SECOND PBR MAJOR OF THE SEASON TAKES PLACE THIS WEEKEND AT AT&T STADIUM

 

By: Heather Croze - PBR.com


HIGHLIGHTS

  • The second PBR Major of the 2016 BFTS will take place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Feb. 27.
  • As a PBR Major, the Iron Cowboy includes a unique format, awarding increased points and prize money to its winners. It will feature 40 of the top PBR stars from the BFTS and the PBR’s BlueDEF Tour, the PBR’s qualifying tour, competing to determine who can ride the most consecutive bulls in one evening.
  • The prize purse includes a $100,000 payout to the winner, as well as the opportunity for one rider to ride the Bad Boy Mowers Bounty Bull for an additional $25,000.

IN THIS ARTICLE


ARLINGTON, Texas – This weekend, the PBR’s (Professionals Bull Riders) Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) will make the only stop of its 2016 season in Texas with the Choctaw Casino Iron Cowboy, powered by Kawasaki and brought to fans locally by Sonic. The second PBR Major of the 2016 BFTS will take place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Feb. 27.

As a PBR Major, the Iron Cowboy includes a unique format, awarding increased points and prize money to its winners. It will feature 40 of the top PBR stars from the BFTS and the PBR’s BlueDEF Tour, the PBR’s qualifying tour, competing to determine who can ride the most consecutive bulls in one evening. The prize purse includes a $100,000 payout to the winner, as well as the opportunity for one rider to ride the Bad Boy Mowers Bounty Bull for an additional $25,000.

The Iron Cowboy will begin at 5:50 p.m. CT, doors will open at 4:20 p.m. This will be the seventh consecutive year that the PBR has visited AT&T Stadium with its Iron Cowboy event.

CBS Sports Network will broadcast the first rounds of the competition at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 27. Fans can also watch all of the action in real time on PBR LIVE located online at www.pbr.com/live, or via the PBR LIVE app which is available for download now on Google Play and iTunes.

The final rounds and the championship will air on CBS Sports on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET.

The Iron Cowboy also heralds the second PBR Majors Pre-Show presented by B&W Trailer Hitches. The pre-show will air live at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday with the Iron Cowboy starting at 9:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network. Two-time PBR World Champion Justin McBride, along with Cody Lambert, one of the founding members of the PBR and its current livestock director, will handicap the day’s matchups between the riders and bulls. 

On Saturday, every rider will take on one bull in each round, striving to make the 8-second buzzer. If a rider successfully covers his bull, he will advance to the next round. If he gets bucked off, he is finished. Through a minimum of two, and a maximum of five rounds, these athletes will continue to ride until one cowboy prevails and is declared the Iron Cowboy.

Two-time and reigning PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney (2015, 2013), leads the four World Champions that will be competing on Saturday. They include Silvano Alves (2011, 2012, 2014), Guilherme Marchi (2008) and Mike Lee (2004).

Alongside the world’s Top 35 bull riders, the winners of five PBR’s BlueDEF Tour events have also been added to the draw this weekend. Winston Lopez, winner of Worcester, Massachusetts; Juliano Antonio de Silva, winner of Dayton, Ohio; Keyshawn Whitehorse, winner of Salt Lake City; Nevada Newman, winner of Wichita, Kansas; Cody Ford, winner of Yakima, Washington; and Derek Kolbaba, winner of Reno, Nevada; earned their spots on the Iron Cowboy roster with their BlueDEF Tour victories.

The Iron Cowboy kicks off the richest weekend in Western sports history, taking place one day before THE AMERICAN, the sport’s richest one-day rodeo. Tickets, ranging in price from $20 to $500, can be purchased at the AT&T Stadium Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000.

For an exclusive, behind-the-scenes experience, fans can try the PBR Elite Seats. Located in the front row on the 50-yard line of AT&T Stadium, the PBR Elite Seats are priced at $500 and will give fans the VIP experience of a lifetime: a pre-event reception with refreshments, photos with the PBR World Championship trophy and bull riders, 2016 PBR program, backstage tours featuring a PBR 101 presentation, meet-and-greets with the PBR’s exclusive entertainer Flint Rasmussen and top PBR stars, and dirt access following the PBR event. These seats are also on sale now.

On Sunday, 13 PBR bull riders will also participate in THE AMERICAN rodeo; four of whom will have a chance at a $1 million payout. Mason LoweWallace de OlivieraRobson Palermo and Guilherme Marchi were THE AMERICAN Qualifier Semifinals contestants who qualified for the bull riding portion of the event. As qualifiers, they are eligible for the $1 million bonus. If one of these men wins the bull riding event of THE AMERICAN, they will receive the $1 million bonus or a portion thereof shared with any other qualifiers who win their events at THE AMERICAN.

The Choctaw Casino Iron Cowboy powered by Kawasaki and brought to fans locally by Sonic is the eighth event on the 2016 PBR BFTS schedule. The season will consist of 26 stops, traveling to such cities as Chicago, New York, Anaheim, California, and Nashville. It will culminate in the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas on Nov. 2-6 when the 2016 PBR World Champion, the bull rider who earns the most world standings points during the season, will receive the coveted World Championship belt buckle and $1 million bonus.

The BFTS is televised every week on CBS, CBS Sports Network and networks around the world. Television ratings for PBR on CBS are up more than 25 percent this season compared to last year at this time, according to Nielsen. BFTS telecasts are produced for the PBR under a multi-year agreement with David Neal Productions, a Los Angeles-based production company led by 34-time Emmy® Award winner and Peabody Award winner David Neal, who serves as executive producer.

© 2016 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.

WHITEHORSE TO MAKE DEBUT AT CHILDHOOD STOMPING GROUNDS

 

By: Justin Felisko February 26, 2016@ 05:30:00 PM

Keyshawn Whitehorse will make his BFTS debut Saturday in his home state a year after sitting in the stands as a fan.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Keyshawn Whitehorse always enjoyed Iron Cowboy as a fan, now he'll get to compete in the marquee event.
  • Whitehorse currently sits at No. 50 in the world standings and will make his BFTS debut thanks to his BlueDEF event victory in Salt Lake City.
  • At 18 years old, Whitehorse is one of the younger competitors but is looking to make an impression in his home state.

IN THIS ARTICLE

 

ARLINGTON, Tex. – Keyshawn Whitehorse leaned over the balcony and looked down below him during the 2015 Iron Cowboy introductions last February.

The then 17-year-old was sitting in the upper deck of AT&T Stadium at the 50-yard line as the Top 40 bull riders in the world began to make their way toward center stage.

Whitehorse saw his mentor, three-time World Finals event winner Robson Palermo, tip his hat to the crowd, he then saw three-time World Champion Silvano Alves make a courtesy wave to the packed stadium, and, most of all, he had a bird’s-eye view of the PBR World Championship trophy standing in all of its glory as the lasers and pyrotechnics went wild beside it.

The high school bull rider couldn’t help but contain his excitement as he envisioned what it would feel like to be one of those Top 40 riders walking across the home field of the Dallas Cowboys on the PBR’s biggest stage.

He thought to himself, “The trophy is right there in front of me. It is right there in my grasps. I can feel it.”

It was the sixth consecutive year that Whitehorse was attending Iron Cowboy. Ever since the PBR first hosted its Iron Cowboy event at AT&T Stadium in 2012, Whitehorse has done his best to save his money from amateur bull ridings and other odd jobs to help pay for his ticket.

This year will be different, though, for The Woodlands, Texas, native.

The 18-year-old won’t have to pay for a ticket, and he won’t have to sit in the upper deck for the seventh time with his mom, Del, father, Norbert, and two brothers, James (8) and Shaq (23).

Instead, Whitehorse will be making his Built Ford Tough Series debut at the Choctaw Casino Iron Cowboy, powered by Kawasaki, Saturday night after earning a BlueDEF Tour event exemption by winning the Salt Lake City BlueDEF event three weeks ago.

“I have been there every year since it started, and I told myself one day I was actually going to be there,” Whitehorse said. “I have pictured myself in the chute there. I have imagined it. Every time from the beginning ride to the last ride, I have always tried to build up that feeling in my chest like I was in the chute and everything was on the line.”

Whitehorse – a full-blooded Navajo/ Diné Native American – has been dreaming about one day making his BFTS debut ever since he woke up during the middle of the night when he was 5 years old.

5-year-old Whitehorse had stumbled his way downstairs and curled up next to his dad around 11 p.m., with a bull riding event on the family’s television. Almost instantly, Keyshawn became enthralled with the brave cowboys trying to make 8 seconds aboard animals with no regard for their human challenger’s safety.

“I opened my mouth and said, ‘I want to do that one day,’” Keyshawn recalled. “Ever since then, he signed me up for bull riding school a couple of days later and I was hooked.”

Keyshawn eventually got on steers, amateur bulls and even competed in the Miniature Bull Riders Association that has bull ridings during PBR events, including during this weekend’s Iron Cowboy.

He actually never got to ride at a PBR event as a kid, which Keyshawn can now laugh about.

“I was always really mad about that when I was younger because I rode fine,” Whitehorse said. “It was like every event that would qualify me to ride, someone else would beat me. I would always be in like second place and pissed off.

“It is OK. I am now a true professional bull rider.”

However, the biggest development in his career came from a Facebook message his mom sent to Priscila Palermo, the wife of Robson, when he was 13 years old.

Del began talking to Priscila about Keyshawn, and eventually the Palermo’s invited the Whitehorse’s over for dinner roughly five years ago.

“I didn’t bring any training clothes that day or nothing,” Keyshawn said. “I started training and it was pretty hot. It was during the summer time. It was mainly form training with where your arm should be in certain areas. It was something I had seen before because it was a Brazilian technique. I have always been a fan of all the Brazilian riders and Robson was the first one I really got to become friends with.

“From then we just kind of connected. I think he felt like I had a different emotion about bull riding from other people he had seen.”

Palermo said, “We started training together and doing some stuff. He showed me how he rides and I told him what he was doing wrong. He really moved his arm a lot before. I will watch TV and tell him, do this and do that. He is a very smart guy. He trains hard and he trains every day.”

Whitehorse, who is currently finishing his high school education with online classes, finished runner-up for the Texas High School Bull Riding state title last year and placed fourth at the 2015 National High School Finals Rodeo. He also has won the Section 5 bull riding title two consecutive years in Texas.

The two bull riders remain in contact on a weekly basis and Whitehorse traveled with Palermo in the offseason to a couple of BlueDEF Tour events.

The two will once again share a locker room on Saturday night when a strong test awaits Whitehorse for his debut.

“Oh my gosh, he has grown a lot,” Palermo said. “When I saw him for the first time, he was a little bitty kid. He has been working on his body, building his muscle. He looks good. He is lean and fast. He does all kinds of crazy training. He is going to be great. He is a young guy. He has bucked off some bulls at the BlueDEF deal, but for sure you are going to see him pretty quick on the Built Ford Tough.”

Whitehorse has gone 6-for-15 at non-BFTS events this year and is 50th in the world standings.

He has drawn the 2,300-pound Mississippi Hippy (35-3, BFTS) for Round 1.

It won’t be easy, but Whitehorse couldn’t have asked for a better place to make his BFTS debut.

“Every year I go there, it is always a new feeling, especially when I walk in,” Whitehorse concluded. “I feel this is the next closest thing to the World Finals and to be able to ride there is a true blessing.”

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

© 2016 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.

IRON COWBOY IS LAST CHANCE FOR RIDERS LOOKING TO AVOID BFTS CUT

By: Justin Felisko February 25, 2016@ 12:00:00 PM

Currently ranked No. 35, Nathan Schaper looks to defend his spot before BFTS cuts. (Photo by Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Choctaw Casino Iron Cowboy is the second PBR Major and the last BFTS event before the first round cuts.
  • With only 50 points separating No. 30 through No. 40, and a few riders down to their final guaranteed event, many on the edge will be looking to jump in or fiercely defend their spots. 
  • 625 world point are on the line as well as the title of Iron Cowboy

IN THIS ARTICLE

 

Iron Cowboy is last chance for riders looking to avoid BFTS cut

PUEBLO, Colo. – If the $100,000 PBR Major stakes were not already high enough this weekend in Arlington, Texas, it is even higher for a group of riders trying to remain on the Built Ford Tough Series before the BFTS cut happens following the Choctaw Casino Iron Cowboy, powered by Kawasaki.

There are only 50 points separating No. 30 (Rubens Barbosa) through No. 40 (Juliano da Silva) in the world standings which means a multitude of riders can possibly be either in or out of the BFTS in two weeks in Phoenix.

Riders that finished last year 1-30 in the world standings are down to their eighth and final guaranteed BFTS event before draws for BFTS events will be based on the current 2016 world standings and any injury exemptions.

Therefore, Douglas Duncan, currently 32nd in the world standings, No. 34Ben Jones, No. 35 Nathan Schaper, No. 98 Claudio Crisostomo and No. 161 Reese Cates are down to their last guaranteed event.

Iron Cowboy will award round points to up to 15 riders with a qualified ride per round on the following point scale: (125, 75, 60, 50, 40, 20, 10, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5). The Iron Cowboy event winner will receive 625 world points.

RELATED: Click HERE for Round 1 draw.

Duncan, who is returning to action from a left calf contusion and broken right fibula, and Claudio Crisostomo (shoulder) are using their final injury exemptions, while Jones, Schaper and Cates are three riders that finished last year inside the Top 30 that are down to their final guaranteed event.

Jones and Schaper used rides in Kansas City last weekend to help their case, but they are right in the thick of a highly-contested race for those final six positions in the draw.

Duncan has a rematch against Yoga in Round 1. He rode Yoga for 85.75 points in Oklahoma City earlier this season.

Schaper also has a rematch in the first round against Going Fast. The Grassy Butte, North Dakota, bull rider rode Going Fast for 86.5 points in New York in January.

Meanwhile, injuries to No. 12 Derek Kolbaba (left riding hand), No. 22 J.W. Harris (elbow surgery), No. 44 Bonner Bolton (broken neck) No. 56 Robson Aragao (broken jaw) and Matt Triplett (elbow surgery) have opened the door for five alternates that are trying to crack or stay inside the Top 35 for next week’s event in Phoenix.

“It isn’t broke Tandy says, so that’s good,” Kolbaba said. “But I guess it is badly sprained, so I am going to give it the weekend and come back in Phoenix.”

Triplett said a follow-up appointment on his surgically repaired riding elbow this week went well and that he will be cleared for action on March 1.

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean Triplett will return to the BFTS immediately. He will want to attempt a practice bull and see how things go before making the ultimate decision for Phoenix.

“I have not been able to get on a practice bull and I’m not going to push it to the limit of possibly getting on five rank bulls right out of the gate,” he said. “I’ll get on a practice bull or two and gradually work back into it.”

The five injured riders are being replaced by No. 25 Justin Paton, No. 29 Lindomar Lino, No. 33 Tyler Harr, No. 37 Josh Faircloth and No. 38 Brant Atwood in the draw.

Paton is on pace to earn a full-time spot on tour, while Lino and Atwood are only separated by 45 points in the world standings.

Faircloth and Atwood are making their season debuts on the BFTS.

Faircloth is set to face Grandpa Joe (6-5, BFTS) in Round 1, while Atwood has drawn Texicali (3-6, BFTS). Atwood hasn’t competed on the BFTS since May 2014.

The two riders aren’t the only ones making their season debuts.

Winston Lopez (BlueDEF invite), Cody Ford (BlueDEF invite) andKeyshawn Whitehorse (BlueDEF invite) are all making their season debuts.

Ford hasn’t competed on the BFTS since sustaining a pelvic injury attempting to ride Asteroid at the 2012 event in Thackerville, Oklahoma. He has drawn Sam (2-2, BFTS) in Round 1. 

For Lopez and Whitehorse, Saturday will be their BFTS debuts and they have tall tasks awaiting them.

Lopez will take on No Regrets (19-3, BFTS) and Whitehorse will face the 2,300-pound Mississippi Hippy (35-3, BFTS).

No. 40 Juliano Da Silva is in the draw courtesy of his Dayton, Ohio, BlueDEF Tour event victory. Silva finished 16th in his BFTS debut last week in Kansas City. 

Reigning Iron Cowboy champion Joao Ricardo Vieira begins his title defense against Jack Daniel’s After Party (46-22, BFTS), who bucked him off in 4.99 seconds at the 2014 BFTS event in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

World No. 1 J.B. Mauney has drawn War Party (7-1, BFTS) in Round 1.

Ryan Dirteater (facial lacerations) is also back for Iron Cowboy after missing Kansas City. He has drawn Ante Up (1-1, BFTS). 

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

Barbosa earns important round win; trying to avoid BFTS cut (2-21-2016)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Here are three things we learned from the Built Ford Tough Kansas City Clash this weekend at the Sprint Center.

Rubens Barbosa was one of the riders entering the weekend that needed a big ride or two to avoid the upcoming BFTS cut in two weeks.

It took one extra night, but Barbosa came through with a major 88.5-point ride aboard Hillbilly to win Round 2 and an even larger 100 points toward the world standings.

The ride was his only one of the weekend after bucking off Shaft in 3.33 seconds during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, but the one ride was enough to help him finish sixth in the event average for an additional 45 world points and a tie for fifth overall.

The 145 total world points move him from 85th in the world standings on Sunday morning to 29th heading into next weekend’s Choctaw Casino Iron Cowboy, powered by Kawasaki.

“I feel happy to cover that bull today because I know I needed to so bad,” Barbosa said with Guilherme Marchi translating. “The past few weeks I have done no good. I know it is the time and am happy to do really good today.”

Barbosa added he wasn’t feeling the nerves about the looming cut.

“I am not nervous, but every day I was trying and it couldn’t come true,” he said. “Today I drew a good bull and he fit me pretty good. I give everything I knows and made a good ride today.”

The ride was Barbosa’s highest qualified ride on the BFTS since riding Priceless for 92.5 points at the 2011 Built Ford Tough World Finals.

Following the Iron Cowboy, BFTS draws will be based upon the 2016 world standings and any riders that have remaining injury or World Champion exemptions.

Ben Jones (40 world points; 85.75-point ride on Chocolate Shake in Round 2) finished 10th and Nathan Schaper (35 points; 84.25 points on Clevengerin Round 1) 11th to help crack The Top 35 heading into next weekend. Jones is the 34th rider in the world standings, while Schaper is 35th.

Meanwhile, Claudio Crisostomo and Reese Cates head into Iron Cowboy outside of the Top 35 with one final guaranteed BFTS event.

Barbosa tied for the Round 1 win last year at Iron Cowboy with an 87.5-point ride that ultimately helped him earn a spot on the BFTS as he went from 40th in the world to 31st.

“Iron Cowboy is another opportunity to win a lot of points and a lot of money in the game,” Barbosa said. “I am so happy to be at the event for a second year.”

Aparecido wins first event of 2016

Eduardo Aparecido didn’t have a lot of time to compose himself Sunday afternoon in the championship round, but he knew he wanted a $30,000 payday and the event victory.

Aparecido won his first event of 2016 by riding Texicali for 89 points roughly 5 minutes after earning a re-ride option during his 81.25-point ride on Bootdaddy.com.

The ride capped a 3-for-3 weekend for the fourth-year professional bull rider.

“I needed one more ride because I only scored 80 points,” Aparecido said with the help of Valdiron de Oliveira translating. “I didn’t want to win second. I wanted to win first. I wanted to ride my bull. It is hard to go back-to-back with another bull because the rope is a little dirty and I have to clean it and make it stick again. You have to concentrate a little more to get on another rank bull.”

Aparecido’s last ride came down to a review in the final seconds. 

“I was pretty sure I was going to get a score, because I felt a little bit of the rope in my hand,” he said. “I was a little nervous because of my wrist though.”

Aparecido’s ride placed him second in the round for 60 world standings points. He earned 400 of his event-winning 520 points for winning the event average.

The 25-year-old picked up 50 points in Round 1 with his 85.5-point ride on Glory Days for a third-place finish in the round and earned 10 points in Round 2 earlier Sunday with his 85-point ride on Big Benny that helped him split sixth and seventh place.

Aparecido jumps from 13th in the world standings to seventh and trails world leader J.B. Mauney by 683.34 points.

Mauney finished 2-for-3 with an 87-point ride on Fire & Smoke that was upheld by a judge’s review.

Judges spent several minutes looking to see if the defending World Champion’s free arm may have grazed Fire & Smoke. If Mauney was still riding with a cast on his free arm, he certainly would have slapped Fire & Smoke.

The ride helped him place fourth in the round for 40 world points. Mauney earned a total of 145 points and leads No. 2 Paulo Lima by 227.5 points.

Aparecido had to attempt his re-ride seeing as Kaique Pacheco had earlier ridden Crystal Can Do for 86.25 points in the championship round for his third ride of the weekend.

Pacheco, the only other rider to go 3-for-3, finished in second-place with 370 points, while Lachlan Richardson (320 points, 2-for-3) finished third andJoao Ricardo Vieira placed fourth (155 points, 2-for-3).

Richardson wins first BFTS round in two-plus years

Richardson propelled himself to the third-place finish thanks to his championship-round winning 89.5-point ride on Pound The Alarm.

Not only did he tie his career-high ride score, but it was also his first Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) round win since winning Round 2 of the Battle at the Beau in Biloxi, Mississippi, in Sept. 2013.

“He faked right, went left,” Richardson said. “I had seen him before. He is normally around to the right, but I had seen him last week went left. I wasn’t really sure what he was going to do.”

Richardson previously rode Jack Daniel’s After Party for 89.5 points in Uncasville, Connecticut, during his BFTS debut in April 2012.

The 23-year-old rode Moto Moto for 86.5 points in Round 2. He placed fourth in that round for 40 world points.

Richardson moves up one spot in the world standings to 10th heading into Iron Cowboy.

“It just like any other week when you are riding confident,” Richardson said. “It doesn’t matter where it is. If it is a $1,000 show or Iron Cowboy, it is a new week and I have to ride me next bull.”

Injury Updates

There were only 14 riders in the championship round after Robson Palermoand Fabiano Vieira each missed the final round because of injuries.

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Palermo aggravated a previous back injury during his 84.75-point ride on Spitball and Vieira sustained a concussion during his 82.75-point ride on Ambush in Round 2. Palermo is probable for Iron Cowboy, while Vieira is listed as questionable.

Guilherme Marchi did not compete Sunday because of a sore right (riding hand). He is probable for Iron Cowboy.

Shane Proctor (concussion), Wallace de Oliveira (right facial fracture/left arm contusion) and Derek Kolbaba (riding hand injury) all missed the final day because of their injuries from Round 1. Proctor and Oliveira are probable for Iron Cowboy and Kolbaba is questionable.

Stormy Wing sustained facial lacerations when he struck Crazy Day's horn during his championship round ride attempt. The lacerations were sutured in the training room. He is probable for Iron Cowboy.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

BRUISER POSTS THIRD CONSECUTIVE 46-POINT BULL SCORE (2-20-16)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 and the 15/15 Bucking Battle at the Built Ford Tough Kansas City Clash on Saturday night.

Bruiser posts third consecutive 46-point bull score; ties with Pearl Harbor

On a night where the bull riders tasted mouthfuls of dirt instead of 8-seconds of glory, SweetPro’s Bruiser and Pearl Harbor walked away as the big bovine winners.

Bruiser and Pearl Harbor tied for the high-marked bull of the night during the 15/15 Bucking Battle with 46-point bull scores.

Bruiser bucked off 2015 Rookie of the Year Kaique Pacheco in 2.13 seconds and the D&H Cattle Company bull has now posted a bull score of 46 or more points in three consecutive outs, once again showing he means business in the 2016 World Champion Bull race.

Pacheco was quickly ripped off the side of Bruiser after previously riding Bruiser for 94 points last summer at the Guymon, Oklahoma, BlueDEF Tour event.

He said Bruiser has taken his game to a new level.

“He is stronger than after Guymon,” Pacheco said with the help of Silvano Alves translating. “I tried to extend myself, but he was so hard. He is hard and very difficult, but all the time his position is good and movement good. Today, I looked at a lot of videos and I thought I needed to stay good atop the bull. He has good movement for the inside, but right now he bucks hard. He made a big jump and tossed me to the outside strong.”

Bruiser is averaging 45.75 points in four outs and has the three highest bull scores of the season. He bucked off Eduardo Aparecido for a 46.5-point score in Sacramento, California, two weeks ago and a week before that he bucked off Valdiron de Oliveira for a 46.25-point score.

However, Bruiser wasn’t to be outdone by Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor was also marked 46 points – a career-high – for bucking off 2015 World Finals event winner Cooper Davis in 3.98 seconds.

It was the first time in Pearl Harbor’s career that he has been marked better than 45 points.

“That bull bucks just as hard as any bull here,” Davis said. “It is just a different style. That is not a fun one to get on. He is big and strong and wants to run you off your rope at the same time. If you want to step in and be a hero, that is the one to pick right there.

“Pearl Harbor is one of the top bulls I have ever been on.”

Mauney takes over world No. 1 ranking and pads lead

J.B. Mauney didn’t take long to pad his new No. 1 world ranking.

One hour after finishing fourth in Round 1 to take over the world lead from Paulo Lima, Mauney rode Wicked for 89 points to win his second consecutive 15/15 Bucking Battle and extend his lead to 122.5 points.

Mauney first passed Lima with an 85-point ride on Big Country in Round 1 for a fourth-place finish and 40 world points.

The defending World Champion then earned 150 world points with another 15/15 Bucking Battle victory after winning the St. Louis edition with a 90.25-point ride on Sheep Creek.

After not winning a single 15/15 Bucking Battle since the PBR first unveiled the special round of competition in 2012, Mauney has now won two in a row.

“I don’t know. I guess all of the cards are playing out right I guess,” Mauney said.

Mauney was able to stay upright aboard Wicked despite the bull stumbling within the first few seconds out of the bucking chute.

“I knew that bull and had seen him quite a bit,” Mauney said. “I never had been on him and wasn’t sure what he was going to feel like. I knew he would go either way and bucked. All I did was I just nodded my head and I didn’t turn loose. When he stumbled, it kind of helped me out and put me exactly where I kind of needed to be so when he jumped back up I kind of picked him back up and we went on with it. Once he got to whirling it was fun after that.”

Lima bucked off Valedictorian in 4.84 seconds in Round 1, but he responded with an 86-point ride on Brutus for a fourth-place finish and 60 world standings points in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

Mauney outgained Lima, who entered the night with a 7.5-point lead, by 130 points.

Last year, Mauney took over the world lead in September in Thackerville, Oklahoma, and never let it go.

Now, he is back on top only seven events into the season.

“Bring it on because I don’t plan on letting off that gas pedal anytime soon,” Mauney concluded.

Pacheco wins Round 1 to crack Top 10

It was a brutal night for the bull riders during Friday night’s ABBI Classic round with only five qualified rides, but Show Kitty was no problem for Kaique Pacheco.

It is the fewest qualified rides in a long round this season.

The second-year pro built off his 3-for-5 weekend in St. Louis last week by picking up his first round win of the 2016 season with an 87.75-point ride on Show Kitty.

“I saw a couple videos of the bull from the Touring Pro and I wanted to ride the bull because he bucks really good,” Pacheco said. “I am very happy to win the round tonight and I am starting to ride really good in the long go.”

Rounding out the Top 5 was Justin Paton (86 points on Roll of the Dice), Eduardo Aparecido (85.5 points on Glory Days), Mauney and Nathan Schaper (84.25 points on Clevenger).

Paton earned an important 60 points toward the world standings as he jumps from 32nd in the world standings to 25th with two weeks to go until the BFTS cut is in full effect.

Schaper moves inside the Top 35 to 33rd with the 30 world points he earned in Round 1 after beginning the weekend 39th. The 25-year-old knows he needs to put together a full weekend if he wants to truly push himself within the Top 35 for good.

“It felt good,” Schaper said. “It started getting out of control at the end, but I wasn’t going to open my hand. When you are struggling a little bit. Before I left the chute, I was taking my wrap and I think I had a lot more determination. I was going to keep my hand shut no matter what.”

Schaper entered the event on a streak of seven consecutive buckoffs and 6-for-19 overall.

“I knew where I was and knew I had to start doing something and kind of have determination again and not lay down and die,” Schaper said.

Pacheco earned 100 points for the round win.

In two weeks, Pacheco has climbed from 15th in the world to No. 10, yet he has actually lost ground on Mauney and sits 1,017.17 points back.

He now has four qualified rides in the past two events after previously going 4-for-10.

“I am calm and happy to start the year on the BFTS,” Pacheco said. “I haven’t ridden good, but I needed to focus a little bit and get all the kinks out. I have watched video and am ready to go 100 percent.”

Injury updates

Pacheco, Davis and Kasey Hayes (1.5 seconds on Boot Jack) were last minute additions to the 15/15 Bucking Battle because of injuries to Shane Proctor (concussion), Derek Kolbaba (riding hand injury) and Wallace de Oliveira (right facial contusion).

Gage Gay elected not to compete in the 15/15 Bucking Battle. Oliveira sustained his injuries when he was thrown hard to the ground by Acting Crazy in 1.92 seconds, while Kolbaba had hurt his hand earlier in the week. 

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Kolbaba is questionable for Iron Cowboy. 

Proctor suffered his concussion when he was slammed to the ground by Rebel Yell II in 3.71 seconds. He is questionable for Round 2. 

Juliano Da Silva also sustained a concussion and a left shoulder (free arm) rotator cuff contusion when he hit the ground hard on his left elbow as he was thrown from Mustache Sally. He is questionable for Round 2.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

SweetPro’s Bruiser highlights 15/15 Bucking Battle; Kansas City draw notes

PUEBLO, Colo. – Asteroid, the 2012 World Champion Bull, may be the talk of the PBR recently, but SweetPro’s Bruiser has been the absolute stud on the playing field in the first six weeks of the Built Ford Tough Series.

Bruiser leads the BFTS with the two highest bull scores after going back-to-back weeks with 46-point bull showcases. He first bucked off Valdiron de Oliveira for a 46.25-point mark in Anaheim, California, before slamming Eduardo Aparecido for a 46.5-point score in Sacramento.

They were two authoritative rebounds for Bruiser following Mason Lowe’s91-point ride during the bull’s season-debut in Oklahoma City. Bruiser was marked 44.25 points in that out and he is averaging 45.67 points per out this year.

Bruiser’s next challenger will be recent St. Louis event winner Shane Proctor.

The two are set to meet during the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Saturday night during the Built Ford Tough Kansas City Clash. The matchup can be seen on the PBR LIVE mobile app Saturday night, as well as on the CBS Network Television broadcast Sunday at noon ET.

“Man, I am excited,” Proctor said. “He’s electric and wild. He’s one of those that gets you pumped up.”

It will be the first time the two have ever met, but it doesn’t mean Proctor hasn’t been keeping an eye on the bovine athlete that has been ridden five times in 18 career BFTS outs.

It is no secret that Bruiser has the potential to carry a rider to a monster victory and payday as he averages 91.25 points when ridden.

15/15 Bucking Battle Matchups

Valdiron de Oliveira vs. American Hustle (18-0, BFTS)
Mike Lee vs. Little Red Jacket (14-9, BFTS)
Eduardo Aparecido vs. DaNutso (22-6, BFTS)
Mason Lowe vs. Cochise (4-3, BFTS)
Lachlan Richardson vs. No Regrets (18-3, BFTS)
Nevada Newman vs. Beaver Creek Beau (33-4, BFTS)
Derek Kolbaba vs. Pearl Harbor (9-1, BFTS)
Tanner Byrne vs. Buckle Up (6-3, BFTS)
Shane Proctor vs. SweetPro’s Bruiser (13-5, BFTS)
Robson Palermo vs. Seven Dust (5-0, BFTS)
Fabiano Vieira vs. Stone Sober (30-2, BFTS)
Joao Ricardo Vieira vs. Crossfire (18-0, BFTS)
Wallace de Oliveira vs. Boot Jack (22-2, BFTS)
J.B. Mauney vs. Wicked (23-5, BFTS)
Paulo Lima vs. Brutus (9-3, BFTS)

There are four rematches in the 15/15 Bucking Battle with Kolbaba, Aparecido, Byrne and Oliveira. Aparecido is the only rider of the four with a ride against his bull. Aparecido rode DaNutso for 82 points at the 2014 BFTS event in Anaheim, California, but he was also dumped by DaNutso in 3.92 seconds this year in Oklahoma City.

In the regular draw, there are seven spots currently open because of injuries/retirement.

Ryan Dirteater (facial lacerations), Robson Aragao (broken jaw), Douglas Duncan (left calf contusion/broken right fibula), J.W. Harris (elbow surgery), Brady Sims (groin), Bonner Bolton (neck) and Matt Triplett (elbow surgery) are all out because of injuries.

No. 21 Cody Heffernan is unable to compete because of visa issues and he has returned to Australia.

Fraser Babbington and Juliano Antonio Da Silva will fill two of those spots and are making their career debuts on the BFTS.

Babbington is 33rd in the world standings and has drawn Smooth Over (0-0, BFTS) in Round 1.

Meanwhile, Silva will be making his first ever appearance on the BFTS when he faces Mustache Sally (2-0, BFTS). Silva earned a BlueDEF Tour exemption to compete at the Choctaw Casino Iron Cowboy, powered by Kawasaki, with his BlueDEF Tour event victory in Dayton, Ohio, this past weekend.

Claudio Crisostomo is using his second-to-last injury exemption before being subject to the BFTS cut. He is currently 93rd in the world standings with 20 points. 

Crisostomo takes on Cut The Cord (3-0, BFTS). Cut The Cord bucked off Heffernan earlier this season in Oklahoma City.

Lachlan RichardsonLindomar LinoTyler Harr and Justin Paton are filling the other spots in the draw.

Kansas City is also the second-to-final guaranteed BFTS event for riders that finished last season in the Top 30 of the world standings. Currently, that would put Nathan Schaper (39th in the world standings), Ben Jones (40th), Rubens Barbosa (84th) and Reese Cates (149th) on the outside looking in.

However any of the four riders could easily make their way back into the Top 35.

Schaper and Jones are less than 15 points out of the Top 35. Schaper has drawn Clevenger (0-1, BFTS), and Jones will see Sketchy Bob (1-2, BFTS) in Round 1.

Barbosa and Cates have some further work to do with Barbosa trailing No. 35 Jess Lockwood by 91 points and Cates being 116 points back. Barbosa faces Air Marshall (2-0, BFTS) and Cates will attempt to cover Deep Water(3-1, BFTS). Cates was previously bucked off by Deep Water in 5.65 seconds this season at the Sacramento Invitational.

Lima, who holds a slight 7.5-point lead on No. 2 Mauney in the world standings, has a matchup against Valedictorian (1-0, BFTS) Saturday night. Mauney has drawn Big Country (0-0, BFTS).

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

ROOKIE NEWMAN CONQUERS MISSISSIPPI HIPPY IN DEBUT (2-18-16)

ST. LOUIS – Here are three things we learned from the Bass Pro Chute Out, presented by Cooper Tires, this weekend at the Scottrade Center.

Rookie Newman conquers Mississippi Hippy

Nevada Newman weighs 140 pounds soaking wet. Mississippi Hippyweighs more than 2,300 pounds.

Regardless, Newman – a 23-year-old making his Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) debut – showed no fear in selecting the gargantuan bovine athlete Sunday afternoon and became just the third rider in 38 BFTS outs to ever ride Mississippi Hippy.

“Oh, it was crazy,” Newman said. “He was definitely big and strong and yanking on me. My rope slipped through my fingertips about half way through and I just wanted to bear down and ride that sucker bad.”

Newman earned an 87.75-point ride to finish the Built Ford Tough Championship Round in second place for 60 world points.

Newman made the stunning selection of Mississippi Hippy with the 10th pick in the championship round draft.  

However, he knew Sunday morning that if he came into the championship round in the middle of the pack that he would made a statement selection.

“I talked to my dad (T.J.) a bunch and he said, ‘If you make that short round, you make a statement,’” Newman said. “You get on Asteroid or Mississippi Hippy or something that bucks. I had a feeling this morning when I woke up that if no one picked Mississippi Hippy I was going to.”

Newman joins Eduardo Aparecido and Kasey Hayes as the only riders to make the 8-second mark on Mississippi Hippy at the BFTS level.

Stock contractor Kenny McElroy was extremely impressed by Newman, who also rode McElroy’s Ante Up to win Round 1 on Friday night with an 88.25-point effort.

McElroy gave Newman a massive bear hug toward the end of the event.

“If you are going to ride bulls like that first out, I love it,” McElroy said to Newman. “You just keep coming baby and I’ll keep bringing the good ones.”

Sunday was Mississippi Hippy’s first out since undergoing multiple procedures during the offseason to remove cancerous tumors from his eyelids. Mississippi Hippy was marked only 43 points and did appear sluggish – or maybe rather it was shock – the farther the ride went on.

“Oh, I think it was good that he got rode,” McElroy said. “That bull has been off since October. I was tickled. You could tell he was rusty. He will go home and we will regroup and he will be better. That is the thing about this sport. If you don’t want them rode, don’t bring them here. They will ride them eventually. I am tickled.”

Newman finished in a tie for second place in the event with Wallace de Oliveira. Newman finished 2-for-4 with 340 world points, while Oliveira went 3-for-4 for 340 world points. Oliveira earned 240 for finishing second in the event average, while Newman picked up 180 for finishing third in the average.

The 340 points push Newman to 10th in the world standings. He began the weekend ranked 24th with 170 points.

“That is why everything happens for a reason,” Newman said during the PBR LIVE broadcast. “I came here at the age I am now and I have a little seasoning on me. I can handle that mental stuff. I just remembered to breathe and stay focused.”

Proctor dominates on final day to win Bass Pro Chute Out

Shane Proctor used a dominating performance Sunday afternoon to take home his first event victory since winning the February 2013 event in Anaheim, California.

Proctor won not only Round 2 with an 88.75-point ride on Shoot Out The Lights, but Proctor capped off the weekend with an 89-point ride on Cooper Tires Brown Sugar to win the championship round.

The season-high ride is Proctor’s highest qualified ride since March 2015 (89.75 points on Beaver Creek Beau).

More impressive is the fact that Proctor won two rounds in one day after winning just one round in the entire 2015 season.

“He is one of those bulls if you make a mistake you are going to get bucked off, but you should ride him,” Proctor said. “But he is kind of a pressure bull and you don’t want to mess up. They tease you a little bit in the locker room if you mess up. He shot out there and instead of going left like he normally does he went right and when you work hard and you let things get on a roll luck happens to go your way. He turned right into my wheelhouse and it was great.”

This weekend is Proctor’s first 4-for-4 showing since riding all of his bulls last year at the event in New York City.

Proctor earned a season-high for a non-PBR Major event with 755 points in the victory. He earned 500 of them for winning the event average, 200 for the two round victories, 50 for his third-place finish in Round 1 (87 points on Rebound) and five points for his seventh-place finish in Round 2 (81 points on Mr. Hobbs).

The 30-year-old moves from 23rd in the world standings to seventh.

“That is a big, huge jump and I am just excited,” Proctor said.

Top-5 in the world getting jumbled

The vultures are coming after world leader Paulo Lima.

Oliveira and J.B. Mauney made big gains on Lima during a weekend where the majority of the riders failed to hit the 8-second mark – the 34 qualified rides were the second fewest this season and the fewest for a three-day event.

Lima had an OK weekend, going 2-for-4 for 62.5 points, but it was Oliveira and Mauney doing the bulk of the damage outside of Proctor and Newman.

Oliveira moved from sixth to third in the world standings and only trails Lima by 167.5 points. Oliveira bucked off Who Dey in 2.67 seconds in the championship round, but did place third in Round 3 with an 86.75-point ride on Doc Mosely.

Meanwhile, No. 2 Mauney is right on the doorstep of the world No. 1 ranking for the first time since winning his second gold buckle last October and will head to Kansas City just 7.5 points behind Lima.

Mauney had an opportunity to take over the world No. 1 ranking during the championship round, but bucked off both Modified Clyde (6.58 seconds) and Machinery Auctioneer’s Little Joe (2.79 seconds). Mauney was awarded the re-ride after he challenged that he did not nod for the gate during his ride attempt aboard Modified Clyde.

No. 4 Joao Ricardo Vieira and No. 5 Fabiano Vieira both remain within less than 200 points of Lima.

Joao Ricardo Vieira (172.5 points behind) finished 11th with 40 points and Fabiano Vieira (188.84 points behind) placed 15th for five points.

Fabiano Vieira could have had an opportunity to go after his third event victory, but he was unable to compete on Sunday because of a strained neck he sustained attempting to ride Cochise during the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Saturday night.

Injury Updates

There were only 14 riders available to compete in the championship round Sunday in part because of various injuries.

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Gage Gay (concussion) and Joao Ricardo Vieira (hamstring) did not compete in the championship round because of injuries.

Ben JonesGuilherme Marchi and Rubens Barbosa all chose not to get on as alternates during the championship round after not qualifying within the Top 15.

Ryan Dirteater did not compete in Round 3 after sustaining facial lacerations when he was struck by Buckle Up's horn as he was thrown off in Round 2 in 1.83 seconds.

Robson Aragao did not compete in Round 3 because of a mandible fracture from Round 1, while Douglas Duncan also did not ride in Round 3 because of a left calf contusion and broken right fibula.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL ROUND 1 DRAW

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

ASTEROID RETURNS WITH 45.75-POINT IMPACT (2-13-16)

ST. LOUIS – Here are three things we learned following Round 2 of the Bass Pro Chute Out, presented by Cooper Tires, and the 15/15 Bucking Battle at Scottrade Center on Saturday night.

Asteroid returns with 45.75-point impact

Asteroid’s two ears twitched simultaneously inside the bucking chute as he turned his head to the left and stared out into the abyss of the Scottrade Center.

The 2012 World Champion Bull didn’t care one bit that Joao Ricardo Vieira– the No. 3 bull rider in the world – was standing over him and sizing him up for their fourth showdown.

All Asteroid was interested in was making sure he got to rumble in his sandbox of destruction for the first time in nearly a year.

After 2.9 seconds during Saturday night’s 15/15 Bucking Battle, it is safe to say Asteroid is back in full force with plenty of snot, skill and a sizzling palate for another World Championship run.

Asteroid was marked 45.75 points for grinding Vieira into the ground while spinning left into the 31-year-old’s left riding hand.

“Into Joao’s hand and he manhandled Joao,” reigning Stock Contractor of the Year Chad Berger said. “He didn’t just buck him off. He manhandled him. The bull was rank.”

Berger could not stop shaking in the minutes after Asteroid’s impressive debut. Berger bought the champion bovine last month and unretired him.

The Mandan, North Dakota, native also couldn’t erase his Christmas Day grin from his gleaming face.

“I’ll tell you what. There was a lot of pressure there,” Berger said. “He gave me more than I could ask for in his first trip of the year. I am still shaking here. I was just praying he had a trip like he did tonight. He did everything but disappoint me. I think we got one we can contend with.”

Meanwhile, all Vieira could do was smile as he brushed off the remaining bits and pieces of St. Louis dirt on his riding vest.

“He is a HARD practice bull,” Vieira said on the back of the bucking chutes. “He bucked.”

Earlier in the evening, Vieira had joked with Berger in the locker room that Asteroid would be a good practice bull for him in St. Louis.

Instead, it was Asteroid proving he has no problem returning to competition despite having not bucked since the 2014 Iron Cowboy last February.

“The pressure is off,” Berger said. “Now I am not worried no more. I think you are only going to see good things from Asteroid now. You can look for great things from Asteroid this year. He will be in contention. He proved it tonight.”

Berger will now haul Asteroid home to Oklahoma and let the World Champion Bull contender rest in preparation for the Choctaw Casino Iron Cowboy, powered by Kawasaki, on Feb. 27.

“His muscle tone is not where it needs to be yet,” Berger concluded. “If I get 30-50 pounds on that bull, I think you are looking at a real contender.”

Mauney earns first career 15/15 Bucking Battle victory to move to No. 2 in the world

J.B. Mauney swept the board on Saturday night with winning rides in Round 2 and the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

Mauney is no stranger to winning BFTS rounds, but as hard as it is to believe, he had never won a 15/15 Bucking Battle until he rode Sheep Creekfor 90.25 points away from his hand inside a close-to-capacity full Scottrade Center.

The defending World Champion got reared back as Sheep Creek continued to spin and fade toward the center of the arena, which put plenty of pressure on his left riding arm. It was a different kind of 90-point ride for the current rider with the most 90-point rides on his resume (67).

Normally Mauney will throw his free arm and indirectly dress up a ride. On Saturday, he had to use his free arm to fight to keep his balance.  

“I don’t know how that worked,” Mauney said. “That is not the correct way to ride bulls, but like I always say, you keep your hand shut and you keep trying and things will work out that aren’t supposed to work out.”

Mauney earned a total of 250 points on Saturday night by winning the 15/15 Bucking Battle and Round 2. He is the second rider this season to win a BFTS round and 15/15 Bucking Battle on the same night. J.W. Harrisaccomplished the feat in New York.

Mauney won Round 2 with an 87-point ride on Cowboy Phil. There were only eight qualified rides in the second round.

Kaique Pacheco rode Little Red Jacket for 88.5 points for the only other ride in the 15/15 Bucking Battle. Pacheco also rode Reverand Mr. Black for 83 points in Round 2 for a sixth-place finish. The second-year pro earned a total of 105 world points with the two rides to move to 13th in the world standings. 

Mauney leads the BFTS with five round wins and jumped three positions in the world standings to No. 2 overall. Mauney heads into Round 3 trailing world leader Paulo Lima by only 140 points.

The Mooresville, North Carolina, has drawn Gangster for Round 3.

“I would like to be sitting first all year long and just run away with it, but that probably won’t happen,” he said. “Those other guys ride too good for that to happen. I don’t care where I am sitting right now. It all comes down to Vegas.”

Lawrence in search of first career win on Sunday

Stetson Lawrence was always a bridesmaid, but never a bride on various occasions during the 2015 season, including twice at PBR Majors (Iron Cowboy & Last Cowboy Standing), and right here in St. Louis.

Lawrence will have an opportunity to switch that narrative and earn his first career victory during the final day of the Bass Pro Chute Out.

Lawrence rode his re-ride bull Redbone for 86.75 points during Round 2 to remain perfect on the weekend and head into Round 3 leading the event average.

“I knew he was a good bull and I just had to wait on him a bit,” Lawrence said. “I got a little aggressive and right in there a little bit, but I kept moving and stayed focused. I am staying gritty trying to win.”

Lawrence, who rode Mouth Hug for 85 points in Round 1 Friday, placed second in the round for 60 world points.

RELATEDStetson Lawrence has bull riding affection for Valentine’s Day

Shane Proctor (168 points), Wallace de Oliveira (167.75 points) and Fabiano Vieira (164.5 points) are also 2-for-2.

Oliveira placed third in Round 2 with an 85.75-point effort aboard King Buckfor 50 world points, while Proctor finished in seventh with an 81-point ride on Mr. Hobbs. Proctor is credited five world points for the placement, while Vieira earned no points for finishing in eighth with his 80.25-point ride on Loco Lizard.

Derek Kolbaba took home fourth in the round with his 85.5-point ride on Hy Test for 40 world points, while Lima ended a streak of three consecutive buckoffs with an 84.25-point ride on Gotta Go Joe for fifth place and 30 world points.

Lawrence has been arguably the biggest winner in the world standings outside of Mauney so far in St. Louis.

He is already up to 36th in the world standings after beginning the weekend ranked 64th.

Lawrence is well aware that being in the driver’s seat heading into Round 3 means little to nothing.

“Right now, it is just a number,” Lawrence said. “I need to ride the next two.”

Lawrence faces Mustard Seed (1-1, BFTS) in Round 3. Mustard Seed bucked Lawrence off in 2.82 seconds during the Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden last month.  

INJURY UPDATES

Ryan Dirteater sustained facial lacerations when he was struck by Buckle Up's horn as he was thrown off in Round 2 in 1.83 seconds. He is probable for Round 3.

Robson Aragao was bucked off by Come On Baby in 4.62 seconds in Round 2 while he was competing with a broken jaw.

Douglas Duncan lasted 4.03 seconds on Voo Doo Too as he tried to compete with a left calf contusion and a broken right fibula.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

GAY CONTINUES ROLLER COASTER START TO 2016 (2-12-16)

ST. LOUIS – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of the Bass Pro Chute Out, presented by Cooper Tires, on Friday night at Scottrade Center.

Gay continues roller coaster start to 2016

Gage Gay’s start to the season fits in par with how he is feeling this weekend in St. Louis.

Gay is the latest rider on the Built Ford Tough Series to catch an illness, and he competed on Friday night with some variation of a head cold or flu that was giving him hot and cold chills throughout the day.

Similar to his hot and cold start to the year, Gay wound up placing second in Round 1 with an 87.75-point ride on I’m Trouble.

“He kind of tripped or something right around there and about got my hand out of my rope, but it stayed in there just long enough,” Gay said. “It was fun. He was a perfect size for me. He is a little stout bull and I got short legs so it seemed to work out.”

The ride is only his sixth qualified ride of the season, but it is the fourth time he has placed inside the Top 4 of a round. The ride ends a streak of five consecutive buckoffs for the third-year pro.

“When I ride it seems like I can win rounds and stuff,” Gay said. “I just wish I could do it more often.”

Gay earns 60 points toward the world standings to move up one spot to 13th.

Friday was the second time Gay has faced I’m Trouble. Gay previously rode the bull for 85.75 points in Springfield, Missouri, last season.

The ride should give Gay some confidence heading into his 15/15 Bucking Battle matchup on Saturday night against Lane’s Magic Train. Only three riders (Eduardo Aparecido, Robson Aragao and Kasey Hayes) have ridden Magic Train in 23 BFTS outs.

“Well, he seems to click everybody’s heels so I am going to try and get a good hold with my feet,” Gay said. “He is usually right there around to the right and that is right into my wheelhouse.”

23-year-old Newman debuts with round win

Nevada Newman didn’t wait long to make an impression in his first Built Ford Tough Series event.

Newman didn’t waste any time inside the bucking chute and the 23-year-old from Melstone, Montana, aggressively rode Ante Up for 88.25 points to eventually win Round 1.

“That is exactly what I have been imagining, coming here and winning this first round,” Newman said. “I am just blessed.”

It also didn’t take long for Newman’s motor to get running inside Scottrade Center.

“I try to have lots of try and try and be aggressive,” Newman said. “These big shows really get me going too. I seem to try 10 times harder at these then a local rodeo. Before I was getting on, I was shaking. I was a little nervous and stuff. Once I got off my feet and everything it was awesome.”

Newman, who is now ranked 20th in the world standings after earning 100 points for the round win, may be new to the BFTS, but he isn’t new to the Western lifestyle. His grandfather, Rodney Newman, owned a rodeo company and his dad and uncle were pickup men.

He had ridden five straight bulls on the BlueDEF Tour before making his debut in St. Louis. 

Newman currently lives in Hillsborough, Texas, with fellow Montana native Matt Triplett, and he also spent a couple days this week at Douglas Duncan’s place preparing for his debut.

“Matt texts me about every day now and he said just go there and try your hardest,” Newman said. “I want to be on tour with all of the bad cats. The PBR is the elite of the elite and I want to be with those guys.”

Newman has drawn Striker (2-0, BFTS) for Round 2 on Saturday night. 

Vieira finishes fourth in round; ready for Asteroid

When asked if he was ready for AsteroidJoao Ricardo Vieira smiled and winked on Friday night following his 85.75-point ride on Mug Shot.

Vieira said he was happy to be tested some by Mug Shot in Round 1, but he knows it will be no challenge like the one that is awaiting him in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

“Mug Shot was a hard bull,” Vieira said. “He was hard to ride right of the gate. Tomorrow we will see.”

Vieira tied for fourth in the round with Cooper Davis (85.75 points on Slim's Playboy) and each rider earned 35 points toward the world standings.

The 31-year-old moves back into second place in the world standings ahead of Fabiano Vieira (84.25 points on Son of Sioux).

World leader Paulo Lima was bucked off by Longmire in 2.9 seconds. Lima has bucked off three consecutive bulls.

Shane Proctor finished third in Round 1 with an 87-point showing on Rebound for 50 world points.

Cody Nance placed sixth in the round with his 85.25-point ride on Spear My Gear, while Stetson Lawrence (85 points on Mouth Hug), Silvano Alves (85 points on Lieutenant Dan) and Eduardo Aparecido (85 points on Loose Change) all tied for seventh place.

Nance earns 15 world points and Lawrence, Alves and Aparecido each earned 1.66 points. 

Injury Updates

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Robson Aragao was transported to a local hospital for X-rays and treatment after being struck by Like A Boss’s horn as he was thrown off during Round 1. He sustained complex facial lacerations and multiple mandibular alveolar dental injuries. Aragao is questionable for Round 2.

Douglas Duncan is also questionable for Round 2 after being stepped on during his 5.64-second buckoff against Rattler. Duncan was already competing with a right fibular fracture.

Defending World Champion J.B. Mauney is competing with a torn ligament (MCP/UCL) in his right thumb (free hand) that he sustained when he was stepped on in the first round in Sacramento, California, last week.

There were six other riders listed on Freeman’s injury report that were competing with injuries: Guilherme Marchi (rib sprain), Ben Jones (right hamstring strain), Ryan Dirteater (sprained right shoulder; free arm), Cody Nance (sprained left hand and wrist; riding hand), Justin Paton (sprained right riding hand) and Kasey Hayes (right shoulder separation; free arm). 

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

MARCHI RETURNING IN ST. LOUIS; DRAW NOTES (2-10-16)

PUEBLO, Colo. – Guilherme Marchi is returning to action following a week hiatus on the Built Ford Tough Series because of injuries he sustained in Anaheim, California.

The 2008 World Champion continues to try and battle his way through multiple injuries this season and, for the most part, has been able to succeed in the arena despite torn ligaments in his knees and riding arm.

The latest injuries – a left hip pointer and left rib sprain – were what kept him from competing in Sacramento last weekend.

Marchi is 4-for-6 in two events this season and faces Percy (1-3, BFTS) on Friday night. Michael Lane rode Percy for 85.5 points in New York.

"My rib is good," Marchi said. "I was working out today with the Brazilians in Decatur. We've been roping. We've been doing all kinds of things. I don't get on a bull yet. I feel a little bit sore, but I feel good. I did some bull riding exercises on the ground. I think I will be alright for this week."

Also returning to competition this weekend is Douglas Duncan. The 30-year-old dislocated his right big toe and broke his right fibula when Gangster Roll stepped on him in Oklahoma City.

Duncan is 28th in the world standings. He faces Rattler (1-0, BFTS) in Round 1.

RELATEDAsteroid vs. Joao Ricardo Vieira highlight 15/15 Bucking Battle matchups

Dickies Bullfighter Shorty Gorham announced on Twitter that he also will be returning to the dirt in St. Louis after missing the final night of the Sacramento Invitational.

“Just heard back from Dr. Tandy,” Gorham wrote. “His original diagnosis was confirmed by MRI. I am good to go for #PBRSTL. #ThankYouLord.”

Meanwhile, Tanner Byrne has opted out of the Bass Pro Chute Out, presented by Cooper Tires, this weekend to be with his wife, Meghan, and newborn daughter, Layla.

Layla Mary Byrne was born at 9:50 a.m. Wednesday.

“Meet miss Layla Mary Byrne, greatest gift we could ever receive,” Byrne wrote on Twitter. “Crazy in love with our little girl.”

J.W. Harris (elbow surgery), Brady Sims (groin), Bonner Bolton (neck), and Matt Triplett (elbow surgery) are out because of injuries.

The injuries, as well as the retirement of Renato Nunes, means there are six openings in the draw this weekend.

RELATEDJ.W. Harris talks decision to get elbow surgery

Duncan is in one of the spots with the first of his two remaining injury exemptions, while Claudio Crisostomo is also competing via an injury exemption. Crisostomo has two more remaining exemptions following St. Louis.

Crisostomo is 3-for-9 this season and only has 20 world points. He faces Barracuda (7-1, BFTS) in Round 1. 

The other four open spots in the draw are being filled by Cody HeffernanLindomar Lino, Tyler Harr and Nevada Newman.

Newman is competing on the BFTS for the first time in his career and has drawn Ante Up (0-0, BFTS). The 23-year-old has ridden five straight bulls on the BlueDEF Tour, where he won the Wichita, Kansas, event two weeks ago.

World leader Paulo Lima will look to bounce back from his 0-for-2 showing in Sacramento against Longmire (0-1, BFTS).

Defending World Champion J.B. Mauney faces Superstition (1-1, BFTS) following his runner-up finish to Fabiano Vieira last week.

Vieira is set to match up against Son Of Sioux (0-0, BFTS).

Gage Gay has a rematch against I’m Trouble (6-2, BFTS) in Round 1. Gay rode I’m Trouble for 85.75 points in Springfield, Missouri, last season. I’m Trouble was ridden by Kaique Pacheco for 86 points in New York.

In bull news, Mississippi Hippy will make his season debut during Sunday’s Built Ford Tough Championship Round.

CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S MATCHUPS

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

BRUSIER SETS CAREER HIGH BILL SCORE (2-7-16)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Here are three things we learned from the Sacramento Invitational at Sleep Train Arena this weekend.

Bruiser sets career-high with 46.5-point bull score

SweetPro’s Bruiser must be getting tired of being in the shadows of his brother and 2015 World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Long John.

For the second consecutive week, Bruiser surpassed the 46-point threshold and the D&H & Cattle Company bovine athlete set a new career-high with a 46.5-point outing on Saturday night.

Bruiser burst out of the bucking chute with Eduardo Aparecido on his back and turned back closer to the chutes then normal before elongating with a high kick to dislodge the 25-year-old bull rider.

Dillon Page was at first worried with how close Bruiser was to the bucking chutes, but he then realized Bruiser came to play.

“He turned so quick and the way he got off the ground, he was explosive,” Page said. “He stepped it up tonight. I don’t know. It is unbelievable. He had it on his mind tonight. When he left there, it was nothing but he wanted to buck. I was afraid it was to close when he first started, but he just pulled his head in and around he come.”

CBS Sports Network commentator and stock contractor J.W. Hart added, “He looked outstanding. It will be interesting to see over the total of this year. When they start figuring out that bull. I think if they start riding him he is going to change something. I don’t know if he is going to make one round in the gate and take off. The guys are catching on to him and he in turn will have to pay the favor back.”

Bruiser was marked 46.25 points last weekend in Anaheim when he bucked off Valdiron de Oliveira in 5.83 seconds.

The 2014 ABBI Classic Champion is averaging 45.25 points in three outs this season, and he has outscored Long John in back-to-back weeks.

It still wasn’t a bad night by any means for Long John. The defending World Champion was marked a season-high 45.75 points for a 5.38-second buckoff of Tanner Byrne.

Byrne had ridden six consecutive bulls prior to the buckoff, and appeared to be in control of the ride until Long John used his impressive steep bucking style to wear down the Canadian’s riding arm.

“He got me a little backed up on one jump and put a little pressure on my hand,” Byrne said. “He is good. I would like to take him again. I was trying to stay forward and he rides just like a big ole up and down rocking chair if you get in the right spot. I was where I needed to be, but I couldn’t keep my hand where it needed to be.”

Byrne had some trouble with Long John inside the bucking chute, but said it wasn’t anything that the bull caused.

“He is just big and I am big,” Byrne added. “I got big knee braces on so it is always hard to make it feel good in there. He gave me a good shot.”

Page said he was happy with Long John finally surpassing the 45-point mark, but that the night still belonged to Bruiser.

“He is getting closer,” Page said. “He bucked really hard tonight. I actually thought he was better than they did, but he wasn’t as good as Bruiser. He just wasn’t. He is starting to get harder. In a couple of weeks we will start seeing him like he used to be.”

Mauney wins championship round with 66th career 90-point ride

J.B. Mauney notched the highest score of the 2016 season thus far by conquering Brutus for 91.25 points in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round on Saturday.

Mauney won the round to earn 100 world standings points, and the ride propelled him to a second-place finish at Sleep Train Arena.

“That was a lot better than the long round,” Mauney said, referencing his 2.1-second buckoff against The Don. “I knew that bull has a lot of up and down. If you don’t stay out over him, it is going to whip you down and hit you in the face. He is kind of like a Long John, but just quite not as high. He has the same amount of power and stuff. He really wants to bring a man and whip him down. Here lately it seems like I am getting along with those bulls so I figured I would pick him.”

It was one of only two rides in the championship round. Event winner Fabiano Vieira rode Roy for 90.25 points to place second in the round for 60 world points.

The round win is Mauney’s third of year, which is tied for the most on the BFTS with Wallace de Oliveira.

Oliveira won Round 2 with an 86.75-point ride on Woody. The 36-year-old finished seventh in the event to gain 120 world standings points. Oliveira heads to next weekend’s event in St. Louis ranked sixth in the world.

Mauney earned a total of 400 world standings points, 240 from finishing second in the event average, and the defending World Champion jumps from No. 8 to No. 5 in the world standings. He sits only 360 points behind world leader Paulo Lima, who went 0-for-2 this weekend.

Mauney rode on Saturday with a hand wrap on his free hand after injuring his thumb during his 86.5-point Round 1 ride aboard Hash Tag on Friday.

The Mooresville, North Carolina added it was nothing to be concerned about.

“Ah the thumb. Dr. Tandy (Freeman) said something about the ligaments, but I ain’t really worried about it,” he said. “It is the free hand. I don’t really need it.”

Fabiano Vieira wins second event of 2016

Fabiano Vieira became the first bull rider to win multiple BFTS events this season by going 3-for-3 in Sacramento, including his season-best 90.25 points on Roy.

“I was a little confused if I was going to pick Walk Off instead,” Vieira said. “Last week he spun left and this week he come right. Roy is a good bull. He has a little bit of a friendly spin. He bucked me off one time. I just concentrated in the spin this time.”

Roy bucked off Vieira during last year’s Sacramento Invitational in 5.83 seconds.

Vieira was victorious with 500 points, 400 from winning the event average. The Perola, Brazil, bull rider placed fourth in Round 1 with an 85.5-point ride on Americana for 40 points, and he rode Dream Catcher for 82.5 points in Round 2.

He now is second in the world standings and just 131.44 points behind Lima.

Rounding out the Top 5 was Lachlan Richardson (2-for-3, 245 points), Aparecido (2-for-3, 155 points) and Stormy Wing (1-for-3, 145 points).

Injury Updates

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Michael Lane did not compete in Round 2 because of a concussion sustained in Round 1. He is questionable for St. Louis.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

RICHARDSON LOOKS TO PUT THE CUTLINE BEHIND HIM (2-6-16)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of the Sacramento Invitational on Friday night at Sleep Train Arena.

Richardson, Heffernan in pursuit of BFTS draw spot

Starting next weekend in St. Louis, there will be five spots in the Built Ford Tough Series draw that go to the highest ranking riders in the 2016 world standings that did not finish inside the Top 30 of the 2015 rankings.

So far, Lachlan Richardson and Cody Heffernan are doing their part to try and gain the fifth and final spot behind world leader Paulo LimaRobson PalermoWallace de Oliveira and Derek Kolbaba.

Richardson gained 30 points on Heffernan for the potential fifth spot in next weekend’s draw by riding El Capitan for 85.5 points and a fifth-place finish in Round 1.

“I know I have been (on that bubble) for too long and it is about time to change it,” Richardson said. “I just plan on riding me bulls. Even if I miss a few events because of the way the points is, I plan to be in the Top 15 or 20 and eventually they will let me on.”

The No. 17 ranked rider in the world trails No. 16 Heffernan by 21.66 points.

Richardson is coming off a 2-for-4 showing in Anaheim.

“I know I rode good last week and I am trying to keep it rolling,” Richardson said. “I never know where I am going to be and, when I know, I just go with the flow. Hopefully I get in.”

Richardson credited fellow bull rider Francisco Morales for helping him remain committed in the gym. While he has worked out in the past, Richardson said training with another bull rider is resulting in being pushed harder than if he were in the gym solo.

“I do train a lot harder than I used to,” Richardson said. “I have been training with Francisco Morales and it has been hard. I have always done something every day, but when you’re by yourself it can be hard to motivate yourself. Having someone to motivate me has been good.”

Heffernan didn’t earn any round points with his 78.75-point effort on Fandango, but the ride did end a streak of six consecutive buckoffs.

“I am not too worried about the points,” Heffernan said. “Obviously I want to be as high as I can be. That was a good little bull. It was a good one to get rode, especially seeing as I bucked off seven round bulls in a row. It was good to get a long-round bull rode.”

Heffernan rode Shepherd Hills Trapper for 85.25 points during the Anaheim 15/15 Bucking Battle.

While it is not necessarily crucial to gain one of the five spots opening next weekend, finishing strong in Sacramento can help each rider that doesn’t get that fifth spot go further up the BFTS alternate list, which will be based upon the 2016 world standings starting next week.

“I haven’t really placed high at any of these Built Ford Toughs and I really want to get at least in the Top 3 or win one,” Heffernan said. “That would be real special.”

Heffernan’s best finish is an 11th-place showing earlier this year in New York.

One rider who is hot on their heels is Lindomar Lino.

This week’s BlueDEF Tour event winner invitee rode Click It or Ticket for 83.5 points and heads into Round 2 on Saturday only 111.16 world standings points behind Heffernan.

Richardson has drawn Alligator Arms (8-3, BFTS) in Round 2, Heffernan has Doc Mosely (1-2, BFTS) and Lino will see Devil in A Bottle (3-0, BFTS).

Kolbaba shakes off last weekend’s championship round buckoff

Derek Kolbaba continues to demonstrate a calm-and-collected poise on the BFTS regardless of the situation.

Kolbaba bounced back from his 3.69-second buckoff on Moving on Up in Anaheim, which cost him the chance at his first career victory, by riding Blowing Smoke for 84.5 points on Friday night.

“Oh, it was pretty important, but in bull riding that happens,” Kolbaba said. “You can’t ride them all. Unfortunately it had to be at that point, but that is part of it. You have to shake it off and learn from it. Come back and get another bull rode this weekend and start off the weekend good.”

The 19-year-old finished sixth in the round to gain 15 points on world leader Paulo Lima, who was bucked off by Bobby in 3.91 seconds.

RELATED: Kolbaba trying to block out any outside noise on BFTS

The No. 7 bull rider in the world has ridden five of his last six bulls.

Kolbaba has a rematch against Bottom’s Up, who he rode for 87 points in Anaheim, in Round 2 on Saturday night.

“Hopefully I get another two rode tomorrow and I will be just right,” Kolbaba concluded.

Wing ends streak of 14 straight buckoffs with Round 1 win on Legacy

J.B Mauney wouldn’t stop cheering his buddy Stormy Wing on from the minute Wing nodded for the gate, and Wing made sure not to let go until that 8-second buzzer finally sounded and Mauney stopped hollering.

Wing took some two-time World Champion advice to heart and he kicked loose for 88 points aboard Legacy to win Round 1.

The ride ended a streak of 14 consecutive buckoffs dating back to last season and the Dalhart, Texas, cowboy earned an important 100 points toward the world standings.

“I am back now,” Wing said. “You are your own worst enemy in this sport and it ain’t nobody else’s fault but my own. I have been hanging out with J.B. Mauney and he has just been focused on telling me whether it is personal stuff at home or the grass is red or whatever, you just have to block all of that stuff out and do what we love. That is what I did today.”

Wing, who moved in to Mauney’s North Carolina home earlier this week, had yet to earn a single point in the world standings. He is now ranked No. 35.

Coincidentally, Mauney finished runner-up to his new roommate with an 86.5-point ride on Hash Tag. He earned 60 points toward the world standings.

Mauney had missed the final two nights of competition in Anaheim because of food poisoning.

The two-time World Champion has been trying to help Wing overcome the mental block he was indirectly self-imposing on his riding.

“I told him in the bucking chute, ‘no thinking. Breath,’” Mauney said. “He always comes to ask me what to do and finally I told him during the week, ‘It don’t matter how I ride bulls. What works for me don’t work for you. You do Stormy Wing.’

“I said, ‘When one twitches his ear like he is turning back, you spur him. That is how you rode bulls and that is how you were riding bulls when you got here. That is what got you to where you at and that is what you need to go back to doing.’

I said, ‘You just go at them.’”

Wing takes on Joe The Grinder (12-6, BFTS) in Round 2, while Mauney faces The Don (1-0, BFTS).

There were a total of 12 qualified rides in Round 1.

Eduardo Aparecido rode Houla Hoop for 85.75 points to finish third in the round, and Fabiano Vieira rode American for 85.5 points for fourth. Aparecido picked up 50 world standings points and Vieira was credited with 40.

INJURY UPDATES

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Michael Lane sustained a concussion and facial lacerations when he collided with Hair Trigger’s head in Round 1. Lane is doubtful for Round 2.

Dickies Bullfighter Frank Newsom returned to competition after missing the Anaheim Invitational following his wreck with JW Hughes Excavation in Oklahoma City.

“I stayed in the gym and with my normal routine,” Newsom said. “I tried to keep myself right, sharp and be ready to get back to work.”

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

MARCHI, HARRIS OUT FOR SACRAMENTO; DRAW NOTES (2-4-16)

PUEBLO, Colo. – Injuries are beginning to pile up for riders on the Built Ford Tough Series.

2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi, four-time PRCA champion J.W. Harris and 14th-ranked bull rider Kasey Hayes are just three of nine injured riders that are unable to compete at this weekend’s Sacramento Invitational.

Marchi, Harris and Hayes all sustained their injuries during last weekend’s Anaheim Invitational.  

Harris has decided to take a week off as he weighs possible options for his injured riding elbow after meeting with an elbow specialist on Tuesday in Texas, while Marchi (left hip pointer/left rib sprain) and Hayes (separated right shoulder) are still feeling the effects of their Anaheim injuries.

Marchi suffered his injuries when he was stepped on by Udder Lover, while Hayes separated his right shoulder (free arm) during his 3.27-second buckoff against Cowtown Slinger.

They are not alone though.

Brady Sims has also opted out of Sacramento after sustaining a right groin injury, and even hinted in Anaheim that surgery may be a possibility for him in the future.

The other five injured riders include Douglas Duncan (toe/leg), Matt Triplett(elbow surgery), Bonner Bolton (neck), Chase Outlaw (shoulder surgery) and Alexandre Cardozo (neck).

Duncan said on Wednesday is hoping to make a return to competition in St. Louis next weekend.

There are also two open spots in the draw because of the retirements of Renato Nunes and L.J. Jenkins last year.

Therefore, there are 10 riders competing in Sacramento as alternates – Paulo LimaWallace de OliveiraDerek KolbabaLachlan RichardsonCody HeffernanJustin PatonTyler HarrMichael LaneDave Masonand Luis Blanco.

Sacramento is the final weekend until Lima – the current world No. 1 – No. 4 Oliveira and No. 7 Kolbaba will not be officially seeded on tour. The three riders, as well as No. 3 Robson Palermo, will likely be the four highest riders that did not finish inside the Top 30 of last year’s world standings that will be granted an official draw spot starting in St. Louis.

Starting with St. Louis, there are five spots in the BFTS draw reserved for the Top-5 riders in the current world standings that did not finish in the Top 30 of the final 2015 world standings. Alternate positions will also be granted based on 2016 world point totals.

Therefore, Heffernan, currently 17th in the world standings, will begin Sacramento on the hot seat holding the current fifth spot.

He only leads No. 19 Lachlan Richardson by 51.66 points and No. 29 Tyler Harr by 134.16 points.

However, with so many injuries currently affecting the BFTS, it is possible that the first two alternate positions may be eligible for St. Louis – meaning all of the alternates below Heffernan, Richardson and Harr have plenty ride for.

All 10 alternates can help their cases by earning as many points as possible this weekend to try and get as high up on the 2016 alternate list as possible.

Heffernan has drawn Fandango (0-0, BFTS) for Round 1, while Richardson takes on El Capitan (0-5, BFTS). Harr has a Round 1 meeting against Chantilly Lace (3-2, BFTS).

Lima will try to increase his 150-point lead on No. 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira by attempting to ride Bobby (12-3, BFTS).

Vieira currently leads the BFTS with 14 qualified rides heading into his matchup against Yahoo (0-1, BFTS). Marchi rode Yahoo for 86.25 points in Anaheim.

Lindomar Lino is making his season-debut after winning the Oakland, California, BlueDEF event. Lino faces Click It or Ticket (5-0, BFTS).

Blanco and Mason are also making their season-debuts. Blanco has drawn Cowtown Slinger (21-14, BFTS) and Mason has Sketchy Bob (1-1, BFTS). Cody Nance rode Sketchy Bob for 86.25 points in Anaheim.

Claudio Crisostomo is in the draw against Swashbuckler via an injury exemption. Vieira rode Swashbuckler for 87.5 points in Anaheim.

Defending World Champion J.B. Mauney, who missed the final two nights of competition in Oklahoma City because of an illness, has drawn Hash Tag (1-0, BFTS).

Click HERE for the Round 1 Draw

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

© 2016 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.

GAME NOTES: IRON COWBOY

By: Jordan Marie Johnson February 25, 2016@ 11:00:00 AM

 

Joao Ricardo Vieira looks to win his third consecutive Iron Cowboy. 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The second of four PBR Majors will take place this weekend in Arlington, Texas, as AT&T Stadium hosts the Choctaw Casino Iron Cowboy powered by Kawasaki and brought to fans locally by Sonic. Competition will begin at 5:50 p.m. CT on Saturday, Feb. 27.
  • The PBR visits Phoenix next, as the Ak-Chin Invitational takes place at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, formerly US Airways Center. The event will start at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 6. 
  • oao Ricardo Vieira has been crowned PBR’s Iron Cowboy the last two years, being the only rider to accomplish the feat twice and in back-to-back years. 

IN THIS ARTICLE

 

THE EVENT

MAJOR – The second of four PBR Majors will take place this weekend in Arlington, Texas, as AT&T Stadium hosts the Choctaw Casino Iron Cowboy powered by Kawasaki and brought to fans locally by Sonic. Competition will begin at 5:50 p.m. CT on Saturday, Feb. 27. 

NEXT UP – The PBR visits Phoenix next, as the Ak-Chin Invitational takes place at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, formerly US Airways Center. The event will start at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 6. 

PAST IRON COWBOY EVENT WINNERS – Joao Ricardo Vieira has been crowned PBR’s Iron Cowboy the last two years, being the only rider to accomplish the feat twice and in back-to-back years. 

2015 Joao Ricardo Vieira 

2014 Joao Ricardo Vieira 

2013 Austin Meier 

2012 J.B. Mauney

2011 Colby Yates

2010 Valdiron de Oliveira 

FORMAT – Iron Cowboy is a progressive-elimination format competition. Each of the Top 35 bull riders on the Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) as well as five BlueDEF Velocity Tour winners will ride one bull in Round 1, striving to make the 8-second buzzer. If a rider successfully covers his bull, he will advance to the next round. If he gets bucked off, he is finished. Through a minimum of two, and a maximum of five rounds, these athletes will continue to ride until one cowboy prevails and is declared the Iron Cowboy for a $100,000 payout, presented by Bad Boy Mowers. 

BAD BOY MOWERS BOUNTY BULL — The Bad Boy Mowers Bounty Bull will be a PBR-designated bull in the Round 2 of the Iron Cowboy. The rider in the second round that draws the bounty bull and successfully covers it, will receive the $25,000 bonus award. In the event the ride is not completed, the $25,000 will carry over to the next BFTS Major, making that bounty bull worth $50,000. 

POSSIBLE POINTS – The PBR Built Ford Tough Series will have four events designated as “Majors” this year. These events carry higher payouts and points than other regular-season PBR events, and take place in New York City, Arlington, Texas, Las Vegas and Nashville. All PBR Majors have 3,000 total points available compared to 2,015 at a two-day BFTS event and 2,415 at a three-day BFTS event. 

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE GAME NOTES

© 2016 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.

IN THE BULL PEN: IRON COWBOY

By: Slade Long February 26, 2016@ 08:00:00 PM

Long John returns to action this weekend in Texas. 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ever since the inaugural Iron Cowboy in 2010, the event has become as well known for the quality of bulls featured as for its unusual format.
  • The best bulls will appear in Round 2 on Saturday. 
  • Nearly every bull expected to compete for PBR World Champion Bull will be in the draw for Round 2 at the Iron Cowboy, starting with Asteroid, Bruiser, Long John, and Air Time. Long John sat out Kansas City, but he’s been cleared to go in Arlington.

IN THIS ARTICLE


Arlington is one of the highest profile PBR events of the regular season. It is the second PBR Major of the season, and the Iron Cowboy will feature a major league set of bulls. Ever since the inaugural Iron Cowboy in 2010, the event has become as well known for the quality of bulls featured as for its unusual format.

The format for the Iron Cowboy this year is just as it was in 2015. Forty riders will go in Round 1, and the ones who get a score will move on to Round 2. The riders who get a score in Round 2 will move on to Round 3, and this will go on until there is one rider left or they reach round five. Last year a stout pen of bulls ended it in three rounds with Joao Ricardo Vieira being the only man to ride, and the bulls will be just as good here.

The bulls will also be set to the same pens as they were last year. The best bulls appeared in Round 2, and they will be here in Round 2 as well. So the guys who get out of Round 1 with a score will move immediately to the the best bulls PBR livestock director Cody Lambert could round up, and for this event that means the best bulls there are.

“Every contractor wants to go to the Iron Cowboy,” Lambert said. “It’s harder to get a bull to Arlington than it is to get one to the World Finals. There’s only room for about 84-85 bulls in Arlington, where at the World Finals we’ll take 20 more than that. What we’ve got here is the top end of the same pen of bulls we will see at the World Finals, so it’s going to be tough.”

Nearly every bull expected to compete for PBR World Champion Bull will be in the draw for Round 2 at the Iron Cowboy, starting with AsteroidBruiserLong John, and Air TimeLong John sat out Kansas City, but he’s been cleared to go in Arlington.

“Long John had a sore leg after getting home from California,” Lambert said. “But, I just got word that he’s been to the vet and his X-rays showed no problem, so he’s in the draw. All of the best bulls in the PBR are in that round except for Roy. I expect them to ride 14-18 bulls in Round 1, and those 14-18 guys will move on to face the 14-18 best bulls there. They may all buck off, but I don’t think that will happen. We’ll probably get three or four rides in that round, and those guys will get on another one. But, it’s not a scripted thing, so with this format it could play out several different ways.”

CrossfireBeaver Creek BeauSheep Creek and Cochise will all go in Round 2 along with Asteroid, Bruiser, Long John, and Air Time. Round 1 will feature Cooper Tires Brown SugarMississippi Hippy, After PartyPercolator, and plenty of other bulls normally used in short rounds. The entire event will be a test for the riders, as this format was meant to be, and there will be plenty of good matchups in just one day of action.

Follow Slade Long on Twitter @Probullstats

© 2016 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.