In the Bull Pen: Iron Cowboy

By: Slade Long
February 26, 2016

Long John returns to action this weekend in Texas.

Long John returns to action this weekend in Texas.

Arlington is one of the highest profile PBR events of the regular season. It is the second PBR Major of the season, and the Iron Cowboy will feature a major league set of bulls. Ever since the inaugural Iron Cowboy in 2010, the event has become as well known for the quality of bulls featured as for its unusual format.

The format for the Iron Cowboy this year is just as it was in 2015. Forty riders will go in Round 1, and the ones who get a score will move on to Round 2. The riders who get a score in Round 2 will move on to Round 3, and this will go on until there is one rider left or they reach round five. Last year a stout pen of bulls ended it in three rounds with Joao Ricardo Vieira being the only man to ride, and the bulls will be just as good here.

The bulls will also be set to the same pens as they were last year. The best bulls appeared in Round 2, and they will be here in Round 2 as well. So the guys who get out of Round 1 with a score will move immediately to the the best bulls PBR livestock director Cody Lambert could round up, and for this event that means the best bulls there are.

“Every contractor wants to go to the Iron Cowboy,” Lambert said. “It’s harder to get a bull to Arlington than it is to get one to the World Finals. There’s only room for about 84-85 bulls in Arlington, where at the World Finals we’ll take 20 more than that. What we’ve got here is the top end of the same pen of bulls we will see at the World Finals, so it’s going to be tough.”

Nearly every bull expected to compete for PBR World Champion Bull will be in the draw for Round 2 at the Iron Cowboy, starting with Asteroid, BruiserLong John, and Air Time. Long John sat out Kansas City, but he’s been cleared to go in Arlington.

“Long John had a sore leg after getting home from California,” Lambert said. “But, I just got word that he’s been to the vet and his X-rays showed no problem, so he’s in the draw. All of the best bulls in the PBR are in that round except for Roy. I expect them to ride 14-18 bulls in Round 1, and those 14-18 guys will move on to face the 14-18 best bulls there. They may all buck off, but I don’t think that will happen. We’ll probably get three or four rides in that round, and those guys will get on another one. But, it’s not a scripted thing, so with this format it could play out several different ways.”

Crossfire, Beaver Creek Beau, Sheep Creek and Cochise will all go in Round 2 along with Asteroid, Bruiser, Long John, and Air Time. Round 1 will feature Cooper Tires Brown Sugar, Mississippi Hippy, After Party,Percolator, and plenty of other bulls normally used in short rounds. The entire event will be a test for the riders, as this format was meant to be, and there will be plenty of good matchups in just one day of action.

Follow Slade Long on Twitter @Probullstats

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