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Bushwacker Bucks Legendary Career Into Retirement
Bushwacker 2 11-5
Bushwacker and owner Julio Moreno trot at the ranch where Bushwacker will spend his retirement. The eight-year-old bucking bull won three PBR championships during his career. - photo by RICHARD PALOMA/The Leader

The most prominent figure in sports to retire this year not named Derek Jeter lives right here in Oakdale.

Recently named “The Baddest Body in Sports” by ESPN The Magazine, Bushwacker, a 1750-pound bucking bull and three-time World Champion was literally put out to pasture after winning his third world title at the Professional Bull Riders World Finals in Las Vegas on Oct. 26.

“He’ll be kept in his pen until the spring,” said proud owner Julio Moreno at his 60-acre bull ranch just outside the city limits. “Then, I’ll turn him out to be with the girls.”

The girls, according to Moreno, will be 20 or more cows anxiously awaiting the big guy for the prospect of making Baby Bushwackers during his retreat from the rough and tumble world of professional rodeo.

The eight-year-old Bushwacker, who was introduced to the pro rodeo circuit in 2009, has bucked off 64 of the 66 riders that have attempted to last the mandatory eight seconds on the E-ticket ride he provides which can includes bucks, twists, turns, and nearly a ton of bull and cowboy tossing about over three feet above ground.

“Riders could never figure him out,” said Moreno. “He’s smart enough to ‘feel’ the cowboy. He reads their grip and moves when they’re on him.”

Moreno feels Bushwacker psyches riders out with his reputation to where they already fear him before getting on and out of the chute.

“I compare him to (NFL player) Ray Lewis – big and mean, but as smart as (former NHL star Wayne) Gretzky” said Moreno. “He’s the whole nine yards. Put it all together when you add his 1750 pounds, he’s the whole package.”

Despite his frightful reputation, the bull is at ease on the road playing to his loyal fans and media following which has included profiles in Newsweek, People, USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal as well as the CBS Morning News and a recent CBS Sports Network half-hour documentary that aired on Sunday on Nov. 2.

Bushwacker had a record-breaking 42 straight buck-off streak until 2013 World Champion J.B. Mauney rode him for the full eight seconds last year in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

This year Bushwacker went 14-0 on the PBR Built Ford Tough Series and 17-0 overall, closing out the 2014 season in Las Vegas throwing off 2004 PBR World Champion Mike Lee for a score of 46.50 points to earn Bushwacker his third PBR championship.

“It’s another world championship for Oakdale,” boasted Oakdale Cowboy Museum Director Christie Camarillo, who went to Las Vegas to see the PBR Finals. “Oakdale has 25 with our cowboys, and three now from Bushwacker, means 28 are from Oakdale.”

In bucking fees alone, Bushwacker has earned Moreno well into the high-six-figure range during his career and continues to be a “cash cow” with those who want his offspring or to breed him.

According to Moreno, Bushwacker calves have sold for $135,000 and embryos produced from him have gone for $27,000. His semen is liquid gold as a vial of his baby-bull batter is priced at $5,000.

“His pedigree is fantastic,” Moreno said.

Bushwacker was born in the spring of 2006. His father was a top bucking bull named Reindeer Dippin. His mother, Lady Luck, was the daughter of Diamond’s Ghost, all known names in the PBR world.

Bucking bulls can live to be over 15 years old, added Moreno, so Bushwacker has plenty of retirement and breeding years ahead of him.

“There will be no Michael Jordan or Brett Favre comeback,” Moreno said. “We’re done.”

Moreno points to Bushwacker’s half-brother Roy as the next up-and-comer in bull riding.

“He’s the future now,” said Moreno. “He’ll be the competitor to try to ride in January.”