By: Justin Felisko
January 31, 2016
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Here are three things we learned following Round 2 and the 15/15 Bucking Battle at the Honda Center on Saturday night.
Bruiser gives a beating for season-best 46.25 points
SweetPro’s Bruiser has built a reputation as one of the more rideable World Champion Bull contenders in the PBR, but the D&H Cattle Company bovine athlete was a ferocious star during the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
Bruiser used a superb kick, spin and velocity to cause enough friction and force to pop Valdiron de Oliveira’s rope out of his hand in 5.83 seconds and earn a season-high 46.25-point bull score.
“Well he was good. He was real good,” Dillon Page said. “The leap that he had, the quick and the drop. That was probably as good as he has been in a while.”
It was as good as Bruiser has been in a long time. The 46.25-point marking ties Bruiser’s career-best that he set last September in Springfield, Missouri, with a 7.41-second buckoff of 2010 World Champion Renato Nunes.
Saturday night was also the second time Bruiser has bucked off Oliveira for a 46-point-or-higher bull score. Oliveira fell victim to Bruiser (46 points) – the 2015 ABBI Classic Champion – that same weekend in Springfield in 4.29 seconds.
“Well, it is the second time,” Oliveira said. “My hand came off today. I don’t know. I felt good today. I felt confident today, but my bull rope just came off.”
Oliveira added that Bruiser deserves to be in the conversation for 2016 World Champion Bull.
“He is good to ride,” Oliveira added. “Everybody likes him because he seems easier to stay on. He is not too hard. Tonight he spun and blew up in the air. He tested me. He is a nice, honest bull.”
Page was happy to see Bruiser bounce back from being ridden by Mason Lowe last weekend in Oklahoma City for 91 points. Bruiser was only marked 44.25 points in Oklahoma City.
However, he was a little disappointed that Long John didn’t bounce back as strong as he would have liked. Long John was marked 44.75 points for downing Gage Gay in 5.18 seconds.
“I expected both of them to be better,” Page said. “I really thought Long John would be better than he was. He was just damn soggy. We have been feeding them too much. The road will take it off of them and they will eventually be in prime shape.”
Bruiser has outscored Long John 90.5 to 88.75 in two outs this season.
Is there a passing of the torch potentially happening?
“H.D. (Page) keeps saying he isn’t as good, but he keeps impressing us more and more,” Dillon Page said. “So I don’t know. He is a year behind him. Maybe this is his year.”
Roy was marked 45.25 points for bucking off Ryan Dirteater in 7.57 seconds. Owner Julio Moreno was happy to see Roy fight back after squatting down in the chute and having to be rolled into another chute after Dirteater couldn’t get out on Roy on his first attempt.
“That was good,” Moreno said. “I got to wondering what the heck was going on with him laying down in the chute. I don’t know. I guess he likes to lay down there like it is the beach. Yeah, that was a great trip.”
Davis wins Round 2; Kolbaba wins first career 15/15 Bucking Battle
Saturday night was about the future of the PBR in young budding stars Cooper Davis and Derek Kolbaba.
Davis – the 21-year-old 2015 World Finals event winner – won Round 2 with a season-high 87.25-point ride on Big Enough.
“That was a really good bull,” Davis said. “Hard to get by. He went away from my hand and kind of moving ahead like everything else I had been getting on. I knew I had to stay forward and it worked out.”
Davis said winning the round was a confidence-builder as he continues to work back from offseason wrist surgery on his riding hand.
“My (surgically repaired) wrist has been getting aggravated,” Davis said. “I have been getting on some bulls that haven’t been just spinners. They have been wanting to walk ahead and you can feel it through the ride, but you have enough adrenaline to fight through it. I am just going to have to deal with it until it works itself out. It may be next week, it may be next month, it may be a year, but momma didn’t raise any sissies. It will be alright.”
Davis earned 100 points toward the world standings to move to 21st in the rankings.
Lachlan Richardson finished second with an 86.75-point ride on Mr. Hobbs for 60 world standings points, while Cody Nance rode Sketchy Bob for 86.25 points for third place. Nance earned 50 world standings points.
Kasey Hayes (86 points on Woody), Kaique Pacheco (86 points on Mayday) and Gage Gay (86 points on Springer Mountain) all tied for fourth place and picked up 28.33 points toward the world standings.
A night after notching a career-high 87-point ride on Bottoms Up, Derek Kolbaba elevated his game to another level by winning his first 15/15 Bucking Battle with a new career-high of 89.25-points on DaNutso.
Kolbaba earns 150 world points to move to sixth in the world standings. However, he gains only 60 points on world leader Joao Ricardo Vieira, who rode Mr. Bull for 87-points to finish second in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
“Shoot, it is something else,” Kolbaba said. “I just need to keep doing what I am doing and keep riding consistent and everything should fall into place.”
Kolbaba said he was doing OK following the 15/15 Bucking Battle after being stomped on at the end of the ride.
“I wish I could have had a better get off,” Kolbaba added. “That is part of it. I am glad it worked out.”
Not only did Kolbaba win the 15/15 Bucking Battle and place seventh in Round 2, but the 19-year-old heads into the final day of competition sitting tied for second in the event aggregate with Nance.
Wallace de Oliveira is currently leading the event average following his 84-point ride on Chin Music.
Tanner Byrne rides in front of childhood friend and Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson
It has been years since Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson has been able to see childhood friend Tanner Byrne ride a bucking bull. In fact, Manson had never seen Byrne compete on the prestigious Built Ford Tough Series before until Saturday.
Byrne put on a good show for Manson by riding Boo-Ray for 81.25 points to finish Round 2 in 12th place.
“It is cool,” Byrne said. “He was back there (on the bucking chutes) loving it. It was great to have him here checking this out. It has been about five years since he saw me ride.”
Byrne sits seventh in the event average and is in pursuit of his first career BFTS victory.
Manson said, “It is crazy. It has been a long time. It is a little bit of a different level. I was telling him when you are so close on the chutes, you gain more respect for how hard it is and how powerful the bulls really are. You see the moves that the riders make and how much skill is actually involved and how much control is involved.”
The two professional athletes developed a close friendship through their fathers, who became friends through their popularity in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and their interest in each other’s relative sport.
Ryan Byrne was a professional bullfighter, while Dave Manson played in the NHL for 18 years.
Josh Manson admitted it was different seeing the Honda Center covered with 750 tons of dirt instead of the normal sheet of ice.
“Walking into the rink, I didn’t even know where I was,” Manson said. “It is a different place and a different atmosphere, but it is cool. It is fun to see.”
Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney did not compete in Round 2 or the 15/15 Bucking Battle because of an illness. Mauney struggled to keep any fluids in his body since the conclusion of Round 1 and developed a fever. He is unsure if he came down with the flu or food poisoning.
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, J.W. Harris did not compete in the 15/15 Bucking Battle after spraining his right riding elbow when he hung up on Smooth Sailing during the second round. He is probable for Sacramento.
Paulo Lima sustained a rib sprain when he was thrown into the chute by Redbone after riding the bovine athlete for 84.25 points in Round 2. Lima was then bucked off by Jack Daniel’s After Party in 4.84 seconds during the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
Brady Sims strained his right groin attempting to ride Jeepers Creepers in Round 2. He is probable for Round 3.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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