When the 2015 season kicks off in Baltimore on Friday, PBR bulls and riders won’t be easing into the new year, they’ll be jumping onto a fast moving train. After a couple of months of relative quiet since the World Finals, January is always one of the most logistically challenging months in the PBR season. There are five Built Ford Tough Series events on the schedule in January, and in addition to those, PBR livestock director Cody Lambert must also arrange for the bulls at two high profile Touring Pro Division events — the Touring Pro Division Finale in Denver, and a one day event in Pueblo, Colorado, immediately following it. Seven events in one month stretched from one coast to the other is a busy schedule, and supplying each event with quality bulls is a challenge.
“I try to get the very best bulls for every event,” Lambert said. “But, it’s impossible to always have all the best bulls at every event. The logistics prevent it. We’ve reached a point where there are a lot of really good bulls around, and it is possible to have a high quality set of bulls everywhere we go. We’ll have a good group in Baltimore, and we’ll see them again next week in Chicago. We’ll have a few more bulls available for New York, and for Oklahoma City we’ll have a different set. The Pages will be there, and their bulls will be at Denver and Pueblo as well. In Baltimore we’ll have Jeff Robinson and Chad Berger along with K Bar C and some others.”
Headlining the short round pen in Baltimore are Jeff Robinson’s Percolator and K Bar C’s Mississippi Hippy — two bulls that turned in impressive performances at the World Finals.
“Percolator had a couple of bad days when he first came,” Lambert said. “But he’s bounced back from that pretty well. He’s a high leaping and hard bucking bull, but he happens to have great timing, and JB Mauney showed that pretty well when he won the short round on him at the World Finals. Mississippi Hippy isn’t a favorite of the riders, but they have more confidence on him now than they did at the beginning of his career. He’s a freak of nature. He’s as big as a bus, but he can still get around. He’s twice the size of some of the other bulls here. Both of those bulls were short round bulls at the Finals, and that is a big honor.”
Robinson’s 654 Stanley Fat Max will also be in the short round in Baltimore. He’s a bull that doesn’t typically make headlines, but he’s working on a streak of 21 straight buckoffs, and in his career he’s 90-4 against all challengers.
“He’s a strong, hard knocker,” Lambert said. “He doesn’t have that smooth timing or the flashy moves that some of the other bulls have, but he’s worth as many points. He’s been around for a good many years, and he’s pretty well dominated the riders his entire career.”
Rounding out the first short round of the 2015 season are Berger’s Brown Sugar and Fire & Smoke, Robinson’s I’m a Gangster Too and Walk Off, Jerome Davis’ Freakster, and K Bar C’s Who Dey. The riders will have plenty of opportunities to put some early points on the board in the long race to the 2015 World Championship.
Follow Slade Long on Twitter @probullstats
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