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In the Bull Pen: Little Rock

By: Slade Long
April 09, 2016

Stanley FatMax has yet to surrender a ride this season. Photo: Andy Watson/BullStockMedia.com

Stanley FatMax has yet to surrender a ride this season. Photo: Andy Watson/BullStockMedia.com

LITTLE ROCK, Ark – It’s been thirteen years since the Built Ford Tough Series has been to Little Rock, Arkansas, but the Bad Boy Mowdown this weekend is going to break that drought. Little Rock has hosted a number of Touring Pro level events over the years, but the last time the headliners were here, Wiley Petersen won the event, and Cody Hart scored 93 points on David Bailey’s Super Cool. Those who have been following bull riding for some time will realize that we haven’t heard any of those names in quite a while.

Quite a few of the short round bulls in Little Rock will be bulls we saw in the 15/15 Bucking Battle in Sioux Falls. Crossfire, Stanley FatMax and Pearl Harbor will be on hand after having great trips in South Dakota. FatMax comes here one buckoff short of 70 at the Built Ford Tough Series level, and he just a few short of tying Little Yellow Jacket’s mark. He hasn’t given up a ride in over a year, and PBR livestock director Cody Lambert believes his legacy is already secure.

“FatMax is going to go down as one of the greats who never won it,” said Lambert. “He really doesn’t have the talent to win it. He has as much heart as any bull that’s ever bucked. He’s been around a long time, and he’s going to end up like Red Wolf, who was so great for so long, but never quite great enough to be the PBR World Champ. Red Wolf was a different kind of bull – he was showy, and FatMax isn’t, but FatMax is better at bucking guys off.”

Pearl Harbor carried J.B. Mauney to a season high 94.25 points in Sioux Falls, and he will get another shot to make his case for World Champion bull in the Little Rock short round. He may get another shot at Mauney as well. The two were actually supposed to meet in round three in Springfield, Missouri, last fall but Mauney was injured and had to sit the round out. Lambert believes Pearl Harbor will be good to go.

“It was a great ride,” Lambert said. I think they got the score right. 93 would have been too low, and 95 probably would have been too high. Pearl Harbor didn’t weaken. J.B. was in good shape the whole way, and he got off right after the whistle. He wasn’t bucked off, but if you ask Pearl Harbor, he probably thinks he bucked him off. I look for him to be the same in Little Rock.

Curtis Mendell’s Red Rover, Chad Berger’s Beaver Creek Beau and Cooper Tires Semper Fi, K Bar C’s Who Dey, Kevin Loudamy’s El Guerro and Keith Strickland’s Lester Gillis are also set for the short round along with others.

Round one in Little Rock will be an ABBI Classic competition, so we will see the up and coming 3 and 4 year old bulls in that group. There are usually a couple of superstars in the making among them, but so far this year none have really separated themselves.  Chad Berger’s Wicked Stick, 01 Cattle’s Little Tim’s All Nighter, and Rickey West’s Rebel Yell II have been among the ones to watch this season, but the ABBI Classic class has been wide open so far this season.

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