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Mauney Extends World Lead in 15/15 Bucking Battle

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 and the 15/15 Bucking Battle of the Allentown Invitational on Friday night at the PPL Center.

Mauney extends world lead on Vieira

J.B. Mauney’s 61st career 90-point ride wasn’t enough to grant him his first career 15/15 Bucking Battle victory, but it was enough to help him extend his lead on No. 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira in the world standings.

Mauney rode Modified Clyde for 90.25 points to finish second in the 15/15 Bucking Battle and gained 90 points toward the standings.

Vieira bucked off his eighth consecutive bull when Stanley FatMax disposed him in 2.28 seconds in the 15/15. Earlier in the night, he was bucked off by Little Gremlin in 2.4 seconds during Round 1.

Mauney leads Vieira by 477.5 points in the world standings.

“That is what you ride bulls for – to be 90 every time,” Mauney said. “It was nice to get a little pay back.”

Modified Clyde previously bucked off Mauney earlier this year in Des Moines, Iowa.

Mauney was happy to bounce back from his 3.04-second buckoff in Round 1 against Tattoo.

The 2013 World Champion had plenty of time to think about his mistake as he was the first man out of the gate in the first round and the last to ride in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

“I am usually at the end of the event and I always hate being the last guy out because you have to wait the whole bull riding to get on,” Mauney said, “but when you are the first guy out you are just there.

“I made a mental mistake on that first bull and I told them they weren’t going to do it twice to me in one day.”

The second-place finish and world points were important for Mauney to earn seeing as No. 5 Fabiano Vieira (84.5 points on Cooter), No. 6 J.W. Harris (85.25 points on Big Dan) and No. 8 Stetson Lawrence (85.75 points on Micro Man) all posted qualified rides in Round 1 and are one bull ahead of him in the event average.

Lawrence and Harris are sitting second and fourth in the Allentown Invitational event standings.

Fabiano Vieira also rode Wicked for 88.5 points in the 15/15 Bucking Battle for a fifth-place finish and 45 points toward the world standings.

Mauney said having those guys put forth qualified rides only motivates him to join in the fun with them.

“Oh yeah,” said the 28-year-old. “I am not riding against those guys. I am riding against a bull. I pull for them guys just as much as they pull for me. If you make a good bull ride, I don’t care if you are sitting first or second or if you are 35th, I am going to tell you good job.”

Triplett wins second career 15/15 Bucking Battle

Matt Triplett is no stranger to the dark cloud that has been hovering over him since the BFTS resumed from its summer break last month in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Following his eventual 15/15 Bucking Battle 90.5-point winning ride on Shaft, the No. 4 rider in the world standings sat down in the Bad Boy Mower’s Lead Dog Chair with a big grin on his face.

“It’s been a while since I have been right here. I love it,” Triplett said. “Perfect timing. We are coming here at the end of the year. Things have not been going great for me. I don’t know. I have been going through the worst slump in my career and I think I just woke up and finally said you have to pull your head out of your butt and get things together.

Triplett entered the night mired in a 4-for-17 slump and was bucked off by Legal Tender in 2.23 seconds in Round 1.

The Columbia Falls, Montana, bull rider admitted he was frustrated he wasn’t awarded a re-ride when Legal Tender hit the bucking chutes on his way into the arena, but he knew he had to quickly refocus if he wanted to be just the second rider in 22 outs to make the 8-second mark on Shaft.

“He has bucked me off twice before,” Triplett said. “I just knew he was going to fit. He fits me really good. He kicks really hard and spins really good. I was just happy to get on him.”

It is Triplett’s second-career 15/15 victory.

The win also gives Triplett 150 points toward the world standings.

He trails Mauney by 1,180 points and knows he needs to get his act together in time for the Built Ford Tough World Finals.

“I have an opportunity of a lifetime,” he concluded. “I have been dreaming about this opportunity since I was a little kid and I was just letting it go away. To be able to ride a bull like that does great for my confidence.”

Aparecido conquers Mississippi Hippy in the bovine’s return

Eduardo Aparecido wasn’t even supposed to be in the 15/15 Bucking Battle until three-time World Champion Silvano Alves was ruled out because of an aggravation of his left hip injury following his 2.37-second buckoff against Circle City in Round 1.

Regardless, Aparecido conquered the massive Mississippi Hippy for 89 points.

“He is a very difficult bull,” Aparecido said with the help of Silvano Alves translating. “He is very hard. I tried all the time to go to to the front of the bull. I went a little bit to the side and I tried to stay strong. I am very happy to ride this bull. He is one of the best bulls in the world.”

Mississippi Hippy was returning to competition for the first time since Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month because of a procedure to remove an infection in his horn.

He had previously bucked off 11 consecutive riders on the BFTS.

Aparecido is the third rider in 36 BFTS outs to ride the largest bovine athlete in the PBR.

“In Brazil, I rode bigger ones, but Mississippi is too strong,” he added.

Aparecido tied with Valdiron de Oliveira (89 points on Pound The Alarm) for third-place in the 15/15 Bucking Battle. They each earned 67.5 points toward the world standings.

Aparecido moves from 17th to 16th in the world standings.

Injury Updates

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Alves is listed as questionable for the regular-season finale next weekend in Tucson, Arizona.

The defending World Champion said he has been feeling some soreness and pain the past couple of weeks, but thought maybe it was just in his head and had avoided seeing Freeman earlier this week for treatment.

“When I squeeze my knees I feel sore, sore, sore every jump of the bull,” Alves said. “In Tulsa, I (got bucked off) and was limping and I thought it was just in my head because of the surgery, but no, it is inflamed. I need to rest a little bit because of the inflammation and keep going to physical therapy to get my muscles strong. I want to make sure I am ready for Finals and ride like I am supposed to.”

In other injury news, Ben Jones (concussion), Robson Palermo (right groin strain), Guilherme Marchi (torn ligaments in his left knee) and Bonner Bolton (broken right clavicle) were out because of injuries.

Four riders were competing injured in Allentown: Michael Lane (right shoulder sprain and nerve injury), Alexandre Cardozo (sprained right knee), Tyler Harr (sprained knee/sprained left wrist and rib fractures) and Stetson Lawrence (sprained left knee and ankle).

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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