Story Robyn Scherer
Kiowa, Colo.

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November 13, 2013
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Colorado bull clinches ABBI Classic title at PBR Finals

Bucking, twisting, turning and spinning; This is what a bull is trained to do.

All of these moves have one purpose — to unseat the rider.

The best bulls in the business are trailed to the 2013 Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough World Finals to challenge the riders who are competing for a world championship.

However, it’s not just the riders who are competing — the bulls are as well.

The title that the bulls are competing for is the American Bucking Bull Inc. (ABBI) Classic title.

This year, that award was won by a 4-year-old bull named The Rocker, who hails from Fort Lupton, Colo.

The Rocker is owned by 18-year-old Wyatt Crowder, who claimed the $200,000 prize that comes with the title.

“It meant the world to me to have The Rocker win that award, because it’s the biggest award you can win in this industry,” Crowder said. “This bull is so special, because he is the first bull I ever bought, and he won the world championship classic bull.”

Crowder is the youngest person to ever have an ABBI World Champion bull.

Dwight Frick won ABBI Breeder of the Year for being the breeder behind The Rocker.

Crowder made skillful decisions as to how much to haul The Rocker this year as well as the optimal feed and exercise programs to have his bull in top shape for the World Finals.

“To raise bucking bulls you have to have the right breeding program, feeding program, workout program and know what you are doing,” he explained.

The Rocker placed at five of seven ABBI Classic events he entered this year, earning him a trip to the finals.

He clinched the title after bucking off LaSalle, Colo., cowboy Kody Lostroh in the fourth round.

The Rocker turned in a two-ride score of 176, finishing just a half point ahead of King Buck.

The Rocker was sitting a point behind the long round leader Pecos Bill who had scored an 87.5 on after the first round. Five bulls had scores of 87 and two other bulls had 86.5, matching the score The Rocker had posted.

Any of the 17 bulls with a score of 86 or higher that made it to the championship round could have won the title — one point wasn’t a big margin to make up.

But The Rocker hadn’t won a Classic event during the regular season. He was always just a few spots out of first and had earned over $12,000, putting him toward the bottom of the Top 10 in the year-end standings. He was a contender, but not one of the favorites to win the most coveted title the organization bestows.

When The Rocker earned an 89.25 from the judges in the championship round, the entire Crowder family were on the edge of their seats, waiting to see if any bull could beat that mark. When they learned he had won, reactions ranged from tears of joy and pride from Crowder’s mom, to Crowder himself, who “just couldn’t stop shaking.”

Immediately after his win, a stunned Crowder said, “It just doesn’t seem real yet. Maybe tomorrow when I wake up it will hit me. But right now, I feel like someone needs to pinch me to make sure I’m not dreaming.”

Dwight Frick won ABBI Breeder of the Year for being the breeder behind The Rocker.

The bull is a grandson of the 2006 PBR World Champion Bull, Mossy Oak Mudslinger, and was purchased by Crowder when he was just a yearling.

Crowder started in the ABBI as a youth member competing in Junior Futurities with The Rocker.

“When I bought The Rocker. I was at a futurity in here Colorado, and they had a yearling bull sale. I was actually interested in a different bull, and had gone to see him and Rocker bucked and my mom saw him. She told me to just trust her and go buy him. If it wasn’t for my mom, I wouldn’t have bought him,” he said.

When they brought the bull home, they found he was pretty green and needed some work.

“When I first got The Rocker, I knew he needed some work,” he said. “I did a lot of training with him, and put him into a special feed program and exercise program to make him how he is now. We bucked him a lot, which he needed, and it all paid off.”

As a 2-year-old, The Rocker nearly killed himself after hitting a metal post and knocking himself out for 30 minutes. It could three months for him to recover from that injury, but that didn’t stop him. At the finals of that year, he sustained a leg injury during a warm-up session, and Crowder was forced to pull him out of the competition.

As a 3-year-old, the bull attended the event, but got stage fright and didn’t perform well.

“He overcame these challenges from having a heart bigger than this world. He had the heart to buck,” Crowder said.

Crowder got his start in the bucking bull industry when his family phased out their cow/calf operation and decided to raise bucking bulls. His family purchased a few animals, and the family worked together to build the training facility and program they have today.

“The best part is winning with a bull you have trained and raised,” he said.

Crowder plans to continue his breeding program using this bull.

“My plans with him now are to breed with him, and take him to PBR events and just have fun with him. He has already proven himself to me,” he said. “I’m just going to keep trying and raising the best bulls I can raise for this program.”

He only raises bulls for the PBR, and has enjoyed the organization.

“I love the PBR and ABBI because the bulls are competing as well. I will just stick with the PBR and ABBI because it’s the biggest and the best,” he said.

Even though Crowder won the title with his bull, he felt it was a family effort.

“I want to thank my mom and dad and sister. Without them I would not be where I am now. I also want to thank my uncle Rick Harris for helping me get started, and everything he has done to help,” he stated.

PBR Livestock Director Cody Lambert had called this year’s Classic field the deepest ever and said that The Rocker was one of the most consistent bulls in that field.

Past ABBI Classic champions include Bushwacker, Troubadour, Black Pearl and Shepherd Hills Tested. ❖

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The Fence Post Updated Nov 14, 2013 04:25PM Published Nov 26, 2013 10:51AM Copyright 2013 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.