ST. LOUIS – 2012 World Champion Bull Asteroid is set to buck at the Choctaw Casino Resort Iron Cowboy, powered by Kawasaki Strong, on Feb. 28 in what will be the final out of his four-year career on the Built Ford Tough Series.
There were a series of memorable moments in Asteroid’s career and today PBR.com takes a look back at the four occasions Asteroid was marked a career-high 47.5 points on the BFTS.
Kasey Hayes vs. Asteroid (2011, Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Asteroid first eclipsed the 47-point mark on the BFTS when he bucked off Kasey Hayes in 5.24 seconds at the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, event in September 2011 for a career-high bull score of 47.5 points.
“Man, really, with Asteroid, I knew he was supposed to go out there and really kick over his head and turn back to the left, which I like,” Hayes said. “The funny thing was I got off him and I went and told Sean (Willingham), ‘Man, when he turned back, that is when he got my hips out.’
“Little did I know, he was turning back the whole time. I was just trying to ride him and didn’t really know what was going on because he was bucking so hard. I didn’t even know he turned right in the gate.”
It was the seventh out of his career and the first of Asteroid’s four career trips in which he was marked 47.5 points.
Hayes believes it was Asteroid’s action that made him so tough to ride.
“He is just up and down and kicks very, very high,” Hayes said. “Sometimes it is like you can’t lean back far enough and then you can’t get back forward fast enough to counter-react it because he is so quick.”
Asteroid may just be the best bull Hayes ever got on in his 10-year career.
“He is definitely one of the best, for sure,” Hayes said. “I never got on Bushwacker, and he was an amazing bull and we all know that. Asteroid has bucked me off and he has thrown up some pretty big numbers and he has been a World Champion Bucking Bull, so I mean he could be the best bull I ever got on.”
Harve Stewart vs. Asteroid (2011, World Finals)
Two outs after Asteroid took down Kasey Hayes in Milwaukee, the bovine athlete started the 2011 Built Ford Tough World Finals with authority when he tossed Harve Stewart to the dirt in just 1.76 seconds during the 2011 World Finals.
“I do remember I didn’t last too long,” Stewart said. “I nodded and he stood up on his nose and went left and I kept going straight. He wasn’t real big, but he had a lot of power, kicked hard and fast.”
The 47.5-point bull score put Asteroid in the driver’s seat at winning his first World Champion Bull title before he hipped himself two days later in the championship round against Cord McCoy.
The no score eliminated Asteroid from contention and opened the door for Bushwacker to win the first of his three world titles.
If Asteroid could have left the chute cleanly that year, would he be tied with Bushwacker with two World Champion Bull titles?
Silvano Alves vs. Asteroid (2012, Sacramento, California)
Asteroid got the best in the second of five meetings between the two PBR juggernauts in January 2012 during the 15/15 Bucking Battle in Sacramento, California.
The eventual 2012 World Champion Bull started the season with vengeance after coming up short of the 2011 world title and Asteroid had already bucked off Douglas Duncan (46.75-point bull score) in Anaheim, California, and J.B. Mauney (45.75 points) in Portland, Oregon, by the time Alves readied himself aboard Asteroid at Sleep Train Arena.
Once the gate opened, Asteroid turned left and went straight vertical to jerk Alves down in 1.81 seconds during the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
“I like Asteroid, he bucks good and is the best bull,” Alves said. “He is very strong. I remember the first time he bucked me off, the second time, the third time and the fourth time. All of the (buckoffs), my position was no good and Asteroid was better than me.”
Nine-time World Champion Ty Murray was serving as the color analyst during the television broadcast and was impressed with how Asteroid made “easy work” of the PBR’s reigning World Champion as if he was any other rider.
“A bull can’t get any steeper than that,” Murray said. “Silvano is a guy that takes power away from bulls so much and he doesn’t even knock a dent in Asteroid’s power.”
Alves was one of five different World Champions that Asteroid would buck off in his career. Asteroid is a combined 10-2 against World Champions (Alves, Mauney, Mike Lee, Guilherme Marchi and Renato Nunes) in his career heading into Iron Cowboy.
Valdiron de Oliveira vs. Asteroid (2012, Tampa, Florida)
Asteroid would post his final 47.5-point bull score a year after his first one when he bucked off Valdiron de Oliveira in 2.33 seconds during the Aparecida de Goiania, Brazil, bull rider’s push for the 2012 World Championship during the Tampa, Florida, 15/15 Bucking Battle.
Oliveira was the No. 3 bull rider in the world at the time and he had no shot against Asteroid as the bovine athlete lunged out of the bucking chute with full force, dislodging Oliveira in just two jumps.
Two-time World Champion Justin McBride was the color commentator at the event and called it a statement by Asteroid.
“The night that Asteroid just had is a long shot for anybody,” McBride said. “I thought this bull just made a huge statement right there. Those two jumps are as tough as you are ever going to see from any bull.”
When asked about that past showdown this weekend in St. Louis, Oliveira nodded his head.
“I remember,” he said. “For me, three years ago I was trying to win the world and I got on him two times, but he was hard to ride.”
Asteroid bucked him off in 5.29 seconds in Indianapolis, Indiana, for a bull score of 46.75 points earlier that season. It was one of 12 outs that year by Asteroid that was marked 46 points or higher.
Oliveira said he is still unsure where Asteroid developed so much power for being such a smaller bull in stature and size.
“Well, I don’t understand,” Oliveira said. “He was a small bull and a short bull, but he had a lot of power. He was a very strong bull. His stance in the chute – to much movement – and sometimes you don’t get a chance to get good position in the chute.”
Tampa was one of the many highlight-reel moments of Asteroid’s finest year on the BFTS, which he capped off by winning his only World Champion Bull title during the World Finals.
Asteroid went 17-1 and averaged a career-best 46.31 bull score per out. Only one of his outs was marked below 45 points – 44.75 points in Pueblo, Colorado, against Luke Snyder – and his only mistake on the scoresheet came in Greensboro, North Carolina, when he failed to get out of the chute with Renato Nunes.
Oliveira believes that if not for three-time World Champion Bull Bushwacker’s reign of dominance, Asteroid may have been even more famous during his time in the PBR.
“He would have been a more famed bull if not for Bushwacker,” Oliviera said. “When they open the gate … Oh, he bucked.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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