becoming a World Champion bull rider. Three decades later, his youngest son Sid did the same after winning a steer wrestling title.
Teague said he decided he wanted the same outcome for the reigning World Champion Bull, so he called PBR Livestock Director Cody Lambert and officially told him of his decision to retire Bones.
Lambert explained that if Bones were to continue competing and was able to win a third world title in four years, he’d go down as the greatest bull in PBR history.
“He’s a pretty damn good salesman,” Teague said. “I had kindly made my mind up that if he did win it I was going to retire him, and if he didn’t win I probably would have retired him.”
“I can’t blame him,” said Lambert.
Bones emerged in the second half of 2008 and went on to win his first of two world titles. He again made a late-season surge to win his second title in 2010 by defeating the heavily favored Bushwacker and Voodoo Child.
After missing a few months with an injured foot last year, Bones returned to competition in Nashville, Tenn. From that point through the Finals, he bucked six times and never scored less than 45.25 points.
In his second of three outs in Las Vegas, he put Guilherme Marchi on the dirt and all but sealed the 2010 World Champion Bull title with 47.25 points.
“Cody looked at me when he bucked and he said, ‘I told you he was going to surprise you,’” Teague recalled. “Cody’s got a sense about bulls like nobody I’ve ever seen. He told me before it ever happened, he said, ‘Bones can win this thing,’ and he said he’s probably the only one that’ll beat Bushwacker.”
“He had a great rider on him and he had a great score, and what more can you ask for out of a bull? That was just it, and I couldn’t be happier with him. He’s a great animal and I love him. I really do. I never realized I’d be attached to an animal like that, but he’s the first one I ever raised, and he made it two times.”
Had he not retired, Bones would have easily been the featured bull this weekend at the Madison Square Garden Invitational.
Instead he’s in Texas, where Teague is currently breeding him.
Teague said that in 2010, Bones began reminding him of Little Yellow Jacket – not that they had similar bucking styles, but because “he learned to cope” with whatever situation he was in.
While traveling can wear out some livestock, he said Bones was to the point where he would relax until he was called upon to buck. Teague said it was common for his prize-winning bull to lie around and even allow his owner to rub his back.
“He’s nothing but a pet now,” Teague added.
“He’s going out right. I’m tickled to death with the way it ended, and it’s a great ending.
“My favorite football player is Brett Favre. On the other side of the coin, I wish he had retired last year. … No matter what, father time takes care of everything.”
New and Notes
I’m a Gangster and Super Duty are familiar names in the bull pen this weekend.
Gangster, who is owned by the reigning Stock Contractor of the Year Jeff Robinson, is back to using his original name after being called Uncle Buck for the past two seasons. Robinson bought the bull late last year from Tom Teague.
Robinson also agreed to make the change from Major Payne to Super Duty for this season.
Event format changes this season call for an additional short round each weekend, which gives fans an additional five rides per event and provides riders with an another opportunity to earn money.
For three-day events – like the Madison Square Garden Invitational – Day 2 will feature a long round followed by a 10-man short round, which pair riders up with bulls through a random draw. The final day includes one long round as well as the Built Ford Tough Championship round – both of which are arranged through bull drafts.
Two-day events are formatted just like the last two days of a three-day event.
The review process will see two changes in 2011. In response to meetings with riders, the PBR competition committee has ruled this year that if video replays for potential slaps are inconclusive, the ruling will be in favor of the rider, who will receive a qualified score.
Unlike past years, the replay judge will not use a stopwatch when timing replays. Instead he’ll use the clock from the television truck, which provides him the ability to see the ride frame-by-frame alongside the official time.
Viewers at home will see the same replay angles as the replay judge.
Brendon Clark talked about the new Rider Advisory Committee in an interview posted here in the Live Event Center. The committee is made up of eight current riders from the Top 40, including Kody Lostroh and Renato Nunes, who will represent the group as a whole in meetings with PBR officials.
Clark said the idea for the committee came from Jeffrey Pollack, Ty Murray and Cody Lambert.
Not only does it give the riders an opportunity to voice their opinions, it allows to the PBR to discuss the ideas behind upcoming events, as well as potential changes. Clark added it provides everyone with an open line of communication, and that PBR officials will meet with the Top 40 riders at least four times a year.
Shane Proctor said that after spending last year riding as many bulls as he could, he didn’t get on a single bull during the off-season. Instead he went to the gym and worked out with a pair of firefighters from Mooresville, N.C.
Proctor said that the men taught him a lot about remaining in the moment and not letting himself worry about anything other than whatever he’s dealing with at the present.
His interview is one of 12 that have been posted this weekend in the Live Event Center.
Ned Cross, who started off last season with a Top 10 finish, got his first bull of 2011 covered on Friday night. Saturday evening he said the key to getting even better will be consistency. Last year, he gained the confidence it takes to compete at the BFTS, and now he’s looking to contend for a world title.
Jeff Robinson said his bull pen is much the same as it was a year ago when he was voted Stock Contractor of the Year by the Top 40 riders in the world.
A few days ago, Tom Teague said, “In my opinion, he’s going to be the Stock Contractor of the Year again, hands down.” Teague said he thought Robinson, who purchased a number of bulls from Teague, had as a deep a pen as any contractor and was, perhaps, capable of assembling the deepest short round bull pen.
Robinson was humbled by Teague’s comments. He added it was “bold prediction,” but that he hopes his bulls hold up.
Touring Pro update: In Grand Rapids, Mich., Kaylynn Pellam failed to make the whistle Saturday night. She bucked off in 1.4 seconds, while in Bossier City, La., Paulo Crimber made a qualified ride and scored 86.5 points in one of three tune-up events before returning to the BFTS in three weeks.