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Behind the Chutes: Allentown, Day 1

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Here are three things we learned through Round 1 of the Cooper Tires Take the Money and Ride event at the PPL Center.

1. A little help from his friends

Chase Outlaw’s gear bag never made it onto his flight out of Monroe, Louisiana, on Friday, and it left him in need of equipment to ride with. Thanks to the help of Stormy Wing (bull rope), Gage Gay (boots and spurs), Josh Faircloth (vest and chaps) and Ty Pozzobon (helmet), Outlaw was able to piece together a hodgepodge set of gear to use in winning Round 1.

Outlaw looked just as comfortable as he has been throughout the second half of the BFTS despite lacking his own equipment, riding Stay Thirsty for a round-winning score of 89.25 points.

“If I wouldn’t have spurred, that bull would have bucked me off – and spurring him got me extra points and it worked out for the best,” Outlaw said. “Mental mistakes have bucked me off before like that – start spurring and quit spurring – but I just kept going. Once you start, you can’t quit.”

Outlaw has won six rounds this season, which ties him with J.B. Mauney for the second most on the BFTS, right behind Joao Ricardo Vieira and Guilherme Marchi, who have each won seven rounds.

The Hamburg, Arkansas, bull rider’s gear bag is expected to arrive tonight in Allentown, but that doesn’t mean he will use it, Outlaw noted with a laugh.

“Hell, I think I may use Gage’s spurs and that rope of Stormy’s again tomorrow,” Outlaw said.

2. Top 3 riders all record rides; Vieira moves to No. 2

The top three bull riders in the world – Joao Ricardo Vieira, Silvano Alves and Fabiano Vieira – all made the 8-second mark on Friday night.

However, Fabiano Vieira was the only rider of the three to record any bonus points for a Top-10 finish to go along with his ride score. Vieira conquered Cash Ya Out for 87.50 points to end the night second in the event average heading into Saturday night’s Round 2. Vieira earned an additional 90 points in the world standings for placing second and moves ahead of Alves for the No. 2 position in the world.

Fabiano trails Joao by 1,006.13 points.

“He is a good bull to ride for my shoulder,” Vieira said. “I have been doing physical therapy with Felipe (Garcia) for two weeks and I feel very nice.”

Vieira hit the ground hard on his dismount, but added that his unstable right shoulder felt OK.

Alves had an opportunity to earn more than the 60.75 points he received for making the 8-second mark on Alcatraz, but he turned down an option for a re-ride. Alves has turned down his past five re-ride opportunities since the second half of the BFTS resumed.

However, last weekend, it worked out fine for him, as he finished the Battle at the Beau in third place after going 3-for-3. He will need to record another 8-second ride on Saturday night to have any chance of qualifying for the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, as there were a total of 19 qualified rides in Round 1.

Joao Ricardo Vieira posted an 8-second ride for the fourth consecutive event by riding Spotted Juice for 81.5 points. It is the first time Spotted Juice has been ridden in 10 combined BFTS and Touring Pro Division outs.

Marchi, who is ranked fourth in the world, was bucked off by High Times in 2.69 seconds, and said he felt some soreness in his shoulder after hitting the ground.

No. 5 Mike Lee looked poised to receive a qualified ride, but jumped the gun when it came to disembarking from his bull. It was ruled that he touched his bull rope at 7.89 seconds.

3. Lostroh breaks left ankle; questionable for World Finals

Kody Lostroh’s hunt for qualifying for the Built Ford Tough World Finals took a major blow on Friday night after the 2009 World Champion rode Pain & Suffering for 86 points. Lostroh broke his left ankle while twisting it during his dismount.

Once he hit the ground, Lostroh immediately called for the PBR’s sports medicine team.

“I don’t have any X-rays, but based on his exam and the position of his ankle in the arena, he has an unstable fracture pattern,” Dr. Tandy Freeman said. “There is no way to protect him and keep the bones lined up. Without the X-rays, all I can say is there is a 90-plus chance that this is one that has to be fixed.”

According to Freeman, Lostroh will get X-rays in the coming days to determine the severity of the injury, but he will likely require surgery, and is questionable for the World Finals if he qualifies.

Lostroh is currently 33rd in the world standings, but may slip out of the Top 35, depending on how things finish in Allentown. The four riders that began the night below Lostroh in the world standings – Robson Palermo (83.5 points on Texas Red), Jason Malone (82 points on Spitball), Jordan Hupp (82.5 points on Big Kahuna) and Harve Stewart (72.75 points on Squirrel Grove) – all recorded qualified rides.

“The question is can he fix it and ride?” Freeman continued. “Riding with an ankle fracture a week to 10 days post-op is not going to be very easy, at best – just the swelling and discomfort on the basis of just having surgery. On top of which then you have to worry about the hardware failing while you are riding.

“Basically, you have to build a splint that he can take on and off and get fit in a boot that doesn’t let his ankle move, also which means he won’t be able to run. There are a number of factors to consider.”

Freeman compared Lostroh’s injury to the one that Justin McBride suffered in 2004 three weeks before the World Finals. A major difference is the fact that Lostroh would have only a little over a week of recovery time before this year’s World Finals.

“(McBride’s was) probably a pretty similar fracture pattern to what Kody has,” Freeman said. “He had surgery, but he had three weeks. So that gave the swelling some time to go down, stitches were out and he was feeling a bit better. He did have a custom-made splint that fit over the ankle and you could Velcro on. He was on crutches.

“Every time he got on, it was a little bit of cross your fingers and hope nothing bad happens.”

Additional injury updates

Claudio Crisostomo, who bucked of Banty Rooster in 6.75 seconds, competed with a broken left clavicle after sustaining the injury Thursday attempting to ride a practice bull in Decatur, Texas.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.

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