Top bull riders set sights on Fort Worth

FORT WORTH, Texas — Reigning world bull riding champion Dustin Elliott of Tecumseh, Neb., and 1997 World Champion Scott Mendes of Springtown, Texas, headline the list of riders competing in the Tuff Hedeman Championship Challenge Fort Worth, the second of five newly sanctioned bull riding events by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).

The first event, the Tuff Hedeman Louisiana Challenge, event took place Jan. 7-8 in Bossier City, La.

The two-night event starts at 8 p.m. (CT) on March 12 at Will Rogers Coliseum. Five qualifiers from the March 12 preliminary round join 40 others for the final day of action, scheduled for March 13 at 2 p.m.

There, every contestant competes in the semifinal round, with the top 15 performers advancing to the final round. The winner of the two-head aggregate wins that stop's title. Monies won at the event count toward the Jack Daniel's World Standings, which determines qualifiers for the Wrangler NFR (Dec. 2-11) in Las Vegas.

Among the entrants in Fort Worth is ProRodeo rookie Austin Meier (Checotah, Okla.), who filled his permit in Bossier City by winning the title and $35,750.

2005 marks the first year that the Tuff Hedeman events have been sanctioned by the PRCA. The series has attracted top-caliber fields and played to big crowds.