By: Justin Felisko
February 21, 2016
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 and the 15/15 Bucking Battle at the Built Ford Tough Kansas City Clash on Saturday night.
Bruiser posts third consecutive 46-point bull score; ties with Pearl Harbor
On a night where the bull riders tasted mouthfuls of dirt instead of 8-seconds of glory, SweetPro’s Bruiser and Pearl Harbor walked away as the big bovine winners.
Bruiser and Pearl Harbor tied for the high-marked bull of the night during the 15/15 Bucking Battle with 46-point bull scores.
Bruiser bucked off 2015 Rookie of the Year Kaique Pacheco in 2.13 seconds and the D&H Cattle Company bull has now posted a bull score of 46 or more points in three consecutive outs, once again showing he means business in the 2016 World Champion Bull race.
Pacheco was quickly ripped off the side of Bruiser after previously riding Bruiser for 94 points last summer at the Guymon, Oklahoma, BlueDEF Tour event.
He said Bruiser has taken his game to a new level.
“He is stronger than after Guymon,” Pacheco said with the help of Silvano Alves translating. “I tried to extend myself, but he was so hard. He is hard and very difficult, but all the time his position is good and movement good. Today, I looked at a lot of videos and I thought I needed to stay good atop the bull. He has good movement for the inside, but right now he bucks hard. He made a big jump and tossed me to the outside strong.”
Bruiser is averaging 45.75 points in four outs and has the three highest bull scores of the season. He bucked off Eduardo Aparecido for a 46.5-point score in Sacramento, California, two weeks ago and a week before that he bucked off Valdiron de Oliveira for a 46.25-point score.
However, Bruiser wasn’t to be outdone by Pearl Harbor.
Pearl Harbor was also marked 46 points – a career-high – for bucking off 2015 World Finals event winner Cooper Davis in 3.98 seconds.
It was the first time in Pearl Harbor’s career that he has been marked better than 45 points.
“That bull bucks just as hard as any bull here,” Davis said. “It is just a different style. That is not a fun one to get on. He is big and strong and wants to run you off your rope at the same time. If you want to step in and be a hero, that is the one to pick right there.
“Pearl Harbor is one of the top bulls I have ever been on.”
Mauney takes over world No. 1 ranking and pads lead
J.B. Mauney didn’t take long to pad his new No. 1 world ranking.
One hour after finishing fourth in Round 1 to take over the world lead from Paulo Lima, Mauney rode Wicked for 89 points to win his second consecutive 15/15 Bucking Battle and extend his lead to 122.5 points.
Mauney first passed Lima with an 85-point ride on Big Country in Round 1 for a fourth-place finish and 40 world points.
The defending World Champion then earned 150 world points with another 15/15 Bucking Battle victory after winning the St. Louis edition with a 90.25-point ride on Sheep Creek.
After not winning a single 15/15 Bucking Battle since the PBR first unveiled the special round of competition in 2012, Mauney has now won two in a row.
“I don’t know. I guess all of the cards are playing out right I guess,” Mauney said.
Mauney was able to stay upright aboard Wicked despite the bull stumbling within the first few seconds out of the bucking chute.
“I knew that bull and had seen him quite a bit,” Mauney said. “I never had been on him and wasn’t sure what he was going to feel like. I knew he would go either way and bucked. All I did was I just nodded my head and I didn’t turn loose. When he stumbled, it kind of helped me out and put me exactly where I kind of needed to be so when he jumped back up I kind of picked him back up and we went on with it. Once he got to whirling it was fun after that.”
Lima bucked off Valedictorian in 4.84 seconds in Round 1, but he responded with an 86-point ride on Brutus for a fourth-place finish and 60 world standings points in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
Mauney outgained Lima, who entered the night with a 7.5-point lead, by 130 points.
Last year, Mauney took over the world lead in September in Thackerville, Oklahoma, and never let it go.
Now, he is back on top only seven events into the season.
“Bring it on because I don’t plan on letting off that gas pedal anytime soon,” Mauney concluded.
Pacheco wins Round 1 to crack Top 10
It was a brutal night for the bull riders during Friday night’s ABBI Classic round with only five qualified rides, but Show Kitty was no problem for Kaique Pacheco.
It is the fewest qualified rides in a long round this season.
The second-year pro built off his 3-for-5 weekend in St. Louis last week by picking up his first round win of the 2016 season with an 87.75-point ride on Show Kitty.
“I saw a couple videos of the bull from the Touring Pro and I wanted to ride the bull because he bucks really good,” Pacheco said. “I am very happy to win the round tonight and I am starting to ride really good in the long go.”
Rounding out the Top 5 was Justin Paton (86 points on Roll of the Dice), Eduardo Aparecido (85.5 points on Glory Days), Mauney and Nathan Schaper (84.25 points on Clevenger).
Paton earned an important 60 points toward the world standings as he jumps from 32nd in the world standings to 25th with two weeks to go until the BFTS cut is in full effect.
Schaper moves inside the Top 35 to 33rd with the 30 world points he earned in Round 1 after beginning the weekend 39th. The 25-year-old knows he needs to put together a full weekend if he wants to truly push himself within the Top 35 for good.
“It felt good,” Schaper said. “It started getting out of control at the end, but I wasn’t going to open my hand. When you are struggling a little bit. Before I left the chute, I was taking my wrap and I think I had a lot more determination. I was going to keep my hand shut no matter what.”
Schaper entered the event on a streak of seven consecutive buckoffs and 6-for-19 overall.
“I knew where I was and knew I had to start doing something and kind of have determination again and not lay down and die,” Schaper said.
Pacheco earned 100 points for the round win.
In two weeks, Pacheco has climbed from 15th in the world to No. 10, yet he has actually lost ground on Mauney and sits 1,017.17 points back.
He now has four qualified rides in the past two events after previously going 4-for-10.
“I am calm and happy to start the year on the BFTS,” Pacheco said. “I haven’t ridden good, but I needed to focus a little bit and get all the kinks out. I have watched video and am ready to go 100 percent.”
Pacheco, Davis and Kasey Hayes (1.5 seconds on Boot Jack) were last minute additions to the 15/15 Bucking Battle because of injuries to Shane Proctor (concussion), Derek Kolbaba (riding hand injury) and Wallace de Oliveira (right facial contusion).
Gage Gay elected not to compete in the 15/15 Bucking Battle. Oliveira sustained his injuries when he was thrown hard to the ground by Acting Crazy in 1.92 seconds, while Kolbaba had hurt his hand earlier in the week.
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Kolbaba is questionable for Iron Cowboy.
Proctor suffered his concussion when he was slammed to the ground by Rebel Yell II in 3.71 seconds. He is questionable for Round 2.
Juliano Da Silva also sustained a concussion and a left shoulder (free arm) rotator cuff contusion when he hit the ground hard on his left elbow as he was thrown from Mustache Sally. He is questionable for Round 2.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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