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In the Bull Pen: Springfield

Springfield, Missouri, is something of a unique Built Ford Tough Series event, at least as far as the bull roster is concerned. It’s a three-day event with three long rounds and a short round, but the three long rounds are each part of an ABBI competition. There’s a two-round ABBI Classic going on here, so the 3- and 4-year-old Classic bulls we saw in Thackerville, Oklahoma, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, will go in Round 1 and Round 3. Round 2 is an ABBI Maturity — a bull contest open to select ABBI registered bulls of any age.

This arrangement leaves PBR livestock director Cody Lambert with a light workload compared to a normal event.

“With two rounds of Classic bulls and a one day maturity, the only bulls I have to put together are the short round bulls and a few extras for rerides,” Lambert said. “I do screen the bulls that enter ABBI events like this, but just to make sure they meet BFTS standards. I did have to cut a few from each group here. Most of the bulls that enter the Classic are more than good enough, because by this time in the season their owners know what they are up against and they don’t want to enter a bull that they don’t think has a chance to win.”

The Classic bulls have been outstanding the last couple of times we’ve seen them, and a number of them have made an impression in the last few weeks.

Bruiser won the Classic in Thackerville,” Lambert said. “That’s really not too surprising. He’s the most polished and most experienced bull in that age group. Pearl Harbor had a great trip, even though he came out backwards. I had him and Lester Gillis a quarter-point over Bruiser, and I had Rebelution tied with Bruiser. Red Moon had a great trip too. (J.B.) Mauney made him look easier than he was, but he really bucked. He’ll have to do it again in Springfield, because he’s got Joao Ricardo Vieira in Round 1.”

Right now, there’s no clear leader in the World Champion Bull race, and that has been the case all season. There’s a chance that Springfield will change this, because many of the contenders will be appear in the short round.

“It’s going to come down to what they do at the finals,” Lambert said. “Right now, I’d say Smooth Operator and Air Time are on top, with Long JohnLittle Red Jacket and Roy right behind them. We won’t see Roy or Air Time here, but the rest of those bulls are out in Springfield, so they’ll get another chance to make a case for themselves.”

Other short round bulls for Springfield include Jeff Robinson’s Walk Off and I’m a Gangster Too, Gene Owen’s Wicked, and K Bar C’s Who Dey.

Follow Slade Long on Twitter @Probullstats

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