By STEPHANIE BUNKER
Moapa Valley Progress
The Western States Bucking Bull Association held its Finals event at the Horseman’s Park Arena in Las Vegas on September 30. The event judged the performance of the cowboy as well as the bull.
There were 64 bulls competing in the event, all of whom came from the Western United States. Many of these bulls first competed in Chelan Washington, Roundup Montana, Tremonton Utah, and Idaho Falls Idaho. Many of the bulls competing in the Finals Rodeo have also participated in the Professional Bull Riding Association (PBR).
Two Moapa Valley bull breeders qualified and entered the bull riding event. Don Hothem entered his bull, Frog Lip, in the 3 year old Derby division; and Stuart Riggins entered Fox Hole, his 5 year old bull, in the Maturity division.
Frog Lip competed against 13 other bulls and received a score of 77 for his performance. But the score wasn’t high enough to finish in the upper portion of his class.
Riggins’ Fox Hole bull gave his cowboy a good ride and finished with a whopping score of 84.75 giving him first place out of the 7 other bulls he competed against. First place handed out a check of over $1600. Fox Hole was ridden by Grady Jasperson from Grover, Wyoming.
The bulls are under the scrutiny of the judges for 5 categories, they are judged on how hard they buck, how high they kick, how much the bull spins looking for tightness of the spin and how far away from the chute, the overall athletic ability of the bull, and the intensity of the buck. The cowboy and bull both are judged and receive a score.
Both Riggins and Hothem raise bulls in Moapa Valley for bull riding events. Riggins raises his bulls on the Scaggs Ranch located at the west end of Cottonwood Street. Riggins said that he has learned over the years that it pays off to raise quality bulls over a large quantity of bulls. On the ranch, Riggins has about 6 young bulls he is raising, hoping for that good quality buck in each of them. His mature bull, Fox Hole, has done well for Riggins, earning $8,500 over the last few years. The white and black bull weighs a whopping 1900 lbs and is a longhorn cross.
Don Hothem is heavily involved in the Western States Bucking Bull Association, holding the position of the Events Director, and the Finals Producer of the Western States Finals. Just as many rodeos depend on sponsors, so does the Western State Finals. BEX Sunglasses a local business here in Moapa Valley was one of those sponsors helping make this event happen.