If it’s happened in bull riding, Tuff Hedeman’s probably seen it.
He’s won three bull riding world championships in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and one in the Professional Bull Riders, where he once served as the organization’s president. Now he’s president of Championship Bull Riding, another stand-alone bull riding association.
The CBR is following the lines Hedeman had when he and 19 other bull riders ventured off on their own and created the PBR two decades ago. The idea, he said, is to create more opportunities for cowboys competing in the most popular fan event in rodeo. Both the PBR and CBR have done that.
And while both organizations have similar roots, they go about business in very different ways. It’s why there were six CBR regulars at this year’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and one regular from the PBR’s premier tour, the Built Ford Tough Series.
In visiting with Hedeman on Thursday, he was very proud of how well the CBR bull riders did in Las Vegas to open December. J.W. Harris, Wesley Silcox, Ardie Maier, Steve Woolsey, Clayton Williams and Cody Whitney combined to take nearly $385,000 from the NFR.
Contestants who compete in the PRCA and CBR seem to enjoy the freedom they have. Hedeman points to caring for the CBR cowboys like he wanted to be treated when he was competing.
Let’s hope that philosophy works wonders and becomes contageous in society.