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courtesy of PRCA
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Four Star Rodeo Company’s bull Yellow Fever had an outstanding Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER.
The 5-year-old, 1,500-pound bull won bull of the night in Rounds 1 and 6.
For his effort, Yellow Fever was named Top Stock of the WNFR for the first time.
“It’s pretty awesome for him to go against that quality of bulls over there (at the WNFR) and come out on top,” said Jeff Davis, the owner/manager of Four Star Rodeo in Cottonwood, Calif. “This is a huge honor.”
Yellow Fever bucked off Tyler Smith in Round 1, and he did the same to Roscoe Jarboe, the 2016 PRCA/Resistol Bull Riding Rookie of the Year, in Round 6.
“He enjoys his job, and when he gets in the bucking chute it is game on,” Davis said. “He has great strength and athletic ability. He can leap four feet in the air and act like he’s going to go one way and spin the other way.”
In 2015, Yellow Fever made his Wrangler NFR debut, and competed in just one round – Round 5, with Joe Frost riding him for 75 points.
“He was a young bull (at the 2015 WNFR), and he didn’t handle it very well,” Davis said. “The difference this year (at the WNFR) is he grew up. He matured mentally and physically. This year, he handled things very good mentally. He bucked and played and didn’t get bothered by anything. This spring, he had a couple of ‘wow’ trips, and that’s when I realized this bull has it, but I didn’t know how good he was until we matched up with the other bulls (at the WNFR). I knew he had a chance (to get top bull of the WNFR) if he had his trips, and he had two exceptionally good trips.”
This is the first time Davis’ company has won the top bull of the WNFR award.
“This is the No. 1 accomplishment for our Four Star Rodeo Company,” Davis said.
Calgary Stampede’s Xplosive Skies won top WNFR bareback horse. She bucked off Orin Larsen in Round 5, and was chosen bareback horse of the night.
Xplosive Skies, 6, is the granddaughter of Calgary Stampede’s Grated Coconut, the 2003-04, 2006-2009 Bareback Horse of the Year. Those six Bareback Horse of the Year honors for Grated Coconut are a PRCA record.
“It’s awesome, and a great honor because it is voted on by your peers,” said Keith Marrington, the Director of Rodeo for Calgary Stampede. “For them to recognize our bareback horse as the top horse of the NFR is outstanding. I couldn’t be any happier.”
Xplosive Skies went to the 2015 Canadian Finals Rodeo as a saddle bronc horse.
“She was fighting her head this past spring, so we decided to move her to bareback and she has fit right in and been outstanding,” Marrington said. “I think her biggest trait is her athletic ability, and she has a good mind on her.”
Beutler & Son’s Wound Up, 9, was named top WNFR saddle bronc horse. Wound Up was chosen saddle bronc horse of the night in Round 5 after bucking off Rusty Wright. Cody Wright also had a 90.5-point ride on Wound Up to win Round 10.
“She bucks guys off about 50 percent of the time, and when they ride her, they usually win the (saddle) bronc riding,” said Bennie Beutler, co-owner of the Beutler & Son Rodeo Company with his son, Rhett. “She’s a bay horse, and she’s out of Commotion; her and Killer Bee both are out of Commotion.”
Commotion was Bareback Horse of the Year (1998-2000), and made 10 consecutive trips (1997-2006) to the WNFR before retiring in his prime at the 2006 WNFR at the age of 15. Commotion passed away at age 25 this past September.
Two go rounds were won on Wound Up at the 2015 WNFR – Round 5 and Round 10. She was voted runner-up for the Top Saddle Bronc of last year’s WNFR.
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