FORT WORTH, Texas – World No. 1 bull rider Daylon Swearingen still remembers how awestruck he was when Stormy Wing made a remarkable 95.25-point ride aboard three-time World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser at the Ty Murray Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Swearingen watched on TV as The Pit erupted in cheers as Wing handled every burst of power and strength from the highlight-reel-making bull with finesse and expertise.
The then-17-year-old dreamed that he would be able to attempt to ride the legendary bull one day. Three years later, Swearingen would, in fact, go on to ride Bruiser for 88 points in Lincoln, Nebraska, in what would end up being the last ride ever aboard the legendary bovine.
On Tuesday evening, H.D. Page and D&H Cattle Company announced the passing of legendary three-time PBR World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser (2011-2022). He was 11 years old.
“Cord McCoy talks about how his career was so special, being able to get on Bushwacker, and, for me, this is the same deal,” Swearingen told PBR.com on Tuesday night. “It is pretty cool that I was the last one to ride Bruiser and the last one to buck off Bruiser.
“He is a bull I always watched growing up. My favorite ride was when Stormy Wing rode him. Bruiser was such a great bull for so long and one of the best all-time, and you are going to see his genetics forever.”
Bruiser will go down as one of the greatest bucking bulls in PBR history.
He is one of three bulls in PBR history who have won three world titles (2016-18), alongside Little Yellow Jacket and Bushwacker. Little Yellow Jacket and Bruiser are the only bulls to win three titles consecutively. Bruiser, the 2015 ABBI Classic Champion and 2017 PRCA Bull of the Year, and Bodacious are the only two bulls in history to win World Championships in both the PBR and PRCA.
The friendly bovine was a favorite in the locker room, as well as in the grandstands.
Bruiser concluded his career with a 60-17 record on the premier series and 104-29 overall. He was ridden for 90 or more points 25 times, which is all but four times that he was ever ridden.
“My heart goes out to Dillon and H.D. He was as honest as they come and a bucking S.O.B.,” Wing told PBR.com via text on Tuesday. “I’m proud to say he took me to the record books that one time in New Mexico at The Pit. I will never forget it. I definitely was there for the whistle, and I sure had my hands full. I have no doubt he loved his job. He never leaned or fought inside the chutes, he was a statue with a heartbeat, he was a true, blue World Champ. The champ of all champs!”
Bruiser was born on March 2, 2011, and is the son of World Finals qualifier Show Time and a daughter of 2006 World Champion Bull Mossy Oak Mudslinger.
Bruiser seemed to bring his best during the PBR World Finals or Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, whether inside the Thomas & Mack Center or T-Mobile Arena, as the explosive bovine helped produce eight 90-point rides in Sin City. Bruiser bucked at six PBR World Finals and made five trips to the NFR.
Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney had just clinched his second world title before riding Bruiser for 92.75 points seven years ago during the 2015 PBR World Finals, while six-time PRCA champion bull rider Sage Kimzey rode Bruiser for 94 points at the 2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Mauney was a perfect 3-for-3 against Bruiser. He first rode Bruiser for 93.25 points at the 2014 PBR World Finals, only to break his jaw at the 8-second mark. The following year, Mauney had just been announced as the 2015 PBR World Champion before riding Bruiser for 92.75 points to punctuate his second gold buckle campaign, this time breaking his collarbone in the process.
Mauney earned the 72nd 90-point ride of his career and 31st event win of his career by riding Bruiser for 94.25 points in Billings, Montana, in 2017.
The 35-year-old couldn’t help but laugh on Tuesday when recalling his relationship with Bruiser, who didn’t have a single mean bone in his body.
“Every time I rode him, it was something,” Mauney said, laughing. “But it always paid well. The one year to be winning the world, it couldn’t have worked out any better than riding that bull. Shoot, I always liked getting on him. He was pretty honest. He knew what he was going to do. You just had to be man enough to hang with him.”
Mauney added that Bruiser deserves to be held in the same high regard as fellow three-time World Champion Bushwacker.
“He didn’t have as many tricks as Bushwacker did,” Mauney said. “Bushwacker, you never knew what he was going to do. It was never the same thing twice. Bruiser didn’t have to throw as many tricks. He just bucked like hell, and most of the time, guys couldn’t hang with him.”
Bruiser had the heart of a champion, and he was always overcoming some kind of adversity at the World Finals with the love and care of the entire D&H Cattle Company family.
In 2018, Bruiser had not bucked for four months, missing the second half of the regular season because of a back/stifle issue, until he teamed up with Jose Vitor Leme for a 93.5-point ride to help win his third world title.
During his seven-year career, Bruiser was arguably the most loveable and friendly bull in the PBR, and H.D. Page never loved a bull as much as his “buddy” Bruiser.
Fans could walk up to Bruiser and give him a good ol’ head scratch or pat on the back, and he would instantly fall in love.
“You have to put a lot of time and work into it to have a bull like that, and that tells you about their breeding program,” Mauney said. “I have bulls here that I can spend a whole lifetime with and never be able to get one to scratch on like Bruiser.”
PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert said following Bruiser’s second world title in 2017 that no bull could ever follow in Bruiser’s footsteps.
“Bruiser’s got it all, and he’s got the best personality,” Lambert said. “He’s the coolest bull. He’s the biggest pet. Everything about him, we’ll never see another one. We might see one that bucks that hard, but he’ll probably be mean, and then we might see one that’s that gentle, but he might not buck that hard.
“We’ll never, ever see another Bruiser.”
One thing the sport will see in the future is plenty of Bruiser sons and grandsons in the coming years.
Bruiser has been a pillar of the D&H Cattle Company breeding program, and there are already plenty of bulls with bloodlines dating back to Bruiser bucking in the PBR and the PRCA.
His legacy will certainly live on, and his personality will never be forgotten by all those who loved him.
The PBR extends its condolences to the entire Page family, Rockin P ranch, and their partners on the passing of Bruiser.
Below is some additional reaction of Bruiser’s passing on social media this week, as well as comments about Bruiser from earlier in his career.
Four-time PRCA champion J.W. Harris: “Bruiser RIP champ. It was such an honor to get to climb on your back. There will never be another like him. D&H Cattle Co. thanks for raising such amazing animals.”
Ryan Dirteater (2018 PBR World Finals): “That bull is something special. That is three in a row. That is really special for H.D. That is huge. That bull has won me a lot of money too, and I like him. He is a pet. You can rub all over him. It is amazing to me how electric he can be in the arena. It is something to see. He is real special. He is a bull rider’s dream. A bull you can break records on. A bull you can be a lot of points on. He feels great. He is an amazing animal. He loves his job.”
Derek Kolbaba (2018): “That is one of those bulls I would love to have in the backyard just to look at him every damn day. He is one bull that is unlike no other I have seen. I am happier than hell for the Page family and Bruiser to get that third world title.”
Two-time World Champion Jose Vitor Leme (2018): “It was certainly a dream to ride Bruiser. I do not think there is a better place than Vegas for that to happen. I’m really happy for 93.5.”
2012 PRCA champion Cody Teel (2019): “It’s just a big opportunity when your name’s next to Bruiser, because you know you have a dang good shot to win.”
Article Courtesy of PBR
Photo By Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media