OKLAHOMA CITY – Here are three things we learned from Round 2 of the Express Employment Professionals Invitational on Saturday night.
Jones off to best start in four years
Ben Jones is back to dancing his tail off on the BFTS.
Jones notched his fifth ride of the season when he rode Stuntin Like My Daddy for 86 points in the second round.
“I’ve just forgotten about 2014 and look at it as a learning experience,” Jones said. “I was thinking I was too old and playing head games with myself. I can’t let emotions get to me. I’ve just gotten back to being myself and being the man and letting it hang.”
Jones, who has been an alternate in the draw through the first four events, had only five rides in 11 BFTS events last year and is off to his best start since the 2011 season, when he started 8-for-8.
He is currently ninth in the world standings.
“I am having a ball again,” Jones said. “It is great when you are riding good, getting good bulls and riding everything you get on.”
Triplett earns BFTS-high third round win of 2015
Matt Triplett continued his hot start to the 2015 Built Ford Tough Series by winning an organization-leading third round of the year with a 90-point ride on American Sniper on Saturday night.
Triplett was able to easily handle Chad Berger’s bull away from his hand to jump into the lead in the event with 180 points after earning 100 points for his second-round win and tying for the first-round win with J.B. Mauney on Friday night to earn 80 points.
“That bull had me beat there for a second, but I would just breathe and let him pick me back up and I went back at him,” Triplett said. “I love bulls away from my hand – almost more than into my hand.”
It is Triplett’s second 90-point ride ride of the season after making 8 seconds on Delco for 90.75 points two weeks ago in Chicago. He had just two 90-point rides last year and began 2015 with three in his career.
“Making 90-point bull rides is what I am here to do,” Triplett said. “It makes being here that much more fun.”
Triplett also leads the event average with 179 points on two bulls.
He faces Hou’s Back in Round 3 on Sunday afternoon. It should be a really good matchup for the 23-year-old as Hou’s Back has been ridden in his past three BFTS outs. Mauney rode him for 90.25 points during Round 3 of the 2014 Built Ford Tough World Finals.
The 2013 World Champion Mauney is right behind Triplett in the event average with 177 points after tying for second-place in Round 2 with L.J. Jenkins and Chase Outlaw with an 88-point ride on Funeral Wagon. Jenkins rode Crazy Horse and Outlaw covered Legal Tender. The three riders each earned 50 points toward their event totals.
Joao Ricardo Vieira placed fifth in the round with 87.75 points.
Oklahoma boys make Chesapeake Energy Arena roar
Jenkins’ ride was a season-high for the 11-year veteran, and the Porum, Oklahoma, resident received a huge ovation for his effort on Crazy Horse.
“It is awesome,” Jenkins said. “It always makes the adrenaline pump a little more being here in the home state. I wouldn’t say I try any harder, but I seem to do better in front of the hometown crowd.”
Jenkins added that Oklahoma City is one of the three biggest stops on the BFTS schedule that he looks forward to every year.
“Pretty much the three biggest stops for me are here, Tulsa, and Albuquerque,” Jenkins said. “There is always awesome bulls there and the fans get behind me. It is always good to come and they are kind of spread out and it kind of gives me a little bit of momentum going into a few events.”
He was able to rebound from his 3.44-second buckoff against Gangster Roll in Round 1 and once again reiterated that his unstable right shoulder is continuing to improve.
“Yesterday I had one slip under me and today I knew that bull I had was really good and I made it work,” Jenkins said. “It (shoulder) is still sore, but it’s not near as bad as it was. As long as I don’t land on it or land in any kind of awkward way I think I will be able to keep going.”
Fellow Oklahoman Ryan Dirteater shook off his Round 1 buckoff (7.14 seconds) on Spring Fever to ride Redneck for 86.75 points.
“Oklahoma crowd is great and being here riding with these fans,” Dirteater said. “I have a lot of friends and family and awesome fans here.”
Dirteater’s four previous buckoffs all came within the 7-second mark.
“In this sport, they don’t pay for 7-second rides,” Dirteater said. “It is 8 seconds. Nor are they paying for over 8 seconds. They don’t pay overtime here, so 8 seconds and you get off and out of there. I just had been tired of doing it and had to finish my job.”
Josh Faircloth broke his left ankle when Crazy Days stepped on him while he was hung up in Round 1 on Friday night. He is expected to undergo surgery this week.
Emilio Resende (multi-ligament knee reconstruction); Claudio Crisostomo (left clavicle fracture); Ty Pozzobon (concussion) and Markus Mariluch (bicep surgery) all did not compete this weekend.
Pozzobon plans to see a specialist this week in Connecticut, but said his recovery is coming along after getting stepped on by Boot Strap Billmultiple times during the PBR Canadian Finals in November.
“It is getting a lot better than the first month,” Pozzobon said. “I have come a long ways. It is a slow process. A lot slower than I thought it would be. I figured just like any other concussion I would be back riding at the first one of the year in Baltimore. It is just taking a lot longer than any other concussion I have ever had before because I had two blows back-to-back like that.”
Pozzobon hoped to be cleared to start getting on bulls this week, but after meeting with PBR sports medicine and Dr. Tandy Freeman, he is instead going to get some further testing done.
“I’m going to get some further testing with it taking this long (to recover),” Pozzobon said. “I thought I was going to see Tandy this weekend and get on some bulls this week and hopefully start going to some bull ridings. Now I don’t really know.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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