By: Justin Felisko
March 22, 2017
PUEBLO, Colo. – In what arguably has to be one of the wildest moments of the 2017 Built Ford Tough Series season, Marco Eguchi is thankful to have walked away healthy from the Ty Murray Invitational.
Eguchi OK after being tossed from arena & Cates welcomes newborn; Glendale draw notes (3-22-17)
Eguchi was tossed out of the arena last weekend by Too Smooth in 6.52 seconds and the 27-year-old landed directly on the concrete floor separating the arena from the first row of seating inside The Pit.
“No injuries,” Eguchi said. “I was just a little sore the day after, but I’m OK now.”
Eguchi returned to competition less than 24 hours after the impact and was bucked off by Midnight Mood (2.18 seconds).
Oddly enough, it wasn’t the first time Eguchi had been launched out of a bull riding arena.
In 2015, Eguchi was riding at an open bull riding in Oklahoma when a bull launched him over the arena fence.
The No. 9 ranked bull rider in the world standings is now ready to turn his attention to the Ak-Chin Invitational in Glendale, Arizona, this upcoming weekend.
Staying aboard Bad Brindle Blues (1-1, BFTS) in Round 1 for 8 seconds may be his best option at avoiding being tossed into the crowd for a second consecutive weekend.
Meanwhile, No. 7 Mason Lowe (hip and abdominal injuries), No. 30 Reese Cates (personal) and No. 125 Robson Palermo (left knee) are all returning to competition after missing the Ty Murray Invitational.
Cates and his wife, Desirae, welcomed their first child into the world on Tuesday morning. Raysen Tyler Cates was born at 12:37 a.m., weighing in at six pounds, 14 ounces.
Reese will take on Deep Water (12-1, BFTS) in Round 1 Saturday night.
Palermo will have two more events following Glendale before running out of BFTS/injury exemptions.
The three-time World Finals event winner is 195 points behind No. 35 Jake Gowdy, who is not competing because of an injury.
Palermo faces Mack Daddy (0-0, BFTS) in Round 1.
Gowdy separated his left shoulder (riding arm) and has a partial ligament tear last weekend at the Ty Murray Invitational.
According to Gowdy, Dr. Tandy Freeman told him he would be out for four to six weeks.
No. 2 Jess Lockwood (groin), No. 31 Nevada Newman (shoulder surgery), No. 64 Wallace de Oliveira (ankle), No. 143 Tanner Byrne (groin/hamstring) Lachlan Richardson (bicep surgery) and Aaron Roy (leg) are out because of injuries.
Lockwood said this week he will likely be returning to competition next weekend in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Therefore, No. 36 Robson Aragao and No. 38 Cody Teel are alternates this weekend in Glendale.
Aragao is five points behind Gowdy, while Teel is 54.17 points out of the Top 35.
The 2012 PRCA champion bull rider takes on Booger Red (0-1, BFTS), and Aragao has a matchup against Cross Dresser (0-0, BFTS).
World leader Eduardo Aparecido brings a 1,152.5-point lead atop the world standings into Arizona. He will look to add to his world total against Muscles & Shovels (0-0, BFTS).
This weekend’s Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour invite is Brandon Davis.
The 27-year-old from Cabot, Arkansas, is set to make his BFTS debut after winning the Hampton, Virginia, event three weeks ago. Davis is 6-for-21 at all levels of PBR competition.
Davis is 51st in the world standing and 117.5 points behind the Top 35.
He takes on Tommy Gun (0-0, BFTS).
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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