By: Justin Felisko
April 02, 2017
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Here are three things we learned from this weekend’s First PREMIER Bank PREMIER Bankcard Invitational at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
Davis ends another bull’s buckoff streak (4-2-17)
Cooper Davis didn’t end Jared Allen Air Time’s buckoff streak this weekend, but the 2016 World Champion did come through by slaying another rank Built Ford Tough Series eliminator.
A week after ending Spotted Demon’s streak of 24 buckoffs in a row, Davis rode Cut the Cord for 91 points during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round to end the bovine athlete’s streak of 15 BFTS buckoffs and 26 overall.
“That bull was really good and I had wanted to get on him for a while,” Davis said. “I was just happy he was there for me to pick. I don’t know what it is. When they buck, I ride better. I can’t ride the easy ones. Might as well just go for gold every time.”
Davis’ ride was the best of six in the championship round. The six rides in the championship round matched the six rides in Rounds 1 and 3. There were 14 qualified rides in Round 2.
The 23-year-old also won Round 2 Saturday with 89.5 points on Udder Lover.
Davis (2-for-4) earned 100 points for the championship round victory, which propelled him to a third-place finish with 265 world points overall.
He now heads to next weekend’s Stanley Performance In Action Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, ranked sixth in the world standings.
Davis has already won the Built Ford Tough World Finals and a PBR gold buckle.
In his third season on tour, he is now enjoying the challenge of taking down some of the PBR’s hardest bulls to ride.
“It probably helps,” Davis said. “I am still trying to show up and block it all out, but, at the same time, when I get to the short round I am glad to get one rode like that. He was going real fast and I knew he was going to buck hard. My hand started working its way out, but I kept it close and even got off OK.”
Triplett wins first event since disastrous, injury-plagued 2016 campaign
One year after Matt Triplett dislocated his left shoulder so badly in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, that he eventually needed to undergo reconstructive shoulder surgery, the 25-year-old bull rider instead will be leaving the Mount Rushmore state a much happier man.
Triplett rode Little Red Jacket for 88.75 points in the championship round to win his first BFTS event since the Anaheim Invitational in 2015 and in the same venue that played host to his 2016 season-altering injury.
“I just had to pull it together and get it done,” Triplett said. “He bucked pretty good. It is my first short round bull this year and this is what I needed to do. He has a little suck back and I just threw my chest and he feels so good like a dream.”
Triplett began his weekend with 82.25 points on Black Sugar in Round 1 and 87.25 points on Red Sails in the Sunset. He then had to rebound from his Round 3 buckoff against Biker Bob (5.75 seconds) and ride Little Red Jacket in the championship round.
The five-year BFTS rider got some help in the championship round as Dakota Buttar, Fabiano Vieira and J.B. Mauney all bucked off their championship-round bulls, while Derek Kolbaba’s 86.75-point ride on Red Bandana wasn’t enough to leapfrog Triplett into the No. 1 position.
Triplett won the event with 625 points toward the world standings, 500 of which came from winning the event average. He jumped from 20th in the world standings to No. 9.
Cody Nance (3-for-4, 350 world points), Davis, Kolbaba (3-for-4, 255 world points) and Joao Ricardo Vieira (2-for-4, 200 world points) rounded out the Top 5.
The Columbia Falls, Montana, bull rider now heads into his home state event, which he was unable to compete at last year while recovering from shoulder surgery, firing on all cylinders.
“This is huge,” Triplett said. “I can’t even tell the world how hard I worked. I spent so much time in the gym and in therapy. I have dedicated my whole life to this sport. Those were my first injuries and to overcome that is huge.
“This is the confidence I needed going into Billings. It is my home state. I don’t even know what to say.”
Mauney wins Round 3, but comes up short in the championship round
Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney put himself in position to win the event on Sunday afternoon after winning Round 3 with 89 points on Mudshark.
“He was just a good bull,” Mauney said. “I knew he was going to be really good if I did my job. He stomped on me a little bit, but that is the way it goes.”
The 30-year-old, who had injured his right knee during the ride, then selected Magic Train with the first pick of the championship-round draft.
However, Mauney wound up bucking off Magic Train in 5.02 seconds as the 7-year-old yanked Mauney down over his head.
Mauney finished tied for second in Round 2 with an 87.25-point ride on Red Rocket after being bucked off by Midnight Show (2.79 seconds) in Round 1.
“Anytime I get my ass handed to me like I did last night, it pisses me off. It is not that I am mad because I tried, but that bull flat bucked me off. It pisses you off too. You can’t really be mad at yourself, but that bull was a little better than me.”
Mauney (2-for-4) finished in sixth-place overall with 175 world points.
He is 11th in the world standings and 1,902.09 points behind world leader Eduardo Aparecido.
“I want to get as many points possible,” Mauney said. “I don’t put it on any number. I just ride. Wherever I am before the break is where I am at.”
PBR Sports Medicine was close to full capacity Sunday with multiple riders either nursing injuries from the course of the three-day event or sustaining new ones.
One of the biggest injuries of the weekend came on Sunday afternoon when Brady Sims broke his left leg (tibia and fibula) when he was stepped on by Swashbuckler (6.27 seconds).
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Sims was transported to Sanford Hospital for surgery.
Mason Lowe (back spasms), Stormy Wing (right calf contusion), Gage Gay (left sacroiliac sprain) and Ryan Dirteater (left thigh adductor strain) all did not compete in Round 3.
Lowe is probable for Billings, while Wing, Gay and Dirteater are listed as questionable.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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