By: Justin Felisko
February 07, 2016
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Here are three things we learned from the Sacramento Invitational at Sleep Train Arena this weekend.
Bruiser sets career-high with 46.5-point bull score
SweetPro’s Bruiser must be getting tired of being in the shadows of his brother and 2015 World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Long John.
For the second consecutive week, Bruiser surpassed the 46-point threshold and the D&H & Cattle Company bovine athlete set a new career-high with a 46.5-point outing on Saturday night.
Bruiser burst out of the bucking chute with Eduardo Aparecido on his back and turned back closer to the chutes then normal before elongating with a high kick to dislodge the 25-year-old bull rider.
Dillon Page was at first worried with how close Bruiser was to the bucking chutes, but he then realized Bruiser came to play.
“He turned so quick and the way he got off the ground, he was explosive,” Page said. “He stepped it up tonight. I don’t know. It is unbelievable. He had it on his mind tonight. When he left there, it was nothing but he wanted to buck. I was afraid it was to close when he first started, but he just pulled his head in and around he come.”
CBS Sports Network commentator and stock contractor J.W. Hart added, “He looked outstanding. It will be interesting to see over the total of this year. When they start figuring out that bull. I think if they start riding him he is going to change something. I don’t know if he is going to make one round in the gate and take off. The guys are catching on to him and he in turn will have to pay the favor back.”
Bruiser was marked 46.25 points last weekend in Anaheim when he bucked off Valdiron de Oliveira in 5.83 seconds.
The 2014 ABBI Classic Champion is averaging 45.25 points in three outs this season, and he has outscored Long John in back-to-back weeks.
It still wasn’t a bad night by any means for Long John. The defending World Champion was marked a season-high 45.75 points for a 5.38-second buckoff of Tanner Byrne.
Byrne had ridden six consecutive bulls prior to the buckoff, and appeared to be in control of the ride until Long John used his impressive steep bucking style to wear down the Canadian’s riding arm.
“He got me a little backed up on one jump and put a little pressure on my hand,” Byrne said. “He is good. I would like to take him again. I was trying to stay forward and he rides just like a big ole up and down rocking chair if you get in the right spot. I was where I needed to be, but I couldn’t keep my hand where it needed to be.”
Byrne had some trouble with Long John inside the bucking chute, but said it wasn’t anything that the bull caused.
“He is just big and I am big,” Byrne added. “I got big knee braces on so it is always hard to make it feel good in there. He gave me a good shot.”
Page said he was happy with Long John finally surpassing the 45-point mark, but that the night still belonged to Bruiser.
“He is getting closer,” Page said. “He bucked really hard tonight. I actually thought he was better than they did, but he wasn’t as good as Bruiser. He just wasn’t. He is starting to get harder. In a couple of weeks we will start seeing him like he used to be.”
Mauney wins championship round with 66th career 90-point ride
J.B. Mauney notched the highest score of the 2016 season thus far by conquering Brutus for 91.25 points in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round on Saturday.
Mauney won the round to earn 100 world standings points, and the ride propelled him to a second-place finish at Sleep Train Arena.
“That was a lot better than the long round,” Mauney said, referencing his 2.1-second buckoff against The Don. “I knew that bull has a lot of up and down. If you don’t stay out over him, it is going to whip you down and hit you in the face. He is kind of like a Long John, but just quite not as high. He has the same amount of power and stuff. He really wants to bring a man and whip him down. Here lately it seems like I am getting along with those bulls so I figured I would pick him.”
It was one of only two rides in the championship round. Event winner Fabiano Vieira rode Roy for 90.25 points to place second in the round for 60 world points.
The round win is Mauney’s third of year, which is tied for the most on the BFTS with Wallace de Oliveira.
Oliveira won Round 2 with an 86.75-point ride on Woody. The 36-year-old finished seventh in the event to gain 120 world standings points. Oliveira heads to next weekend’s event in St. Louis ranked sixth in the world.
Mauney earned a total of 400 world standings points, 240 from finishing second in the event average, and the defending World Champion jumps from No. 8 to No. 5 in the world standings. He sits only 360 points behind world leader Paulo Lima, who went 0-for-2 this weekend.
Mauney rode on Saturday with a hand wrap on his free hand after injuring his thumb during his 86.5-point Round 1 ride aboard Hash Tag on Friday.
The Mooresville, North Carolina added it was nothing to be concerned about.
“Ah the thumb. Dr. Tandy (Freeman) said something about the ligaments, but I ain’t really worried about it,” he said. “It is the free hand. I don’t really need it.”
Fabiano Vieira wins second event of 2016
Fabiano Vieira became the first bull rider to win multiple BFTS events this season by going 3-for-3 in Sacramento, including his season-best 90.25 points on Roy.
“I was a little confused if I was going to pick Walk Off instead,” Vieira said. “Last week he spun left and this week he come right. Roy is a good bull. He has a little bit of a friendly spin. He bucked me off one time. I just concentrated in the spin this time.”
Roy bucked off Vieira during last year’s Sacramento Invitational in 5.83 seconds.
Vieira was victorious with 500 points, 400 from winning the event average. The Perola, Brazil, bull rider placed fourth in Round 1 with an 85.5-point ride on Americana for 40 points, and he rode Dream Catcher for 82.5 points in Round 2.
He now is second in the world standings and just 131.44 points behind Lima.
Rounding out the Top 5 was Lachlan Richardson (2-for-3, 245 points), Aparecido (2-for-3, 155 points) and Stormy Wing (1-for-3, 145 points).
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Michael Lane did not compete in Round 2 because of a concussion sustained in Round 1. He is questionable for St. Louis.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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