Air Time dominates while a new world No. 1 takes over

Air Time's 47.5 point bull score tied a career high and left him 6-0 in the first half. Photo: Andy Watson/


  • Air Time was not impressed by rookie sensation Jess Lockwood's impressive early resume as he bucked off the teenager and tied a career high for bull score with 47.5 points.
  • Kaique Pacheco's win rocketed him to the top of the world standings for the first time in his career.
  • Meanwhile, Eduardo Aparecido became only the fifth rider ever to ride Stanley FatMax.

In This Article

LAS VEGAS – Here are three thing we learned following Last Cowboy Standing this weekend at the Las Vegas Village.

Air Time bucks off Lockwood in $50,000 bounty matchup. (5-15-16)

Jared Allen’s Air Time brought Jess Lockwood’s fairy tale start to his rookie season to a crashing halt Saturday night in Round 3 at Last Cowboy Standing.

The rising 18-year-old superstar was 2-for-2 and in position to make a run at winning a PBR Major in only his fifth career event before he stuck his hand into the felt bag and removed a poker chip representing the World Champion Bull contender during the third round draw.

Lockwood threw his head back and smiled when he saw the chip that meant a date with Air Time in a $50,000 Bad Boy Mowers Bounty matchup. 

It would be the last time Lockwood would smile inside the arena.

Shortly thereafter, Air Time’s rear end slammed Lockwood in the lower back and launched the recently graduated high school student into the Las Vegas dirt in 2.66 seconds.

“That is a good bull,” Lockwood said. “He is the best bull in the world. He is really strong. He had my feet behind me right at first so I tried to really stick my chest out and lean back to get back in there. Everyone said he was kicking so hard his butt came and kicked me in the back. I felt him just throw me really far forward. After that, I looked up and I was on the ground and he was coming at me. It was all pretty quick.”

It was a monstrous out for Air Time and the bovine athlete tied a career-high by being marked 47.5 points. Air Time hasn’t been marked 47.5 points since bucking off Kasey Hayes in 3 seconds at the 2014 Tulsa, Oklahoma, Built Ford Tough Series event.

The impressive aspect of Air Time’s out in Las Vegas was there were no tricks of the trade by the fourth-year BFTS bovine athlete. Instead, it was pure brute strength and a rank kick that disposed the talented Lockwood.

“That is him though,” stock contractor Matt Scharping said. “That is what I expect from him. I know everybody gets pumped up and I love the bull. I am his worst critic and that is what I expect him to do every time. Jess was perfect for him. Jess was awesome in the bucking chute. Everything just worked out good.”

Air Time finishes the first half 6-0 with an average bull score of 45.83 points per out.

Lockwood had previously ridden Bronstad's Pistol Pete for 84.75 points and a sixth-place finish (20 world points) in Round 2. The Volborg, Montana, bull rider finished 11th overall with 25 world points. He had earned five points for riding Pitch Black for 84.5 points in Round 1 Friday night.

The young gun was a featured element of the CBS national television broadcast, which airs Sunday at 4 p.m. ET, when the cameras turned on, but it was Air Time ruining any celebration of Lockwood’s quick rise to the No. 15 ranking in the world standings.

“I don’t think Air Time feels bad about much,” Scharping said with a big laugh, “but I tell you what, I am a huge Jess Lockwood fan. He is a good kid. We have a bunch of great young bull riders that I am thrilled to have on any of my bulls and he is one of them.”

Scharping also wanted to give credit to everyone that helps Air Time be put in a position to succeed on the BFTS. Normally it isn’t rare to see someone scratching Air Time’s back in the bucking chute, holding a rope or moving the chute panel back and forth to help the bovine athlete feel comfortable.

“I fail to mention a lot of times how many other people it takes to get him out clean,” Scharping added. “Riley Samford, Tanner (Byrne), was helping. Whether they are scratching his hump, putting the rope up. All of these different things. I can’t do it. He can’t do it without a bunch of guys helping out. It is important those guys are there as well.”

The buckoff means that the Bad Boy Mower’s bounty bull in Nashville, the next PBR Major and BFTS event on Aug. 19-20, will be worth $75,000.

Pacheco wins Last Cowboy Standing

Kaique Pacheco nearly became the first rookie to win the PBR World Championship last season, and now the second-year professional can finally check being the No. 1 ranked bull rider in the world off his bucket list.

Pacheco rode Little Red Jacket for 88 points – the third time in four occasions he has ridden the bull successfully – in Round 4 to win his second career PBR Major, $115,500 and 920 points toward the world standings.

It is the first time in Pacheco’s career that he has been atop the world standings and he leads No. 2 J.B. Mauney by 72.83 points heading into the BFTS summer break. Pacheco began the weekend 13th in the world standings.

“I am very happy to do good here this week and win this event,” Pacheco said with the help of Guilherme Marchi translating. “I came in here feeling strong, healthy and with a lot of confidence. I drew a lot of good bulls today.

“I am so happy to be No. 1 right now. My goal is to be a World Champion. That is my dream.”

It was a walk-off victory for Pacheco after Eduardo Aparecido was bucked off by 2012 World Champion Asteroid in 3.93 seconds earlier in Round 4. They were the only two riders to advance to the fourth round.

Saturday night was the fourth time Pacheco attempted Little Red Jacket. Pacheco had ridden Little Red Jacket for 88.5 points during the St. Louis 15/15 Bucking Battle, as well as for 89.5 points during his first career victory at the 2015 event in St. Louis.

Little Red Jacket came out of the bucking chutes backward on Saturday before readjusting with Pacheco still in prime position.

“He is one of the best bulls for the riders,” Pacheco said. “He is very good to ride all the time. Every time you ride that bull you score high too. He is not rank like other bulls, but he is a bull all of the riders like to always get on.”

Pacheco earned 625 of his 920 points for winning the Last Cowboy Standing championship. He earned 125 points for winning Round 4, as well as 125 points for winning Round 3 with a gorgeous 89.75 points aboard Wicked.

Pacheco began the evening with 85.5 points on Grave Digger for a fifth-place finish in Round 2 and 40 world points. The 2015 Rookie of the Year rode Dollar Hunt for 79.5 points and a 15th-place finish and five world points in Round 1 Friday night.

Mauney finished tied for second place along with Robson Palermo, earning them both 125 points toward the world standings. Mauney (2-for-3) advanced to Round 3, before being bucked off by Big Cat in 1.94 seconds. Palermo’s weekend ended in Round 2 when he was bucked off by Red Moon in 6.29 seconds.

Gage Gay finished in fourth place with 110 world points. Gay advanced to Round 3 after riding his re-ride bull, Cooper Tires Brown Sugar, for 87.75 points and a third-place finish in Round 2. He was later eliminated by Beaver Creek Beau in 4 seconds during Round 3.

Cooper Davis placed fifth after riding JJ’s Pride for 87.5-points in Round 2 to advance to Round 3. He was then eliminated by Cochise in 3.83 seconds.

Aparecido becomes fifth rider to cover Stanley FatMax

Eduardo Aparecido came up short of winning Last Cowboy Standing, but he made arguably one of the hardest rides Saturday evening when he covered Stanley FatMax for 85.5 points in Round 3.

Aparecido had been bucked off by FatMax in three previous matchups and he becomes only the fifth rider to ever conquer FatMax on the BFTS, and the sixth overall.

FatMax is fifth all-time with 71 BFTS buckoffs. He had bucked off 21 in a row.

“I am very happy because he is a strong bull,” Aparecido said with the help of Silvano Alves translating. “I needed to stay focused to make a perfect ride. I stayed in good position and I ride very good. It has bene a very long time since the guys have rode him.”

Aparecido (3-for-4) finished sixth overall with 87.5 points. He earned 75 world points for finishing second in Round 3. Earlier in the evening, Aparecido tied for seventh in Round 2 with 84.25 points on Famous Amos. Aparecido rode Bad Grandma for 83.25 points and a 13th-place (five world points) finish in Round 1.

Injury Updates

Lachlan Richardson sustained a lacerated left cheek when he struck Sheep Creek’s head in Round 2 and his face mask struck him. The laceration was sutured in the training room.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

Emilio Resende looking for Cinderella finish (5-14-16)

LAS VEGAS – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of Last Cowboy Standing Friday night at Las Vegas Village.

Emilio Resende had a tough decision to make earlier this week when he learned his 9-year-old son, Joao, sustained a broken leg while playing soccer back home in Brazil.

The 29-year-old bull rider wanted to make sure he was there for his son and his Thursday surgery, but Emilio knew just how important this weekend’s Last Cowboy Standing was for him as he tries to fight his way back within the Top 35 of the world standings.

Therefore the No. 42 ranked bull rider in the world standings decided to stay in the United States a few extra days and compete in Las Vegas before heading home for the summer break.

Resende rode Long Hair for 84.25 points to finish Round 1 tied for ninth place.

“I (wanted) to go back to Brazil yesterday, but I fight to stay here in Vegas because since February I have been riding at Touring Pros and BlueDEF events for a couple of months. I have a chance right now. I talk to him before he had surgery yesterday.

“It would be special to win for him.”

Resende hasn’t competed on the Built Ford Tough Series since the end of January, which is why as nice as $100,000 would be, he is more focused on earning points toward the world standings.

He is currently just 64.17 points outside of the Top 35.

“This is my dream,” Resende said. “Everyone need money, but more is points because I want to make the Finals. I want to stay with my buds. Eduardo (Aparecido), Silvano (Alves), everyone.”

Resende is the Cinderella story heading into Round 2 on Saturday night. He is the lowest-ranked rider remaining of the 25 riders that will compete in Round 2. In fact, Resende is one of four riders ranked 32nd or lower that advanced to the second round.

No. 32 Fraser Babbington (84.5 points on Godfrey’s Red Bull), No. 34 Tyler Harr (86.75 points on Just Juan) and No. 36 Jay Miller (85.5 points on Striker) are also in contention for a Cinderella finish.

Babbington tied with Resende for ninth place and earned five world points, while Harr finished fifth for 40 world points and Miller placed eighth for five points.

“Well, this is a really good start for me,” Resende said. “This is a really, really big chance. I just told everybody I am going to try and help me to stay here for now. My sponsors – Ariat, Cooper Tires and Discount Tire – have been really good to me.”

Palermo wins Round 1 and ends Las Vegas slump

Robson Palermo and Las Vegas are usually synonymous with winning, but the three-time World Finals event winner had bucked off eight bulls in a row in Las Vegas since last winning the 2012 Built Ford Tough World Finals prior to Friday night.

Palermo kicked his Las Vegas buckoff streak to the curb with an 89-point ride on Swashbuckler to win Round 1.

“I came here this week feeling really good,” Palermo said. “I had a bad concussion a couple of weeks ago, but now I am good. We are outside in Vegas and I love it. That was not an easy ride. He kind of scared me in the bucking chute. I was nervous. Every time I moved, he jumped. I did what I can and I did get a good score.”

Palermo missed the Des Moines Invitational after sustaining a concussion attempting to ride High Chaparral last month in Billings, Montana.

Even with his eight buckoffs in a row, Palermo still has a 56.9 percent riding average at BFTS events in Las Vegas.

Palermo earned 125 points toward the world standings with his second round win of 2016.

“I have had a couple of bad years here,” Palermo said. “I have bucked off some bulls here. I shouldn’t (have bad memories here). This is a place I love to ride. I give my heart to ride here. I have good experiences here. These past years, I didn’t have it. I don’t know what was going on. Coming here, I ride this one and I am ready for tomorrow.”

Palermo’s score was the highest of the 15 total qualified rides. Only three riders ranked in the Top 10 of the world standings posted a qualified ride in Round 1.

No. 6 Eduardo Aparecido (83.25 points on Bad Grandma) placed 13th, No. 7 Derek Kolbaba (83 points on Tso-Op) was 14th and No. 9 Ryan Dirteater (83.5 points on Bottoms Up) was 12th. All three riders earned five world points. 

Based on the event ground rules, Round 2 will feature a minimum of 25 riders and the remaining 10 draw spots are filled based upon the current world standings.

Therefore, world leader J.B. Mauney, who was bucked off by Gas Pedal in 1.84 seconds, will get another crack at winning his first PBR Major. Also drawing back on Saturday is No. 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira, No. 3 Fabiano Vieira, No. 4 Paulo Lima, No. 5 Shane Proctor, No. 8 Wallace de Oliveira, No. 11 Tanner Byrne, No. 12 Mike Lee, No. 16 Mason Lowe and No. 19 Guilherme Marchi.

Marchi gets another chance

The 2008 World Champion had ridden Blackberry Smoke for 80.75 points, but had to take an automatic re-ride, per Last Cowboy Standing ground rules, after Blackberry Smoke received an individual bull score of 19 points. He then was bucked off by Jared Allen’s Hy Test in 3.42 seconds.

According to the PBR rulebook, if any one judge marks a bull 19 points or lower, a rider is awarded an automatic re-ride.

Marchi was heated about being given a re-ride and his emotions only escalated following his buckoff.

It was at Iron Cowboy, the last PBR Major, when the same re-ride rule resulted in him being eliminated in Round 3 despite riding Sheep Creek for 81 points because re-ride flags were thrown during his ride. Marchi was then bucked off by Walk Off in 6.87 seconds.

Forgotten young guns finish third and fourth in Round 1

Lachlan Richardson and Gage Gay are no strangers to the BFTS, but they are still in the relative same age bracket when it comes to the rising stars of this year’s rookie class.

While rookies Kolbaba and Jess Lockwood (84.5 points on Pitch Black) advanced to Round 2, Richardson, 23, and Gay, 21, finished third and fourth in Round 1.

Rookie Jorge Valdiviezo, 26, placed second Friday night with a career-high 88.5 points on Buffalo Jump.

Richardson sat in the lead for the beginning of the evening following his 88-point ride on Superstition away from his hand.

“That was good. I can’t complain there,” Richardson said. “I have a lot more experience, so I feel like a veteran being at these places. But I still feel young and I feel good.”

The fifth-year BFTS veteran earned 60 points toward the world standings.

Gay made the 8-second mark aboard Whiskey Bent for 87.5 points. He earned 50 points for the fourth-place finish.

“They forgot about me,” Gay jokingly said about the new young gun class. “It doesn’t bother me not being in the spotlight. I will just hangout and be 87.5.”

The Staley, North Carolina, bull rider admits he is kind of on both ends of the spectrum of being a veteran and a young gun.

“I think I fall into both of them,” Gay said. “The younger guys look up to me as a veteran, but I still see myself as one of them. The old veterans look at me like a rookie and I look at myself as a rookie too when I am hanging out with them because I am. Those younger guys make me feel like a veteran I guess.”

The third-year pro is hoping to avoid a repeat performance from last year’s Last Cowboy Standing when he was eliminated in Round 2 after splitting the Round 1 win with Michael Lane.

“Last year in the second round I just didn’t try as hard as I should have, I don’t think,” Gay said. “I am here this year to win $100,000 and I am going to put it all out there for it.”


According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Harr (bruised left thigh) and Babbington (bruised left calf) are both competing Saturday night after being injured in Round 1.

Lockwood is also competing despite aggravating an old right knee MCL sprain during Round 1.

Luis Blanco sustained a broken nose when he collided with Mug Shot’s head during his first-round buckoff.

There were 13 riders competing with injuries in Round 1: Kasey Hayes (right shoulder separation of his free arm), Derek Kolbaba (sprained left riding hand), Wallace de Oliveira (right knee sprain), Rubens Barbosa (right SI sprain/sprained right ankle), Fabiano Vieira (right thigh bruise), Silvano Alves (bruised chest), Valdiron de Oliveira (sprained left knee/strained right groin), Gage Gay (sprained right thumb, riding hand), Stormy Wing (right groin strain), Mike Lee (separated right shoulder free arm), Jay Miller (right shoulder subluxation, riding arm), Nevada Newman (partially torn right PCL) and Guilherme Marchi (sore right knee). 

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

Last Cowboy Standing may lead to seismic shift in standings (5-11-16)

PUEBLO, Colo. – Who will leave Las Vegas as the No. 1 bull rider in the world and head into the Built Ford Tough Series break ahead of the rest of the pack?

That is the $100,000 question at this weekend’s Last Cowboy Standing.

Defending World Champion J.B. Mauney heads into this weekend’s PBR Major in the driver’s seat, but the two-time World Champion holds a slim 125-point lead on No. 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira – the reigning Last Cowboy Standing champion.

Without getting into the ins and outs of potential round points, in its simplest terms the Last Cowboy Standing champion will walk away with a minimum of 625 points toward the world standings.

RELATED: Click HERE for the complete Round 1 draw. 

The Top 9 riders in the world (Mauney, Vieira, Fabiano Vieira, Paulo Lima, Shane Proctor, Eduardo Aparecido, Derek Kolbaba, Wallace de Oliveira and Ryan Dirteater) are all within 612.5 points of each other and one of them can easily leave Las Vegas atop the world standings.

If one rider were to sweep five rounds of competition and win Last Cowboy Standing, he could earn a maximum, but granted highly unlikely 1,250 world points. Therefore, it is possible for any of the Top 16 riders in the world to leave Las Vegas leading the pack.

All roads still go through Mauney, though.

How will the 29-year-old respond in a format that he has historically struggled (4-for-12) in? That said, earlier this year the talk was that Mauney could not win a 15/15 Bucking Battle.

Mauney ended that conversation by winning three in a row.

The Mooresville, North Carolina, bull rider arrives in Las Vegas fresh off a two-week break following three events in which he contended with injuries to his riding elbow and hip.

He has drawn Gas Pedal (0-0, BFTS) for Round 1 on Friday night. Gas Pedal only has one out on record, which was a 3.47-second buckoff of Dave Mason at the Fresno, California, BlueDEF Tour event last month.

If Mauney can win Last Cowboy Standing, he could open up an 800-point or larger lead before he takes the majority of the summer off.

Then there is Joao Ricardo Vieira. The man who won $188,400 in Las Vegas last spring is back and on the cusp of taking over the world No. 1 ranking for the first time since last September.

Vieira has drawn Mr. Clark (13-3, BFTS). Silvano Alves recently rode Mr. Clark in February in Sacramento, California, during the bull’s last BFTS out.

Speaking of Alves, what does the three-time World Champion do in Las Vegas?

Alves went 1-for-2 at the Uvalde, Texas, BlueDEF Tour event and is second behind Vieira for the most qualified rides at Last Cowboy Standing formatted events among active riders. The 28-year-old has won Last Cowboy Standing twice and is a big fan of the format that rewards riders for making the 8-second mark more than anything else.

A record-setting third Last Cowboy Standing title could move give Alves more world points than the 549.16 points he has already this season. Alves could jump from 25th to 17th in the standings.

Alves faces Uh Oh (1-0, BFTS) Friday night. Oliveira made it to the 5.98-second mark on Uh Oh in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Unlike standard BFTS events, Last Cowboy Standing takes the Top 40 riders in the world standings.

There are only four Top 40 riders unable to compete in Las Vegas. No. 20 Ben Jones (shoulder surgery), No. 21 Stetson Lawrence (left groin) No. 36 J.W. Harris (elbow surgery) and No. 38 Justin Paton (concussion) are out.

Lawrence said this week that his left groin is still sore, as well as bruised, after injuring it in Des Moines three weeks ago.

The injuries open up an opportunity for Reese Cates, Winston Lopez, Emilio Resende and Douglas Duncan to compete at the Las Vegas Village as alternates.

Cates has been trying to hang on to a BFTS spot the last five events and will take on Smoke Wagon (4-1, BFTS). Smoke Wagon hasn’t bucked on the BFTS since last October and at a PBR event since January. Nevada Newman rode Smoke Wagon for 87.5 points at a Touring Pro Division event in Pueblo, Colorado.

Lopez hasn’t compete on the BFTS since Phoenix, after making his debut at the last PBR Major – Iron Cowboy. The 21-year-old has a Round 1 date with Kylie (5-0, BFTS).

“I just want to be there,” Lopez said Saturday in Uvalde, Texas. “Just being here with all of these top dogs feels like more of a blessing. I am here and I want to be at that caliber. I respect them and I just want them to realize I want to be somebody up there. I want to stay.”

Resende is returning to the BFTS for the first time since being cut from the tour in January. The 29-year-old has only competed in eight BFTS events following three straight seasons in which he qualified for the Built Ford Tough World Finals.

He will look for 8 seconds aboard Long Hair (1-0, BFTS).

Fabiano Vieira will look to build off his 3-for-3 victory in Uvalde this past weekend when he takes on Wolf Cry (2-0, BFTS). Wolf Cry made his debut in Billings, Montana, and bucked off Stormy Wing (3.97 seconds) and Mike Lee (2.22 seconds).

Jared Allen’s Air Time is the $50,000 Bounty Bull in Round 3. If the event is over before three rounds, the Last Cowboy Standing champion will attempt Air Time in a bonus round.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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