By: Justin Felisko
August 01, 2016
PUEBLO, Colo. – Three-time World Champion Silvano Alves was unconscious in Madison Square Garden this past January while Cochise ran off toward the backpens.
Cochise, who had whipped himself to the left, had just used his strength to dispatch Alves in 5.09 seconds during the first 15/15 Bucking Battle of the year. The out helped quickly make a name for himself after his back hind leg came crashing down on Alves’ head after the buckoff.
It was an unintentional act of violence by Cochise, and Alves was thankfully able to return to competition the next day, but he was without his black and yellow Stanley helmet. It was useless now, crushed by the force of Cochise’s impact.
New York turned out to be a coming out party for Cochise.
He was able to take down one of the top bull riders in the business, and he then helped Paulo Lima win the Monster Energy Buckoff at the Garden as the tandem paired up for a 90-point ride in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.
Since then, though, Cochise has proven fits for the top BFTS bull riders. He has bucked off eight opponents in a row prior to the summer break.
According to PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert, Cochise has only gotten better in his second full year of competition on the BFTS.
“We finally get to talk about Cochise,” Lambert said in June. “Cochise is really strong out of the chute. He is a big bull and has that long, strong, jump right out of the chute. Paulo Lima rode him in New York to win the short go and he hasn’t been ridden since. Once he gets out there, he should spin to the left and have decent timing, but he is a big, long, strong bull that has lots of whip to the outside. He just keeps getting it done. He was a good bull last year and he is even better this year.”
Cochise also hasn’t had an easy path to his 9-1 BFTS record this year. He has had to repeatedly defeat some of the strongest bull riders in the game.
The 5-year-old bovine athlete has bucked off Fabiano Vieira – the No. 3 bull rider in the world standings – twice and the No. 4 bull rider – Joao Ricardo Vieira – in 3.1 seconds at the Ty Murray Invitational.
Fabiano Vieira was demolished in a brisk 1.95 seconds during the St. Louis 15/15 Bucking Battle and then nearly rode Cochise in the Billings, Montana, 15/15 Bucking Battle before being tossed at 7.64 seconds.
Cochise then followed that up with a 3.8-second buckoff of Kasey Hayes.
“I think I just lost my hand,” Hayes said. “He bucks though. I thought I was right where I wanted to be.”
The only problem for Cochise is he has only been marked 45 points once in his career, and that came in his first-half finale at Last Cowboy Standing when he bucked off 2015 World Finals event winner Cooper Davis in 3.83 seconds.
“In Vegas, I thought I had a good start, but the sucker is just strong and long out there,” Davis said. “I don’t know. I think you can ride him if you get around the corner.”
It was the second time Davis attempted Cochise. The first matchup didn’t go so well for Davis nor Cochise, as he flipped over inside the bucking chute at the 2015 BFTS event in Nampa, Idaho.
“He pinned me against the chute and I thought that was the end of my career,” Davis said with a chuckle.
Cochise has only been ridden three times in 14 BFTS outs and 22 overall. Davis believes it is Cochise’s big roll that has been giving riders fits.
“He is a good one to beat,” Davis added. “When he leaves out of there and he throws you a big roll to the right and goes left. If you are not on your toes, he is going to throw you off. He is like any other bull in the short rounds I guess, but that is the one thing about him that makes him a little extra.”
Cochise is averaging 44.45 points in 10 BFTS outs this season and he enters the stretch run of the BFTS sixth in the World Champion Bull race with his top eight outs giving him an average bull score of 44.53.
He will next buck at the Frontier Communications Music City Knockout, presented by Cooper Tires, in Nashville on Aug. 19-20. The Music City Knockout is the last PBR Major of the season.
Stock contractor Gene Owen believes Cochise can make his way to the Built Ford Tough World Finals on Nov. 2 as a World Champion Bull contender, but he does admit that the race is far from over and that Cochise will need to keep improving.
“I think there is a great set of bulls,” Owen said this summer. “As far as bull of the year, I think there are 15 bulls (in contention), maybe even more, because the way they are doing it with eight outs there is still plenty of time left. Cochise had 10 outs and his average score is 44.4. He won’t be lower than that. Even if he has a bad day, it won’t hurt him for that race. All he can do is move up because you are always going to drop off the lower score.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Throughout the month of July, PBR.com, and the PBR’s social media channels, will be featuring a variety of bulls in the race for the 2016 World Championship, as well as some of the other rankest bovines in the business.
© 2016 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.