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Air Time Dominates While a New World No. 1 Takes Over

By: Justin Felisko
May 15, 2016

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

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

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

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