PUEBLO, Colo. – Jeremy Walker was taking a group of PBR fans behind the bucking chutes before the start of the 2020 PBR World Finals when he noticed a bull giving those who purchased a PBR Premium Experience an extra bit of excitement.
Walker did not recognize the bull, but he could tell this 1,800-pound bovine athlete definitely had some attitude to him, and the fans loved it.
“Anytime people got to the back next to his pen, he would hit the pipes and pick the back of the bucking chutes up,” Walker recalled before laughing. “I would tell people, ‘I probably don’t think I need to tell you to stay away from him as he is doing a good job himself.’”
Immediately the group asked who the bull was.
“Good question,” Walker thought to himself.
All he could tell was that he was a Wentz Bucking Bull.
“Coming from the Wentz’s breeding program, you know Craig and his family are not going to bring anything to town that is not the caliber,” Walker said. “They are known for bringing great stuff.”
Walker kept his eye out for the bull later that night inside AT&T Stadium, and boy oh boy, was he impressed.
Red Clark bucked off 2018 Rookie of the Year Keyshawn Whitehorse in 1.76 seconds for a 45.25-point bull score.
“He got my attention there earlier in the day, and then I see him in that round (against Keyshawn), and I said, ‘Man, that sucker bucks,’” Walker said.
Walker eventually approached Craig Wentz to discuss the possibility of acquiring Red Clark, who first made his premier series debut as Black Mamba last year at Iron Cowboy in Los Angeles, and the Wentzes were open to selling him.
The sample size for Red Clark was small when Walker and his partners at Paradigm Bull Company decided to purchase the 4-year-old bovine athlete. Red Clark only bucked three times on the Unleash The Beast before the World Finals during the COVID-19-impacted 2020 PBR season. Despite the lack of outs, Walker knew he could trust Wentz, and he also saw potential in Red Clark.
However, did Walker expect the bull to evolve into a 2021 YETI World Champion Bull contender?
“The gamble wasn’t on their breeding program and what Craig thought about him and what little I had seen,” Walker explained to PBR.com on Tuesday. “He had the look and the pedigree, but he just hadn’t had a lot of exposure and outs. That is the thing; you really do gamble on bulls at this level. They could be really good, but until they get out there and prove themselves, you don’t know. That is the big crapshoot of the deal.”
Marquis Metal Works Red Clark heads into this weekend’s 15/15 Bucking Battle at the PBR Union Home Mortgage Invitational in Omaha, Nebraska, ranked fourth in the YETI World Champion Bull standings.
15/15 Bucking Battle Omaha Matchups
Alex Cerqueira vs. Ridin Solo (14-4, UTB)*
Boudreaux Campbell vs. Mr. Winston (5-4, UTB)
Eduardo Aparecido vs. Diddy Wa Diddy (1-2, UTB)
Junior Patrik Souza vs. Boogie Bomb (8-6, premier series)
Keyshawn Whitehorse vs. High Brow Cat (1-2, UTB)*
Mauricio Moreira vs. The Right Stuff (30-2, premier series)
Silvano Alves vs. Marquis Metal Works Coriolis Effect (13-1, UTB)
Derek Kolbaba vs. I’m Busted (18-2, UTB)
Marco Eguchi vs. Woopaa (4-3, UTB)
Colten Fritzlan vs. WSM’s Jive Turkey (16-3, UTB)
Dener Barbosa vs. Marquis Metal Works Red Clark (14-0, UTB)*
Cooper Davis vs. King Brute (1-2, UTB)
Joao Ricardo Vieira vs. Homegrown (11-5, UTB)$
Jose Vitor Leme vs. The Sauce (10-0, UTB)
Kaique Pacheco vs. I’m Legit Too (24-10, UTB)*
*Bull previously bucked off the rider
$Rider previously has ridden the bull for a qualified ride
Walker is thrilled with how Red Clark has looked in his first full season going up and down the Unleash The Beast trail.
Red Clark is 9-0 with an average bull score of 45.17 points per out. The Northwest-bred bucking bull is 14-0 on the premier series in his career and 16-0 overall at all levels of PBR competition.
Red Clark heads into Omaha coming off back-to-back 46-point outings. He bucked off Andrew Alvidrez in 2.07 seconds in Louisville, Kentucky, for a 46.25-point bull score. Derek Kolbaba made it 5.08 seconds before Red Clark tossed him in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, earning a 46-point score in the process.
“Craig Wentz told me Red Clark still had some maturing to do, and he hasn’t hit his prime yet,” Walker said. “He is the most confident bull I have been around. That is one thing about him. He is not afraid of you. He is not necessarily mean, but he can get that way. You have to respect him. You can’t rush him. You can’t push him into anything. Once he gets mad, he stays mad for a while. You try to not get him there because when he is mad, he damn sure means it.”
Kolbaba is the first rider all season to go beyond 2.88 seconds on Red Clark and just the third in 14 outs.
Walker was happy to see a rider take Red Clark further than a few jumps, and he believes a qualified ride may do him some good when it comes to the World Championship race.
“I would like to get him rode,” Walker said. “I just seen Kolbaba get on him the other day and get him warmed up, and he was getting with it and getting better. I don’t think that bull is going to weaken. I truly think when a guy will get out, and that bull has his trip, and a guy can ride him – kind of like with J.B. (Mauney) and the Pearl Harbor deal. A mid-90-point bull ride could put a bull on the map just as much as a question mark of not knowing what he is going to do.”
World No. 5 Dener Barbosa will attempt to be that rider this weekend in Omaha. Fans can watch the 15/15 Bucking Battle exclusively on CBS national television Sunday at 2 p.m. ET (check local listings).
Red Clark previously bucked Barbosa off in 2.88 seconds in Louisville in March.
“I am always ready,” Barbosa said. “Red Clark is very strong when he comes to the left, but I will try not to (set a trap). I am going to try to be the first to ride him this weekend.”
Walker knows Barbosa could pose a threat to Red Clark’s buckoff streak.
Barbosa recently rode Talking Smack last weekend in Nampa, Idaho, for 90 points to cap off his third-place finish.
“I looked at some of the videos, and Dener has made some rides where he was over the front end and was sitting up and had some second effort,” Walker said. “Dener has been riding really good. I don’t know if Red Clark will let him get away with that or not, but if Dener ties his hand in, grits his jaw and means it, that guy has been around long enough and rode a lot of good ones. He has the tools. He can ride on the end of his arm and get over the front. It looks like he has been sitting up and getting back to them. It could be hard to bet against him, but I also like Red Clark’s chances. If he does ride him, I hope it is for a bunch of points, and he is not hanging off the side. I don’t think Red Clark is going to let anybody stay on him unless they are right smack in the middle of him.
“They are all going to ride them all eventually, I believe.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Photo courtesy of Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media
Article courtesy of PBR.com