Familiar faces, stock as San Antonio closes


SAN ANTONIO (Feb. 14, 2007) — At first glance, the Feb. 17 edition of the Dodge Xtreme Bulls Tour, presented by B & W Trailer Hitches, in San Antonio has a lot of similarities to the previous stop on Feb. 1 in the same city. It's largely the same contestant list and bull roster.

Of course, the draw will be different, some bull riders will turn up injured and momentum is always changing in the sport.

There are a few more significant differences this time around, though. First and foremost, Zeb Lanham, who was entered in the last stop but missed the competition by about a half an hour after competing in Fort Worth, should make the contest this time.

Lanham was the 2006 Xtreme Bulls champion and always has the potential to reel off a great ride. San Antonio fans will also get to see Steve Woolsey and Mike Moore

But back to the momentum factor.

First and foremost is B.J. Schumacher, who won the first San Antonio Xtreme Bulls two weeks ago. He seemed to regain the mojo that momentarily eluded him in the month of January following a remarkable world title run. So he ranks first on the list.

In the time between the first San Antonio Xtreme Bulls and the forthcoming one, cowboys have been competing at the San Antonio Rodeo — on many of the same bulls in the Xtreme roster.

Cody Buller, who won the Houston Xtreme Bulls in 2004 and broke his leg at the San Antonio Rodeo in 2005, is among the leaders in this year's edition. Bobby Welsh, J.W. Harris and Jarrod Craig are also among the bull riders who have done well early on at the rodeo. Incidentally, Welsh and Harris also made the final round of the first Xtreme Bulls in San Antonio.

While Welsh and Harris didn't, there were a handful of cowboys at the first San Antonio who nearly knocked off Schumacher for the title.

Had Cory Melton drawn slightly higher-marking bulls, he would have had the best chance — plus, he's won the Xtreme Bulls in San Antonio before. Kanin Asay also looked particularly sharp and came within a point-and-half of the title. A half point behind him was Danny McDowell, who came from obscurity to have a great Xtreme Bulls, however, he did benefit from two rematches.

As usual, it's anybody's game, but look for the above cowboys as the front-runners.

Bob Welch has covered rodeo for six years and in addition to writing for ESPN.com ProRodeo, is the managing editor of Spin to Win magazine and serves as an associate producer onsite for the Xtreme Bulls and Wrangler ProRodeo Tour telecasts. Welch lives with his wife, Kristen, and 2-year-old son, Tate, in Black Forest, Colo.