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Reese Cates rides Martinez Bucking Bulls, LLC's Acting Crazy for 88.5 during the Iron Cowboy Built Ford Tough series PBR


Feb 242017

At 28 years of age, Reese Cates is no longer a young gun among the Top 35 bull riders in the world. But that didn’t stop the one-time PBR Rookie of the Year from finding a “golden ticket” at the Iron Cowboy this past weekend

““I’m not sure where that just came from,””

Seven events into the 2017 season and without a guarantee from week to week that he would be competing on the elite televised series, which airs weekly on CBS, Cates won the opening round at AT&T Stadium – home of the Dallas Cowboys – with an 89.5-point effort that brought nearly 39,000 bull riding fans to their feet.


CBS broadcasters Craig Hummer and Justin McBride were obviously referencing Willy Wonka when they spoke of the aforementioned golden ticket that pushed Cates all the way up to 21st in the world standings.


“I’m not sure where that just came from,” said McBride, a two-time PBR World Champion who retired at the conclusion of the 2009 season, “but he picked a good time to do it.”


Cates said he felt good week.


And after qualifying for the Championship Round, in Kansas City, he said he felt equally confident when he arrived in Texas.


“I had a bull drawn in the first round that doesn’t get ridden very often,” said Cates, of his match up with a bull named Acting Crazy. “I think he’s been ridden one time by (fellow Monster Energy rider) Guilherme (Marchi). I spoke to Guilherme before the event and he said if you get by the first turn you’re going to love this bull. He was absolutely right.”


Cates made several turns with Acting Crazy.


As a matter of fact, he made 8-seconds worth of rounds with the bull.


And had an answer for whatever Acting Crazy tried.


“He … turned into a great draw,” Cates said.


The round win and the 125 points Cates earned, in Arlington, Texas, were enough to move him high enough in the standings to likely secure him a place at the elite televised events for the foreseeable future if not the rest of the 2017 season.


His 89.5 points also pushed fellow Monster Energy rider and lifelong friend Chase Outlaw from first to second in the round.


Outlaw was in the locker room at the time of Cates’ ride.


When he asked Cates how he did, the Arkansas native merely said, “I stayed on.”


Cates then smirked at the idea of not letting Outlaw know he had overtaken the top stop. Cates and Outlaw finished first and second, while two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney was fifth in the round and three-time World Finals average winner Robson Palermo was seventh.


That meant of the seven Monster Energy riders competing at the Iron Cowboy – Gage Gay, Derek Kolbaba and Guilherme Marchi also were in the draw – the team accounted for four of the 15 qualified rides in the opening round. 


Cates is in his 10th season at the elite level and his 11th as a pro.


He’s won at least one event in 10 of 11 years at the lower level and, more importantly, three elite events in recent years. He finished fourth in the average at the Iron Cowboy.


Asked about his 89.5 points, Cates said, “I did all right.”


“Reese said he didn’t know where he found it,” said McBride, referring to Cates’ strong finish on Acting Crazy as a golden ticket of sorts, “well, I’m glad he did.”