The Iron Cowboy tournament format is rather interesting.
Typically it’s man vs. beast, but inside Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday night, it was man vs. man, and even when the beast won, it came down to which man stayed atop the bull longer. Sometimes it came down to hundredths of a second.
Still, Colby Yates won the event and $50,000 in his home state of Texas’ biggest Professional Bull Riders event of the year. Yates rode just two bulls, but he might’ve had the best ride of the year so far when he matched moves with Carillo Cartel for 92.25 points. The biggest part of that was the pressure on Yates.
You see, that ride happened during the quarterfinals during his match with J.B. Mauney, who had just scored a 90 on Chicken on a Chain. Yates knew he had to score above that phenomenal score if he was going to advance to the semifinals.
As the bull spun, Yates let go with his outside leg and spurred for most of the eight-second ride. His 3.2-second ride was better than Valderon de Oliveira’s 3.0, so Yates advanced to the finals to face Austin Meier, where Yates earned the title by staying on his bull 2.5 seconds, just hundredths of a second longer than Meier.
The format was strange but exciting, and Yates earned the right to the title.