Clayton Williams claims second consecutive Challenger Tour Championship and $525,000

Photo: Andy Watson

Clayton Williams rides all three bulls on his way to a $500,000 first place win during the Copenhagen Bull Riding Challenger Tou
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (February 17, 2008) – Oklahoma bull riding fans were thrilled this weekend when the Professional Bull Riders’ (PBR) Copenhagen Bull Riding Challenger Tour Championship presented by Dickies roared into Oklahoma City. With $1 million up for grabs the world’s best bull riders put every effort into each performance. In a dramatic finish, Clayton Williams (Carthage, Texas) repeated his winning style and claimed his second Challenger Tour Championship event title in two years. Despite suffering an elbow injury that has sidelined Williams for the majority of the 2008 Built Ford Tough Series presented by Wrangler, he chose to compete in Oklahoma City and defend his title. The decision earned the Texas cowboy an historic $525,000 in PBR bucks, the largest winner’s purse in bull riding history.

“I really don’t think anyone expected me to win, not that they doubted my riding ability, but with my elbow being messed up, I obviously had a strike against me,” said Williams. “I was border-line scared to get on the first one because I didn’t know how my elbow was going to feel. It’s a bad injury and very painful. I will be the first to tell you I was super nervous on that first bull.’’ 

As the only cowboy to successfully ride all three of his bulls, Williams easily claimed the event title with 258 total points. In the first round of competition he rode Frontier Rodeo Company’s Coyote Bill for 84.25 points and 13th place in the round. During the second round, Sunday afternoon Williams made the eight second whistle aboard Hale/Hicks & McCraken’s Cheap Trick and received a score of 84.5 points, enough for 16th place in the round. But it was his ride in the Championship Round that sealed the deal for Williams. He scored 89.25 points on Chad Berger/Clay Struve’s Team Equine’s Evil Forces.


“If they would have given me pencil and paper and let me pick them, I couldn’t have done it any better,” Williams said of the bulls.


In only his second year competing in the PBR, Williams has rapidly become a dominant force in the sport. In 2007, he became the PBR’s “Cinderella” by advancing from the Qualifier Rounds to claim the Challenger Tour Championship and the Daisy PBR Rookie of the Year award. The $525,000 he won this weekend more than doubled his career earnings to a total of $844,247.31 and catapulted him into the 20th spot in the all-time PBR career earnings standings.


“My grandpa always told me I could retire when I got $3 million in the bank,” Williams said. “Just because of Oklahoma City last year and this year, I’m a third of the way there.”


Williams will most likely undergo surgery on his elbow to repair the damage he suffered in a bull riding accident sustained at a Challenger Tour event in Pueblo, Colo. last month, but has plans to make the PBR’s 2008 Built Ford Tough World Finals presented by Wrangler in Las Vegas, Nev. this fall. The win in Oklahoma City guarantees him a spot at the elite bull riding event.


“They’ve (his ligaments) torn completely loose. They are going to build two new ligaments and put them in there. It’s a very tough surgery. I’m going to be out six months and that’s one of the things I’m going to have to consider right now, whether to keep riding or actually have surgery.


“Dr. Tandy (Freeman) didn’t think it was great idea for me to come, but being the great doctor that Tandy is, he said I can’t hurt it any worse. He knows with my attitude that I wanted to be here. He gave me the go ahead, and thank God he did.


“To come back and ride three good bulls in a row, I hate to go have surgery now. But being a business man that is something that I am just going to have to think about. In the end, if I had to say right now, I am leaning toward having surgery.”


Bryan Richardson (Dallas, Texas) overcame a slow start in round one to claim second place in the event. He was bucked off of Chad Berger/Ryken/Rosen’s Sir Patrick on Saturday night but came back on Sunday afternoon with two outstanding rides. In the second round he scored 88.25 points aboard Davis/White’s Smiley and split fourth place in the round. In the championship round of the Copenhagen Bull Riding Challenger Tour Championship presented by Dickies, Richardson claimed the round victory with 90 points aboard Page & Buck’s Savage Shaker. His total score of 178.25 points will make his travels back to Texas much sweeter with $112,000 in his pocket.


Brazil ’s Robson Palermo (Acre, Rio Branco) wrapped up third place with 177.75 points. He added $83,000 toward his bid for the 2008 PBR World Finals. Rounding out the top five was Kody Lostroh (Longmont, Colo.) with 176.75 points and $25,000 and Jared Farley (Kempsey, NSW, AU) with 176.5 points and $17,000 in earnings. 


The Express Open Qualifying event offered up and coming young bull riders an opportunity to qualify for the Copenhagen Bull Riding Challenger Tour Championship presented by Dickies in a two-round event Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. The top ten riders from this qualifier advanced to the Challenger Tour Championship.  It was Kolt Donaldson (Idabel, Okla.) who walked away with $18,000 in PBR bucks and the Express Open event title. Donaldson ended up in 15th place at the Challenger Tour Championship. 


In conjunction with the Express Open on Friday night, the bucking bulls where also in competition during the American Bucking Bull Inc. (ABBI) Classic.  The event featured three and four year old bucking bulls competing for top honors and the opportunity to compete at the World Bucking Bull Classic held during the PBR World Finals. Boyd/Floyd Bull Company’s Lightening McQueen and Circle T Ranch and Rodeo’s Outa Da Bleu split top honors in the event with 89.25 points. Both contractors earned $8,702.25 for their bull’s performances. Third place was claimed by D&H Cattle Co.’s Crooked Face with 89 points.


The 2008 PBR Built Ford Tough Series presented by Wrangler will continue next weekend with the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Invitational in St. Louis, Mo. VERSUS will air the event live on Saturday, February 23 at 8:00 p.m. ET, the third and Championship rounds will air on Sunday, February 24 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Can number one man, Travis Briscoe (Edgewood, N.M.) maintain his lead over Brazil’s Paulo Crimber (Olimpia, Sao Paulo, BZ)? The grueling week-in and week-out schedule of the BFTS resumes next week.


Injury Report:
Tony Mendes (Pueblo, Colo.) aggravated an injury to his right knee and is probable for competition in St. Louis next weekend.


Jody Newberry (Ada, Okla.) sustained a groin strain and torn artery in his left leg during the second round of the Express Open. He was transferred to an area hospital for further evaluation. He is out of competition.


Copenhagen Bull Riding Challenger Tour Championship presented by Dickies Results:


Round One Results:
) Sean Willingham (Summerville, Ga.) 89.25 points on Frontier Rodeo Company’s Little Big Man, $32,000; 2) Kody Lostroh (Longmont, Colo.) 89 points on Rex Swearingin’s Can Rock, $24,000; 3/4) L.J. Jenkins (Texico, N.M.) 87.75 points on John & Lacey Berger/Clay Struve’s Strong Heart, $12,000; 3/4) Kolt Donaldson (Idabel, Okla.) 87.75 points on Danny Lemmons’ Splat Kat, $12,000; 5/6) Clayton Foltyn (El Campo, Texas) 87.25 points on Chad Berger/Larry Ryken’s Live Wire; 5/6) Robson Palermo (Rio Branco, Acre Brazil) 87.25 points on Chad Berger/Winston Loe’s Gold Bell Wine.  



Round Two Results:
1) Robson Palermo (Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil) 90.5 points on Andrews Rodeo Co. Inc.’s Fender Bender, $32,000; 2) Paulo Crimber (Olimpia, Sao Paulo, Brazil) 89.25 points on Chad Berger/Ryken/Hawks’ Scaredy Cat, $24,000; 3) Josh Koschel (Loveland, Colo.) 89 points on Chad Berger/Larry Ryken’s Bad Action, $16,000; 4/5) J.B. Mauney (Mooresville, N.C.) 88.25 points on Hale/Hicks & McCraken’s Full Circle, $4,000; 4/5) Bryan Richardson (Dallas, Texas) 88.25 points on Davis/White’s Smiley, $4,000.


Championship Round Results:
) Bryan Richardson (Dallas, Texas) 90 points on Page & Buck’s Savage Shaker, $32,000; 2) Clayton Williams (Carthage, Texas) 89.25 points on Chad Berger/Clay Struve’s Team Equine’s Evil Forces, $24,000; 3) Jared Farley (Kempsey, NSW, AU) 88.5 points on Chad Berger/Larry Ryken’s Walk The Line, $16,000; 4) L.J. Jenkins (Texico, N.M.) 88.25 points on Chad Berger/Ryken/Rosen’s Mean Machine, $8,000; 5) Kody Lostroh (Longmont, Colo.) 87.75 points on Taylor Made Bucking Bulls’ Smokeless Wardance.


Overall Event Results:
1) Clayton Williams (Carthage, Texas) 258 points, $525,000; 2) Bryan Richardson (Dallas, Texas) 178.25 points, $112,000; 3) Robson Palermo (Acre, Rio Branco, Brazil) 177.75 points, $83,000; 4) Kody Lostroh (Longmont, Colo.) 176.75 points, $25,000; 5) Jared Farley (Kempsey, NSW, AU) 176.5 points, $17,000.


Express Open Qualifier Results:

Round One Results:
1) Kolt Donaldson (Idabel, Okla.) 90.25 points on Ty Rinaldo TZ Bucking Bulls’ Flashover, $12,000; 2/3) Brian Herman (Victoria, Texas) 87 points on Mark Campbell’s Monkeyshine, $7,500; 2/3) Jarrod Craig (Hillsboro, Texas) 87 points on Mendell/Lane/Downard’s Chester, $7,500; 4/5) Ross Coleman (Molalla, Ore.) 86.75 points on Diamond S Bucking Bulls’ Brass Cat, $1,500; 4/5) Zack Brown (Santa Fe, Texas) 86.75 points on Rex Swearingin’s Can Rock, $1,500.


Round Two Results:
) Chris Shivers (Jonesville, La.) 89 points on Boyd/Floyd Bull Company’s Hornet, $12,000; 2) Mike White (De Kalb, Texas) 88.75 points on Page & Teague Bucking Bulls’ Air Time, $9,000; 3) Kolt Donaldson (Idabel, Okla.) 88 points on Page & Teague Bucking Bulls’ Recoil, $6,000; 4) Zack Brown (Santa Fe, Texas) 87.25 points on Boyd/Floyd Bull Company’s Wild Life, $3,000.


Overall Event Results:
1) Kolt Donaldson (Idabel, Okla.) 178.25 points, $18,000; 2) Zack Brown (Santa Fe, Texas) 174 points, $4,500; 3) Brian Herman (Victoria, Texas) 173.75 points, $7,500; 4) Jarrod Craig (Hillsboro, Texas) 173 points, $7,500; 5) Ross Coleman (Molalla, Ore.) 172.75 points, $1,500.


ABBI Classic Results:
1/2) Boyd/Floyd Bull Company’s Lightening McQueen, 89.25 points, $8,702.25; 1/2) Circle T Ranch and Rodeo’s Outa Da Bleu, 89.25 points, $8,702.25; 3) D&H Cattle Company’s Crooked Face, 89 points, $4,746.96; 4) 5 G Farms’ Rowdy Houldum, 88.75 points, $3,955.80; 5) 4C’s/Sills/Barker’s Little Bo, 88.25 points, $3,362.43.