If you’re familiar with the PBR or have watched it, then you’re likely acquainted with the renowned name “Chad Berger” – a prominent figure in the industry, recognized for his exceptional abilities in breeding and being a top-tier bucking-bull stock contractor. Chad Berger represents the cowboy ideals that his partners like CKP Insurance support in America. In this feature, I am excited to dive further into the realm of Berger Bucking Bulls, what it takes to be a 12x Stock Contractor of the Year, and some of his most famous bulls to date. Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
What it Takes to be a 12x Stock Contractor of the Year
Being a stock contractor at Chad’s level isn’t for the faint of heart. In fact, it’s a family affair as far as the Bergers are concerned. The second-generation bull-man willingly answers questions about his bulls and the accolades from his business. In his own words,
“All these awards are fine and wonderful and proud of them. I’m more proud of my family, friends, sponsors, and fans.”
He admits being Grandfather trumps being a 12x Stock Contractor of the Year. Berger and his wife Sarah have been married for close to four decades and have three adult children and grandkids. All members of the family have their role in the family bucking business.
The reason why CKP Insurance has sponsored Chad Berger for consecutive years is because of Chad’s drive, dedication, grit, and hard work which represents the best in American success. The same ethics CKP Insurance delivers to its clients.
Chad Berger’s Most Popular Bucking Bulls
Little Yellow Jacket
This bull set the bar high back in the early 2000s. Every article or video published about him was the same story, conveying that this bull was different than any other of his time. He took on two-time, PBR world champion Chris Shivers five times and won every time. The last time the two met was the most memorable with $1,000,000 on the line, Little Yellow Jacket bucked Shivers off in a mere 2.6 seconds. That was typical of this bull too. Little Yellow Jacket was named PBR World Champion three years in a row starting in 2002. Out of 93 rides, only 15 riders ever made it to the eight seconds, giving this bull about an 84% Buck-Off rate. Here are just a few reasons that Little Yellow Jacket is in the top three; one was the fact that his average buck-off time was 2.66 seconds, second, those who made a qualified ride on him had an average score of 93, and he placed 5th in the overall historical bull ranking.
Chad has owned several “famous” bucking bulls, one of those being the prized and late, Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor was 6 years old at the time of his death, which Berger said was the result of a blood clot near the bull’s brain. Pearl Harbor was the number one bull in the PBR World Champion Bull standings with a 46.25-point World Champion Bull average, and he was 10-0 on the 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast tour. The period following Pearl Harbor’s death was reportedly hard for the Bergers as they had to start setting their eyes on their next world champion. They didn’t know it at the time, but Smooth Operator made his entrance to their lives at just the right time. In an interview with Wrangler Network, Chad claims that,
“I am a crazy believer, but when we lost Pearl Harbor, I think he sent a little bit of his talent down to Smooth Operator,” Berger said this week. “Pearl Harbor was on his way to winning several world titles, and gosh dang, he passed away, and all of a sudden here comes Smooth Operator.
Chad Berger – Wrangler Network Interview
While Berger didn’t breed Smooth Operator himself, Smooth Operator played an important role for Berger Bucking Bulls. In many accounts and interviews, Smooth Operator was the light for the family in the darkness that followed the passing of Pearl Harbor. Smooth Operator comes from the lineage of the renowned bucker, Gigolo, whose ancestry traces back to the legendary bull Playboy.
In addition to the bull’s early career accolades, his late years were truly the most impressive. But before he could get to the good years, Smooth Operator suffered from an injury following the 2015 season that would put him out for the count for several years. Berger swore he wouldn’t bring the bull back to buck without a full vote of confidence from his care team. Smooth Operator wasn’t ready to retire because sure enough, he put an end to SweetPro’s Bruiser’s streak of World Champion dominance when he earned a career-high 47 points at the 2019 World Finals, becoming the oldest World Champion Bull in PBR history (9 years old).
There’s something truly special about a stock contractor who can continually breed and pick up some of the best bulls in the industry time and time again. Chad’s relationships with his bulls don’t come around all the time, but he sure makes the most of them. We don’t think Berger Bucking Bulls is slowing down any time soon. Currently, he has a bull called Night Hawk that is sitting number six in the PBR Bull standings, so keep your eye on that guy.
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