In the Bull Pen: Tulsa

Headed in to Tulsa, Oklahoma, this week, the riders are going to have it a little tougher than they did in Biloxi, Mississippi. PBR livestock director Cody Lambert says last week was a defeat for the riders.

“I thought the riders were a little off,” Lambert said. “The bulls were a little on the soft side, and I expected more rides. The bulls in Tulsa will be a little tougher overall, and they’ll have to turn things around.”

Indeed, the first round in Tulsa is an ABBI Classic round, and that means there are likely to be at least four or five strong short round-quality bulls out in the first round. In recent years, the quality of the 3- to 4-year old bulls has greatly improved, and they’ve been routinely getting the best of the riders in every BFTS Classic round.  As for the competition among the bulls, a few of them do stand out from the rest.

Bruiser, Brutus, Red Moon and Buck Autism are really the ones to watch,” Lambert said. “Bruiser is as polished a bull as there is for his age and he’s as good as the best bulls in the PBR. The other bulls have the ability to outscore him — they are good, but they haven’t been as solid and reliable. Really, the whole group of Classic bulls is much better than they were when the ABBI started having bull competitions.”

In the short round at Tulsa we will see a strong pen of bulls led by Jared Allen’s World Champion bull contender Air Time.

“Air Time is one of the top contenders right now,” Lambert said. “The only issue with him is that he’s a little unpredictable, and you don’t know if you’re going to get the best trip out of him every time. He’s got plenty of talent, and he’ll get a chance to show it two weeks in a row, because he’ll be at Nashville too.”

Two other bulls that have been in the World Champion bull discussion, Smooth Operator and Boot Jack, will also be in Tulsa.

“Boot Jack has been great all year,” said Lambert. “He does the same thing every time. He’ll spin to the right as soon as the gate opens. Smooth Operator at one time looked like the front runner in the World Champion bull race, but he had an off day with Guilherme Marchi and he’ll have to be fantastic from here on out.

Brown Sugar is one of the most consistently exciting bulls going, and we will see him for the first time on tour since Colorado Springs, Colorado, in May.

“He’s definitely one the riders should always want,” Lambert said. “He’s got good timing, and a pretty predictable pattern, but he does it so well that not many guys ride him. He’s always bucking harder at the eight second mark than he was at four, and I like to see that in bulls.”

Two bulls we saw last week in Biloxi will be back in the short round in Tulsa. Little Red Jacket was too much for J.W. Harris in Biloxi, and Shaft got the best of Tyler Harr. We’ll also see Spotted Demon, a bull that hasn’t been ridden since he had an off day in January 2014, and Mississippi Hippy, one of the biggest bulls ever to buck in the PBR.

Follow Slade Long on Twitter @Probullstats

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