By: Slade Long
September 15, 2016
CHARLOTTE – For the past three weeks we’ve seen a pretty similar cast of bulls in the Built Ford Tough Series. Pearl Harbor picked up two outs while SweetPro’s Bruiser picked up three more of his own. Those two bulls solidified their spots at the top of the World Championship Bull standings and currently own the two highest totals at the moment. Bruiser trails Pearl Harbor by only half a point, but they will both cede the stage to a new cast as the BFTS moves to the East Coast for the Charlotte Invitational.
The leaders will have their eyes on one bull this weekend, and that’s Jared Allen’s Air Time, who is scheduled to record his eighth out of the season in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round on Saturday.
Air Time’s eighth out will be a particularly significant because it will officially qualify him for the World Champion Bull race in just a few short months at the Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas Nov. 2-6.
The bulls will be ranked based on the total score of their best eight outs of the season. Bruiser already has 13 outs, Pearl Harbor has nine, and they have the highest totals right now. Air Time may be late to the qualifying party, but he is likely to pass them both and claim the number one spot anyway. He’s got a slightly higher average than both of the other bulls, and if he has a good trip here in Charlotte he can take the lead.
Jared Allen’s Magic Train also figures into the World Champion Bull race, and he’ll have a chance to make his move in Charlotte as well. He’s on the bubble right now, tied with two other bulls for the seventh highest total. A good out here could move him up, while a bad out could leave him on the outside looking in.
Where we’ve seen a lot of Chad Berger, J.A.R.S. / Gene Owen and D&H Cattle for the past three weeks. The move out east means the scene will be dominated by the likes of Jared Allen, and K Bar C Bucking Bulls, along with Jerome Davis, Jeff Robinson, and Rickey West.
Speaking of K Bar C, Who Dey will be in town and he’s had an outstanding year. While he’s not quite on the level of bulls that may compete for a World Championship, you won’t find a rider who doesn’t admire this little speed demon or a stock contractor who wouldn’t want to own him.
Jeff Robinson’s Walk Off and I’m a Gangster Too have been among the hardest working bulls in the PBR for the past couple of years. Walf Off has been in and out of the World Championship race, although he’s not a serious threat to overtake the top five bulls. I’m a Gangster Too has logged 46 BFTS outs since the beginning of the 2014 season, and he’s still solid enough to have thrown off half the Top 10 riders just this year.
Sharp & Langston’s Hammer it Again is a young bull that we first saw in Duluth, Georgia, back in March. He’s been one of the most exciting new bulls to watch, and he brings a lot of action and a lot of athleticism. He was in Oklahoma for both the Tulsa and Thackerville events where he managed to throw current world standings leader Kaique Pacheco twice in two consecutive 15/15 Bucking Battles.
Rocking I Rodeo’s Slinger Jr. has quietly compiled a 24-1 record on the BFTS over the last couple of years, and has even managed to put J.B. Mauney in the dirt twice this season.
We will see quite a few bulls from “back east” in the long rounds this weekend, the overall pen in Charlotte won’t be as difficult top to bottom as they were the past few weeks. That’s good news for the riders, who really struggled in Springfield last week.
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