By: Slade Long
November 01, 2016
In the Bull Pen – World Finals 2016
While everyone was focused on which riders might rise out of the BlueDEF Tour Finals and qualify for the Built Ford Tough World Finals, five bulls quietly secured a spot as well.
The Top 5 bulls in Saturday and Sunday’s ABBI Classic Wild Card competition won the right to compete for the 2016 ABBI Classic title in the opening round of the PBR Finals on Wednesday. They are:
T71 Air Marshall – D&H Cattle
804 Hustle Man – Mladenka / Robinson / Bridges & Smith / 4G
206 Burn it Down – Flying High Rodeo Co. / Rockin’ T Ranch
Z32 Cracker Breaker – D&H Cattle / Buck Cattle
2739 Flat Top Pete – Chad Berger
The BlueDEF Finals also featured the ABBI Derby Finals, which consists of the top ABBI 3-year-old bulls. The Derby Champion this year is 12 Up and In – owned by Riley / Beckett / Teague / Lackey and Lester. The ABBI Derby and Wild Card competitions are a glimpse into the future each year, and the young bulls were outstanding this year. We’ll see a lot more of them over the next few years.
PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert has the World Finals bulls set into groups exactly as they were in 2015.
Wednesday’s opening round will feature the ABBI Classic competitors, led by OK Corralis / Gordon / D&H Cattle’s Organized Crime, and including the five Wild Card winners. The ABBI Classic division has been hotly contested this year, and there isn’t really a standout favorite. There are five to seven bulls in the race who have a legitimate chance to win it all this week.
Thursday’s Round 2 will showcase the Top 40 bulls in the PBR, including the nine bulls competing for World Champion Bull. Sweet Pro’s Bruiser, Pearl Harbor, Air Time, Seven Dust, Crossfire, Cochise, Stone Sober, Sweet Pro’s Long John and Hey Jack.
Friday’s Round 3 will feature the next 40 bulls on Lambert’s list, and Saturday’s Round 4 will consist of the top twenty ABBI Classic bulls back for a second and final round. The last day of the finals will feature a mix of bulls in the long round followed by the Built Ford Tough Championship Round where the World Champion bull will be decided along with the World Champion rider.
The nine bulls competing for World Champion bull will all go in Round 2, but they aren’t guaranteed a spot in the championship round. If Lambert feels their Round 2 performance isn’t up to snuff they may not get a second out, or they may end up in Sunday’s long round. The championship round at the World Finals has been set by Lambert since the beginning of the PBR, and it’s an honor for every bull that Lambert has chosen over the years. It’s been the beginning of bigger things for some bulls, and the culmination of their career for others.
During the five days of the PBR World Finals we’ll see bulls representing over 50 stock contractors from the U.S. and Canada. Chad Berger and partners are bringing the largest number with over 20 bulls here. It’s worth noting that Berger has 45 to 50 bulls that are BFTS quality. The fact that half of those didn’t make the cut for this week says something about the overall quality of bulls on hand for the PBR’s biggest week of the year.
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