Rodeo

Zero Hesitation

Jared Parsonage rode the bucking bull Umm at the NFR.

It was a no-brainer to purchase a black bull named “Umm” after the Fischers watched him buck in Las Vegas, Nevada. The partnership headed to the Professional Bull Riders World Finals.

Bodacious. Bushwacker. Yellow Jacket. Tornado. With names like those, bulls establish a reputation for bucking off riders, yet a black bull named “Umm” has joined those ranks. Umm made his debut at the Professional Bull Riders World Finals Championship Round on Saturday, May 18, in Arlington, Texas, but he wasn’t the only one headed to the event for the first time. Roy and Sherri Fischer stepped out of the competitive horse show arena and into the PBR performance to watch the bull they co-own with Roy’s daughter, Tammy, and her husband, H.D. “Bubba” Storey, IV.

“Umm was ridden once last year at the [Wrangler National Finals Rodeo], and so far, this year, he hasn’t been ridden,” Tammy says. “Umm was in the top 60 this year, and his average put him in a rank that qualified him for the PBR World. He bucked in the Eliminations on May 11 in Fort Worth, [Texas] and bucked off the number two [PBR] rider, Eduardo Aparecido. They pushed him on to the championship round on Saturday.”

A man and women sit on top of horses.
Roy and Sherri Fischer took the thrill of competing on their stock horses to the pro bull riding pen when they purchased Umm and two other bulls. Photo by Kate Bradley Byars

Though competition isn’t new for any member of the partnership between the Fischers’ Double F Ranch and the Storeys’ D4 Cattle Company, the excitement of the new venture hasn’t worn off since they joined forces in December 2023. It was a leap of faith, one that defined “impulse buy,” according to Sherri, but another step down the road the families have taken to maintain ties to the Western industry.

Deep Roots

The Fischers run cattle in Cherokee, Texas, a one-blinking-light town that suits their laid-back personalities. It’s a far cry from the fireworks, hip-hop music and raucous atmosphere most PBR events bring to cities, but they love it. It’s another evolution of their involvement in not only horses but also the Western industry.

“I’ve been around horses all my life; I just love them,” Roy says. “When I’m on a horse, I’m happy. Me and Sherri, we’ve ridden a million miles. We used to go to team ropings. Man, some of those country ropings in East Texas, Sherri and I would go every weekend.”

While Roy never thought he’d be a bull rider, he did set his sights on another competitive arena: Stock Horse of Texas. He dove into competition, attending his first in 2012, then not missing a show or clinic for two years straight. Roy has won four SHTX year-end titles, two on Blue Bottom Tom, in the Novice in 2012 and the 2013 Limited Non-Pro, and two on Kings Melody, his current mount, the first in Junior in 2017 and then Limited Non-Pro in 2018. Sherri started racking up all-around buckles with her first horse, Smart Like Juice, in 2013 and continued with her current mount, CR Typically Tuff, earning a buckle in 2018 and 2019 in the SHTX all-around at multiple shows.

“The camaraderie is definitely number one and why we love it,” Sherri says. She began showing SHTX in 2013.

“People want to help you and support you; they aren’t out there just to be better than you.”

The couple has kept a close watch on the success Tammy and her husband have had with their bulls bucking under both D4 Cattle Company and a partnership with Brett Barrett, though the Storeys live in Terrell, Texas, about four hours away from the Fischers. With many bull riding events televised, they can watch anywhere.

“We have had bucking bulls a long time, and we buck bulls somewhere nearly every weekend,” Tammy says. “Bubba’s family originally ranched in Cotulla, Texas. His great-grandfather was a stock contractor. When he and I got together in 2015, we bucked in Tuff Hedeman’s [Championship Bull Riders] with our team of bulls, including a bull called Big Lew, who was our MVP at the time.

Jordan Hansen rode Umm at the NFR
Umm has only been ridden once due to his athletic bucking style, as evidenced in this image from Round 7 of the 2023 NFR, where Jordan Hansen bucked off before the whistle. Photo by Roseanne Sales/courtesy of Tammy Storey

“Umm is one of many bulls for us. On our place right now, we have 20 competing bulls, and we have an entire pen of 2-year-olds and another pen of calves and bucking stock cows. Up in Kansas, with our partners, Brett and Jill Barrett, we have 200-plus head of bucking cattle.”

It was inevitable that one of those bulls would end up at the NFR, which is where the Fischers saw Umm buck in person and win the round when rider Jared Parsonage rode him to a score of 87.5. It was the only time the bull’s ever been ridden to a qualified ride at eight seconds.

“One of Bubba’s main sayings is that you have to have skin in the game to be excited about something,” Tammy says. “When they were at the NFR with us and celebrating our moments with our bulls, that is what got them excited — that spread. Sherri saw another way for them to stay involved in this Western industry.”

Umm the bull.
Named by bull riders Maverick Potter and Trey Kimzey, Umm is now bucking off some of the best in the PBR and PRCA. Photo courtesy of D4 Cattle Company

Future Focused

When speaking, most of us try not to fill space with “um,” but the black bull is taking up a lot of space on the PBR’s ranking. In 2024, he’ll also be appearing at more Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association events in a bid to head back to the NFR in Las Vegas under 0 Line Rodeo. The bull business is moving fast for the Fischers.

“We were having dinner, and I told Bubba that if I wasn’t so old, I would like to own a bull because it is a lot of fun! He said he had a deal for us, and now we own three bulls,” Sherri says. “They take care of them, feed them and haul them, everything. Lately, we purchased a PRCA stock contractor’s card and are calling [the company] Redline Pro Rodeo. This year, we will take the bulls to rodeos on the PRCA trail and get them a chance to go back to the NFR.”

Tammy and Bubba both laugh at the enthusiasm the older couple has for the new venture. While the Storeys’ self-described “mom-and-pop” size breeding operation has seen success, they have high hopes for the future. Umm and their bull, Dan-O, were invited to the PBR’s World Finals. Yet, the chance to spend more time with Roy and Sherri means more than the buck-off percentage or titles the bulls may acquire.

“It means a lot to us to do this with them, and Bubba has really pushed for it,” Tammy explains. “We aren’t close, geographically, so we don’t see them as often as we want to, but this has allowed us to be in the same place more often. It’s the excitement, and it has revitalized our love for this industry, too. We love the animals, and we love this industry. It means everything to us to have my dad and Sherri involved. To see the joy on their faces — it is priceless.”

Jared Parsonage rode the bucking bull Umm at the NFR.
Jared Parsonage was the only person to ride Umm in 2023, capturing the go-round win December 9 at the NFR. Photo by Roseanne Sales/courtesy of Tammy Storey

On Saturday, under the lights of AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Umm had the certainty of at least a four-person cheering section. Yet, the black bull has many ties in the industry. Tammy explains the origins of his somewhat unique name that traces back to two bull riders, both NFR qualifiers, Maverick Potter and Trey Kimzey.

“The first time Umm left for a rodeo, they had his number but no name,” she says. “Trey texted Maverick for the name, and Maverick texted back: ‘Um, I don’t know a name.’ So, they used Umm. He was the high-marked bull at the first rodeo, so they couldn’t change the name! I guess he’s been a winner since the beginning.”

While his name sounds uncertain, his future is bright. Umm is making a name for himself and bringing new fans into the industry with his co-owners.

“We lucked into this!” Sherri says. “We got a bull that was really good right off the bat, and if it wasn’t for Tammy and Bubba, we wouldn’t be doing it. This is just another bucket list for me and Roy. Umm is going to the PBR World, and Taylor Peters is taking our horse Moonstrukk to the Snaffle Bit Futurity in October, and we are still showing our own horses. There are times I tell myself I should get out of horses. But when you walk in an arena, you watch any good horse g

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