KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of the Caterpillar Classic at the Sprint Center.
Bruiser showcases talents once again
Bruiser has been putting forth commanding performances in his very early Built Ford Tough Series career and the 4-year-old bull highlighted Round 1 – an ABBI Classic Round – with a 3.17-second buckoff of Sean Willingham.
“He bucked. That bull is really rank,” Willingham said. “I had come out slow and he hit his head (against the chute signage) and it kind of got my momentum going to the right, which is into my hand, and he was still going left. That bull is so rank that he don’t need any help to get you on the ground.”
Willingham didn’t think Bruiser fouled himself, and instead he tipped his hat to the bull for using his head to fool a veteran bull rider.
“That bull bucks way too hard to have any tricks like that,” he added.
H.D. Page’s bovine athlete posted a bull score of 45.5 points. It is the bull’s fourth out of his career in which he has been marked 45 points or better since making his BFTS debut last year in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Bruiser averaged a bull score of 44.82 points in nine previous BFTS outs before Saturday.
Willingham hopes to see Bruiser, who has only been ridden on the BFTS by J.B. Mauney (93.25 points) and Joao Ricardo Vieira (88.75 points), down the line.
“That is an outstanding bull,” Willingham concluded. “I am ready to get on him again and get a little better shot at him.”
Pacheco wins Round 1; Vieira and Aparecido pick up important points
Kaique Pacheco didn’t have to wait long to set a new career-high ride score on the BFTS.
Pacheco became the first rider to make the 8-second mark on Brutus, and the 20-year old broke his own personal-high from a week ago with an 89.75-point ride to win Round 1.
“I saw the bull buck in Las Vegas at the ABBI event last year,” Pacheco said with the help of Guilherme Marchi translating. “He is very strong on the outside and has a lot of up and down.”
Pacheco has demonstrated in the past few weeks a tendency to try and position himself toward the front of his bulls and he explained that he used that same tactic on Brutus, while using his hips to push back some to stay in a positive position.
The strategy paid off and the rookie ended Brutus’ streak of 12 consecutive buckoffs at all levels.
It is Pacheco’s third round win in the last two weeks and fourth this season. He earned 100 points toward the world standings and the No. 3 bull rider in the world shaved No. 1 Matt Triplett’s lead to 822.5 points.
Pacheco trails second-ranked Alves by 42.5 points.
“For me, it is very important that I keep going like I am right now,” Pacheco said. “It was my dream to come here. When I have an opportunity to be here, I give it everything. I want to ride strong here with everyone.”
Triplett was bucked off by Big Dip in 2.13 seconds, while Alves fell to I’m Trouble in 4.56 seconds.
Renato Nunes placed second in the first round and earned 60 points toward the world standings with an 87.75-point ride on Spin Machine.
Nunes began the event 24th in the world standings, but he only had an 85-point cushion ahead of the No. 34/35/36 spots. The 60 points push him to 21st in the world standings and increases his lead to 145 points.
Following Kansas City, the draw for next weekend’s Choctaw Casino Resort Iron Cowboy, powered by Kawasaki Strong, and future BFTS events will be based on the Top 35 of the 2015 world standings.
Joao Ricardo Vieira and Eduardo Aparecido also earned important points on Saturday to separate themselves a tad from the potential cutline by placing third and fourth in the first round.
Vieira rode Rainman for 87.25 points to earn 50 points in the world standings and move up to 23rd.
Aparecido earned 40 points toward the standings by riding Crazy Days and is now 26th in the world standings. He is 75 points ahead of the cutline.
Lachlan Richardson, Douglas Duncan and Cody Heffernan, who is not competing in Kansas City, are the three riders currently holding the No. 34-36 spots in the standings.
Richardson did not earn any points toward the standings with his 11thplace finish in the round, but he has put himself in position to possibly qualify for the Built Ford Tough Championship Round on Sunday with an 85.25-point ride on Little Jacob. Duncan was bucked off by Gangster Bucks in 5.52 seconds.
Skeeter Kingsolver is five points out of the Top 35, but he is also in position to fight for a spot in the championship round on Sunday and earn some event aggregate points thanks to his 85.75-point ride on Brass Rain.
Bonner Bolton – fresh off his BlueDEF Velocity Tour event win Yakima, Washington, last week – is only 45.5 points ahead of the cutline and he helped his cause by riding Air Slinger for 86 points. He too did not earn any points toward the world standings, but is in position to battle for a chance at qualifying for the championship round.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce shows off his dance moves
Travis Kelce may not have scored a touchdown on Saturday night, but he certainly gave the Kansas City faithful one heck of a celebratory dance.
After being jovially taunted by PBR entertainer Flint Rasmussen to show off his dance moves while leaving the shark cage during Round 1, Kelce returned during the final intermission to show off his best dance moves along with a fan in the stands.
“Oh it was fun,” Kelce said. “That is KC fans for you. I love them to death. It was fun to come out here and do something exciting and put a few smiles on people’s faces.”
This weekend was Kelce’s first PBR event, and he also spent some time on the back of the bucking chutes taking in the action and interacting with some of the riders.
Kelce, who grew up near Cleveland, Ohio, was peering down into the chute right before J.W. Harris nodded his head and rode Dry Fly for 86.5 points.
“This is intense,” Kelce said. “It gets your blood going and your heart pumping. It lets you get more respect for the guys that are really up here doing it. These animals are big and ornery. It is fun watching them ride them around.”
Harris finished tied with Reese Cates (86.5 points on Strong Heart) for fifth-place in the round. Both riders earned 15 points toward the world standings.
Kelce commended the riders for their toughness and taking part in such a dangerous sport.
“I’m going to tell you one thing,” Kelce said. “I have been playing football for a long time, and you are not going to be seeing me getting on no bull right now.”
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Chase Outlaw is out for the remainder of the weekend and is doubtful for Iron Cowboy after he dislocated his right shoulder (free arm) when he landed on his elbow during his 4.53-second buckoff against Sinful Nature.
Outlaw’s shoulder was reduced in the training room, and Freeman expects the No. 7 bull rider in the world to undergo X-rays and an MRI early this week to get further diagnosis.
Eight riders were out of competition due to various injuries: J.B. Mauney (bruised groin and pelvis), Ryan Dirteater (groin strain), Emilio Resende (multi-ligament knee reconstruction), Claudio Crisostomo (left clavicle fracture), Ty Pozzobon (concussion), Markus Mariluch (bicep tear), Josh Faircloth (left ankle fracture) and Billy Robinson (left PCL tear).
Four riders competed with injuries: Triplett (sprained right elbow, riding arm), Willingham (right leg strain), L.J. Jenkins (unstable right shoulder) and Valdiron de Oliveira (sprained right ankle).
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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