Behind the Chutes: Vieira Battles Back from Broken Nose

By: Justin Felisko
March 19, 2016

oao Ricardo Vieira leads the BFTS with 22 qualified rides. Photo: Andy Watson/

Joao Ricardo Vieira leads the BFTS with 22 qualified rides. Photo: Andy Watson/

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Here are three things we learned from Round 2 of the Ty Murray Invitational on Saturday night at WisePies Arena, aka The Pit.

Vieira battles back from broken nose (3-19-16)

Joao Ricardo Vieira slept roughly three hours on Friday night after breaking his nose and sustaining facial lacerations in Round 1 attempting to ride Wipeout.

Vieira arrived on Saturday afternoon with a swollen face and bloody nose, but the 31-year-old didn’t want to sit out Round 2 of the Ty Murray Invitational.

In his mind, he wanted to be a cowboy and not let the injuries get in the way of his pursuit of his first gold buckle.

Vieira was just that on Saturday night, cowboying his way to an 85-point ride on The Marlin and a sixth-place finish in Round 2.

The ride was his BFTS-leading 22nd qualified ride.

“I am just a cowboy like all of the cowboys in the PBR,” Vieira said. “I want to be a cowboy. I can’t see clearly. It is no good. It hurts. I can’t breathe.”

Vieira earned 15 points towards the world standings. He trails new world leader J.B. Mauney by 215 points.

Despite admitting to not feeling his best, the Brazilian did have one last thing to say through his swollen face.

“I feel beautiful,” Vieira concluded.

Mauney regains world No. 1 ranking with Round 2 win

The reigning World Champion is back on top.

J.B. Mauney won his second consecutive round at the Ty Murray Invitational by riding Shelly’s Gangster for 88.25 points to earn 100 world points and regain the world No. 1 ranking.

“Two nights in a row I have had two bulls that have never been out, but they wouldn’t let them bring them here if they weren’t good bulls, so I figured they were going to buck,” Mauney said during the PBR LIVE post-show. “Both of them turned out to buck.”

Mauney entered the night third in the world standings, but leapfrogs previous No. 2 Shane Proctor (1.35 seconds on Cooper Tires Semper Fi) and No. 1 Paulo Lima (left knee contusion/sprain) with the victory.

The 29-year-old is also leading the event average (175.75 points) and takes a 50-point lead on Lima, who is out for the weekend because of his knee injury, into Round 3.

Lima said he won’t need to get an X-ray or an MRI. The 28-year-old wants to take the next two weeks until Sioux Falls to let his knee heal after Mister Mean stepped on his lower back and knee in Round 1 Friday.

The force of the impact broke Lima’s knee brace.

“It is going to take two weeks and some practice,” Lima said before Round 2 while icing his knee. “I will be OK for Sioux Falls. I have hurt this knee before, maybe four years ago.”

Cooper Davis finished Round 2 in second place with an 87.25-point ride on High Tinsle for 60 world points.

“He had me beat there a few times and I made the right adjustments to get back around there, and I just had that never say die attitude about it and got a good score,” Davis said.

Davis has been dealing with some kind of cold, or a possible sinus infection, the last two weeks.

“I have felt bad for the last two weekends,” he added. “Today, I didn’t get out of bed except for the one time to eat and take a shower.”

2004 World Champion Mike Lee finished in third place in Round 2 after an 87-point ride on Come On Baby. The No. 15 bull rider in the world standings earned 50 world points and is second to Mauney in the event average.

Mauney was announced as the new world No. 1 bull rider when he stepped onto the shark cage following his round victory. He aggressively pumped his right arm and waved his cowboy hat into the air.

He then dialed backed his reaction to being back on top of the world standings for the first time since Feb. 26.

“It makes you feel good, but I don’t really think about it,” Mauney reiterated on PBR LIVE. “The only time it matters is, like I always say, when the last bull is bucked in Vegas.”

Mauney has drawn Told Ya So (1-1, BFTS) for the third round. He previously won the Ty Murray Invitational in 2012.

He would become the fourth rider (Mike White, Justin McBride and L.J. Jenkins) to win the event multiple times.

“They usually give out a sweet gun,” Mauney said. “I like buckles, but once you get a few of those, nothing will take the place of a gold buckle, but guns and things like that are pretty cool.”

Lowe & Lawrence in contention for first career win

Mason Lowe has three second-place finishes on his BFTS career resume, and he is hoping to change that on Sunday afternoon.

Lowe heads into Round 3 a perfect 2-for-2 after riding Movin On Up for 86.75 points in Round 2.

The 22-year-old is sitting fourth in the event average and is in position to win his first career BFTS event.

“I was pretty excited to get him there because he bucked me off at the Iron Cowboy too,” Lowe said. “He kind of kicked up in there around the horn when he came out. At about 5 seconds in, my rope kind of slipped to the inside. I just beared down and stayed on.”

Lowe finished fourth in the round for 40 world points and is now 17th in the world standings after beginning the Ty Murray Invitational 19th.

Stetson Lawrence also has three second-place finishes – all from last season – on his resume and is looking to win his first career event on Sunday. Lawrence rode Lil Brute for 85.25 points for his second ride of the weekend and a fifth-place finish in the round.

The North Dakota native is third in the event average.

Lowe, Lawrence, Mauney and Lee are the only riders to have ridden both their bulls.

Things had gotten tough for Lowe this season following his second-place finish in Oklahoma City. Since then, Lowe has been trying to ride through a riding hand injury which was finally diagnosed as torn cartilage in his wrist.

In fact, Lowe had gone 3-for-17 since Oklahoma City, where he went 4-for-4 with a stellar 91-point ride on SweetPro’s Bruiser before missing the Duluth Invitational last weekend because of the injury.

“It is a little sore,” Lowe said. “My rope kind of slipped to the inside and made me really strain on it.”

Lowe got to The Pit two hours before the event to ice his wrist and get it taped by sports medicine. He will likely get surgery following the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals in November.

“I ice it every day and when I come here I will ice it before and after the bull riding,” Lowe said. “That is about all you can do for it.”

The good thing for Lowe is that he doesn’t feel much pain during his 8 seconds riding. It is usually immediately after he lets go of his bull rope, which is why it has become commonplace for Lowe to grit his teeth and grab his wrist as he walks off the dirt.

“Right after for 10 minutes and then it is done,” Lowe explained.

Lowe wasn’t ready to use his wrist as an excuse for his previous struggles.

“It ain’t been too bad,” Lowe said. “When I get bucked off, I put more pressure on myself then I should. All you can do is shrug it off and go on to the next one.”

Lowe takes on Mister Mean (4-0, BFTS) in Round 3 Sunday.

“Besides the Majors, this is one of the biggest ones they have, they say. It would be awesome to win my first one because I have come in second so many times,” Lowe concluded.

Injury Updates

The Pit is starting to become a house of horrors for Matt Triplett.

A year after tearing his MCL during Round 2 of the 2015 Ty Murray Invitational, Triplett sustained a right ankle injury while he was bucked off byCriminal Mind in 3.81 seconds on Saturday night.

Triplett was unable to put any pressure on the ankle and had to be helped up the 85 steps of The Pit to the sports medicine room.

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Triplett probably has a severe ankle sprain, but will likely need to undergo X-rays on Monday for verification.

“Well, it looks like a bad sprain, but he is pretty swollen and tender,” Freeman said. “We can’t be positive about it. We will see how he is feeling tomorrow, but I doubt he will be able to get on. If he does it is probably just a sprain. If not, we will get some X-rays on Monday.”

In other injury news, Alexandre Cardozo sustained a concussion after being slammed to the ground in 1.99 seconds by Midnight Train.

Guilherme Marchi competed in Round 2 with a bruised his left shoulder that he sustained in Round 1 during his get-off after his 86-point ride on Glory Days. Marchi was ruled to have touched his second-round bull American Hustle at the 1.52-second mark.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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