By: Justin Felisko
April 17, 2016
BILLINGS, Mont. – Here are three things we learned from the Stanley Performance in Action Invitational this weekend at Rimrock Auto Arena
Aparecido gains 350 points in world title race (4-17-16)
Eduardo Aparecido was the lone rider ranked inside the Top 10 of the world standings to take advantage of world leader J.B. Mauney electing to not compete in Billings, Montana, this weekend because of a left elbow and left hip injury.
Aparecido used an 89.25-point ride on Cooper Tires Brown Sugar to finish the three-day event 3-for-4 and earned 350 points toward the world standings.
“That was a good ride,” Aparecido said with the help of Guilherme Marchi translating. “I knew that bull. That is the second time I got on him and he bucked me off one time, and right now I had a chance to pick him in the short go and I rode him pretty good for 89.5 points. I felt strong this week and felt he would fit me good.”
Aparecido was able to bounce back with two qualified rides Sunday afternoon – he rode Torch for 87.5 points and 35 world points in Round 3 – after separating his left-sided ribs during the 15/15 Bucking Battle Saturday night attempting to ride Big Cat.
“I got on in the 15/15 and got hurt and I went back to the room and I prayed to wake up healthy and strong. I did pretty good today,” he said. “I came here strong and put together a strong weekend and am happy.”
Aparecido moves up to sixth in the world standings after arriving in Billings ranked 10th. He now trails Mauney by only 428.34 points.
It was a much different story for the rest of the riders that began the weekend in the Top 10. Not including Aparecido, the rest of the Top 10 went 3-for-29. Two of those rides came from Tanner Byrne, who finished in 10thplace with 50 world points. The other ride was the 500th of Mike Lee’s career – an 86.75-point ride on Tahonta’s Magic.
18-year-old wins home state event
Jess Lockwood used a dominant Sunday afternoon to win his first ever Built Ford Tough Series event by going 3-for-4 and sweeping both rounds of competition Sunday.
Lockwood, a high school senior, rode Modified Clyde for a career-high 90.5 points in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round before Cooper Davis was bucked off by Legal Tender in 4.38 seconds to seal the Volborg, Montana, bull rider’s first victory.
“It was pretty nerve racking,” Lockwood said. “He started spinning right there and (Cody) Lambert told me he was going to have some suck back and to stay back on my pockets just a little enough to have him set me up each jump. He got me really loose there the whole time and finally he blew me out of there but luckily my hand stayed in the tail of my rope.”
Lockwood earned 100 of his 745 world points with the round win and had earlier won Round 3 and another 100 world points with his 89.5-point ride on Alligator Arms.
He has won four rounds in three BFTS events.
The reigning Montana State High School bull riding champion finished the weekend 3-for-4 to win the event average for 500 world points and moved from 24th to 14th in the world standings. Lockwood has gained 965 world points in his first three BFTS events and trails Mauney by 914.17 points.
Davis finished in third place overall with 340 world points and is now ranked 12th in the world standings, 810 points behind Mauney.
Lockwood had ridden Mi Vida Loca for 86.75 points in Round 1 Friday night and 45 world points and was bucked off by Slick Rick in 7.98 seconds.
“It means the world to do it in my home state,” Lockwood said. “I am pretty excited, but it hasn’t really sunk in yet. Words can’t really describe it.”
Shephard sets career-high with 3-for-4 performance
Kurt Shephard had begun his BFTS career 1-for-8 and was on the verge of potentially losing his spot on the BFTS before the “Australian Shephard” used a career-best 87-point ride on Sheep Creek in the championship round to solidify his spot on the BFTS for the near future.
Shephard’s ride on Sheep Creek capped off his career-best 3-for-4 performance in Billings and also earned him third place in the round and 50 points.
“That ride in the short round really means a lot to me,” Shephard said. “To get him conquered, I feel great. I was trying until the very end.”
Shephard earned a total of 140 world points and a fourth-place finish in Billings. He goes from being ranked 36th in the world standings to 29thheading into next weekend’s Des Moines Invitational.
The 21-year-old from Atherton, Australia, had begun the weekend 2-for-2 before being bucked off by Big Kahuna in 3.44 seconds in Round 3. Shephard began Billings with an 85.25-point ride for seventh-place (five world points) on Set ‘em Up Joe in Round 1 and 83.25 points on Rock On in Round 2.
“Shoot, this helps a lot,” Shephard concluded. “It is exactly what I needed. It really should have been four bulls, but I will get it next week.”
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Rubens Barbosa sprained his right ankle and bruised his right knee when was hung in the chute during the championship round when War Party nearly flipped over for the second week in a row. Barbosa is probable for Des Moines.
Last week, J.B. Mauney injured his left hip when War Party flipped over in Little Rock.
Silvano Alves (old rib sprain) and Gage Gay (sprained riding thumb) did not compete in the championship round.
Gay competed in Round 3 with a broken left little finger on his left hand (free arm).
Valdiron de Oliveira strained his right groin in Round 2 on Saturday night attempting to ride No Regrets.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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