When Bushwacker walks into the bucking chute, it gets everyone's attention in the arena, even the cowboys who have seen the 1,685-pound bull buck time and time again.
All of the bull riders on the PBR Tour stop what they are doing when a cowboy gets a crack at riding Bushwacker.
“Everybody will come out of the locker room and pile up on back of the bucking chutes to watch,” said J.B. Mauney, the reigning PBR champion and only bull rider to stay aboard Bushwacker for eight seconds in the past four years.
“He is one when you strap your rope to him, you know you are going to get on the rankest bull in the world.”
Mauney will try to earn $25,000 by riding Bushwacker on Saturday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena in a special battle of world champions at the PBR's Express Employment Professional Invitational.
It will be the PBR's world champion bull rider vs. the PBR's world champion bull and 12th time the two have met.
Mauney is 1-10 against Bushwacker, which is a better record than anyone else has against the 7-year-old bull in the last four years.
Bushwacker is 67-3 in his career. When Mauney scored a 95.25 on Bushwacker on Aug. 17 in Tulsa, it broke a PBR record streak of 42 consecutive buckoffs by the bull.
“The gate opens and it's just like dynamite,” the North Carolina bull rider said of Bushwacker. “He is strong. He is smart. He is a lot smarter than the others. I have been on him that many times, and he has never done the same thing.
“I like to get on him because you know when you nod your head he is going to buck every time. I have never seen him have a bad trip.”
Mauney vs. Bushwacker has become the PBR's equivalent of Ali vs. Frazier.
“It's a rivalry, I guess,” Mauney said. “I rode him and then he handed me my butt twice after that.”
Saturday night will be the only time Bushwacker will buck in the three-day PBR event, and it will be the final time the bull will buck in Oklahoma City.
On Thursday, stock contractor Julio Moreno announced that this year will be Bushwacker's last on the PBR Tour.
“Every athlete deserves to go out on top,” said Moreno, who has been offered as much as $1 million for his prize bucking bull.
Bull breeders must pay between $7,000 and $8,000 to get some of Bushwacker's DNA, Moreno said.
The California born and bred bull has won more than $600,000 in competition. Bushwacker's menacing image on clothing and action figures is the PBR's top-selling merchandise.
As a 3-year-old bull in his first year of PBR competition, Bushwacker was successfully ridden twice before embarking on his legendary run.
Bushwacker was named the PBR's World Champion bull in 2011 and 2013.
He achieved the second-highest bull score ever recorded in the PBR, getting 48.5 points out of 50 at the 2011 Built Ford Tough Series finals.
In his career, bull riders have stayed aboard Bushwacker an average time of 3.31 seconds.
“Bushwacker is the best the PBR has ever seen,” said Cody Lambert, PBR co-founder and director of livestock. “In fact, he's the best I've ever seen and I've been around for a long time.”
In the world of professional bull riding, Bushwacker deserves a farewell tour worthy of New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who was celebrated last season in every ballpark he pitched. Bushwacker's sendoff begins Saturday night in Oklahoma City.
Lambert says it's one last chance for Oklahoma City bull riding fans to see greatness. Porum bull rider L.J. Jenkins calls Bushwacker one of a kind.
“He is a bull, but he is one of the greatest athletes in sports,” Jenkins said. ”We may never see another Bushwacker.”