Colby Yates, a professional bull rider who lives near Pickton, will be one of an estimated 75 pro rodeo cowboys taking part in the Lone Star Dodge Colby Yates Challenge presented by Priefert Ranch Equipment and Choctaw Casino & Resort, scheduled Aug. 15-16 at the Civic Center. The two-night event will also feature the top teams in the Professional Bullfighters association and some of the top young bucking bulls.
Photo Credit: Andy Watts

Rodeo Trifecta

Colby Yates Challenge bringing some of the country's best bull riders to Civic Center, as well as top Pro Bullfighting teams and bucking bovines

From Staff Reports

August 6, 2008 - Some of the best cowboys in the Professional Bull Riders organization are coming to Hopkins County this month for a special event, and organizers are promising a wild ride in more ways than one.

The Lone Star Dodge Colby Yates Challenge presented by Priefert Ranch Equipment and Choctaw Casino & Resort will be held at 7:30 p.m. nightly Friday, Aug. 15, and Saturday, Aug. 16, at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center. Stars like Colby Yates, who now lives near Pickton, along with Matt Austin, Cord McCoy and a host of other top competitors have signed on for the PBR Enterprise Tour event.

Ted Harbin, media coordinator for the Challenge, said during a two-hour press conference at the Civic Center Tuesday that about 25 of the 75 riders coming to the event are or have been in the top 45 money winners on the tour.

But there's a lot more at stake than just $30,000 in added money for this show, cash prizes that go toward these bull riders' goal of reaching the PBR Finals in Las Vegas, Nev.

It's also where some of the up-and-coming bucking bulls will be part of the competition in the American Bucking Bull Inc. Classic, which features 3- and 4-year-old athletic bulls showing off their talents.

"They will eat you alive," said Jim McLain Jr., a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association for 20 years.

To add to the excitement of the triple-threat evening is the Professional Bullfighters' Daisy Protection Bullfight Tour. Five teams of bullfighters (think rodeo clowns without the baggy pants and makeup) not only will jump in the fray to save the lives of the bull riders involved in the PBR event, but they will also be competing against one another while trying to obtain the top scores from a group of professional bullfighters who are assigned to judge their talents.

What makes Sulphur Springs special is its location to so many of the top athletes in the sport, according to Harbin. It's also a way for the best cowboys to secure their spots in the PBR World Finals, which take place over two weeks at the end of October and beginning of November. The top 45 cowboys with money won on any level qualify for the championship, so dollars won in this Sulphur Springs event are even more valuable.

Vegas also hosts the ABBI World Finals, and bull owners are still trying to qualify their animals for a chance at hundreds of thousands of dollars at the premier event for young bulls.

McLain said the event has been well-received already in the Hopkins County community, with the highest opening day ticket sales he's ever seen in the five years he has been promoting the "trifecta" events. Tickets are $16 in advance and $21 at the gate. Advance tickets may be purchased at Circle E Western Wear and the Civic Center box office, or by calling 903-885-8071.

More details about the event will be included in upcoming editions of the News-Telegram.

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