KANSAS CITY, Mo. ― After two straight, three-day events in St. Louis and Anaheim, Calif., many of the riders have been on as many as nine bulls in competition in the past two weeks. They will catch something of a break at the Caterpillar Classic in Kansas City because it is a two-day event. The bad news is that they have to face the ABBI 3- and 4-year-old Classic bulls in Round 1, and the riders have not fared well against the Classic bulls lately. They rode only 9-of-35 in Oklahoma City’s Classic round.
Two bulls caught the eye of PBR Livestock Director Cody Lambert in Oklahoma City and will compete in the first round on Saturday night.
“The rankest two Classic bulls are Magic Train and Margy Time,” Lambert said. “Those two were the best in Oklahoma City. Magic Train gets way up in the air and will probably go to the left out of a right-hand delivery. Margy Time has some serious drop. He’ll probably go to the left too. Ben Joneshas him and he’ll have to be perfect to ride this bull away from his hand. But, it is a little safer to have a bull with a lot of drop go away from your hand because if he pulls you down it will be over his shoulder instead of right onto his head.”
Another Classic bull that has been impressive is 58X Long John, who like Magic Train and Margy Time, is also a Page bull.
Sean Willingham takes a shot from Long John in Round 3 of the 2014 BFTS Sacramento Invitational in Sacramento, Calif.
“He jumps and kicks as hard a bull can,” Lambert said. “But, I don’t know if he will spin. I guess sometimes he will. Guilherme Marchi rode him for 86 points in Oklahoma City and he just made a circle – never spun. Sean Willingham had him in Sacramento and the judges marked him 45 points and he didn’t spin there either. That tells you something about how hard he bucks. Not very many guys are going to ride him, but if he bucks that hard for 8 seconds guys can win something on him even if he doesn’t spin.”
With the Dr Pepper Iron Cowboy V coming up next week, quite a few bulls are taking a rest this weekend and that means we’ll see some bulls in the championship round that usually aren’t in there.
“The biggest issue is that there are 50 bulls that are sitting out this week – resting up for the Iron Cowboy and THE AMERICAN,” said Lambert. “So, there are some bulls here in Kansas City we haven’t seen before or bulls we don’t use all the time. There are eight or 10 bulls that are in the Iron Cowboy and are also going to be here in Kansas City, but the majority of them are resting this week. The championship round is going to be the nicest short round the riders will see all year. That said, Smackdown will be in the short go along with Stone Sober – two of the best bulls in the PBR right now. Buck Dynasty and Southpaw will probably be the last two bulls left in the draft and whoever has them probably won’t think it’s the nicest short round ever, but the rest of the pen are mostly bulls that wouldn’t be in the short go if it weren’t for so many bulls sitting out.”
Smackdown is the marquis bull in Kansas City, and he will record his 96thcareer out on Sunday. He is certain to reach the 100-out mark this season; bulls that record 100 or more career outs are exceedingly rare. He also has 71 Built Ford Tough Series outs – by far the most of any active bull. At some point this season he will move into the Top 10 bulls with the most Built Ford Tough Series outs all time.
“He’s bound to slow down at some point, but he hasn’t yet,” Lambert said. “He’s the kind of bull that bucking bull breeders should be looking to breed to. He’s got a ton of heart and try, and not many bulls have his longevity.”
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