NAMPA, Idaho – Here are three things we learned from the DeWALT Guaranteed Tough Invitational, presented by Ariat, this weekend at the Ford Idaho Center.
Davis moves to No. 2 in the world standings (10-8-17)
2016 World Champion Cooper Davis knew which bull he wanted on Sunday afternoon, but he just wasn’t sure if he would get him.
Sure enough, Davis was able to select Set ‘em Up Joe with the 10th pick of the Built Ford Tough Championship Round and make a big-time conversion by riding Chad Berger’s bovine athlete for 91 points.
“He was a good bull and I had been 90 and some change on him before,” Davis said. “The last few weeks I have been frustrated. It is crucial right now to be in your zone. To finish the weekend out like I did even though I didn’t start good is good.”
The ride propelled Davis to a second-place finish, and the defending champion picked up 380 world points to move to No. 2 in the world standings.
Davis now trails world leader Eduardo Aparecido by 196.67 points with two regular-season events remaining before the 2017 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals on Nov. 1-5.
“I try to stay away from all of that,” Davis said. “But if there wasn’t that competition there to push it then we wouldn’t have a sport. At any moment like this in any sport, when you have great riders step up, or great athletes, that is what makes the sport so fun to watch.”
Davis had a slow start to the weekend after bucking off Mortimer in Round 1 and Gambini in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
However, Davis responded with an 86.75-point ride on Beast of Burden in Round 2 and then his championship-round winning ride.
Davis has won a PBR-high 11 rounds at the BFTS level.
The 23-year-old was the only rider in the Top 5 of the world standings to earn points toward the world standings.
World leader Aparecido and No. 2 Kaique Pacheco each went 1-for-3, including their buckoffs in the 15/15 Bucking Battle. No. 3 Derek Kolbaba went 0-for-3, while No. 4 Jess Lockwood did not compete because of broken ribs.
Outlaw fights through separated ribs to gain ground in title race
Chase Outlaw was on path to get within less than 1,000 points of Aparecido in the world standings before More Big Bucks had other plans for the No. 6 ranked bull rider in the world.
Outlaw selected More Big Bucks with the first pick of the championship-round draft, but he was unable to clinch his first victory of 2017 after More Big Bucks jarred him to the ground at the 6.31-second mark.
The buckoff resulted in Outlaw finishing in fifth place with 155 world points after Outlaw began the weekend 2-for-2.
Not only did Outlaw come up just short of the victory, but he also sustained separated ribs during his 2.73-second buckoff against Pearl Harbor in the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Saturday night.
Outlaw was able to grit his way to 8 seconds on Right Turn Clyde (84.75 points) in Round 2 after having his ribs iced and wrapped by PBR sports medicine throughout the day.
“Yeah, they are the worst,” Outlaw said before the championship round. “You can’t do anything for it. You just try to deal with it. I just had to get by one. He stumbled out of there, and it ain’t like that Mossy Oak Mudslinger machine at Walmart. It ain’t going to stay in the same spot and do the same thing every time.”
Outlaw heads into next weekend’s Frontier Communications Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, in Raleigh, North Carolina, 1,120.84 points behind Aparecido.
Buttar wins first career event to clinch World Finals spot
It may have taken him 22 career BFTS events to finally earn his first career victory, but Dakota Buttar is currently more excited for the fact that he can finally stop worrying about being on the BFTS cutline.
Buttar spoiled the World Championship race conversation Sunday afternoon by stealing the event victory away from Davis when he rode BC Circular Insanity for 86.5 points in the championship round.
“This is a big relief,” Buttar said. “I needed points this weekend. The points are more important right now more than anything. To win though is pretty awesome.”
Buttar’s ride on BC Circular Insanity capped off his perfect 3-for-3 weekend. Buttar began the weekend with 86.75 points on Voo Doo Too before riding Modified Clyde for 85.25 points in Round 2.
The 23-year-old earned 475 points toward the world standings and moves up to No. 27. Buttar essentially clinches a spot for the World Finals after beginning the weekend 32nd in the world rankings.
Rounding out the Top 5 behind Buttar and Davis was Brennon Eldred, Cody Campbell and Outlaw.
Campbell helped his pursuit of qualifying for the World Finals by riding Hedoo for 90.25 points in the championship round.
The ride tied Campbell’s career-high from eight years ago and was only his second 90-point ride of his career.
Campbell is now 31st in the world standings and 161.65 points ahead of the BFTS cutline.
Buttar was the only rider to ride all of his bulls in Nampa, and the Kindersley, Saskatchewan, bull rider did so on the eve of Canadian Thanksgiving.
Buttar selected BC Circular Insanity with the third pick of the draft. Lachlan Richardson then bucked off South Texas Gangster (2.81 seconds) and Outlaw lasted those 6.31 seconds on More Big Bucks to clinch the victory for Buttar.
“BC Circular Insanity is one I have seen quite a few times and I have always liked him every time I had seen him,” Buttar said. “I saw a few guys pick him in the short round before and he feels really good.”
Campbell was able to ride in the championship round because of an injury to Shane Proctor.
Proctor was slated to be the 15th and final rider in the round, but he was unable to finish the event because of a right wrist (riding hand) injury.
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Proctor is probable for Raleigh.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Pearl Harbor regains world No. 1 bull ranking (10-7-17)
NAMPA, Idaho – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 and the 15/15 Bucking Battle at the DeWalt Guaranteed Tough Invitational Saturday night.
In potentially his final out of the regular-season, Pearl Harbor made one last statement in his continuing march toward the 2017 World Champion Bull title.
Pearl Harbor bucked off No. 6 Chase Outlaw in 2.73 seconds and was able to take over the lead in the World Champion Bull race with a 46.25-point bull score.
“He really bucked,” Berger said. “He is a great bull and I was awful proud of him. He has been as good as he has been since we brought him back from the horn infection. Now we have to wait and see. The Pages are bringing Bruiser to Raleigh.”
Pearl Harbor now leads SweetPro’s Bruiser 46.38 to 46.28 in the World Champion Bull standings with only two regular-season events remaining.
Berger said he would prefer to not buck Pearl Harbor again until the 2017 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals next month.
However, if Bruiser were to supplant Pearl Harbor in the World Champion Bull standings next weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina, Berger may consider bringing his 6-year-old superstar to the season-finale in San Jose.
“We will have to wait and see,” Berger said with a smile.
Berger was extremely happy with Outlaw’s effort in and outside of the bucking chute.
Pearl Harbor has been known to have a little bit of a hair trigger and rock bull riders inside the bucking chute.
Aware of this possibility, Outlaw was extra careful with his pre-chute routine. Outlaw continuously put his hand out toward Claudio Montanha Jr., who was pulling Outlaw’s hope, to be sensitive pulling his rope.
“That helped a lot,” Berger said. “Chase Outlaw is a cowboy. I like the heck out of him. There is nobody that is going to try harder than Chase Outlaw. It don’t always work out, but when he hits the ground it is wreck because he is hanging on.”
That was certainly the case Saturday night inside the Ford Idaho Center.
Outlaw was left shaking his head and wiping the sweat off his forehead after testing Pearl Harbor for the first time in his career.
“I don’t know,” Outlaw said to J.W. Harris and Gage Gay after the buckoff. “I just know I feel like I hit the dirt five times.”
Outlaw wins Round 1, but world title contenders falter in Round 1 & 15/15
Coincidentally, Outlaw in fact still got rocked forward inside the bucking chute on Saturday.
Instead of being with Pearl Harbor, it happened way earlier in the night as he was preparing to ride Blackberry Smoke in Round 1.
Outlaw eventually was able to take a few minutes to let Blackberry Smoke calm down, while keeping his own hot running motor going and spurring his way to a round-winning 88.75 points.
“That is why they consider us professional bull riders,” Outlaw said. “When one does that in there and then you go the judges and everyone yelling. You have to be able to block it out. Sometimes we do. Sometimes we don’t. But the times we don’t, you better believe we know what we did wrong and it sure as hell ain’t going to happen twice.
“When you don’t even know you are blocking it out, that is when you are doing your job.”
Saturday night was Outlaw’s ninth round win of 2017 and moves him to within 1,175.84 points of world leader Eduardo Aparecido.
Aparecido was the only rider inside the Top 5 to record a qualified ride in Round 1.
The world leader finished in 11th out of 13 qualified rides by covering Red Sails In The Sunset for 83.5 points.
The 11th-place finish was not high enough for Aparecido to earn any world points in Round 1, but he is contention for an event victory on Championship Sunday.
Aparecido has a rematch against La Malta (1-1, BFTS) in Round 2, while Outlaw will attempt to build on his event lead against Right Turn Clyde (1-2, BFTS).
Aparecido previously rode La Malta for 86 points in Springfield, Missouri.
Saturday night was an overall dud for the world title contenders.
The Top 5 riders in the world standings remain separated by less than 577 points as Aparecido (7.4 seconds on Fire & Smoke), Kaique Pacheco (1.99 seconds on Smooth Sailing), Derek Kolbaba (1.41 seconds on Cooper Tires Semper Fi) and Cooper Davis (5.96 seconds on Gambini) all bucked off in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
Pacheco (3.71 seconds on Spotted Bear), Kolbaba (7.12 seconds on Rooster’s Egg) and Davis (3.59 seconds on Mortimer) also bucked off in Round 1.
No. 7 Stormy Wing tied for fourth place in Round 1 courtesy of an 86.75-point ride on Mayhem for 35 world points and needs an event win to close the gap in the title race.
Wing trails Aparecido by 1,832.5 points and has drawn Stars and Stripes (2-4, BFTS) for Round 2.
2012 PRCA champion Cody Teel won the 15/15 Bucking Battle with an 87.25-point ride on Beaver Creek Beau.
“I really climbed to the front and ran my long legs up and used my knees to my feet,” Teel said. “I let loose every jump. I was kind of shuffling and trying to throw myself as he was pulling on my rope. I almost messed it up at the end, but I gritted my teeth and it worked out today.”
Teel earned 150 world points to move to ninth in the world standings, but he is still 2,109.17 points behind Aparecido.
Fellow rookie Dener Barbosa was the only other rider with a qualified ride in the 15/15 Bucking Battle. Barbosa finished second with 87 points on Moto Moto.
Richardson moves to 35th in the world standings
The race to qualify for the World Finals took another twist and turn Saturday with Lachlan Richardson bumping Alex Marcilio, who was bucked off in 1.54 seconds by his re-ride American Gangster, out of the No. 35 ranking.
Richardson used an 88.25-point ride on Long Haired Outlaw to finish second in Round 1 for 60 world points.
The ride pushed the 24-year-old up seven spots in the world standings.
“That was really important,” Richardson said. “I needed that. I have felt good. That actually wasn’t my favorite bull in there, but I knew he could be good. It felt easy on a tough bull.”
Richardson had bucked off his first 13 bulls since returning to the BFTS in August following a six-month recovery from offseason elbow injury prior to riding Carbon Copy for 83.75 points last weekend in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Dakota Buttar helped his pursuit of a second consecutive World Finals qualification by tying Wing for fourth place with an 86.75-point ride on Voo Doo Too.
Buttar picked up 35 points toward the world standings and is ranked 31st.
The 24-year-old is only 78.33 points ahead of No. 36 Marcilio.
No. 37 Cody Campbell failed to earn any world points, but he is sitting in ninth-place after riding Yesterday’s Wine for 85 points.
No. 33 Troy Wilkinson (84 points on All Jammed Up) and No. 38 Nathan Burtenshaw (82 points on Force Awaken) also had qualified rides in Round 1.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
PUEBLO, Colo. – Despite choosing to skip two Built Ford Tough Series events and compete on the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour last month, Alex Marcilio says he is confident he can contend at the BFTS level.
Marcilio admitted that he purposely chose to stay at the Velocity Tour last month despite being offered an alternate position to the BFTS because he knew how close the race to qualify for the World Finals is.
“Over there it is easier to get 80 world points because here are the rank bulls,” Marcilio said with the help of Emilio Resende translating. “Mentally it is hard over here because these are the rankest bulls and strongest riders.”
It was a risky decision in ways seeing as BFTS events offer one rider the opportunity to earn potentially 620 more points than they would by winning a Velocity Tour event.
However, the decision paid off as Marcillio jumped seven spots in the world standings by placing second in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and winning the Portland, Maine, Velocity event for 130 world points.
Marcilio then decided to finally return to the BFTS level last weekend in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he rode Beast Of Burden for 85 points in Round 1.
The 29-year-old bucked off his final two bulls of the Rumble in the Rockies, but the 7.5 world points he earned from that one ride pushed him into the crucial 35th spot in the world standings with three regular-season BFTS events remaining.
Marcilio leads No. 36 Cody Campbell by 5.85 points heading into this weekend’s DeWalt Guaranteed Tough Invitational, presented by Ariat.
Less than 100 world points separate Marcilio from No. 45 Brady Sims in the world standings.
The Top 35 bull riders in the world standings at the conclusion of the 2017 Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour Finals qualify for the World Finals on Nov. 1-5 at T-Mobile Arena.
“I am focused and concentrating to stay here in the Top 35,” Marcilio said. “The best riders stay here. I can stay with the best ones.”
Marcilio may not be the best at the BFTS level, but he has been the top dog at the Velocity Tour. Marcilio has ridden 60.47 percent of his bulls to surge into the No. 1 ranking in the Velocity Tour standings.
“I try to stay regularly in the short go over there,” he said.
Marcilio is currently the best example of how riders can take two paths to the World Finals.
The easiest way to ride at the Finals is concluding the regular-season inside the Top 35. If a rider, though, fails to do that, they can use the Velocity Tour as another path to the richest bull riding event in the world.
Not only does the Velocity Tour champion earn a wild card bid, but so do four other riders following the Velocity Tour Finals on Oct. 28-30.
Marcilio hopes to be inside the Top 35 and win the Velocity Tour championship this year.
The last time Marcilio rode at the World Finals was in 2013 when he was the PBR Brazil invite.
Marcilio can help his push to the World Finals in Nampa when he faces Lone Wolf (1-3, BFTS) in Round 1 Saturday night.
There will be six alternates trying to hunt down Marcilio’s hold on the No. 35 ranking in Nampa.
No. 36 Campbell, No. 37 Nathan Burtenshaw, No. 38 Cody Rodeo Tyler and No. 39 Brock Radford are replacements for injured riders, while No. 42 Lachlan Richardson and No. 58 Jake Gowdy are in the draw because of injury exemptions.
Gowdy is competing at his first event since undergoing surgery to repair a torn groin in June.
The 20-year-old is trying to qualify for his first World Finals and is 207.5 points behind the Top 35. Gowdy has drawn Blue Gangster (1-1, BFTS) for Round 1.
Blue Gangster bucked off Gowdy in 1.7 seconds at the Velocity Tour event in Deadwood, South Dakota.
No. 4 Jess Lockwood (broken ribs), No. 10 J.B. Mauney (reconstructive shoulder surgery), No. 11 Matt Triplett (shoulder), No. 12 Cody Nance (illness), No. 16 Mason Lowe (elbow) and No. 34 Aaron Kleier (personal) are all out of competition.
World leader Eduardo Aparecido heads into Nampa with a 365-point lead on No. 2 Kaique Pacheco.
Aparecido has drawn Money (0-0, BFTS) for Round 1.
No. 5 Cooper Davis may the most favorable matchup among world title contenders in Round 1.
Davis has a rematch against Mortimer, who Davis has ridden two times for 88.25 points and 85.5 points last season.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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