By: Slade Long
March 31, 2016
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The First PREMIER Bank/PREMIER Bankcard Invitational in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, added an extra day to the tour stop making it a three-day event. That means we’ll get to see three long rounds, a short round and a 15/15 Bucking Battle. Like several other events with a similar formats this season, the 15/15 bucking battle will be loaded with bull talent, and the short round will be a notch below that.
Jared Allen’s Air Time leads the 15/15 bucking battle pen in average marking this year, but he’s picking up just his fourth out of the season compared to other bulls here who already have eight. He’s currently out of the lead in the World Champion Bull race, but PBR Livestock Director Cody Lambert sees Air Time as the eventual front runner in the race.
“His last two outs have been as good as any he’s ever had,” said Lambert. “He’s had good riders on him, and he’s been easier to get out of the chute on, which is a new deal for him. I think he’s the best bull going right now. He’s settled down enough that he doesn’t wear himself out fighting the chute, and he puts all that energy into bucking. I think everyone else who owns bulls has to see him as the one to beat.”
PBR Stock Contractor Chad Berger is close to home this week, and his bull, Beaver Creek Beau, is leading the World Championship Bull race at the moment. That will probably change by the end of the season, but he’s been a solid performer all year.
“He doesn’t have quite what the very best bulls have,” Lambert said. “But, he’s a great bull, and a veteran bull. He’s really a nightmare for left-handed riders. He doesn’t have a lot of speed, and a guys tend to over ride him. That’s not too bad for right-handed riders because they can cheat him a little to the inside, but a left-handed guy has to ride him perfect and never get out of position. That’s hard to do.”
Berger’s Crossfire is also among the season’s best bulls so far, and he just gave up his first qualified ride to Cooper Davis in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“He’s just a strong bull,” said Lambert. “He never lets up or takes a single jump that is easier than the last. He keeps bringing it for the whole eight seconds. Cooper Davis has come close to making some big rides this year, but he finished strong on Crossfire, and that’s going to be good for him I think. I expect we will see more rides like that out of Cooper this year.
Bar D Cattle’s Pearl Harbor will also be on hand in Sioux Falls. He’s been making people take notice of him this season, and his trip in Albuquerque with Silvano Alves was impressive.
“He’s good every time,” Lambert said. “He’s had a little trouble getting out of the chute clean in the past, but they seem to have worked that out. His last three outs he’s thrown off Cooper Davis, Guilherme Marchi and Silvano Alves, so he’s doing pretty well. He’s got a lot of drop. He’s a big long bodied bull and that makes him a little stronger when he drops.”
Rounding out the pens in Sioux Falls we’ll see a lot of bulls that make their home in the region. Jared Allen’s Pro Bull Team, Chad Berger, Shane Gunderson, Mark Ward, and even Matt Triplett will have bulls there, along with some other mid-western contractors. The short round on Sunday isn’t completely set, so Lambert will be filling it with bulls that show the best in the early rounds, and possibly a few from the 15/15 bucking battle, provided they don’t have to work too hard there.
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