By: Slade Long May 01, 2014@ 05:00:00 PM
Asteroid is slated to make his first of three outs this month in Colorado. Photo by Andy Watson / BullStockMedia.com.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. ― Colorado Springs was the original home of the PBR headquarters until it moved 40 miles down the road to Pueblo in 2007. The Built Ford Tough Series visited Colorado Springs for a five-year run from 2001 to 2005, but hasn’t been back until now. In 2003, Chris Shivers faced Little Yellow Jacket here with $1 million on the line.
PBR Livestock Director Cody Lambert didn’t have any trouble rounding up a great set of bulls for this weekend’s return to Colorado Springs.
“It is sort of a high-profile event for the PBR,” Lambert said. “It’s a three-day event with a 15/15 Bucking Battle, so there will be as much action here as in any regular-season event this year.
“We had successful events in Colorado Springs in the past. We haven’t been there in a while, and for this event, it seems like every contractor wanted to come here and to Las Vegas, because they are the last two events before the summer break. Because of the quality of the bulls that are coming, I’ve got several bulls that we normally put in the short round in the long rounds instead.”
2012 World Champion bull Asteroid is coming to Colorado Springs for what will be just his third out of the season. He’ll face two-time World Champion Silvano Alves in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
“It was really kind of a last-minute decision,” Lambert said. “I called and asked if he wanted to go. Gene Melton said he would have to get back to me, and he just got back to me Tuesday morning. There’s no way I’m going to turn down Asteroid, but I already had the 15/15 round full.”
Gene Owen’s bull Southpaw happend to be a little sore this week, according to Lambert, so Asteroid was able to replace him in the draw.
“We haven’t seen Asteroid too much this year. I think he’s getting more rest than he needs. He’s right in his prime.”
Asteroid is slated to buck three times in May. In addition to Colorado Springs, the champ will buck at Last Cowboy Standing in Las Vegas, as well as J.W. Hart‘s Touring Pro Division event in Decatur, Texas, at the end of the month. In Decatur, Asteroid will face reigning champ J.B. Mauney.
The top bull in Des Moines, Iowa, last week was Chad Berger’s Fire & Smoke, and he will be in Colorado Springs, as well. He’ll face Valdiron de Oliveira in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
“It looks to me like he’s getting stronger,” Lambert said. “It’s good for the best bulls to go up against better riders, because when they have guys really try them, it gets them in better shape. I think that’s the case with this bull. He’s been bucked enough, but he bucked so many guys off in one or two jumps that he didn’t get challenged.
“A couple of guys have made him work, and he left no doubt in Des Moines that he is the real deal.”
Three bulls in the 15/15 round have not been ridden in their professional careers. Gene Owen’s Wicked and Raven Flyer, along with Berger’s Apollo Stripes are a combined 62-0 against all contenders. Wicked has the longest streak. He is 30-0 in his career, but he’s only been to a few Built Ford Tough Series events.
“I think Wicked is the real deal,” Lambert said. “He’s got a move coming out of the chute that causes him to slip once in a while. He’s a little touchy in the chute, and when he feels the rider clamp down, it can unsettle him a little. Outside of that, I think he’s a rank bull and a smart one. If he can’t get a guy off one way, he’s going to change something up.”
The Colorado Springs event will also feature Rango, I’m a Gangster Too and Shepherd Hills Tested in the 15/15 Bucking Battle, among other top bull talent.
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