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Behind the Chutes: St. Louis, Day 2

ST. LOUIS – Here are three things we learned following Round 2 and the 15/15 Bucking Battle at the Bass Pro Chute Out at the Scottrade Center on Saturday night.

Pacheco breaks out with statement rides

Kaique Pacheco has been by far the best bull rider on the BlueDEF Velocity Tour this season and the 20-year-old rookie from Itatiba, Brazil, is now starting to translate that success to the PBR’s marquee Built Ford Tough Series.

Pacheco won his second round of 2015 by claiming Round 2 of the Bass Pro Chute Out with an 89.5-point ride aboard Little Red Jacket and then placed second in the 15/15 Bucking Battle with an 88.5-point ride on Pound the Alarm.

Both are the two highest-scored rides of his young Built Ford Tough Series career.

It was also Pacheco’s first chance to shine on CBS network television, which will broadcast the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Sunday at noon ET.

“I am so excited and so happy because I used to be home watching guys getting on these bulls,” Pacheco said with the help of Renato Nunes translating. “I am living my dream because everyone’s dream is to be here.”

Pacheco, who won the Built Ford Tough Championship Round in New York last month with 87.75 points on Rough ‘em Up Tuck, took the time to study film of Little Red Jacket and Pound The Alarm on Probullstats.com prior to nodding his head.

He also took to heart some advice he received from three-time World Champion Silvano Alves last week in Anaheim, California. Pacheco had bucked off Percolator in 4.9 seconds in the championship round and was immediately met by Alves while he walked out of the exit gate.

“Silvano came and said what I did wrong and was trying to push me up because I was so sad to buck off in the short round and it was a good bull,” Pacheco said. “He tried to help me (understand) what I did wrong and tried to correct it so I can ride the next one.”

Pacheco earned a total of 190 points toward the world standings on Saturday night and is now the No. 6 bull rider in the world.

“I am so happy,” Pacheco said. “I am 20 years old and still have a lot to do.”

Pacheco will head into Round 3 on Sunday afternoon fifth in the event average and will face Loco Lizard (7-3, BFTS).

J.W. Harris currently leads the event average with 171 points following his 85.25-point effort on The Commander in Round 2, which was good enough for fifth place and 30 points, and 85.75-point ride on Slick Rick in Round 1.

He will take on Westley’s Pet (0-0, BFTS) in the third round.

There were 13 qualified rides in Round 2 after the riders made the 8-second mark nine times on Friday night.

While pleased to be sitting good in the average, Harris didn’t want to put too much thought into the fact that five of the six BFTS winners this season have been leading the event average heading into the championship round.

“I am just going to worry about my first bull tomorrow and we will worry about the short-round bull when it comes time to worry about him,” Harris said.

Outlaw wins the 15/15 Bucking Battle

Chase Outlaw and Crack The Whip are becoming quite the dancing partners inside the bucking arena.

Outlaw rode Gene Owen’s bovine athlete for the second time this season and was once again rewarded for his efforts by picking up 89.25 points to win the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

It is the second time Outlaw has ridden Crack The Whip after riding him for a season-high 90.75 points last month at the Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden in New York.

“Shoot, I got his number either way,” Outlaw said. “I am tickled to death every time I see his name beside mine.”

It is Outlaw’s second career 15/15 Bucking Battle win and he is now up to No. 5 in the world standings after earning 150 bonus points toward the world standings. He won last year’s 15/15 in Laughlin, Nevada, with 89.5 points on Southpaw.

Outlaw had never seen Crack The Whip go to the right until Saturday night.

“They had him in the middle chute and I think that could have had something to do with it,” Outlaw said. “Out of that back chute he isn’t as close to the fence right here because he is going left and I believe he would have went left, but when he hit he looked left and he saw that fence so close right there he just hit again and went on right.

“The two bulls I got on this weekend before that, they did not go near as how I planned, so I was tickled to death to have him,” Outlaw said. “I knew I was about to spur the heck out of him. Shoot, 89 points? I am not complaining.”

Nance switches bull riding vests, listens to music and conquers Raven Flyer

Cody Nance has been riding for the last month with a new bull riding vest that had a hard protective shield on the bottom half.

The Paris, Tennessee, bull rider enjoyed the added protection the vest offered, yet he was having a hard time being flexible and generating movement during his attempted bull rides.

Therefore, Nance borrowed Mike Lee’s riding vest in Round 2 and the switch paid off as he rode Raven Flyer for 88 points to finish second in Round 2 on Saturday.

“The bullfighters use that type of vest with the shield plate,” Nance said. “I love the idea; it just needs to be broken up a little more where you can maneuver in the core area.”

Nance had previously faced Raven Flyer three times and after every buckoff he would say that he was going to ride that bull someday. He finally accomplished that tall task Saturday, and Raven Flyer has now been ridden in two straight appearances after bucking off 19 consecutive BFTS riders.

“I didn’t change anything with my mechanics to ride bulls,” Nance said. “I got a little counter weight on the right side. Maybe that helped hold me over there.”

One switch Nance has made in recent weeks is that he has been riding with headphones.

“The past couple of weeks, as the big talk is, I am listening to some music,” he explained. “It is Jesus culture and Third Day Christian music. Frank (Newsom) always tells me I have a big motor and I need to bring it down. The crowds here at the PBR are amazing. Flint and the announcers really get everyone pumped up and for me, personally, if I can have it turned up enough to where I can hear it – I hear all the background (noise), but I can tune it out.

“That is one adjustment that gave me peace.”

Nance, who is also riding with a broken right forearm (free hand), said he was happy to put an end to his streak of eight consecutive buckoffs.

“I kicked that monkey off before I got on,” Nance concluded.

Injury Updates

World leader Matt Triplett saw his streak of 13 consecutive rides in the first and second round of Built Ford Tough Series events come to an end on Saturday when Shaft bucked him off in 2.58 seconds during the second round.

However, the greater cause of concern was when Triplett was helped back to the sports medicine room grasping his right elbow.

Triplett eventually had his elbow taped up and iced the injury for the remainder of Round 2 before attempting to ride David’s Dream, who bucked him off in 3.39 seconds during the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Triplett sustained the injury to his riding elbow during his 86.25-point ride Friday night against Easy Money.

Reese Cates (bruised left shoulder) fought through his free arm injury to record an 86.5-point ride on Damn Right to finish Round 2 in fourth place.

“I had a bull that was a little more rider friendly tonight,” Cates said. “Whenever you are able to control the ride and the get-off a little easier, it makes everything go a lot smoother. That was the case there. I was thankful for a good draw.”

Four other riders are competing with injuries in St. Louis this weekend: L.J. Jenkins (unstable right shoulder), Valdiron de Oliveira (sprained right ankle), J.B. Mauney (bruised left groin and pelvis) and Sean Willingham (right leg strain).

Oliveira was the only rider of the four to make the 8-second mark on Saturday. The 35-year-old placed third in the 15/15 Bucking Battle due to his 86-point showing on Little Gremlin and was awarded 75 points toward the world standings.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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