FORT WORTH, Texas ― Two World Champions – reigning titleholder J.B. Mauney and Kody Lostroh (2009) – are set to return to competition this weekend in Fresno, Calif., along with a pair of invitees — J.W. Harris andGuytin Tsosie.
Robson Palermo will also be returning to the Built Ford Tough Series.
Mauney missed last week’s event with an injured right ankle.
He said the swelling has gone down and that he’s looking forward to competing in the BFTS event as well as the 15/15 Bucking Battle, where he drew Meat Hook. Lostroh is a surprising addition to the draw a week after he indicated his injured riding hand hadn’t gotten any better in the past six weeks.
On Tuesday evening, Lostroh Tweeted, “Back in action this week at Fresno!”
Lostroh, who is using the first of five injury exemptions, has missed nine of 12 events this year and slipped to 43rd in the world standings. He would also have five World Champion exemptions if needed.
Mauney dropped back a couple spots after last weekend and is now ranked 6th, but with such a rank bull pen in Albuquerque, N.M., – the riders collectively covered 25 percent – he’s still only 1,187.81 points off the pace being set by Guilherme Marchi, who is vying for his first title since winning it all in 2008.
Palermo is returning after missing time due to a pulled left groin, which followed a left hamstring injury earlier this year.
Unfortunately, Stormy Wing is a late scratch from the draw.
The Dalhart, Texas, native has been dealing with a strained right groin in recent weeks, but was not specific when doctoring out with a right shoulder injury.
He would have been in the 15/15 Bucking Battle and is being replaced by Cody Nance.
L.J. Jenkins will headline the 15/15, which will be broadcast Saturday afternoon on CBS at 1 p.m. ET, in a matchup with Bushwacker.
The matchups include:
Guilherme Marchi vs. Maverick
Joao Ricardo Vieira vs. Stone Sober
Fabiano Vieira vs. Hustle Up
Valdiron de Oliveira vs. Long John
Mauney vs. Meat Hook
Marco Eguchi vs. RMEF Team Elk
Emilio Resende vs. Hair Trigger
Sean Willingham vs. Shepherd Hills Tested
Nance vs. Tea Time
Gage Gay vs. I’m a Gangster Too
Silvano Alves vs. Rango
Palermo vs. Tarantino
Kasey Hayes vs. Deerango.
As expected, Willingham and Gay are competing despite being unable to finish last week’s event because of injuries.
Pistol Robinson, who missed last week with a wrist injury to his riding hand, is returning to action, while Harve Stewart, Jory Markiss, LachlanRichardson, Jordan Hupp and Jay Miller are competing as alternates for the 13th event of the season.
Fresno marks the midway point of the 26-event season, which concludes in October with the annual World Finals, in Las Vegas.
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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