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Stephenson is top bull rider in Fire Fighter’s Challenge

Posted 8/11/15 (Tue)

By Amy Robinson
Farmer Staff Writer

To say that the first Professional Bull Riding (PBR) event to be held in Watford City was a success would definitely be an understatement. The event drew in hundreds of bull riding and rodeo fans.
The Fire Fighter’s Challenge held at the McKenzie County Fairgrounds on Saturday, Aug. 8, brought in over 55 of the world’s up and coming professional bull riders, along with some of the toughest bulls in the United States.
“Thank you to the community of Watford City,” said Tesa Klein with the PBR Touring Pro Division. “I want to tell you how fun it was to do the event in Watford City. Everyone was so nice and seemed to be so happy we were there. After being on the road since the beginning of May, this was such a refresher.”
The PBR is experienceing unprecedented growth in global and domestic appeal with more than 600 bull riders from the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico holding PBR memberships today. They compete in more than 300 bull riding events each year on either the nationally-televised Built Ford Tough Series, the Blue DEF Velocity Tour, or the Touring Pro Division. There are also tours in Australia, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico.
The ultimate goal for the cowboys is to qualify for the Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas, the richest bull riding event on the planet, with the winner receiving the World Championship belt buckle and a one million dollar bonus.
The top rider from Watford City’s PBR Fire Fighter’s Challenge was River Stephenson of Blackfoot, Idaho, with 151 points - 79 points in the first round on Bailey Pro Rodeo’s 02 Big Hoss and 72 points in the second round on Bailey Pro Rodeo’s 174 Smooth Criminal.
In second place was Abe Dillman of Grassy Butte, N.D., with 85.5 points on F/T 8322 Old Yellar. In third place was Taryl Smith of Litchville, N.D., with 84.5 points on Bailey Pro Rodeo’s 1 Buffalo Head. Fourth place was Zac Peterson of Velva, N.D., with 84 points on Bailey Pro Rodeo’s 205 High Maitenance. In fifth place was Brady Oleson of Blackfoot, Idaho, with 76.5 points on Bailey Pro Rodeo’s 140 Sharp Dressed Man.
Z ac Peterson placed sixth with 76.5 points on Bailey Pro Rodeo’s 104 Beer Money. In seventh place was Cain Smith of Adams, Ore., with 68 points on Bailey Pro Rodeo’s 8538 Guns & Donuts. And in eighth place was Cody Kehr of Killdeer, N.D., with 67 points on Bailey Pro Rodeo’s 200 No Deliveries.
“I will certainly be spreading good words of our experience in the Oil Patch,” said Klein. “It was so much fun.”