By: Justin Felisko
August 08, 2016
PUEBLO, Colo. – If you took Magic Train away from the Built Ford Tough Series it would be pretty darn hard to imagine how this peaceful creature has been able to kick the snot out of the best bull riders in the world.
When Magic Train isn’t making his BFTS opponents look like fools, he can be found begging for attention on stock contractor Matt Scharping’s Arlington, Minnesota, ranch.
At one moment, the 6-year-old bovine will be standing at attention with his bulging shoulder muscles and then the next minute Magic Train can be rolling over onto the ground looking for someone to rub his belly.
“He is really my buddy,” Scharping said. “The best way I can describe him is he is like a dog. There are certain people he just really dislikes. He can be really mean and a jerk, but with me he tried to be real mean when I first got him and now he figured out I am his friend or whatever.”
If Jared Allen’s Air Time is the crown jewel of Jared Allen’s Pro Bull Team, then Magic Train is certainly the team’s hidden gem.
Magic Train heads into the second half of the Built Ford Tough Series 7-0 this season and is averaging a career-best 44.25 points per out.
He is one out away from reaching the eight-out minimum for the World Champion Bull race. Scharping knows Magic Train isn’t likely a true contender for the 2016 title, but he is still tickled that Magic Train has worked his way into the conversation.
“That was one of my goals at the start of the year. To have two bulls in the (World Champion) race,” Scharping said. “That is just showing growth in the animal. Everyone gets caught up in the bull competition. Well, you really have to look at your animal’s health. What is he showing you? Is he developing? Is he maturing? You have to pay attention for that.
“He is really showing me a lot of development and a lot of maturity.”
PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert doesn’t believe Magic Train is in contention for a World Championship, but Lambert did say it should be noted how improved Magic Train has been this season.
He is a little surprised more riders don’t reach the 8-second mark aboard Magic Train.
“Magic Train is a really good bull,” Lambert said. “I am surprised they don’t ride him. He had an off day at the Finals last year (Eduardo Aparecido rode him for 73.75 points) and he has been ridden two other times in his life. He goes up and down and he should feel pretty good. What he will do is jump out of the spin after he has made a turn and will go again.”
Magic Train is 26-3 in his three-year BFTS career. Outside of Aparecido, the only other riders to reach 8 seconds on Magic Train are Robson Aragao (87.5 points at the 2015 Tulsa, Oklahoma, event) and Kasey Hayes (87 points at the 2014 Tulsa, Oklahoma, event).
“He is kind of built like a bulldog,” Scharping said. “He is just so wide. It goes to where they can’t get a good hold with their feet because he is so strong in that front end. He has a real wide frontend and a short back. He has some real heavy muscle. He is big, strong, but he is not the strongest. He is just really, really solid.”
Magic Train’s best out so far this year came in Des Moines, Iowa, when he bucked off Rubens Barbosa in 6.55 seconds for 45.25 points.
Magic Train ended his first half with an impressive 1.94-second buckoff of world No. 3 Fabiano Vieira for a 44.75-point bull score. He also took care of business in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with a 4.36-second buckoff of current world leader Kaique Pacheco.
“There have been a couple of times where he was as good or better than Air Time,” Scharping said.
Magic Train began the season with a 1.22-second dumping of Brady Sims in Oklahoma City for a 45-point bull score. By the time Magic Train was making his second jump, Sims was sent flailing over the front end.
“That bull bucks,” Sims said. “That is all there is to it. Me and H.D. (Page) was talking and we have seen that bull, we have seen him a whole lot. Every jump he just swallows himself around the corner. That is what makes him so hard. I was sitting perfect coming out and next thing I knew I was doing the superman out there. I didn’t have a clue what just happened. He hits that corner and means it so much. Then after that he dang sure don’t get any easier. He is a dang good bull.”
Scharping added with a chuckle, “The one with Brady was cool because he kicked higher than Magic Train did. When he bucked him off, he got his feet and Brady was doing the superman on top of him. That was an awesome out.”
Magic Train is the son of three-time World Finals Bull Crazy Train (16-4, BFTS), who is a D&H Cattle Company product.
Scharping says Magic Train will make his second half debut at the Frontier Communications Music City Knockout, presented by Cooper Tires, on Aug. 19-20 in Nashville.
“He is just really, really good and is getting consistent,” Scharping concluded. “What I will say is if he has two 45.5- or 46-point outs, then he is in the bull of the year race because most of them other bulls are going to have one really good one and one maybe not quite as good. So the consistency might lend to his advantage when it comes down to it.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Throughout the month of July and early August, PBR.com, and the PBR’s social media channels, will be featuring a variety of bulls in the race for the 2016 World Championship, as well as some of the other rankest bovines in the business.
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