Ben Jones: The Dancing Australian.

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Whenever Craig Hummer and whoever happens to be hosting with him talks about Ben Jones, the word “heart” always comes up.
It is widely accepted that Ben Jones of New South Wales, Australia has the biggest heart in the sport. He simply loves what he does and shows his emotions in a profound way.
With his missing front tooth, the Aussie’s smile might be intimidating to some, but he’s always saying how thankful he is to the fans for their support and how much he loves the sport of bull riding.
The best part about him?
His dancing.
Every time he successfully posts a score on a bull…he dances.
It’s the most legit dance ever. I want to learn it.
It never ceases to put a smile on my face.
I even started a facebook fan page dedicated to his EPIC dance.
Here’s a couple videos of him.



This one is one of my favorites. Because the bull fighters are trying to protect him…and you can see he’s a little dazed…but all he wants to do is dance. Haha.

While his riding stats aren’t that impressive, (only 1 career event win with 5 90+ point rides and a riding percent of 34.44%), he’s definitely one of the PBR’s most colorful characters.

Bull Riding Terms Defined.

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So for all of you out there who AREN’T completely obsessed with bull riding…I though I’d lay out what the fundamentals of the sport are, and some terms that you might hear if you’re watching it.
This is a work in progress.

The object of the sport of bull riding is simple: Stay on your bull for 8 seconds.
Riders must only use one hand to hold on to the bull rope, and the other hand must be in the air at all times and never touch the bull.
Scoring is out of 100, with 50 points possible each for both the rider and bull.

1. 8 Seconds
Not 7.94…which I’ve seen. It has to be 8. If the rider is bucking off, but still has a hold of the bull rope,
this is considered to be the 8 seconds.

2. Bull Rope.
A corded rope. Either in the American or Brazilian Style.

3. Flank Strap.
The strap that goes around the bull’s flank…NOT their testicles. It is line with sheep’s wool for comfort.

4. Spurs.
A bull rider’s spurs are primarily used for holding on. The rowels (spinning part) are actually taped into place. The edges of the spokes are blunt.

5. Chutes.
Where the bulls are kept and where the riders get on the bulls.

6. Helmets vs. No Helmets.
Helmets are not required to be worn. Some riders claim that the extra weight throws off their balance, but I have seen plenty a rider’s life be saved, or them spared a concussion because they were wearing a helmet. Mike Lee is a perfect example.

7. Rosin.
The sticky sap-like substance that bull riders put on their ropes to help the rope stick to their glove.

8. Bull Fighters vs. Rodeo Clowns.
Bull fighters have the most important job. They are there to distract the bull while the rider safely gets away. Many people believe that bulls are attracted to the color red…but in fact they are attracted to movement. Bull fighters will tap a bull’s head, or run away from them in order to goad the bull into chasing them and not the rider, who has just been thrown off. Frank Newsom, Shorty Gorham and Jesse Byrne are the Dickie’s DuraBull Fighters for the PBR…and they are AMAZING.
Rodeo Clowns are GENERALLY there for entertainment only. Flint Rausmussen is the resident rodeo clown for the PBR and he’s HILARIOUS.
Buttt…I’d have to say that the best is Timber Tuckness. And it’s not even because I know him personally. It’s because before I even knew him, I saw him at the Lost Dutchman Days Rodeo with his YMCA act, and I almost peed my pants.
Timber is legitimately one of the smartest guys I know. He’s insightful, cool, calm, funny and an all-around great guy. He actually started Frank Newsom.
He’s one of the few left who not only does his rodeo clown act…but also fights bulls. Nowadays, the fighters and clowns are getting to be further and further apart. In Timber’s days (which he still has PLENTY of), the men did both.

9. Bulls.
All of the bulls that are ridden are just that…bulls. Uncastrated male cows, whether they have horns or not.

10. Bull Horns.
If a bull’s horns are upturned, they have to be cut down to the size of a half-dollar piece.

11. Hung Up.
When a rider dismounts, sometimes his hand will get suck in the bull rope. This is called getting hung up. The key is for the rider to stay on his feet. If he falls, he usually gets stepped on.

You Gotta Hank It.

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Today, I went to the mailbox and received my August/September issue of Pro Bull Rider, which is the official magazine of the PBR.
Literally, every time that I get it, I saw out loud, “Oh, HELL yeah!”
I get so excited when I see this magazine in my mailbox.
I read that, Western Horseman and Horse Illustrated. That’s about it. Haha.
Crazed? Probably. Ashamed? NEVER.

Every month, they do a spotlight feature on a bull. This month’s feature was on Hank (Jeff Robinson).
Ok, let me just say now that ever since I saw him, I KNEW that he would grow to be a great bull.
Even when last year he had a pretty mediocre season, I’ve been saying FOREVER that he’s one of the rankest in the PBR.
Seriously. I’ve always said that.

The article was 2 pages long and included a full spread of the bull.

Here’s some background stats on him:
• His official name is Blue Emu Hank, but he is soon to be renamed by a fan. Whoever’s name is picked gets 2 tickets to the World Finals in Vegas.
• He was sired by Yellow Jacket, and is a half brother to Little Yellow Jacket.
• He’s 6 years old, 1,700 pounds and owned by Jeff Robinson (the owner of Chicken on a Chain, Voodoo Child, I’m a Gangster…and pretty much every top bull in the PBR) who bought him from L&G Cattle Company from Texas.
• He’s been ridden 11/45 career outs and 9/34 BFTS outs.
• He’s only been ridden 1/14 BFTS outs this year.
• The highest scores posted on him were two 90.25 point rides by Renato Nunes at Fresno ’10 and McKennon Wimberly at the Touring Pro Event in Las Vegas ’10.
• His highest bull score came from an out against World Number 1 Silvano Alves at Las Vegas ’11 with a score of 45.50.

While his career high score may not sound too impressive, the speed with which he bucks guys off is.
• He’s had 21 outs where he bucked the rider off in under 4.00 seconds.
• Of those, 9 riders were bucked off in less than 2.00 seconds.
• His fastest buck off time was against Fabiano Vieira at Albuquerque ’11 with a time of 1.29 seconds.
The article, written by James Drew, talks about Hank’s unique bucking style.
Chris Shivers, the two-time World Champion, had a hard time describing Hank’s bucking style. So did his owner, Jeff Robinson.

Shivers said, “I don’t know if I can describe it either. The bull’s got a weird move out of the chutes. His head goes left, but his body moves out the other way toward the arena.”

Cody Lambert, the Livestock Director of the PBR, had this to say:
“Hank’s definitely got a different style. All of those Yellow Jacket calves have that in them. They push off hard with their front feed, pushing themselves backwards. But Hank does it to the extreme. He pushes himself backward as he turns to the left. His front feet land in the same tracks where his back feet started from, so he whips them over the front. He would jerk them down on his head if his head was still there, but he does a u-turn so they get slung off the side of the spin. He’s got some real speed when he does that.”

The last rider to successfully stay on before Billings last month was Ben Jones who rode him for 89.25 points in 2010 at Uncasville.

So let’s switch back to my thoughts.
Not only is this bull big, rank and mean…he’s gorgeous.
I think he’s one of the prettiest bulls in the PBR.


I don’t take the credit for either one of these pictures…they’re just ones I found online.

He’s also one of the meanest bulls. The bull fighters definitely have to be on their toes whenever Hank’s in the arena.

Here’s some videos of Hank for you to decide for yourself.

Video of Hank OWNING Robson Palermo with an awesome break-down by Ty Murray. 

Best Buckoff Pictures.

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Some of the best pictures I’ve gotten of riders getting bucked off. Most of it is luck, but I’d like to think that at least some of it is skill. =].

Highlights of My Life.

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There have been a few highlights of my life that I will always remember.
Getting to see Trevor Brazile rope
Buying my first camera with the money that I made
Getting my first business cards
The first time I earned money for pictures that I had taken
And many more.
But one of the top highlights of my life was when I met LJ Jenkins.
I’m not ashamed to say that I freaked out like a fan girl.

This summer, the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Days was held at Norris-Penrose Equestrian Center, just like it always is. My best friends happen to all board there. So…we snuck in once, although this year they REALLY upped the security. Big time.

Katie, Marley and me with Painted Valley!

Anyways, we got to see all of the stock and stuff during their off time. I got to take a picture with Painted Valley, Harry Vold’s prize bucking bronco. He was alone, since he’s a stud. But he was literally the sweetest stud I’ve ever met. And huge. And gorgeous. He came right over to us, licked our hand, and let us pet him…but as soon as he got in those chutes…he exploded. It was amazing.
Here’s a picture of me and two of my best friends with Painted Valley. You can barely see him…but yeah.

Running as a Herd...Protecting the Foal

Molly and Foal.

Molly and Foal.

We also got to see Vold’s other prize horse, the bareback mare Molly. She had had a foal not too long ago. It was amazing to see how the horses would circle the baby when they let them out to run in the arena. It was almost as if she was proud to show off her little one.
The whole herd moved together with the foal and its mom in the middle. You can’t even see the baby…but it’s there.

It was also awesome to see so many amazing bulls. I was really impressed with the caliber of bulls that the brought for that rodeo. Big Iron was there, so was Insaniac and Foolish Pride.
Before every rodeo, they let the animals out to run in the arena to stretch their legs, etc. Because my friends boarded there, we got to watch and I got some GREAT shots of the animals.

Rolling in the Dirt.

More Rolling.

Tony Romo (Four L & Diamond S Rodeo)

Voodoo Magic (Four L & Diamond S Rodeo)

Summer Night (Four L & Diamond S Rodeo)

Nightshade (solid black) and Tony Romo (Four L & Diamond S Rodeo)

I also got to meet J.W. Harris.
J.W. Harris has won 3 WNFR Bull Riding Championships in a row. No one has done that since Donnie Gay.
He’s kind of amazing.
I got a picture with him and even got an autograph. =].

Me and J.W. Harris!!!

Quite possibly the best part of that night, however was that I got to meet LJ Jenkins. THE LJ Jenkins. The LJ Jenkins that scored a 93.00 on the legendary Reindeer Dippin’…a bull that was only ridden twice out of 98 outs. The LJ Jenkins that was only the second person ever to ride and scored 94.00 points on Voodoo Child. The LJ Jenkins than won the PBR World Finals in 2006. The LJ Jenkins that scored 92.00 on Four L & Diamond S Rodeo’s Wind River and won the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Days. And the LJ Jenkins that is ridiculously cute. =].
Yes, I, Gabriella Jaffee, met him.
Don’t think that I wasn’t intimidated. I was. Extremely. I of course knew who he was when he walked into the area where they were having the after-rodeo dance. I spotted him from a mile away.
I then whispered to my best friends, “You guys…that’s L.J. Jenkins. The one that won the rodeo. He rides in the PBR.”
To which my friend Katie said, “Do you want me to go talk to him?”
He was standing there alone, but I didn’t want to bother him. My heart was pounding so hard I thought I was going to puke.
“No, Katie! Don’t bother him.”
But, as Katie is apt to do, she strolled right on over to him and started talking to him.
Mortified, I made my way over.
“I’m sorry she’s bothering you. I told her not to,” I said.
“It’s no problem,” he said.
“You’re LJ Jenkins. You’re kind of my hero. I watch you every time you’re on the PBR. Your ride was amazing. 92 points? Super impressive,” I gushed out…embarassed afterwards.
“This is kind of weird…but can I give you a hug?” I asked.
He said sure and I did.
We talked a little more about how much I loved him and his riding and he blushed a little and thanked me.
A couple minutes went by, and I didn’t want to bother him too much, so I said goodbye and asked for one more hug, which he gave me.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to take a picture with him.

But I got to meet him.
LJ Jenkins.
And I gave him TWO HUGS.
Not one…BUT TWO.
Needless to say, one of the highlights of my life. =].

My Best Bull Riding Pictures.

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Here are some of my best bull riding pictures and where they’re from. Hope you enjoy! Comment and let me know what you think!

Top 10 Bulls in the PBR.

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So I thought I’d write a post as a tribute to the top 20 bulls in the PBR right now. I’ll do the ones on their website, then fill in for the inactive bulls (bulls that are no longer bucking). I’ll also put up some highlights of their careers. The link to the list of top bulls is Bulls of the PBR.
This is a work-in-progress entry, as 10 bulls is a lot to write about.

1. 13/6 Bushwacker.
Ok, I’m going to be COMPLETELY honest here. I’m obsessed with this bull. He’s AMAZING. There’s only one magazine picture on my walls in my room…and it’s a picture of him.

He’s a son of Reindeer Dippin’, one of the greatest bulls of all time. He was only ridden 5 times out of 98 outs. That’s a buckoff percentage of 94.9% over a 6-year career. Pretty DANG impressive.
And let me just go on a tangent here because this bull has some of the most impressive stats I’ve ever seen.
He had 28 47.00+ point outs.
Of those, 15 were 48.00+ point outs.
And of those, he had 3 49.00 point outs.
THREE. That’s 49.00/50.00. AMAZING.
And the two rides that riders managed to get on him were impressive. He was ridden for 83.00 with a bull score of 39.00 by Helton Barbosa at Del Mar, CA in ’08, which is pretty awful, but this was already at the end of his career.
The one real score that he had was when L.J. Jenkins rode him for 93.00 points in Laughlin in ’05 with a bull score of 46.00
LJ is one of my heroes. I saw him ride a bull for 92.00 in Colorado Springs ’11…and got to meet him and give him 2 hugs, but that’s another story for another time.

ANYWAYS…back to Bushwacker.
Since October 2009 (World Finals), this bull has not been ridden.
Every time I know he’s going to buck…I’m glued to my tv/computer. I literally told my best friend to shut up when he was bucking…that’s how much I love this bull.
He was born in 2005, started bucking in 2009 in the PBR and is owned by Julio Moreno Bucking Bulls. Before that, he won $250,000 in the American Bucking Bull Industry’s futurity events. (Evenths that look for the up-and-coming bulls in the industry). He’s an American Bucking Bull.
His first professional out against Chad Denton in Santa Barbara ’09 was 48.00, which happens to be his highest marked score in his career thusfar.
He has never gotten a score below 43.00, and in 2011, he hasn’t gotten a score below 45.25.
In his entire career, he’s only been ridden 2/41 times, following in the footsteps of his daddy.
His fastest buckoff time: Elliot Jacoby in Fort Worth ’09 with a time of 1.10 and a score of 45.50.
I honestly don’t think that this bull is going to be ridden this year.
What makes him so different is how big he is, and how quiet he is in the chutes. He never bucks, or rears or anything, He’s real quiet until that gate opens and then he EXPLODES. His belly rolls and kicks are legendary. He doesn’t even wait for his back feet to hit the ground before his front feet are up in another jump.
The NY times has even written an article on him.

Here’s some videos of this amazing athlete.

2. 05 Bones – Inactive.
Owned by Teague Bucking Bulls LLC, he is now retired. In his career, he was only ridden 5 out of 45 attempts, which is a 88.89% buckoff rate with an average score of 91.88.
He was unridden in both 2007 and 2008.
3 out of the 4 scores on him were 91+ point rides.
There have been two scores of 93+ on him.
He’s had 5 47+ point outs.
He was the World Champion Bucking Bull as voted by the PBR riders in both 2008 and 2010.

Top scores:
93.50 – J.B. Mauney in OKC ’09 with a bull score of 46.25.
93.25 – Pete Farley at the World Championships ’09 with a bull score of 45.75.
91.25 – Shane Proctor at NYC ’10 with a bull score of 44.50.

Here’s a video talking about Bones.

3. 404 I’m A Gangster (a.k.a. Uncle Buck)
Born in 2004, started bucking in 2008. He’s owned by Jeff Robinson, one of the best stock breeders and contractors in the business.
He’s only been ridden 3/66 times with a buckoff rate of 95.45%. He’s never been ridden on the BFTS.
Although he doesn’t score as high as Bushwacker, he’s super rank and dumps guys with ease. He’s also pretty nasty in the chute. J.B. Mauney almost got disqualified for taking so long in the chute when he wouldn’t calm down in Tampa ’11.

Fastest Buckoffs:
1.89 – J.B. Mauney – Tampa ’11 with a bull score of 46.25.
1.40 – Cody Campbell at the World Finals ’09 with a score of 45.50.
1.30 – Pete Farley at the World Finals ’09 with a score of 43.75.

Unfortunately, he was injured in San Antonio, but still managed to buck off Fabiano Vieira in 7.6 seconds with a score of 44.50. It’s truly a testament to this bull’s athletic ability to have one leg hurt and still manage to keep a rider off of his back for the full 8 seconds and manage to get a pretty impressive bull score. Robinson is hopeful that he will be able to compete at the World Finals in October.

4. 644 Code Blue – Inactive.
Owned by WW Bucking Bulls, he’s only been ridden 2/33 outs in his career with a buckoff rate of 93.94%.
He’s retired now. He didn’t really get that many impressive bull scores, but the guys just never seemed to be able to figure him out. He’s just a huge bull with a lot of muscle and a really high kick with some intense belly rolls.

High Scores:
47.50 – Austin Meier – World Championships ’09 with a buckoff time of 6.50 seconds.
47.00 – Robson Palermo – Duluth ’09  with a buckoff time of 5.20 seconds.

5. K93 Super Duty (a.k.a. Major Payne) – Inactive Due to Injury
Owned by Jeff Robinson/Bar None/Segs/Skyhawk Rugs/Red Knection
Only ridden 4/64 times with a buckoff rate of 93.75%.
This bull is HUGE and STRONG with a big ‘ol hump to boot.
His high score was against Reese Cates in Rapid City ’09 with a score of 47.00.
The speed with which this bull has bucked off riders is amazing. He’s bucked off 19 riders in under 2.00 seconds.

Fastest Buckoff Times:
1.97 – Cory Melton – Denver ’09 – 45.00
4 x 1.90 – Shane Proctor – St. Louis ’11 – 43.50
Jason O’Hearn – Charlottesville ’10 – 45.00
Kasey Hayes – Uncasville ’10 – 45.75
Ben Jones – Columbus ’10 – 46.00
1.85 – Francisco Morales – Rapid City ’09 – 46.00
2 x 1.80 – Brendon Clark – Nampa ’09 – 44.50
Shane Proctor – Tulsa ’09 – 43.75
6 x 1.70 – Bryan Richardson – NYC ’10 – 44.00
Shane Proctor – St. Louis ’10 – 43.50
Shane Proctor – Greenville ’10 – 46.25
Cody Campbell – New Orleans ’10 – 45.75
Renato Nunes – World Finals ’10 – 46.00
Clayton Foltyn – World Finals ’08 – 46.00
1.61 – Chance Roberts – Lexington ’09 – 46.50
1.60 – Chris Shivers – World Finals ’09 – 45.00
1.30 – Sean Willingham – Arlington ’10 – 44.50
and the most impressive…1.00 seconds – Josh Koschel – World Finals ’09 – 44.75

Super Duty was a very strong contender for Bucking Bull of the Year until he injured his stifle (tendon) in his left hind leg after hanging his leg in the gate during an out. Although he is doing better, he is not expected to compete in the World Finals as of now.

6. +123 Voodoo Child – Inactive
Owned by Jeff Robinson/Beutler/Bar None/McNeely/Broken N-N
Born in 2007, starting bucking in 2002.
Only ridden 5/98 outs in his career with a buckoff rate of 94.9%. His average ride score was 91.85.
This bull is literally one of the greatest bulls of all time. He had 4 straight 48.00 pt outs in 2008.
An <a href=”http://www.teampbr.com/index.cfm/pk/view/cd/NAA/cdid/1035275/pid/400025″>article</a href> written about him when Jeff Robinson retired him this year in July.
I will truly miss seeing this bull buck. The amount of power he had and how smart he was truly made him unique.
He also scored two 49.00 point outs in 2008 against Colin McTaggart in Lawton ’08 and Bobby Welsh at the WNFR in ’08.

High Scores:
91.00 – Ben Jones – NYC ’11
93.50 – J.B. Mauney – Greenville ’10
94.00 – L.J. Jenkins – Glendale ’10
94.50 – Justin McBride – Tulsa ’08

Fastest Buckoffs:
1.70 – Chris Clover – Woodwork ’07 (PRCA) – 48.00
1.52 – Jimmy Crosby – Lawton ’07 – 46.00

7. CC Chicken on a Chain
Owned by Jeff Robinson/Mike Tedesco/Larry the Cable Guy.
That’s right, folks. Larry the Cable Guy has a part ownership in a bull. In fact, he also shares ownership in  Git R Done and Booger Butt. You learn something new every day, right?
Anyways, Chicken has been ridden 31/122 outs and has a buckoff rate of 74.59%.
Early in his career, Chicken was really rank…like hardly anyone could ride him. However, as he grew older, his bucking got to follow more of a rhythm and guys started posting scores on him…BIG scores.
He’s had 17 47.00+ outs.
2
of those were 48.00+.

Highest Scores:
91.25 x 3 – Paulo Lima – Greenville ’10
Dustin Elliot – Glendale ’10
Renato Nunes – World Championships ’08
91.50 – J.B. Mauney – Ashville ’11
91.75 x 3
– Renato Nunes – Pueblo ’10
Renato Nunes – Billings ’10
J.B. Mauney – NYC ’09
92.00
 – Dustin Elliot – Glendale ’10
92.00
 – Zack Brown – Nashville ’09
92.50
– Zack Brown – Albuquerque ’09
93.00
 – Justin McBride – Auburn Hills ’07
94.00
 – Willy Ropp – Manchester ’06
95.75
 – Renato Nunes – St. Louis ’08

 

8. 404C RMEF Gunpowder & Lead
Not only is this a GREAT song by Miranda Lambert, but it’s also the name of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s top bull.
This bull hasn’t ever really posted any scores above a 46.00, but what makes him special is how consistent he is at producing 90+ point rides. As you can see above, Chicken on a Chain’s 90+ point rides have come over the span of 6 years. Gunpowder & Lead has managed to put out 6 91+ point rides in just 2 short years.
He’s a bull the guys regularly pick because although he bucks and kicks hard…he’s rideable…and produces HUGE scores.

Highest Scores:
91.00 – Robson Palermo – Tampa ’11
91.25 – Robson Palermo – World Finals ’10
92.00 – Renato Nunes – Fresno ’11
92.25 – LJ Jenkins – Albuquerque ’11
92.50 – Robson Palermo – Saskatoon ’10
93.25 – Robson Palermo – Pueblo ’11
93.50 – Robson Palermo – Milwaukee ’11

Obviously, Robson has this bull figured out.