By: Justin Felisko
March 19, 2017
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Here are three things we learned from the Ty Murray Invitational, presented by Isleta Resort and Casino, this weekend at WisePies Arena, aka The Pit.
Aparecido increases world lead to over 1,000 points (3-19-17)
If not for Stormy Wing’s record-book heroics Sunday afternoon, Eduardo Aparecido would have walked out of The Pit with the most-impressive bull ride of the weekend.
Regardless, Aparecido’s 91.25-point ride on Speed Demon during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round propelled the world leader to 265 world points and a tie for second-place in the event.
“He was very fast into my hand and real good,” Aparecido said. “This bull, bucked down and then spun fast. It was fun. Speed Demon is a good bull and this is a good score.”
Aparecido now leads No. 2 Jess Lockwood, who remains out of competition because of a torn groin, by 1,152.5 points.
“These points are good,” Aparecido said. “This is my best ride this year.”
The 26-year-old has the largest lead of any world leader since two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney entered the 2015 World Finals with a 1,315-point lead over No. 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira.
In the three seasons since the PBR updated its points system, the only other time a rider had a 1,000-point or larger lead in the standings was when Vieira went into the 2015 summer break with a 1,007.5-point lead on Matt Triplett.
“I thought Eduardo looked great,” nine-time World Champion Ty Murray said. “Yesterday and today both he looked like the No. 1 guy. When you are the No. 1 guy, you are supposed to look like the No. 1 guy.”
Aparecido finished the weekend 2-for-4. He was bucked off by Scotty’s Crossroads in 6.93 seconds during Round 1 and by GOOD RIDE’s Jailbreaker (1.95 seconds) in Round 3. He won Round 2 on Saturday night with an 88.75-point effort aboard Mudshark.
He now leads the PBR with 22 qualified rides and a 57.89-percent riding average.
It is a sign of confidence, said Murray.
“I feel like Fast Eddy has to believe in himself,” Murray added. “You don’t go win a World Championship and think you are good enough. I think you have to find a way to believe you can do it and then go do it. That is where Fast Eddy is at. He is realizing he is as good as there is.
“That makes him that much more dangerous.”
Wing’s 95.25-point ride sets off fireworks in victory; Pearl Harbor ties with Bruiser in bull showdown
Stormy Wing has won a Built Ford Tough Series event before, but he never made a ride like he did on Sunday afternoon at The Pit.
Wing rode 2016 World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser for a historic 95.25 points to eventually win the Ty Murray Invitational.
Bruiser took two big jumps out of the bucking chute before turning into Wing’s left hand. Just beyond 6 seconds, Bruiser then began backing up with Wing climbing high into the air, back arched, and grasping onto his bull rope for the final 1.5 seconds.
“It was rank man,” Wing said. “Rides like that are just a blur. You nod your head and you just move. I knew that bull. I have been on him before. I like H.D. and Dillon Page bulls. It just worked out.”
The 27-year-old’s career-best ride ranks within the Top 25 in PBR history.
Twenty-two riders have scored higher, but the 95.25-point score is the fifth-highest numerical scored ride when you take away the multiple riders that have earned 96.5, 96, 95.75 and 95.5 points.
Wing’s ride is the highest on the BFTS since Mauney rode three-time World Champion Bushwacker for 95.25 points in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2013.
Wing had begun the event 2-for-2 with rides on Switch Hitter (88.5 points) and Cracker Breaker (88 points) before being bucked off by Little Deacon (6.79 seconds) in Round 3.
The Dalhart, Texas, cowboy finished 3-for-4 and won a whopping 715 points toward the world standings. Wing jumped from 33rd in the world standings to 10th.
“It means a lot,” Wing said. “This is a well-known bull riding and I got me a .45 pistol that has Ty Murray’s name on it. This is something I won’t forget for a very long time.”
Wing earned the victory after Guilherme Marchi (Jack Shot) and Cody Nance (BC Circular Insanity) bucked off their final bulls of the weekend.
Bruiser tied a career-high by being marked 46.75 points in Albuquerque.
In regards to the World Champion Bull race, Bruiser’s memorable out with Wing was even more important as Pearl Harbor returned to competition this weekend with a career-high 46.75-point bull score as well.
Dillon Page of D&H Cattle Company was thrilled with Bruiser.
“He really bucked,” Page said. “Right at the end when he backed up, that is usually when he breaks and comes the other way. I think he was off a foot, but he still brought it back around.”
Both bulls split top bull honors at the Ty Murray Invitational and continue to separate themselves from the rest of this year’s contenders.
Pearl Harbor bucked off Stetson Lawrence in 3.82 seconds in the championship round.
Lawrence, who was stepped on by Pearl Harbor after being hung up, compared the ride to that of a slow, vicious roller coaster.
“I got my ass handed to me,” Lawrence said. “He bucks. He is powerful. He hangs up in the air and drops. It is hard to get in time with him because you have to be slow, but fast at the same time.
“He is legit.”
Countdown to 600: Marchi gets career ride 596 thanks to review
Guilherme Marchi fell short of the victory on Sunday afternoon when he was bucked off by Jack Shot in 5.74 seconds during the championship round, but the 2008 World Champion is now four rides away from making history.
Marchi, who finished fourth overall, rode Wired Child for 85.25 points after a judges’ review determined that the 14-year veteran still had full control of the ride despite his slight touch of the bull’s horn.
The call was made in reference to Rule 126.96.36.199.1.2 in the PBR’s official rulebook:
“If a rider is deemed to have slapped the bull by making contact with the horn or tail, the judge shall use his/her discretion to determine if the slap warrants a disqualification. In the event that the rider is in a position of complete control (body, free hand and arm inertia are in full control of the rider at the time of the slap) and the movement of the bull creates contact between the bull’s horn or tail with the free hand, arm, or extension thereof, the judge may deem that the slap did not warrant a disqualification at his/her discretion.”
Marchi was thankful the judges’ ruled in his favor.
“I am glad the judges understand that and I am happy to cover that bull,” Marchi said. “I know I needed to get past the first jump. He is very strong right there. After that, I know I would be good. I am so happy to cover that bull.”
Marchi is four rides away from becoming the first rider to reach 600 career rides on the Built Ford Tough Series and is the fourth rider to conquer Wired Child.
He will be unable to set the record next week at the Ak-Chin Invitational in Glendale, Arizona, but may hit 600 as early as Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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