Louis takes Lynden PBR crown

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDApril 5, 2014 

LYNDEN - Oregon-native Clint Johnson knows the dangers of bull riding. He experienced them in full force in January when he was thrown from his bull Pistol Whip in Portland and broke two bones in his lower back.

Months later, Johnson is back riding and doing well.

"I'm sort of a wiley old vet," Johnson said. "It's not my first trip to the hospital. It's just part of the game, you try not to think about it too much.

As Johnson has aged in the sport, he says he can focus easier on his job while stepping onto the bull.

"I just try hard and win some money," Johnson said. "I start thinking about by my family and pleasant thoughts slip into my mind now."

The hard work didn't pay off for Johnson on Saturday night, April 5, during a Professional Bull Riding event at the Northwest Fair and Event Center. He got bucked from his bull, Hou Da Man, and failed to make the championship round.

"It was a nice bull and I felt good enough to start spurring him," Johnson said. "But he didn't think that was no fun and bucked me off. That's the name of the game, it just didn't work out for me."

Ten riders made it to the championship round, six by completing the full eight seconds. The riders that made it by not getting bucked and were given scores were Cody Ford (89.5), Laine Baze (87), Mike Sparks (85), Dakota Beck (85), Zeb Lanham (83) and Jace Catlin (76).

The championship round was no easy task, though. No riders completed the full eight seconds, leaving Friday night's top scorer, Dakota Louis, with this weekend's crown. Louis was bucked by Bottle Rocket on his second ride and was given a no-score for riding Jello Shots in the first round after he slapped the bull with his off hand. He was given two rides in the first round to take the spot of a rider who didn't show.

On his second ride, Bottle Rocket fell to the ground, giving Louis a chance at a re-ride, but he was bucked again and left the arena shaking his head.

With no score after the three total rides completed, Louis would not make the final round.

"The bulls are a lot ranker," Ford said of the championship round. "You better be ready to go and give it 110 percent."

Ford was bucked by Devil in Disguise after four seconds.

Ford's first ride went much differently, he finished the first round with the top score.

"It was an awesome bull, it bucked real good," Ford said. "I just had the good lord on my side I guess."

Laine Baze's first ride was also notable, as he stayed on Loaded Diaper as the bull kept spinning left. Baze got bucked in the final round by Buck Nasty.

The closest rider to finishing was Dakota Beck, who went more than six seconds on Rooster Egg before being bucked. Rooster Egg was the smallest bull in the final round, but showed his skills.

Allen Helmuth didn't compete after sustaining an injury Friday night. The other rider with local ties, Colby Reilly, got bucked by Juicy Fruit in the first round.

There were several riders on Saturday night that were treated for injury, but none seemed to be severely injured. The scariest moment was when Willie Dynes got bucked and trampled by the bull.

He laid on the ground for several seconds while the medics came out to look at him. He started moving and walked out on his own power.

The injury sparked a joke from rodeo clown Josh Williamson, who said the medics came out and told the rider the ambulance would be $2,800.

"And he was like, 'I'm going to get up and walk," Williamson told the crowd, drawing laughs from around the arena.

Saturday night's event ends Professional Bull Riding's trip to Lynden, but the Lynden Rodeo comes to the Northwest Fair and Event Center on August 11.

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