The Battle at the Beau in Biloxi, Mississippi, was held at the first of October last year, but this year it kicks off the second half of the Built Ford Tough Series season. The bull riders came up big last time, riding 36 bulls in all, and 20 in the first round alone. According to PBR Livestock Director Cody Lambert, we should see a repeat performance this year.
“The riders should be as fresh as they’ve been all year,” Lambert said. “The bulls we have here, while a lot of them have been going over the summer, they haven’t been going up against the top guys every time, and they should be at their best. We’ve got a lot of bulls here the guys should get along with, and we should see a lot of rides — especially on Friday night.”
We’ll see the top of Jeff Robinson’s pen in Biloxi, including Percolator and Walk Off, two of the best and busiest bulls going this season.
“Percolator is really a quality bull,” Lambert said. “The better left-handed riders make him look pretty smooth, and right-handed guys make him look rough. He’s a top 10 bull in the PBR, but I think he’s closer to 10th than he is to first. Both he and Walk Off have been to a lot of events this year, but they got some rest over the summer, and I believe they needed some rest. I believe the traveling is tougher on bulls than bucking, and both of those bulls have seen a lot of miles this year.”
Little Red Jacket closed out the first half of the season with his best career trip, throwing J.B. Mauney at the Last Cowboy Standing in Las Vegas. He will appear in the short round in Biloxi as well.
“He’s definitely a top 10 bull,” Lambert said. “I think he’s about the fifth-best bull in the PBR right now. He was kind of a late bloomer, a little slower to develop than other bulls, but he’s matured into a really nice bull. He bucks a lot like the original Yellow Jacket, except he goes to the right. He’s more like Yellow Jacket than any of the other calves I’ve seen.”
With the season starting back, the riders are resuming the race for the PBR World Championship in earnest, and the bulls are too. Lambert believes there is a big question mark leading that race right now.
“There’s not a clear cut favorite right now,” Lambert said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that Mick E. Mouse could win it, and if he’s healthy I think he will win it. The other bulls, Long John, Smooth Operator, they’ve all had sub-par days. Mick E Mouse has gotten it done every time, but his injury is the issue with him. He probably would have won a world title too if it weren’t forBushwacker and Asteroid. Both of those bulls are retired now, so there’s kind of a void there. Asteroid went at the American this year, and he was as good as ever. I believe he could come out of retirement and win a second title this year, but that is up to his handlers.”
In the early days of the PBR, Terry Williams was the biggest name in the stock contracting business for a time. He’s throwing his hat back in the ring now, and he will have seven bulls in Biloxi. Ricky West will have four bulls out in Round 1, and his young debut bull Heavy Dose has been showing a lot of promise at the Touring Pro Division level. He could be a future short round bull, and he’ll be tested by J.W. Harris in round one here.
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