In the Bull Pen: Huntington Beach

This week’s event features a very small pen of bulls, but they are heavyweights. For the last couple of weeks the bull have been a little softer, and the riders have dominated. This last round of the regular season will be a short preview of the heavy pen at the World Finals. There are some rideable bulls in here, but they also fit in the pen with Mick E. Mouse – and that means they won’t be easy.

The venue is very different from most Built Ford Tough Series events — it will be right on the beach in Surf City, USA — AKA Huntington Beach, CA. Or, as PBR livestock director Cody Lambert explains, it will be right next to the beach rather than on it.

“We won’t be bucking bulls on beach volleyball sand,” Lambert said. “We’ll be set up on a parking lot right next to the beach in a small arena, and we’ll haul in the dirt for it. The setup will be a lot like the event we did in Times Square right before the finals in 2010. The pen will be a little bigger than that one was, but not by much. It’s not an event we will sell tickets to — anyone who is there is welcome to come watch. The Times Square event was the same way. We’ve got a great broadcast slot for it on network TV, and it will put bull riding in front of a lot of people who wouldn’t ordinarily see it.”

Julio Moreno opted to hold Bushwacker out to give him a rest before the World Finals, and that means Mick E. Mouse is the highest-ranked bull in the pen, and he will carry a $25,000 bonus for the rider who draws him.

“They’ll be drawing the bulls out of a hat,” Lambert said. “Whoever draws Mick E. Mouse stands to not only win the round, but also get an extra $25,000. It won’t be easy to get the job done, though. Mick E. Mouse at times looks like he’s ready to give up a qualified ride, but no one has been able to do it yet.”

BMC Bucking Bull’s Buck Dynasty will return to action for the first time since Colorado Springs, Colorado, back in May. A series of horn issues has kept him sidelined since then.

“He’s had problems with horn infections,” Lambert said. “That’s kept him out of action for a long time. They solved that by getting rid of his horns. He looks different now, but he should buck just as good. He’s been in a swimming program to stay in shape. They bucked him at a Touring Pro event recently. I saw a video of that, and he looked great, but he needs to do well here to keep his spot in the World Finals.”

Julio Moreno’s Mr. Bull will be at the beach for this event, and he’s been on the highlight reel recently for carrying Stormy Wing to a short round win and an event win in Oakland.

“He’s the kind of bull we could see a great ride on,” Lambert said. “They’ve ridden him a couple of times recently, and he’s a good draw in this round, but whoever draws him will have to do everything right to get a score”

Jeff Robinson’s Oklahoma Bell, who was one of the highest scoring bulls in Oakland, California, will go in this round as well.

“He’s really strong and really hard to ride,” Lambert said. “Since Jeff bought that bull, he hasn’t gotten out of the chute clean until Oakland, and he looked like he did in the video Jeff saw before buying him.”

Jeff Robinson’s Percolator, Stanley Fat Max, I’m a Gangster Too, and Rob Smets’ Jeremiah are among the 15 bulls that will flex their muscle on the beach this Saturday.

Follow Slade Long on Twitter @Probullstats

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