Bushwacker is preparing for retirement, but the bull is not going out quietly. Days after his owner said Bushwacker is nearing his final run, the champion bull dumped fellow PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Champion J.B. Mauney.
During a press conference Thursday, Jan. 23, owner Julio Moreno announced Bushwacker, the No. 1 ranked bull in the PBR, would retire after the 2014 Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) season.
The bull, who was named "baddest body in sports" in the 2013 "ESPN The Magazine Body Issue," met Mauney, his nemesis and reigning PBR champion, Saturday, Jan. 25, in Oklahoma City (OKC).
According to the PBR, it was the 12th meeting of Bushwacker and Mauney and the ninth at a BFTS event.
Bushwacker, who had three months off before winning his most recent battle against Mauney, has been ridden only three times in his career, which began in 2009.
According to the PBR, Bushwacker went on a four-year buck-off streak, breaking the previous record of 35 set by Silver Wings in the PBR OKC event in 2013. The streak continued for several months afterward, reaching 42, until Mauney faced off with him for the ninth time and rode a 95.25 on Aug. 17, 2013. Bushwacker's overall record stood at 67-3 prior to Jan. 25.
In 3.48 seconds, Bushwacker threw Mauney to the dirt so hard the man first thought he broke his nose, scoring 46.75 points Saturday night at the Express Employment Professionals Classic in the Chesapeake Energy Arena in OKC, bringing his record to 68-3 since 2009.
"For those who dared to question how an older, yet wiser, Bushwacker would be after three months off, they got their answer Saturday night in Oklahoma City," wrote Keith Cartwright with PBR.
The event and showdown between the two World Champions, dubbed the 15/15 Bucking Battle, was the first of the 11 regular season events in the BFTS and ended with Bushwacker's fifth consecutive BFTS event to be marked 46 points or higher. Now, the bull will head to California where he is scheduled for an event in Anaheim Feb. 7-9 before coming to Texas for the Iron Cowboy V in Arlington March 1.
Bushwacker will make his last appearance in the BFTS Finals in Las Vegas Oct. 22-26, according to the PBR.
“Every athlete deserves to go out on top,” said Moreno of Julio Moreno Bucking Bulls and owner of the rank bull. “Bushwacker has nothing more to prove to me. His has earned the honor of having his name forever engraved in the history books.”
Some of the bull's long list of accomplishments and honors include 2013 PBR World Champion Bucking Bull, 2012 PBR World Champion Bucking Bull Contender, 2011 PBR World Champion Bucking Bull, 2011 Mikel Moreno Bull of the PBR World Finals, 2010 ABBI World Champion Classic Bull, 2010 PBR World Champion Bucking Bull Contender, 2009 ABBI Reserve Wild Card Champion and 2008 ABBI Futurity Finals Qualifier.
“Bushwacker is the best the PBR has ever seen,” said Cody Lambert, PBR co-founder and director of livestock, in a release announcing Bushwacker's retirement. “In fact, he’s the best I’ve ever seen and I’ve been around for a long time. We may never see one of his caliber again.”
Jessie Horton is a staff writer for the Stephenville Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or found on Twitter @flashETnews.