DECATUR, Texas – Here are three things we learned from the Built Ford Tough Ring of Honor: Unfinished Business, presented by BlueDEF, on Saturday night at the Wise County Sheriff’s Posse Arena.
Renato Nunes wins Champion’s Challenge
2010 World Champion Renato Nunes won the Champion’s Challenge with an 89.5-point ride on Dakota Style’s Hy Test in his first night of action since sustaining an abdominal laceration in Des Moines, Iowa, on April 26.
“I think that bull fits me really well,” Nunes said. “I really like him. I knew it was going to be around 89 points.”
He was first bucked off by Okie Dokie in 4.48 seconds in the BlueDEF Velocity Tour event, but explained that he felt 100 percent healthy despite having undergone an emergency surgery in Des Moines just over a month ago.
Nunes didn’t have any time to attempt any practice bulls prior to competing in Decatur.
“I don’t feel nothing,” Nunes said prior to the Unfinished Business portion of Saturday night. “I have felt lazy a little bit because I have been stuck at home. I hadn’t gotten on any bulls.”
Nunes won $20,000 for his 8 seconds of work by posting the highest score of four qualified rides in the exhibition round.
Shane Proctor (87.25 points on KISS Animalize), Reese Cates (86.75 points on Earl Sports) and Matt Triplett (85 points on Delco) were the other riders to make the 8-second mark.
Nunes’ attempt at an additional $20,000 came up short as he was bucked off by Sweet Pro’s Long John in 3.19 seconds in the bounty round to conclude all of the action in Decatur.
Hart/Shivers split Unfinished Business victory
Arguably one of the most anticipated events in PBR history brought the 7,000-plus fans in Decatur to their feet multiple times on Saturday night.
First it was event organizer J.W. Hart riding King Buck for 88.5 points with the same kind of gutsy, Iron Man intensity that the now 40-year-old rode with in over 250 career BFTS events.
Hart had to be assisted to by sports medicine in the arena. There was no official update available as of Saturday evening after Hart was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.
Chris Shivers capped off Unfinished Business with an emphatic 88.5-point ride on Black Cat to tie with Hart for the victory.
“It was pretty important to get a ride, just like everywhere else,” Shivers said with his son, Brand, standing next to him. “A lot of this stuff is about pride, you don’t want to go nowhere and do bad at anything you do. It just kind of worked out that time.”
The jacked up Jonesville, Louisiana, native tossed his well-recognized orange helmet high into the nighttime sky and let out a celebratory roar like he did in previous PBR World Finals and Built Ford Tough Series events.
“That fire never dies,” Shivers said. “It is something I have done since day one and I don’t think it will ever go completely away.”
Decatur resident Lee wins again; Bruiser named high-marked bull
For the third time in his 14-year career, Decatur’s Mike Lee was victorious at J.W. Hart’s PBR event.
The defending event champion won the BlueDEF Velocity Tour event earlier in the evening by going 2-for-2.
“My dad is a horse trainer,” Lee said. “Being around home, I just felt like I am back in the bronc pen breaking colts.”
Lee began the night with a 89.75-point ride on Pearl Harbor – the highest-scored ride of any of the three events – before clinching the BlueDEF Velocity Tour victory with a walkoff 87.25-point ride in the championship round to conclude the first of three events in Decatur.
“There are a lot of people that know me here,” Lee said. “It was a little humid, but it feels good.”
Lee was bucked off by Crystal Can Do in 4.99 seconds during the Champion’s Challenge.
The 31-year-old earns 80 points toward the world standings with his victory and moves up to 14th in the world standings.
Alexandre Cardozo earned 50 points with a second-place finish by also going 2-for-2. Cardozo rode Wasp Wings for 73.5 points in Round 1 and Soldier’s Pride for 86.75 points in the championship round.
Neil Holmes (88 points on JJ’s Pride) earned 30 points with his third-place finish, while Stormy Wing (87 points on Wasted Wages) picked up 20 points for fourth and Marco Eguchi (70.75 points on Shadow Man) earned 15 with a fifth-place performance.
Lee finished in first and second place last year at the J.W. Hart Invitational by going 2-for-5 after triple-entering in the event. He rode Bruiser in last year’s first round for 91 points.
Bruiser once again put forth a showcase out in Decatur. The D&H Cattle Company bovine athlete was marked an event-high 46 points for his 2.91-second buckoff against Cates.
“He is one of the top-ranked Classic bulls in the world and I knew that coming into this matchup,” Cates said. “A lot of left-handed guys have had a lot of success on him in the past and after being on him you kind of see why. I was kind of right in there and I thought I was a little too far to the inside and I waited and he is bucking hard enough that you can’t wait.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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