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Schumacher regains swagger with Red Carpet

2/6/2007

SAN ANTONIO (Feb. 1, 2007) — The world title hangover lasted exactly one stop for reigning bull riding champion B.J. Schumacher on the Dodge Xtreme Bulls Tour, presented by B & W Trailer Hitches, and all it took was a little XS Energy and Red Carpet treatment.

Schumacher rode those two bulls, from the Cervi & Guidry Rodeo Company and the Beutler and Son Rodeo Company, respectively, in the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, for a combined 180 points, the event title and $22,052.

"I started off the season with the state of mind that it would come easier (now that I was the world champion), I guess," he said. "I was getting thrown off of bulls I shouldn't have. I realized that I have to still bear down and make a good ride and then I started to. I had my little fight with myself and now I'm ready."

Truly one of the best Xtreme Bulls stops in recent memory, 13 bull riders covered in the semifinal round with Schumacher leading the pack with a 92 on XS Energy, a bull he won the 2005 San Antonio Livestock Exposition Rodeo on with the identical mark.

"That bull has treated me real good here," he said. "I won the San Antonio buckle, which is one of the most prestigious buckles to wear. I wore it the whole year until I won my world buckle. He's just a great bull if you're in the right spot. If you're in the wrong spot, he can be a handful, but he's treated me good."

Obviously, Schumacher knew how to find that spot.

Others in the semifinal round who gave impressive performances included J.W. Harris, who rode Cervi & Guidry's One Night Stand for 91, Kanin Asay, who scored 88.5 on Andrews Rodeo's Erks Me and Danny McDowell, who made good on a rematch with Cervi and Guidry's Victoria's Secret to the tune of 87.5.

The real show came in the final round, however, when six of the 12 bull riders covered some of the toughest bulls in the world.

Cory Melton started things off by riding Broken Arrow's Chili for 86. After Zack Oakes bucked off Pandora's Box and Cooper Kanngiesser off El Capitan from Beutler and Son, Joe Meling rode Andrew's Rompus for 87. Meling, who rodeo China Grove from Broken Arrow in the first round, was stepped on by the bull and likely rode Rompus with broken ribs.

Then, McDowell nodded his head on 2006 PRCA Bucking Bull of the Year from Southwick, Robertson and Wilson, Biloxi Blues. Eight seconds later he had a round-leading 91 points, 178.5 on two.

Next, Asay rode Cervi and Guidry's Hot Damn for 90.5 to edge McDowell by a half point in the average. Harris bucked off — leaving Schumacher 87.5 points away from the title.

He drew Beutler and Son's Red Carpet.

"He blew out of there and felt real long coming around there like he was trying to get me on his head." Schumacher said. "Then he finally got me bowed over and I made some weird move, tried to pull my knees up and stick my free arm behind me and get all my weight to the back that I could and he waited for me and picked me back up. Then I was able to sit up and ride him better after that."

When the whistle blew, the judges came back with more that what Schumacher needed: 88 points and that world champion swagger.

RESULTS
Long-Go:

1. B.J. Schumacher, 92 points, $7,191
2. J.W. Harris, 91, $5,513
3. Kanin Asay, 88.5, $4,075
4. Danny McDowell, 87.5, $2,634
5. Joe Meling, 85.5, $1,438
5. Bobby Welsh, 85.5, $1,438
7. Cooper Kanngiesser, 84, $958
8. Zack Oakes, 80, $719

Final Round:
1. Danny McDowell, 91 points, $5,273
2. Kanin Asay, 90.5, $3,995
3. B.J. Schumacher, 88, $2,876
4. Joe Meling, 87, $1,918
5. Cory Melton, 86, $1,119
6. Bobby Welsh, 79, $799

Average:

1. B.J. Schumacher, 180 on two, $11,985
2. Kanin Asay, 179, $9,189
3. Danny McDowell, 178.5, $6,792
4. Joe Meling, 172.5, $4,395
5. Bobby Welsh, 164.5, $2,797
6. Cory Melton, 164, $1,998
7. J.W. Harris, 91, $1,598
8. Cooper Kanngiesser, 84, $1,199

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.