Prosser bull Buckey charges up PBR ranks

March 23, 2012 by  

YAKIMA, Wash. — If you want to see the latest great athlete from Prosser on television, turn to KIMA at 9 a.m. Sunday.

And no, we’re not talking about Kellen Moore this time. Boise State played its bowl game nearly three months ago. But the Professional Bull Riders season is in full swing — and so is a Prosser-bred and trained bull named Buckey, who will be one of the star attractions in the PBR’s second “15/15 Bucking Battle” this weekend in Albuquerque, N.M.

Caleb Sanderson rides Buckey for a score of 91.75 during the championship round of the PBR Built Ford Tough Series event in Glendale, Ariz., last weekend. (Photo courtesy of Andy Watson/PBR

The event itself actually takes place today, but will be televised nationally by CBS on Sunday morning. And you can bet a lot of eyes will be on Buckey, because that 1,500-pound bull — owned and trained by Prosser stock contractor Craig Wentz — is in the running for the PBR’s prestigious Bull of the Year honor.

At the PBR’s debut 15/15 event two months ago in Sacramento, Calif., Valdiron de Oliveira earned the highest score (94.0) by nearly two points in lasting eight seconds on Buckey. The 94-point score was the PBR’s highest in more than six months and was Oliveira’s career best by 1 1/2 points.

“That 94 points was special,” Wentz said. “The (stock) contractors there all knew that meant something.”

Last weekend at a PBR event in Glendale, Ariz., Buckey was ridden again by Caleb Sanderson, who, like de Oliveira, earned the highest score of the day (91.75). Ironically, that performance by Buckey, who was scored a cumulative 45.0 by the two judges, was the bull’s worst all year. The scores in each of his other three 2012 outs (47.0, 46.25 and 46.25) would have topped every bull in Glendale.

And it came despite Buckey having kicked the frame of the chute so hard on his first turn Wentz feared he might even be injured.

“I was just glad he was sound afterwards,” Wentz said. “In my mind, I’m sure he was processing that pain a little bit. I wasn’t as worried about his (ride performance), because I know he’ll always give me all he’s got. Like any great athlete he’s going to put it all out there. When he (kicked the chute), I knew he’d be off his game a little bit, but he isn’t going to quit. In fact, at eight seconds he’s generally as rank as he can be.

“He’s wanting to pitch (the rider) into the cheap seats somewhere.”

Dennis Hiebert, who manages bulls for Let R Buck-Long Ranch in south Naches and has seen Buckey numerous times at events and in training, agreed. “He’s powerful, he explodes up, and he never quits,” Hiebert said. “You can watch a lot of bulls and they don’t have the heart to go the eight seconds. They’ll go six seconds, maybe.

“Buckey never quits.”

In between the high-scoring rides by Oliveira and Sanderson, J.B. Mauney — points leader in the PBR’s top circuit, the Built Ford Tough Tour — lasted barely three seconds on Buckey before being sent flying.

On’s “Hot List” — the top bulls in the world (whether PBR, PRCA or American Bucking Bulls, Inc.) — Buckey is ranked second with an average two-judges’ mark of 46.125.

Wentz knew he had something special in Buckey early on.

“We could tell he was going to buck from the first time,” Wentz said. “When we bucked him as a yearling (at a junior event in Arlington, Ore.), we knew he had something. He had an amazing amount of up and down and kick.”

Buckey has already passed on some of that drive and athleticism. One of his offspring, a soon-to-be-5-year-old named Buckoff, is scheduled for the long round at a PBR Built Ford Tough tour stop tonight in Albuquerque, following the 15/15 event. Earlier this season Buckoff was the high-marked bull out of more than 30 in his round at his very first PBR event in Portland.

Buckoff’s father, Buckey, is fast becoming the most famous bull to come out of the Pacific Northwest since 2006, when Dr. Proctor — owned and trained by Rod Chumley of Selah and co-owned by Gary Long of Yakima — was runnerup for the PBR’s Bull of the Year honor.

Like Dr. Proctor, Buckey is a powerful, highly competitive bull.

“He’s a typical Prosser athlete,” Long said with a big grin. “Kellen Moore … Buckey.”

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5 Responses to “Prosser bull Buckey charges up PBR ranks”
  1. D P says:

    Mentioning Kellen Moore as atop athlete fills in this article well. BUT, lets look back into Prosser’s sports history and you will find that one of the most all around standout athletes ever to compete in Prosser sports was Bucky Bruns ! I would compare the bull Buckey more with Bucky !

  2. Leslie Sulgrove says:

    Fans in Springdale have been following the Wentz’s bull Buckey! Some veterans of the PBR have commented just this…Buckey…four wheel drive tough with style! Good luck Craig, Vicki, Wyatt, Fallon, and of course…Buckey!!

  3. Martha says:

    There is no doubt in my mind this bull is named because of Bucky Bruns!
    For 30 years he was the stand out athlete. Bucky’s son Cody Bruns played with Kellen Moore and was in my opinion a better athlete than Kellen…
    but Kellen’s Dad,the coach, put Kellen in the best possible spot light…
    in my book as far as a natural athlete I am voting for Bucky and his son Cody…RIP Bucky.
    Who ever wrote this article should have ‘voiced’ Bucky Bruns…you blew it YHR.

  4. Ben Phelps says:

    Best of luck to Craig and family and to the star Buckey.I know lots of hard work long hours and worries have been put in to get where your at keep it up,God Bless

  5. Jess's says:

    Dreams come true…..this is a DREAM for the Wentz and most of
    all a FAMILY affair…….God Bless Wentz Bucking Bulls…..

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