He spent his childhood wading through the mucky pens of his dad’s ranch. By the time he was 23, he was boots-deep in another kind of green.
As the son of a legendary stock contractor – Terry Don Williams – Clayton Williams was clearly destined to ride bulls. Last year in Oklahoma City, the then-rookie from Carthage, Texas, proved he was one of the best in the world.
Williams was among more than 200 up and coming bull riders who were offered an opportunity to compete on Oklahoma’s red dirt for the biggest purse in the history of the Copenhagen Bull Riding Challenger Tour Finals presented by Dickies.
The qualifying rounds boasted 225 bull riders from 36 states and five countries. Only 10 of those cowboys were eligible to join the top 20 riders from the Challenger Tour along with 10 top riders from the Built Ford Tough Series to compete in the $1,000,000 Challenger Tour Championship.
Williams, a virtual unknown who finished fourth in the qualifying rounds, not only qualified for the nationally televised Challenger competition, but surprised everyone by winning the event.
The 23 year-old, who covered all four of the bulls he attempted over the weekend, entered the fourth and final round in first place when he took Mandan Brave for an impressive 89.5 ride, — enough to claim the Challenger Tour Championship title by a 74.75-point margin over emerging PBR superstar J.B. Mauney.
“It is unbelievable,” said Williams, who took home over $250,000 in prize money and clinched the 2007 Daisy Rookie of the Year title with the win. “When you grow up you always picture yourself at the top. At some point you got to step up to the plate and beat a number of guys to get to this position.
“I knew I was a little fish in a big sea with 225 bull riders getting on bulls all this week,” Williams later added, “but I’m excited about winning.”
The Copenhagen Bull Riding Challenger Tour Championship presented by Dickies returns to the Ford Center in Oklahoma City on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 15 – 17, with another $1,000,000 up for grabs – with half that going to this year’s event winner.
This year’s Express Open qualifying rounds will take place Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. This year’s top 10 newcomers will join the top 25 bull riders from the Challenger Tour standings, including 2006 Challenger Tour Champion J.B. Mauney, as well as 10 of the top bull riders from the Built Ford Tough Series presented by Wrangler.
Among some of the biggest names competing will be three-time PBR World Champion Adriano Moraes, who recently announced plans to retire after the 2008 season, and two-time PBR World Champion Chris Shivers, along with 2004 PBR World Champion Mike Lee.
Mauney, last year’s second-place finisher at the Finals and 2006 PBR Rookie of the Year, is among the favorites again this year. A native of Mooresville, North Carolina, the 21-year-old is currently in sixth place on the Built Ford Tough Series after five events.
“I’ve got number one on my mind and that’s number one in the world,” Mauney said. “They [bulls] are going to have a heck of a time getting me on the ground because I’m going for first place.”
This year, the winner of the Challenger Finals competition — one of the three biggest sporting events to hit Oklahoma each year — will take home half a million dollars.
Will another unknown bull rider walk off Oklahoma’s red dirt as a household name?
2008 Copenhagen Bull Ridingsm Challenger Tour Championship presented by Dickies
Ford Center – Oklahoma City, OK
Friday, Feb 15 – 7:30PM
Ticketmaster.com or Ford Center Box Office
PBR Fan Zone & Marketplace
Current Issue | Previous Issues | Coupons | Keep Me Posted | Welcome | Information | Sports
Attractions | Local Area Maps | Radio Stations | Calendar of Events
Hotels & Motels | Shopping | Restaurants | Contact Us | Media Kit | Return Home
Copyright 2000-2007 KEY of Oklahoma, Inc. All Rights Reserved.