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Highlights, Injury Updates from Tulsa

By: Justin Felisko August 17, 2014@ 02:00:00 AM

Gage Gay won his first career BFTS event this weekend in Tulsa, Okla. Photo by Andy Watson / BullStockMedia.com.

HIGHLIGHTS/INJURY UPDATES FROM TULSA (8-16-2014)

TULSA, Okla. – Here are three things that stood out from the conclusion of the Express Employment Professionals Classic, presented by Jack Daniel’s, on Saturday night at the BOK Center

1. Gay wins first BFTS event

On a weekend where only two of the riders in the Top 10 of the world standings were able to record two or more rides, 20-year-old Gage Gay was able to win a challenge in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round to get credited with an 87.75-point ride on Pound the Alarm and end up as the eventual event winner in Tulsa.

“I can’t explain how good it feels,” Gay said. “I’ve come close, come close, come close and just never quite sealed the deal.”

Gay began the weekend 10th in the world standings and his 3-for-3 performance over the past two days helped him shave 750.25 points off Guilherme Marchi’s world lead and jump to seventh in the world standings.

Six of the riders inside the Top 10 of the standings recorded at least one ride, but four of the five riders in the Top 5 of the world failed to register a single ride, which opened the door for Gay to gain some major ground.

2. Marchi and Vieira leave due to injury

The biggest news of the weekend is that both Guilherme Marchi and Fabiano Vieira – the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked riders in the world – both left Tulsa with injuries. Marchi re-aggravated his partially torn PCL injury in his right knee, while Vieira dislocated his right shoulder (free arm) – which was a major question mark entering the second half of the season.

“I have great chance, but everybody in the Top 10 has a great chance, too,” Marchi said. “I am going to open more doors for those people in the back, too, but I need to fix these things first and see what is happening.”

3. Now that is some Air Time

He may be new to the BFTS, but in just his third out of the season Jared Allen’s Air Time claimed his second consecutive high-marked bull title. He had one mighty rank trip on Saturday night and bucked off Kasey Hayes in 3 seconds during the championship round just three months after being marked 47 points at Last Cowboy Standing when he bucked off Joseph McConnel in 2.08 seconds.

“I really don’t like getting done like that by a bull, especially when I was putting everything out there to ride him too,” Hayes said. “I knew that bull was a great bull and I saw Renato ride him – I think he might have even spurred him. I know when he left out of there he felt good. He made that left turn and I was like ‘Alright, this is going good so far.’ Then he snapped, kicked and jerked me to the end of my arm.”

Nunes rode the bull in March at the Phoenix BFTS event for 92.5 points.

Air Time was given a bull score of 47.5 points in Tulsa, which is the highest bull score for the season, and he beat out a stacked short round of World Champion Bull contenders featuring Bushwacker (46.5), Asteroid (45.5), Fire & Smoke (44.75) and Mick E Mouse (44.5).

INJURY UPDATES

There were a series of other injuries beyond Marchi and Vieira on Saturday night.

Tanner Byrne and Scottie Knapp did not compete on Saturday night after getting injured on Friday.

Byrne is awaiting results on X-rays taken of his right wrist injury that he aggravated after riding Kung Fu Fighter for 75.75 points. He had originally sustained the injury earlier this summer in Canada.

Knapp had separated his right shoulder (free arm) when he landed on the shoulder as he was thrown from Bruiser in Round 1.

A trio of riders – Billy Robinson (aggravation of a groin strain), Marco Eguchi (bruised left shoulder) and Claudio Crisostomo (respiratory infection) – did not compete in the championship round.

Zane Lambert rode RMEF Team Elk for 87 points in Round 2 with a sprained left knee (LCL/PCL) that he sustained in Canada this summer.

Hulbert, Oklahoma, native Ryan Dirteater (172.5 points) placed fifth after a 2-for-3 performance with an unstable left knee and Nunes (167.5) went 2-for-3 to finish eighth in the event average with an unstable right shoulder (free arm).

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.

HIGHLIGHTS/INJURY UPDATES FROM TULSA ROUND 1 (8-15-2014)

TULSA, Okla. – Here are three things that stood out from Round 1 of the Express Employment Professionals Classic, presented by Jack Daniel’s, on Friday night at the BOK Center.

1. In first BFTS event since March, Outlaw wins Round 1

Chase Outlaw claimed the Round 1 victory by riding Crystal Pistol for 88.25 points in his first BFTS action since injuring his right groin at the Fresno, California, BFTS event in March.

“Heck, Crystal Pistol is a good bull,” Outlaw said. “I ain’t never heard of him before. I never seen him. I usually like that. Shoot it worked out for the best, right there away from my hand.”

Outlaw had missed the final five BFTS events of the first half, but came into Tulsa with some summer momentum after earning 991.5 carry-over points in the Touring Pro Division with four PBR Canada wins, as well as a victory at the Monroe, Louisiana, Touring Pro Division last month.

“There were a lot of good bull rides tonight, but, heck, I will take first place any day.”

2. Top riders fall victim to ABBI Classic Bulls in Round 1; Marchi says knee is sore

In a night that saw 12 qualified rides, none came from any of the BFTS highest ranked riders in the world standings. The top seven riders in the world all bucked off, including world leader Guilherme Marchi. The Leme, Brazil, native was called for a slap on Jo Jo at the 7.74-second mark.

Marchi had to be helped off the dirt before sitting just beyond the entrance gate of the arena floor to watch the replay of his ride attempt. Following the event, Marchi sat in the locker room with a big bag of ice wrapped around his right knee, the same knee in which he injured his PCL at Last Cowboy Standing.

“It is just sore,” Marchi said with a sigh. “I will ice it and it should be good for tomorrow.”

3. Margy Time impresses once again

ABBI Classic sensation Margy Time entered the night with 18 consecutive buckoffs at PBR and rodeo events and once again demonstrated his brute strength. In just 1.78 seconds, the bovine had thrown Cody Nance over his head before the seventh-ranked rider in the world standings became caught up. Margy Time was marked a first-round best 44.75 points.

INJURY UPDATES:

Tanner Byrne aggravated a right wrist injury sustained in Canada after riding Kung Fu Fighter for 75.75 points. The Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, native walked off the dirt gritting his teeth and turned down his re-ride option before spending time in sports medicine icing the injury. He is doubtful for the second round.

Scottie Knapp separated his right shoulder (free arm) when he landed on the shoulder as he was thrown from Bruiser on Friday night. He is doubtful for Saturday.

Zane Lambert, who was bucked off by Dumber in the first round, is competing in Tulsa with sprained left knee (LCL/PCL) sustained in Canada.

Fabiano Vieira and Renato Nunes both competed with right shoulder (free arm) injuries, and Ryan Dirteater rode More Big Bucks for 86.75 points with an unstable left knee.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.

WALK THIS WAY: MAUNEY, BUSHWACKER TAKE TO THE STREETS (8-14-2014)

TULSA, Okla. – J.B. Mauney brought the Tulsa faithful to their feet last year at the BOK Center when he sent Bushwacker’s record of 42 consecutive buckoffs to a screeching halt.

On Thursday, the City of Tulsa saluted Mauney, Bushwacker and the PBR by giving the sports organization a key to the city following the PBR’s Back! Parade, which was held in conjunction with Turn Tulsa Pink.

“It’s pretty cool,” Mauney said. “It is fun to do stuff like this. I never got a key to the city. Something new every day.”

Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett was on the chutes last year at the BOK Center when Mauney brought the city to life with his 95.25-point ride aboard Bushwacker.

“I don’t know how many of you have had the opportunity to watch those bulls and those cowboys. It’s an incredible experience,” Bartlett said. “I was able to watch J.B. ride Bushwacker. … (Bushwacker) shot out of there like a rocket. Jumped straight up in the air and all you saw was muscle and J.B. holding on. He jumps like no bull I have ever seen in my life.”

Mauney-tulsa-mayor
J.B. Mauney and Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett before Thursday’s press conference at the BOK Center. Photo by Justin Felisko / PBR.com.

PBR Chairman and CEO Jim Haworth and the PBR presented Bartlett an autographed framed photo of Mauney’s historic ride in Tulsa, where the organization returns this weekend for the 10th consecutive year.

“We love Tulsa, Oklahoma,” Haworth said. “It is like a second home to the Professional Bull Riders.”

The Express Employment Professionals Classic takes place Friday night at 8 p.m. CT and concludes Saturday beginning at 7 p.m.

Mauney, who rode on a Clydesdale carriage alongside the PBR’s Adopt a Child recipient Jaxson Kidd, an 8-year-old currently battling brain cancer, took part in the parade with other PBR bull riders Kasey Hayes, Brady Sims and Mike Collins also took part in the parade.

Hayes-tulsa-parade
Kasey Hayes took part in Thursday’s PBR’s Back! Parade. Photo by Justin Felisko / PBR.com.

Bushwacker also got a tour of downtown Tulsa in the parade.

As the PBR entourage and Turn Tulsa Pink parade came down Third Street, fans began to taunt Bushwacker with the BOK Center in their shadows.

“Bushwacker, J.B. is going to ride you this weekend!” yelled one fan from the sidewalk.

Bushwacker didn’t even acknowledge the threat.

If anything, Thursday was a chance for him to catch a breeze through downtown Tulsa. He will worry about Mauney or whomever decides to challenge him come Saturday night.

Bushwacker-parade
Bushwacker toured around downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Thursday. Photo by Justin Felisko / PBR.com.

Stock contractor and owner Julio Moreno was at the helm of the trailer hauling his prized bull along the parade route. It was the first time Bushwacker has ever participated in such an event.

“This is great,” Moreno said. “You’ve got J.B. here and Bushwacker. What else do you need in Tulsa, Oklahoma?”

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

BREAKING DOWN THE TULSA DRAW (8-12-2014)

PUEBLO, Colo. – The time has almost come for the Built Ford Tough Series to resume Friday night in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with the Express Employment Professionals Classic, presented by Jack Daniels, and there is one rider who will certainly be excited to be back in action.

Nathan Schaper will be making his return to the BFTS after missing the final 12 events of the first half because of a broken left tibia and fibula after Bushwacker stomped on him at the LiftMaster Invitational in Anaheim, California.

Despite the time away from the sport, Schaper returned this summer looking just as good as he did prior to the injury and wound up winning Touring Pro Division events in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Big Sky, Montana, in July. The two victories, along with points earned at other summer TPD events since returning to action in Thief Rivers, Minnesota, on July 21 helped the Grassy Butte, North Dakota, native move inside the Top 30 of the world standings, guaranteeing him a spot in this weekend’s draw without the need of an injury exemption.

While much will have to be decided before the championship round on Saturday night, Schaper said in July that he wouldn’t mind a rematch against the two-time World Champion Bull that sent him home earlier this year. Bushwacker is set to buck in the short round on Saturday and it will be interesting to see which rider will decide to pick him in the bull draft.

“Oh always,” Schaper said. “It would be great to get another chance and ride him. I started him good last time. I lasted the longest time (before Mike Lee), but it wasn’t long enough.”

Does he remember what went wrong in that past matchup?

You bet he does.

“The last thing I remembered was going to the front end and staying out over him and when he got to turning back I tried to quit going to the front end and rode him like he was spinning more or less and still going back and forth with him,” Schaper said. “When he jumped out of it, yeah, he got me.”

Billy Robinson (left groin strain) will be in the draw this weekend thanks to injury exemptions.

Speaking of injuries, Sean Willingham will not be competing this weekend as he continues to recover from a dislocated hip suffered at the Newark, New Jersey, Velocity Tour event after being bucked off by Big Kahuna. He is planning on getting a doctor’s opinion on the injury in the next two weeks, if not sooner.

Other riders ranked inside the Top 30 that will be out for Tulsa include Ty Pozzobon, who is done for the season following a torn ACL and LCL in his right knee, and Robson Palermo, who continues to rehab from April shoulder surgery.

Douglas Duncan is the top alternate this week in Tulsa and will be looking to crack the Top 30 after spending this summer recovering from surgery on his left hand to repair torn ligaments.

Other alternates in the draw include Jordan Hupp, Guytin Tsosie, Stetson Lawrence, Jason Malone, J.W. Harris and Scottie Knapp.

Tyler Harr will also be joining the big boys on tour courtesy of his TPD victory last weekend in Springdale, Arkansas.

Kody Lostroh, ranked 55th in the world after a first half that saw him plagued by two small fractures in his right hand, will be looking to gain some points in the world standings and is in the draw thanks to one of his world champion exemptions.

Keep an eye on Lawrence and Malone who were two of the hottest riders on the summer tour not named Mike Lee that scratched their way back onto the BFTS.

Less than 50 points – 49.87 points to be exact – separate the two riders in the TPD standings with Lawrence occupying the second spot and Malone in third.

A complete draw will be available Wednesday.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.

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