The Coastal Farm & Ranch Challenge of Champions Tour for bull riders made its second stop of the season in Roseburg on Saturday, performing at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
Only two successful eight-second rides were made in 18 attempts in the main event, and Dawson Branton of Jefferson was able to stay on his bull and came away with the top score before a good crowd during the final day of the Douglas County Fair.
The 18-year-old Branton, the 2018 COC season champion, rode 2 Bucks Rodeo Co.’s Proctors Pride for a score of 86.5 points. Roy Jackson of Tiller finished second with an 85-point ride on Electric Avenue.
“It was a good bull,” said Branton, who took home a winner’s check of $2,475. “My buddy Colton told me to pick him, so I picked him and it worked out in my favor. Everyone said he bucked hard and I rode him thankfully. It couldn’t be better.”
Branton entered the competition in second place behind Jake Davis (who didn’t compete Saturday due to an injury) in the season standings, but moved into first with the win.
“(The season) hasn’t been too great, but today turned it around,” Branton said. “It extends my lead a little bit and gives me confidence for the next one ... makes you believe in yourself a little bit. (Riding) is a great adrenaline rush. There’s no better feeling if you can stay on.”
Jackson, 24, made local fans proud with a strong effort aboard Electric Avenue. The former Days Creek High football player pocketed $1,650 and moved up to 12th in the season standings.
“There were a lot of people I knew. My aunts and uncles were here, and my girlfriend,” Jackson said. “It was just a good time.
“I needed a pretty good ride to break through again. I haven’t been riding great, so it felt good. I’d been on him before in Prineville and he didn’t buck as hard. I got a better trip out of him today.”
Colton Dougherty of Prineville, who rode four bulls in last year’s event in Roseburg, was bucked off by Lone Wolf.
A wrist injury prevented Branton from getting on the bounty bull, Fortnite. A successful ride would’ve made the cowboy $3,500 richer.
Jackson took the challenge, but was bucked off the rank bull quickly.
“It was kind of weird. I was pulling my rope up, then I felt something loosen up on me as I slid up,” Jackson said. “I went out there and my rope was too loose from the get-go. He reared me back. My rope had a fray in it and it was just bad luck. Equipment failure.
“It was a good opportunity, but I just didn’t get him. It happens.”
Lane Vaughan of Klamath Falls won the junior bull riding with a score of 77. Tanner Griffith of Salem was second at 76.
Jason Mattox, the Challenge of Champions founder, was pleased with the event.
“The community came out big time today,” he said. “We were a little nervous with the weather (Saturday morning), but it turned out to be a beautiful day. The stands were packed and this was awesome.
“The bulls were pretty tough. Usually at our events they ride five-six bulls and today they rode two, but it wasn’t because the bulls were bad. The bulls just bucked good, but it ended on a good note.”
The tour will continue in Moro on Aug. 23. Roseburg will host a third COC event on Sept. 7 at Umpqua Sand & Gravel in Melrose.