Six local men have stepped up to the chute and agreed to take a wild ride for charity.
The 11th Annual J.W. Hart PBR Challenge on May 31 will feature, for the first time, Celebrity Steer Riding.
Six everyday, non-bull-riding guys from Wise County will climb aboard a beast and see how long they can hang on. The lineup includes Joe Neil Henderson, J.D. Clark, Jeff Sicking, Fernando Escobar, Beau Bell and Wade Watson.
WC Challenger Charities (WCCC), the organization that puts on the annual PBR event, will make a one-time $500 donation to the winner’s charity of choice.
WCCC’s Calvin Jackson said the only time they’ve had a similar event was the first year when they hosted a Coaches Challenge.
“Those guys showed up, and they were all so big we couldn’t put them on the backs of steers,” Jackson said. “They had to ride bulls. We asked J.W., ‘what are we going to do?’
“His response: ‘Don’t tell them ’til they sign the waiver!'”
Jackson has reassured these guys that they will be riding steers, a bit smaller and perhaps less aggressive than the PBR bulls. He also told them earlier this week that each one of them will be tied in by a champion PBR rider.
“It won’t help you,” he said with a laugh, “but it’ll be kind of cool.”
It’s rumored that J.W. Hart’s 5-year-old son, Wacey, is riding the steers in the weeks leading up to the competition, breaking them in for the Wise County celebrities.
Although Jackson likes to joke around and tease the volunteer riders about all the possible outcomes, he said WCCC does appreciate their participation.
“Our organization really does appreciate what these guys are doing because it’s bringing in extra revenue, which is helping charities,” he said. “I appreciate the guys doing that. Not everybody is cut out for it.”
At the conclusion of this year’s event fans will be treated to a bull-riding matchup that features the best of the best.
Hart has put up $25,000 for a winner-take-all challenge featuring the reigning PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney on Asteroid, and four-time PRCA title-winner J.W. Harris on Shepherd Hills Tested.
Mauney was quoted in a story on the PBR website as saying “sparks will fly.”
Occupation: Licensed athletic trainer
Training regimen: Watch 30 minutes of steer riding on YouTube; five minutes of Physio ball exercises for core and adductor strengthening; one Orange Rockstar; one hour of advice from Fabiano Vieira; 30 seconds of Brett Braziel telling me how stupid I am for doing this; 12 beverages of my choosing to help me sleep at night.
Pre-ride ritual: 12 beverages of my choosing to build up my courage, and one Rockstar with a slap to the face!
Theme song: “We Own It,” 2 Chainz
Charity of choice: Wise Regional Health Foundation
Quote: “Smart, good-looking, and MEXICAN. It just doesn’t get any better than this!”
Occupation: Mayor/teacher/Republican nominee for county judge
Training regimen: Listening to Chris LeDoux music and taking advice from people who actually know what they’re doing.
Pre-ride ritual: Intense prayer. I doubt much else will actually help me.
Theme song: “Keep on Keepin’ On,” Jack Ingram
Charity of choice: Wise Hope/Wise County Domestic Violence Task Force
Quote: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena …” – Theodore Roosevelt
Occupation: New and used car salesman at James Wood in Decatur
Training regimen: I haven’t done much. I guess I had better start thinking about what kind of end zone dance I am going to do when I win!
Pre-ride ritual: I will just get my mind right and ride him jump for jump! Can’t think about it too much or you’ll psych yourself out.
Theme song: “All I Do is Win,” by DJ Khaled
Charity of choice: Wise County Meals on Wheels
Quote: “If you ain’t first, you’re last boys!”
Owner, AT&T Wise Wireless and
iCopy Print and Office Supply
Training regimen: Just started P90X,
but it’s not going real well.
Pre-ride ritual: Pray! And do a little stretching.
Theme song: “Rock You Like A Hurricane,” Scorpions
Charity of choice: Wise County Christian Counseling
Quote: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phillipians 4:13 I’M FIRED UP!
Occupation: SVP PrimeWest Mortgage
Training regimen: Richards Simmons VHS videos twice a day
Pre-ride ritual: Eating a couple pounds of our cooking team’s award-winning brisket
Theme song: “Falling,” N’Sync
Charity of choice: Decatur Cares
Quote: “I don’t always ride bulls, but when I do, I prefer WC Challenger’s.”
Occupation: Owner of Texas Custom Trailers
Training regimen: Two sit-ups and had a double cheeseburger at Whataburger
Pre-ride ritual: Give my wife Teela a kiss!
Theme song: “Bad to the Bone,” George Thorogood
Charity of choice: Decatur Cares, summer meal program for kids
Quote: “Get ready boys, I am fixing to spur the hair off this sucker!”
J.W. HART PBR CHALLENGE
- Saturday, May 31
- Wise County Fairgrounds, 3101 South Farm Road 51, in Decatur
- Gates open at 5:30 p.m., event starts at 8 p.m.
- The Celebrity Steer Riding will be held between the long and short go.
- Tickets are available at www.wcchallenger.org or at Wise Wireless in Decatur.