Bubba Adams likes to arrive to a bull riding competition several hours early to spend time with his fellow riders and everyone else involved. On Saturday night, Adams talked to the bullfighters before the Professional Bull Riding Discovery Tour's stop at the Moffat County Fairgrounds.
"They told me that bull No. 115, Lock and Load, was drawn for the re-rides, which was good because he had been killing cowboys lately," said Adams, who is from Greeley. "Their hope was that no one would have to ride him tonight."
During the first three rounds eight re-rides were awarded to cowboys, and Adams received one of the re-rides after his bull, Bubbles, stumbled out of the shoot. Lock and Load was his draw in the re-ride.
"I didn't realize I had drawn him until right before the ride," Adams said. "I approached it the same way I would any other time, with a prayer and a tough mental focus."
His approach led to one of the best rides of his life. Lock and Load bucked and spun, but Adams held on for a hectic eight seconds. When the dust cleared, his tangle with Lock and Load earned score of 90.
"It's one of those rides I'll keep locked up for life," Adams said. "This was the first PBR event I've ridden a bull at, and it was my first win on PBR, as well."
It wasn't Adams' first career win. Two years ago at the same event, which used to be called the Mr. T Classic, Adams won on a re-ride.
"It's kind of a ritual thing for me in Craig," Adams said. "This is a prestigious event, and it's a privilege to have won it twice."
Adams didn't have a chance to defend his title last year after he broke his arm in two places during a ride.
He started his comeback less than a year ago and his previous best ride was an 87 two weeks ago. Adams said his goal this year was to get onto the PBR Challenger Series, which is a step above the Discovery Tour. He will get credit for $2,648 in winnings for his PBR standings.
His 90 in the long-go won the competition because none of the 10 cowboys, including himself, finished with a score in the short-go.
Announcer Les Ohlhauser said he wasn't surprised that no cowboy rode for eight seconds in the short-go.
"From my calculations, all of those bulls had a 90 percent buck-off rate," he said.
In three years, the bulls are 23-1 in the short-go of the event.
"The Burns (Stock Co.) bulls are tough," Adams said. "It may have been a bit easier this time because it wasn't all Burns bulls."
Bulls from six stock companies were used for the ride, which included 40 cowboys.
Event organizer Jackie Rob--erts estimated that the crowd doubled from last year's attendance.
"We had a great amount of pre-sale tickets," she said. "I had someone predict about 1,500 people."
Ohlhauser predicted the event would continue to grow.
"This was the only PBR event around this area," he said. "The word will get out."
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or dpressgrove@craigdaily