BILLINGS, Mont. – Here are three things we learned from the Stanley Performance In Action Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, this weekend at Rimrock Auto Arena.
Pearl Harbor sets career-high with 47.5-point bull score (4-9-17)
Pearl Harbor’s normally pristine black and white face was wet, soggy and muddy inside the bucking chute on Sunday afternoon as Matt Triplett tried to settle down on him during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.
Maybe Pearl Harbor was not happy about the wintery conditions outside of Rimrock Auto Arena that led to his pen become a playful mud pit, or maybe he secretly had a dislike for Triplett selecting him in the championship round draft with the eighth selection.
Regardless of his motivation, Pearl Harbor absolutely wrecked Triplett in 1.98 seconds for a career-high 47.5 points.
Pearl Harbor needed only one forceful jump to send Triplett flying over the front end and back into the bottom of the steel bucking chutes. Pearl Harbor also stepped on Triplett’s back for good measure afterward.
The 5-year-old bovine athlete left the chute in an almost-squatting like position before using all four of his legs to erupt high-into the air.
“He felt like he slipped almost and it felt real weird,” Triplett said. “He bucked real hard. That is an awesome bull. Damn it, I am going to pick him until I ride him.
“I have a lot of work to do. I have to stay on them ones to be a World Champion.”
Pearl Harbor was named the YETI “Built for the Wild” Bull of the Event of the event, beating out defending World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser (46.25 points) for the top bull honors.
The 47.5-point bull score is the highest on the BFTS since Jared Allen’s Air Time received the same score when he bucked off Jess Lockwood last year at Last Cowboy Standing.
Pearl Harbor is now averaging 46.25 points per out and has been marked 46 points or higher five times this season.
Stock Contractor Chad Berger thought Pearl Harbor and Bruiser should have been marked higher for the weekend.
“It was too low,” Berger said. “He could have been 48 or 49. There must not be such a thing as a 50-point bull because Bruiser today and Pearl Harbor today. I don’t know how they can buck any harder. I truly think those bulls were 48-49-point bulls today.”
Mauney rides SweetPro’s Bruiser for 94.25 points and huge victory
Don’t go telling J.B. Mauney he is too old, too hurt or simply can’t do something as a professional bull rider just because he is 30 years old.
The two-time World Champion reasserted himself into the thick of the 2017 world title race with an emphatic, and season-high, 94.25-point bull ride on SweetPro’s Bruiser in front of 5,649 fans standing on their feet.
“Everybody knows exactly what he is going to do,” Mauney said. “He is going to start left, and sometimes he does it sooner than later, but he is eventually going to go back to the right. He is going to buck his ass off the whole 8 seconds so you better have your ducks in a row.”
The ride was Mauney’s 72nd career 90-point ride and first of the season.
More importantly, he earned a significant 778.3 points toward the world standings with world leader Eduardo Aparecido (riding arm injury) out for the weekend.
Over the course of three days, Mauney jumped from 10th in the world standings to No. 3.
He now heads into the Easter break only 1,123.76 points behind Aparecido.
“I don’t really care where I am at in the points as long as I show up and do my job like I did this weekend and I am happy with myself,” Mauney said, “but it is a good feeling.”
Mauney, who missed the event last year because of a hip injury, arrived in Billings with an aggressive mentality.
Mauney was throwing his free arm with authority and in-tune with every jump his bovine opponents gave him from the moment he rode Tequila Sunrise for 86.25 points in Round 1 to his 89.5-point Round 3-winning ride on Mudshark.
“I needed to quit being a wimp and be a cowboy no matter what,” Mauney said prior to the championship round.
Mauney also rode Buck John for 86.25 points in Round 2.
However, the big ride was his fireworks on Bruiser.
Mauney admitted it was nice to finally ride the bull and not get hurt. The 12-year professional sustained a broken jaw and collarbone the last two times he rode the bull at the 2015 and 2013 Built Ford Tough World Finals.
“Oh man, I was happy,” Mauney said. “I about messed it up again because the way that bull bucks, if you reach down for your rope, that bull is underneath himself and wants to pull you down on his head. When I reached down, I was thinking, ‘Oh crap, here we go again.’”
Mauney gave his event-winning belt buckle to stock contractor Dillon Page.
“That ride was great,” Page said. “I really like J.B. He is the greatest guy ever. He is going to give it 100 percent and you had the bull that was going to give it 100 percent. It was going to be the best.”
Mauney’s heroics bested Shane Proctor’s own 4-for-4 performance.
Proctor had ridden Jack Daniel’s After Party for 88 points in the championship round and wound up finishing second in the event.
Mauney’s four-ride weekend also moves his career total to 496. He will have a chance to become the third rider in PBR history, joining 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi and 2004 World Champion Mike Lee, to reach 500 qualified rides on the BFTS when he arrives in Tacoma, Washington, for the Tacoma Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, in two weeks.
Kaique Pacheco also made a solid jump in the world standings by going 3-for-4 and earning 245 world points.
The 2015 PBR Rookie of the Year is now No. 2 in the world standings – 1,040 points behind Aparecido – after finishing in fourth place.
Pacheco ended the weekend with three consecutive rides, including 86 points on Jack Shot in the championship round, after being bucked off by Red Sails In The Sunset (5.16 seconds) in Round 1.
The 22-year-old also rode DaNutso for 87.75 points in Round 2 and Wicked Stick for 86.75 points in Round 3.
“This is very important for me to make points, but right now my mentality is to just ride my bull.”
Cody Teel takes over the lead in the Rookie of the Year race with impressive rides
2012 PRCA champion Cody Teel leapfrogged into the lead for PBR Rookie of the Year by riding two bulls this weekend that had never been ridden before on the Built Ford Tough Series.
Teel followed up his 87-point ride on Mystikal in Round 1 by becoming the first man to ride Hey Jack when he rode the Canadian bull for 87.75 points in the championship round.
Hey Jack had bucked off 16 rides on the BFTS prior to Teel.
“I knew that bull was capable of going in either direction, and they switched deliveries on him back to the right,” Teel said. “He kicks hard and has a lot of up and down. It gives me being a taller guy a better chance to break over him and get in time with him no matter which way he goes. I can gather myself up.”
The two rides, paired with Teel’s 86.5-point ride on Sledge Hamma, propelled him to a third-place finish overall (330 world points).
Fellow rookie Luciano de Castro rode BC Circular Insanity in the championship round to cap off a 3-for-4, fifth-place finish.
Castro is fourth in the rookie standings.
Teel’s only mistake was a 5.26-second buckoff against Wired Crazy in Round 2.
The 24-year-old leads Dener Barbosa by 280 points in the Rookie of the Year race thanks to two big-time rides and is now 12th in the world standings.
“It is a rush,” Teel said. “As a bull rider and competitor on the biggest stage this is what drives me during the week to come every weekend.”
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Troy Wilkinson did not compete in the championship round after straining his left groin attempting to ride No Regrets (2.94 seconds) in the third round.
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Mauney in the driver’s seat in Billings (4-9-17)
BILLINGS, Mont. – Here are three things we learned from Round 2 of the Stanley Performance In Action Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, Saturday night at Rimrock Auto Arena.
Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney was the No. 1 bull rider in the world standings last year, but was unable to compete in Billings because of a hip injury.
Mauney now has an opportunity on Sunday afternoon to take a massive step forward toward working his way into contention for the 2017 World Championship.
The 30-year-old rode Buck John for 86.25 points in Round 2 on Saturday night to take over the lead in the event average of the three-day event.
“He was just up and down the way I like them,” Mauney said. “I just had to do my job.”
Mauney, who did get kicked in the stomach by Buck John, finished Round 2 tied for fourth-place with Gage Gay (86.25 points on Can’t Get Right) and 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi (86.25 points on Shocker) for 28.33 world points.
Mauney earned 50 points toward the world standings Friday night with an 86.75-point ride on Tequila Sunrise.
The Mooresville, North Carolina, cowboy is 10th in the world standings and trails world leader Eduardo Aparecido by 1,823.76 points.
“I am not where I want to be,” Mauney said. “Every time you nod your head you have to take advantage of it because these guys ahead of you don’t slip pretty much. Any time you can make the whistle and get some points that is what it is about.”
Mauney, Gay (172.75) and Marchi (169.75) are three of six riders a perfect 2-for-2 in Billings.
Also 2-for-2 are Shane Proctor (169.75), Derek Kolbaba (169.75) and Claudio Montanha Jr. (151.75).
Mauney has a chance at earning even more points on Sunday in Round 3 when he faces off against Mudshark (1-2, BFTS).
The 12-year pro got his first round win of the season last week in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, when he rode Mudshark for 89 points.
Triplett wins Round 2 in front of home state crowd
Reigning Stock Contractor of the Year Chad Berger and Mike Heald of Heald Bucking Bulls may want to start demanding a portion of Matt Triplett’s winnings.
Triplett rode Red Sails In The Sunset for a second consecutive weekend to win Round 2 Saturday night in front of his home state crowd.
The Columbia Falls, Montana, native covered his re-ride bull for 88.25 points a week after riding Red Sails In The Sunset for 87.25 points in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
“I might have to buy an interest in that bull,” Triplett said. “That bull fits me really well. He bucks so hard, and when they kick that hard it helps me out a lot. It sets me up to my rope. If I do my job right, turn my toes out and throw my hips it is going to work out.”
Triplett earned 100 points toward the world standings with his second round win of 2017.
Triplett was able to bounce back from his 2.27-second buckoff against More Big Bucks in Round 1 on Friday night.
He has not bucked off two consecutive bulls since getting a pep talk from his dad, Pat, before the Sioux Falls event, which he won last weekend.
“It is just nice having my dad here this weekend and having his support. It is so cool for him to bring bulls here and we both can live our dream.”
World No. 5 Kaique Pacheco also bounced back from a Round 1 buckoff (5.16 seconds on Red Sails In The Sunset) by finishing second in Round 2 with an 87.75-point ride on DaNutso.
Matt has drawn Hot Stepper (6-1, BFTS) for Round 3, and he has his work cut out for him on Sunday if he hopes to leapfrog the six riders ahead of him in the event average, but he knows he will have Rimrock Auto Arena on his side.
“All of the fans in Montana come here and support us Montanans huge,” Triplett said. “Just to not let the pressure and all the hype get to me is huge tonight.”
Proctor may have torn ligament in his wrist, but that isn’t slowing him down
Shane Proctor placed third in Round 2 with an 86.5-point ride on Sketchy Bob for 50 points toward the world standings.
“He is really neat,” Proctor said. “He is really up and down and an old-school bucker. He has a lot of drop and kick and is just outstanding. By about 6 seconds he freaked out and just bucked in the same spot. He kept blowing up and I got a couple of chops in. It was a lot of fun. That is my kind of bull.”
Proctor (2-for-2) has looked extremely strong through two rounds of bull riding despite missing Sioux Falls because of a wrist injury on his riding hand, and the No. 15 ranked bull rider in the world standings is in position to pick up his second victory of the season.
The 32-year-old had undergone X-rays during his time off and Dr. Tandy Freeman informed Proctor this weekend the X-rays showed a variety of injuries.
“The deal is he doesn’t know if the ligament is torn in there, but it is at least sprained,” Proctor said. “Then he said but that wasn’t the part that was bad. Beforehand, my wrist has always been bad. I have an edge of the bone broken off. I have arthritis running all the way through my wrist. Then I have bone spurs coming on the inside of my arm.
“My wrist has been pretty messed up.”
Other than the ligament, everything else is basically old injuries for Proctor.
Therefore, Proctor, who has drawn Sully (1-6, BFTS) for Round 3, is going to stick with taping his wrist, while taking advantage of the upcoming Easter break.
“A week off will help me not getting it jacked up,” he said. “I have had to tape it up a lot more than I ever had to before and I mean it is what it is. I am 32 years old. This stuff adds up.”
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Marchi one ride away from historic 600 mark (4-8-17)
BILLINGS, Mont. – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of the Stanley Performance In Action Invitational Friday night at Rimrock Auto Arena.
It came down to his fingertips, but even Guilherme Marchi’s fingers are some of the strongest in the PBR.
The 2008 World Champion rode Embers for 83.5 points and career ride 599 Friday night.
“My goodness, I had to fight for 8 seconds,” Marchi said. “This feels amazing. The pressure right now on my shoulders – I am feeling it on both shoulders, but I am proud to put big numbers up like this in the PBR against this competition and caliber of bulls.”
Marchi will look to become the first rider in PBR history to reach 600 rides on the Built Ford Tough Series on Saturday night when he takes on Shocker (4-0, BFTS) in Round 2.
Fans can watch Round 2 exclusively on PBR LIVE beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Not only is Shocker undefeated at the BFTS level, but he is also 13-0 at all levels of competition.
“That bull is kind of hard to ride,” Marchi said. “I saw last week that bull with Mike (Lee). He kind of kick not too much with Mike, but I think I am ready for him. I am focused and have been fast in the chute. I am trying to do everything better.”
The 34-year-old finished Round 1 tied for eighth place.
Marchi said his family in Brazil, including his mother, Marcia, have been following his march to 600 on PBR LIVE.
“My number one fans are my mother, dad, brother and sisters. My kids,” Marchi said.
He also knows he has a ton of fans here in Billings.
“I am excited to get it done this week too,” Marchi concluded. “All of the fans are waiting for it. My family. My kids. Me. I want to take all of the pressure off my shoulders and just ride good.”
Lawrence wins steak for his roommates
Stetson Lawrence told his roommates, J.W. Harris and Cody Campbell, that if he won the round on Friday night he would go buy his buddies supper.
Well, there is a steakhouse in Billings getting a nice payday from Lawrence, who normally enjoys a nice, big medium-rare filet for dinner.
Lawrence won Round 1 – his first BFTS round victory since last October – by riding American Sniper for 88 points.
“I have been smiling since Wednesday when I got the email saying I had that bull,” Lawrence said. “He is just a freaking, good bull.”
Lawrence not only earned 100 points toward the world standings, but he also won a $1,000 bonus check from Tire-Rama for covering Friday night’s bonus bull.
“I imagine I will go buy some steaks for the roomies,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence moved from 25th in the world standings to 23rd with the round victory and has a rematch against Sledge Hamma in Round 2.
Sledge Hamma bucked off the 28-year-old in 5.49 seconds in Glendale, Arizona.
“I was too focused on my free arm,” Lawrence said. “I was keeping that down and my feet came up. I lost my feet. I will balance it out and make it work.
“I am psyched about getting another shot.”
Teel becomes first man to ride Mystikal
Cody Teel took another step forward in his rookie development by becoming the first rider to reach the 8-second mark on Mystikal when he rode the Gene Owen and Jane Clark bovine athlete for 87 points.
Mystikal had bucked off nine in a row on the Built Ford Tough Series and 19 overall.
“That bull leaves funky every time with the gate and usually hips himself,” Teel said. “I just got a clean go at him and that is a big plus. He looked left and went right. He is just a good, solid bull after the first couple of rounds.”
Teel placed second in the round for 60 world points.
Rounding out the Top 5 was J.B. Mauney (86.75 points on Tequila Sunrise), Gage Gay (86.5 points on Crazy Days) and Silvano Alves (86.5 points on The Hulk).
Mauney and Derek Kolbaba (86.25 points on Sully) were the only two riders ranked inside the Top 10 of the world standings to earn a qualified ride in Round 1.
World leader Eduardo Aparecido (riding arm) is not competing in Billings this weekend.
Mystikal was only marked 42.25 points, but the 5-year-old has been a consistent championship round or 15/15 Bucking Battle bull all season long.
Teel said he knew he had the bull to potentially win the round on.
“It kind of lays it all out there for you,” Teel said. “You have a chance to win the round or be close if you do your job. You are going to be a hero or a zero. It kind of simplifies things. Sometimes it is almost a little more relaxing, honestly.”
Teel will try to add to his weekend total in Round 2 against Wired Crazy (7-4, BFTS).
The 24-year-old is looking to win his second BFTS event in only his sixth appearance at the PBR’s highest level of competition.
“I am getting into the routine of things, but you have to go at it with 110 percent every weekend. You can’t let up because once you do you end up on your back pretty quick.”
There were no significant injuries in Round 1, but Cody Nance was unable to compete after getting stranded in Nashville because of flight cancellations.
The No. 14 ranked bull rider in the world standings expects to make it to Billings on Saturday in time for Round 2.
It was a tough break for Nance after the Paris, Tennessee, bull rider was coming off a second-place finish last weekend in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
“If I can get there tomorrow then I’ll be in good shape still,” Nance said via text message.
No. 3 Chase Outlaw also had flight troubles trying to fly out of Arkansas on Thursday, but was able to eventually get to Billings on Friday at 5 p.m.
Outlaw was bucked off by High Chaparral in 4.29 seconds in Round 1.
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PUEBLO, Colo. – On a weekend that featured Brady Sims’ breaking his left leg and Rubens Barbosa being knocked unconscious, it is almost surprising that 34-year-old Fabiano Vieira didn’t catch another unlucky break.
Vieira, who has been riding with multiple shoulder injuries since 2014, could have easily been injured last weekend at the First PREMIER Bank PREMIER Bankcard Invitational when High Test bucked him off at 4.55 seconds and into the steel bucking chutes behind him.
Instead, the six-time World Finals qualifier responded by riding Legacy for 84.75 points and Texicali for 87.25 points to propel himself to an eighth-place finish.
“I was a little sore after the first day, but then I was good,” Vieira said. “I tried to come back and ride better.”
Vieira then laughed as he explained his face, back and head have been slammed against the bucking chutes too many times that he can remember.
“It is OK,” he said. “I have been put to sleep before.”
Vieira’s ride on Texicali was the veteran’s third-best of the 2017 season, and he will look to build off his first two-ride weekend since Iron Cowboy on Feb. 18 at the Stanley Performance In Action Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, Friday night.
Fans can catch all of the action exclusively on PBR LIVE beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Vieira is 22nd in the world standings and has finished within the Top 10 of the world standings three consecutive years.
He has drawn Bottom’s Up (0-0, BFTS) – the same bull that fell on Matt Triplett in Sioux Falls – for Round 1.
Sims was unable to escape injury in Sioux Falls after getting hung-up attempting to ride Swashbuckler in Round 3. The 24-year-old’s left leg then got twisted around by Swashbuckler before Sims was finally able to break free of his bull rope.
Sims had to be transported to Sanford Hospital on Sunday night and underwent surgery for a broken tibia and fibula.
The Holt, Missouri, cowboy was released from the hospital on Tuesday and wrote on his Facebook account:
“Thank you to each and every one of y'all that have called, text, messaged, snapchatted, and everything else, it has definitely meant more to me than you will ever know! Just now got released from the hospital so we are headed down the road to recovery! Once again, I cannot say thank you enough for everybody's concern along with all the prayers and kind words, thank you!”
Sims was one of three riders to sustain injuries last weekend inside the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
No. 7 Rubens Barbosa (concussion), No. 13 Stormy Wing (calf contusion) and No. 15 Ryan Dirteater (left thigh adductor strain) will also miss this coming weekend’s event in Billings, Montana, because of injuries sustained in Sioux Falls.
Meanwhile, world leader Eduardo Aparecido (strained right brachialis and sprained right elbow (UCL) and No. 18 Dener Barbosa (left elbow sprain) will be out of competition because of lingering injuries that led to them opting out of the 15/15 Bucking Battle last weekend. Based on PBR Rule 184.108.40.206, any rider that chooses to remove himself from a round will subsequently be deemed ineligible for the next event on the BFTS schedule.
The six riders will be replaced by No. 39 Alex Marcilio, No. 40 Emilio Resende, No. 41 Cody Heffernan, No. 42 Brennon Eldred, No. 43 Kyle Jones and No. 43 Ramon Rodrigues in the draw.
Marcilio went 0-for-3 in Sioux Falls, but he only trails No. 35 Robson Aragao by 85 points.
The 29-year-old has drawn Grandpa Joe (9-12, BFTS) for Round 1.
Eldred, a PRCA rodeo standout, is making his debut on the BFTS after earning 61.66 points this past weekend at the West Plains, Missouri, Touring Pro Division event.
The 22-year-old won the event with a 90-point ride on White Smoke.
He is 12-for-21 at all levels of competition with seven Top-10 finishes and has drawn Stars & Stripes (1-3, BFTS) for Round 1.
Eldred, who is 108.34 points behind the Top 35, famously rode 2016 World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser for 94.5 points at the 2016 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo last season.
Rodrigues is also set to make his debut after going 6-for-10 at all levels of competition, including 6-for-8 at the Velocity Tour level.
The 26-year-old is from Rio Branco, Brazil, -- the same town as three-time World Finals event winner Robson Palermo – and is competing in the United States for the first time.
Rodrigues is the 2015 Liga Nacional de Rodeio Champion – the same Brazilian rodeo association that Claudio Montanha Jr. won in 2016.
He will get a rough welcome to the BFTS in Round 1 when he takes on Seven Dust (25-1, BFTS).
Other riders that remain out because of injuries include No. 36 Nevada Newman, No. 71 Wallace de Oliveira, No. 149 Tanner Byrne (groin/hamstring), Lachlan Richardson (bicep surgery) and Aaron Roy (leg).
No. 53 Carlos Garcia is this weekend’s Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour after winning the Wheeling, West Virginia, event on March 17.
This weekend will be Garcia’s second BFTS event of his career. He last competed at the BFTS level in 2014 at Last Cowboy Standing.
Garcia takes on Hammer Down (7-2, BFTS) Friday night.
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