Kimzey and Vastbinder prepare for battle at the CBR season finale in Del Rio
Whitehead Memorial Museum 40th Annual George Paul Memorial Bull Riding presented by RAM Country Dodge, Ram Country Truck Center, and Ram Rodeo
DEL RIO, Texas, (April 17, 2017) – In high stakes sporting events the athletes have to be able to perform under pressure. With 39 years in the record books, the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding (GPMBR) never disappoints and with only 180.5 points, or two good bull rides, separating the number one and two riders in the World, 2017 will be no different. As the last stop on the CBR’s regular season televised tour schedule, the GPMBR is the last frontier for points for the elite cowboy athletes to qualify for the CBR World Finals. The two performance event is scheduled to begin at 8 pm at the Val Verde Fairgrounds on April 28-29. The George Paul is famous for many things, the Ramada Hotel Pool Party, the outstanding bulls lined up by Hedeman and a Friday night bounty bull match up that will give one bull rider the opportunity to win a Ram Country Dodge Truck - courtesy of the GPMBR, the CBR, and Ram Country Dodge of Del Rio. But after all the ceremonies and grand introductions are finished it is the bull riding competition that keeps the legend alive. The battle on everyone’s mind is between two veteran tour riders, the reigning CBR World Champion Sage Steele Kimzey and the contender, Eli Vastbinder. Five time World Champion bull rider Sage Kimzey comes into the competition riding 26 of the 32 bulls he attempted in twelve events during the regular season. Kimzey riding in his fourth CBR season won Window Rock and Enid event titles and out of twelve events he advanced to the Shoot Our round eight times. Hot on his heels is Eli Vastbinder a seven year veteran of CBR competition and last year a rider who rode four of five at the CBR World Finals to finish second in the average. Vastbinder is from Statesville, North Carolina and has ridden an impressive 26 of 32 bulls attempted in fourteen tour stops. Vastbinder won the Laughlin event title and advanced to the Shoot Out round seven times during this his statistically best season on the Road to Cheyenne. Kimzey leads the list of 24 elite bull riders headed to Del Rio to jockey for position on the CBR roster which determines a qualifying spot on the CBR World Finals roster. But at this stage in the game Eli knows the goal and as much as both would like to pack the coveted Del Rio GPMBR buckle in their rigging bag, riding each bull is as important to gain the points for the lead of the CBR World Standings. Twenty-three year old Kimzey, who recently won the American competition that came with a $433,333 check has earned over two million dollars doing what he says has always been his dream. Although Kimzey and Vastbinder are at the top right behind them is rookie rider Boudreaux Campbell who won Hobbs and is still in the hunt as the CBR’s number gunner in his first year as a pro bull rider. National Finals Rodeo qualifier Jeff Askey who after is headed to the border town as he sits fourth in his first year of CBR competition. Three World Champions are headed to Del Rio joined by two time GPBR Champion Trey Benton of Rock Island who made a strong comeback last week in Fort Worth making the final four man round in his first CBR since Del Rio 2016. As the 2017 regular season will no doubt be reported as iconic, the legend started with George Paul himself, the 1968 Rodeo Cowboys Association (now the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) world champion, NFR winner, who died in a plane crash in 1970. Ten years after his death, his brother Bobby Paul began producing the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding to memorialize the talented bull rider who eight-time world champion Don Gay described as the greatest natural bull rider ever riding seventy-nine bulls consecutively, a World Record. Tickets are on sale for the two nights of competition, April 28-29, which starts with 40 riders on Friday. Saturday night’s performance will feature the CBR’s proprietary tournament style format with 24 riders taking the dirt. The best 12 from round one will advance to the semifinals with the top four then competing in the Shoot Out round where the bulk of $30,000 prize monies will be paid. Friday night will see the bull rider with the highest score pit his skill against a bounty bull selected by Tuff Hedeman for the chance to win a new truck. The CBR Road to Cheyenne Tour will end in Wyoming, July 24 & 25 at the historic Cheyenne Frontier Days where the CBR World Champion will be crowned. Along with the title, championship buckle and awards the world champion will earn a $100,000 bonus. The George Paul Memorial is also part of the CBR Bull Team Challenge. Bull owners bring three bulls as part of the competition and the team with the highest total score will receive a $20,000 cash prize and the same prize package as the rider winning the event. With 39 years of history and over $100,000 in cash and prizes to be awarded, the competition promises to live up to the old school “Super Bull” title that was associated with this bull riding classic. Tickets for both night’s performances may be purchased by debit or credit card by phone, 830-775-9595 or in person at the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding office at the Val Verde County Fairgrounds. The celebration begins on Thursday, April 27 with a Super Bull Mixer at Ramada White Horse from 5-7 p.m. Breakfast with the cowboys will be served daily at the Ramada as well as the traditional pool party with poolside lunch and live music throughout the day.
Tuff Hedeman Brings Championship Bull Riding Back to the Super Bull
40th George Paul Memorial Bull Riding
DEL RIO, Texas (March 15, 2017) - Stuff your bull riding fans’ Easter Eggs with tickets and plan now to join Tuff Hedeman, Bobby Paul and the boys as they celebrate the 40th George Paul Memorial Bull Riding at the Val Verde Fairgrounds in Del Rio, Texas on April 28 – 29 at 8 pm.
You will not want to miss this year’s extravaganza and the opportunity to cheer on the number one bull rider in the world, five time World Champion Sage Steele Kimzey of Strong City, Oka. Kimzey who recently passed the two million dollar mark in total bull riding earnings, will attempt to win the George Paul Memorial hand crafted Juan Jose Muñoz Andrade buckle that is the exact replica of the previous 39 buckles awarded since the event began.
Described by Tuff Hedeman as an athlete that will be recorded in history as the best bull rider of his generation, Sage Kimzey will make his fourth appearance in Del Rio. In 2016 Kimzey rode Rhon Brown’s Big Lew, to win the first performance on night one of the event, but the GPBMR title and the one of a kind Del Rio championship buckle has eluded Kimzey since turning pro in 2014.
Challenging Kimzey will be a stellar roster of multiple World Champions including the number two man in the CBR World Standings, Eli Vastbinder of Statesville, North Carolina, who will be challenged by multiple National Finals Rodeo qualifiers and a hefty list of red hot rookies that will make up the field of 24 elite bull riders from the top professional tours.
Dominate since Day 1, the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding moves into its 40th year celebration in April with two evening performances both starting at 8:00 pm.
For every new face you will see in the arena there are dozens of familiar ones that will return to Del Rio to try and ride their way to the prestigious title that is known as the birthplace of stand-alone bull riding.
Tickets on sale now for the GPMBR at several locations in Del Rio and at the box office at the Val Verde Fairground. (Address below)
CBR Famous Energy Bullfighters, Matt Baldwin, Brandon Loden, and Bryce Redo, and great family entertainment from barrel man Hippy Engelkes assures bull riding fans an enjoyable two hour adrenaline rush show.
“It’s a combination of a great rock and roll concert and a heavy weight prize fight and refereed by Tuff Hedeman,” said CBR Chief Executive Officer Benny Cude.
The George Paul Memorial Bull Riding is the last regular season event on the CBR’s Road to Cheyenne tour and features a 24 man three round tournament style event ending in a final four Shoot Out round worth $30,000.
From established veterans to rookies, the vast majority of the cowboy athletes attending the GPMBR have been on the roster before. In the coming weeks, the CBR will preview several of the top bull riding athletes, analyzing where they’ve been and where they’re going and what a win in Del Rio would mean to them and their season.
Hedeman, the four time World Champion, Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer and former GPMBR Champion, will be the chute boss and commentating for the Fox Sports broadcast and he will be making his way around town with the several of the super star bull riders signing autographs and hosting meet and greets at local establishments. A schedule of personal appearances will be released at a later date.