ESTES PARK, Colo. – Alexandre Cardozo was one of the first riders to make his way up to the secretary’s office at the Estes Park Fairgrounds on Monday night during intermission of the Bulls in the Rockies Touring Pro Division event.
Cardozo then slumped into a chair and grasped at the back of his neck.
“My neck has really hurt the last two days because I tried to ride Say Goodbye (in Binford, North Dakota) in the short go and I landed on my neck and it is really bad now,” he said.
Cardozo, who also has been dealing with a riding hand injury, understood that he had to try and fight through the injury on Monday night if he wants to stay within the Top 35 of the world standings once the Built Ford Tough Series resumes on Aug. 7 in Biloxi, Mississippi.
The No. 35 bull rider in the world was sitting tied for first in the two-day event with an 87-point ride on Come on Baby before drawing Crystal Can Do in the championship round.
Cardozo would be unable to conquer Crystal Can Do on the final out of the night, but his 87 points in the long round was good enough to help him be tied for first-place with Dillon Tyner heading into Tuesday’s final night of action.
“It is really good for points,” Cardozo said. “I am 35 right now and I am trying to make it to World Finals.”
Cardozo has never qualified for the Built Ford Tough World Finals, which takes place this year on Oct. 21-25 in Las Vegas.
He doesn’t earn any points toward the standings for his Monday night performance. If his 87-point score still places him in the Top 6 of the event average on Tuesday, he will earn points toward the world standings.
Riders earn points toward the world standings at the TPD level by finishing in the Top 6 of the event average. The Bulls in the Rockies is a two-day event with two separate long and short rounds.
Tyner was bucked off by Mighty Mike in the championship round, but the 2010 runner-up for the Colorado State High School Bull Riding Championship rode Billy The Kid for 87 points in the long go.
“It was good,” Tyner said. “I knew that bull. I had been on him several times and got on him as a 3-year-old and got on him last year one time. It worked out good. He went both ways this time. He usually stays right, but it worked out good.”
Cardozo and Tyner posted the two highest-scored rides on a night where some of the top bulls in the ABBI limited the competition to three qualified rides in the long go.
Jimmy Tubbs rode Curly for 79 points, but opted out of the championship round because of a shoulder injury.
Even though it was only 71 points, the ride of the night may just have been put together by Cody Tyler.
The 20-year-old had bucked off both of his long-round bulls, but he was the first rider in the secretary’s office waiting to see if he would draw back into the 11-man championship round.
Multiple riders ended up opting out of the final round, which gave Tyler not one, not two, but three bulls in the championship round.
After bucking off Kinda Crooked and Little Bighorn, Tyler picked up 71 points on Rocky during his third ride attempt in the championship round’s first eight outs.
“It was nice to just get one rode,” Tyler said with sweat still billowing down his forehead five minutes after the event. “I wasn’t too tired and it didn’t really hit me until I slowed down after that last one. It is a confidence booster to end a rough night on a good note.”
The 61st bull rider in the world standings said it wasn’t the first time he had gotten on that many bulls in such a short period of time. Part of his training at home in Guthrie, Oklahoma, sometimes involves that kind of regimen to help build his endurance.
“I really just wanted to get on another,” Tyler said. “That is why you ride bulls. I have gotten on that many before at the house. I thought I would get on one bull, then it was two and then it was three.”
The Bulls in the Rockies concludes on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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