By: Justin Felisko
April 17, 2016
BILLINGS, Mont. – Here are three things we learned following Round 2 of the Stanley Performance In Action Invitational Saturday night at Rimrock Auto Arena.
Hayes gets much-needed round win; Davis in search of first regular-season win (4-17-16)
Kasey Hayes has been receiving treatment on his right shoulder before every Built Ford Tough Series round ever since he separated it while being thrown by Cowtown Slinger in Anaheim, California, this past January.
Hayes has been attempting to fight through the pain in his free arm, but he has struggled mightily in his quest to make 8 seconds.
The 30-year-old finally broke out of his 2-for-22 slump since the injury by winning Round 2 with a season-high 89.5 points aboard Buckle Up.
“I have been fighting my head so much,” Hayes said. “Hell, I didn’t think I could ride a stick horse through water.”
It is Hayes’ second round win of 2016, but only his seventh qualified ride in 36 attempts. The Liberal, Kansas, bull rider earned 100 points toward the world standings and is now 25th in the world standings.
“Man, I know I am better than that,” Hayes said. “I think it is a combination of both. I am riding hurt and I am doubting myself, which is the worst thing you can do. I literally just got on that bull and was like don’t give up. Just do whatever it takes. I know in bull riding that is what you need to do.
“I have no excuses. I can’t really blame it on being hurt. I don’t think it is bad enough to affect my riding ability, but it is in my head. You have to get over your head or you are not going to be able to ride anything.”
2015 World Finals event winner Cooper Davis heads into Sunday’s final day of competition 2-for-2 and in position for his first career regular-season victory.
Davis finished second in Round 2 with an 87.5-point ride on Grey Ghost for 60 world points. The Jasper, Texas, bull rider is atop the event average (174.25), which awards one rider 500 world points.
“I am working on it,” Davis said. “I got two down. I really felt like this weekend coming in for some reason was going to be a good weekend. It has played out the way I hoped so far. I have been satisfied (with my season), but I want to be more consistent. I think this weekend we are going to change it around.”
Davis is one of three riders who have gone 2-for-2 in Billings. He will look to make it 3-for-3 when he takes on Gentleman Jim (9-6, BFTS) in Round 3.
Tanner Byrne finished fifth in Round 2 with an 86.25-point ride on Air Marshall for 30 world points and is second in the event average (169.5), while Kurt Shephard earned an 83.25-point ride on Rock On for his second ride of the weekend. Shephard was ninth in the round and is third in the event average (168.5).
19-year-old Derek Kolbaba picked up 50 points toward the world standings for finishing third in Round 2 after an 87-point sequence aboard I’m A Gangster Too.
Australian Lachlan Richardson turned in an 86-point ride on Wild Bob Cody to secure a sixth-place finish and 15 points in the world standings.
Three-time World Champion Silvano Alves rounded out the Top 7 after an 85.5-point ride on Cracker Jack. Alves picked up five points toward the world standings.
Lee makes history with 500th career ride
Mike Lee joined Guilherme Marchi as the only two riders with 500 qualified rides when he rode Tahonta’s Magic for 86.75 points and career ride 500 during Round 2.
“It means a lot to get that many at this level,” Lee said. “The bulls are so good. He was a really good bull. I got in time with him and he has a lot of kick. He is up and down and stays in it. He is a great bull.
Lee, who is not a fan of being in the spotlight, then added with a smirk, “Everybody can quit talking about it now.”
The 32-year-old finished fourth in Round 2 for 40 world points.
SweetPro’s Long John leads bull domination in 15/15 Bucking Battle
SweetPro’s Long John has lost 200 pounds since the beginning of the season and the 2015 World Champion Bull is evolving into an even stronger, leaner bucking machine.
Long John bucked off Gage Gay in 4.35 seconds during the 15/15 Bucking Battle for his second consecutive 46-point bull score (46.5 points).
“It didn’t go as I planned, that is for sure,” Gay said. “Hell, I don’t know. I just kind of got my inside foot right around there and by the time I got it back down I was way too high on him and my free arm was too high. There was no chance.”
Dillon Page had a big grin on his face following the out. The D&H Cattle Company said before the event that he believed Long John was finally getting close to prime bucking shape.
“I thought he was real, real good,” Page said. “He was strong, way in the air and he actually turned and looked like he was going to keep coming. (The loss of weight) is making him way more electric. We knew it all along, just getting him there was the hard part.”
Long John was marked a season-high 46.75 points in his last out against J.B. Mauney at the Ty Murray Invitational and he has now posted a bull score of 45 points or higher in four consecutive outs.
He is averaging 45.5 points in six outs in 2016.
Asteroid (5.12 seconds against Lachlan Richardson) and SweetPro’s Bruiser (3.26 seconds against Shane Proctor) tied for the second highest bull score of the 15/15 Bucking Battle with 45-point scores.
Saturday was the second time in PBR history that there were no qualified rides during a 15/15 Bucking Battle. It first occurred on September 21, 2012, in Tampa, Florida.
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Eduardo Aparecido did not take a re-ride in the 15/15 Bucking Battle after being struck in the chest by Big Cat’s horn during his ride, separating his left-sided ribs. He is questionable for Round 3.
Mason Lowe did not compete in the 15/15 Bucking Battle because of a right groin (hip adductor) strain he sustained attempting to ride American Hustle in Round 2. Lowe was replaced by Stetson Lawrence, who was bucked off by Crossfire in 6.46 seconds.
Robson Palermo did not compete Saturday because of the concussion he sustained in Round 1 Friday night. He was replaced by Gay in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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