In the Bull Pen: Laughlin

Bushwacker has just five outs left in his BFTS career.

The Built Ford Tough Series stop in Laughlin, Nev., this weekend will be the first stop out west since May. In the run up to the World Finals, PBR livestock director Cody Lambert has a lot of bulls under consideration, and this will be his first chance to see some of the West Coast based bulls since BFTS action resumed.

“We’ll see a mixture of bulls that have a chance to go to the finals,” Lambert said. “We’ve got bulls from Arizona, Colorado, California, Washington and even Hawaii here, but we also have bulls from North Dakota, North Carolina and Oklahoma. It’s coming down to the end for bulls that are trying to make the finals, and there are quite a few of them here. We’ll see a great set of bulls in Laughlin.

Laughlin will feature a 15/15 Bucking Battle, the first one since Colorado Springs, Colorado, in May. The best bulls set for Laughlin will be featured in the 15/15 round, including defending World Champion Bushwacker.

“He’s just about five outs away from retirement,” Lambert said. “He’s got an interesting matchup here – he’s going against Guilherme Marchi. They met earlier this season at the Last Cowboy standing, but when you think about how many times they’ve been in the same short round, you’ll notice that Marchi has never picked him. Marchi digs in and holds on with his feet more than most guys, and that won’t work on Bushwacker. He’ll tear your leg off and beat you over the head with it.”

I’m a Gangster Too will appear in the 15/15 round. He has been ridden a couple of times this season, but in his last few outs he’s looked tougher than ever.

“He’s looked as good and as strong as he ever has,” Lambert said. “He’s left the chute harder, and he’s had a lot of whip and power when he first comes around. If someone can get around the corner on him, we’ll see how he holds up, but no one has really challenged him in his last couple of outs.”

Jeff Robinson’s Rango was scheduled to go in the 15/15 round in Laughlin, but his unexpected passing and a hoof injury to D&H Cattle’sLong John in Springfield, Missouri, opened the door for two replacement bulls, one of which is Stone Sober. Stone Sober is typically good enough to be considered a contender for the World Championship, but he’s had a couple of bad days, and he’s been on the bubble to even go to the World Finals. He had a misfire in Springfield in the short round, but he’s got another opportunity here.

H.D. Page’s Margy Time, and Gene Owen’s Raven Flyer and Wicked will also appear in the 15/15 round, and those three bulls sport a combined record of 83 outs and just one qualified ride. We’ll also see Chad Berger’sFire & Smoke – a strong, but honest bull who is capable of producing 90-plus point rides.

Follow Slade Long on Twitter @Probullstats

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