By: Slade Long
January 06, 2017
NEW YORK – The PBR’s Built Ford Tough Series kicks off the 2017 season in a big way with a PBR Major event in New York’s Madison Square Garden. This will be the 11th straight January date in the Garden for the PBR, and it is one of the most important dates on the PBR calendar. New Yorkers don’t see many cattle on an ordinary day, but this week they can lay eyes on just over 100 of the best bucking bulls in North America.
Because New York is in the northeast, and because of travel time and winter weather, it’s much harder to get good bulls there than say, Oklahoma City. Despite that, PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert has a stout pen of bulls lined up. The title of this event is the Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden, and there will definitely be some buckoffs.
That said, New York is historically a strong event for the riders. They have ridden well above the season average here every year mostly because they tend to come here healthy and rested.
The short round in New York will feature four of the nine bulls who competed for World Champion Bull title in 2016, and all four of them belong to J.A.R.S. / Gene Owen. Hey Jack and Seven Dust are both originally from Canada and both had career years in 2016. Wicked is a proven performer at the BFTS level, and Cochise made headlines here in New York last year by slamming three-time World Champion Silvano Alves into the ground and then stepping on his head, which turned out much better for Alves than it sounds like it should have.
The nicer draws in the short round include Jeff Robinson’s Air Marshall and K Bar C’s Who Dey. Air Marshall turned in three solid outs in Las Vegas at the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour Finals and the World Finals. Chase Outlaw won the opening round of the World Finals on him. Who Dey is a speed demon and somewhat harder to get by than Air Marshall, but when a rider can keep up with him it’s always for a big score.
K Bar C’s is bringing their newest star to the big city for the short round. Handsome Jeff was runner up in the ABBI Classic World Finals in Las Vegas, picking up a check for $75,000 for his efforts. K Bar C’s Kenny McElroy purchased him at the ABBI sale during the finals, and this will be his first event under new ownership.
At least two bulls in the New York short go won’t be very nice. K Bar C’s Slinger Jr. is a veteran nemesis of bull riders everywhere. He’s 28-1 at the BFTS level, and 48-1 in his career. As impressive as that is, he’s not the most notorious enemy of bull riders scheduled for Sunday’s short go. That honor belongs to Jeff Robinson’s Stanley FatMax, who is kicking off his tenth season of competition and his eighth year on the BFTS. In that time he’s logged 74 buckoffs in 79 outs, and that is just ten short of a record. Herrington Cattle Company’s Blueberry Wine logged his 84th career buckoff before retiring in 2005, and no bull since has matched him. FatMax is the only currently active bull with a legitimate shot at that record right now.
This being a PBR Major event, the long rounds will feature plenty of bull talent as well. A good number of the bulls out in the first two long rounds have short round credentials. Little Red Jacket, Kookaburra, Fire Rock and The Don are just a few of these.
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