SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of the PFI Invitational, presented by Bass Pro Shops, on Friday night at JQH Arena.
MAUNEY EXTENDS WORLD LEAD
J.B. Mauney continues to take care of business on his pursuit of a second career world title and Joao Ricardo Vieira continues to let good opportunities slip by.
Mauney extended his world lead on Vieira to 302.5 points by riding Spin Machine for 87.25 points to finish Round 1 in third place and earn 50 points toward the standings.
More importantly, the ride helped Mauney continue to slowly build his padding atop the world standings after Vieira bucked off Red Moon at 7.26 seconds.
“It was a good bull,” Mauney said. “I had seen him last week when Brady Sims had him. I knew he would be a good one to have. I just have to keep riding.”
It is the second consecutive weekend in which Vieira has been bucked off just past 7 seconds.
Vieira appeared to be in good position when Red Moon strongly pulled to the left, but once the bovine turned back to the right it sent Vieira crashing to the ground.
Last weekend, the No. 2 bull rider in the world appeared poised to win the WinStar World Casino & Resort Invitational before bucking off DaNutso at the 7.02-second mark during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.
In a sport where every second and millisecond counts, those two buckoffs are major reasons why Vieira is currently looking up at the 28-year-old from Mooresville, North Carolina, after sitting on top of the world standings for the majority of the season.
Mauney was the only rider in the Top 7 of the world standings to record one of the 10 qualified rides in Round 1.
He replied that his left ankle was not bothering him after walking out of the arena with limp.
“It is just a stinger. I will be fine,” he said.
DAVIS WINS ROUND 1; COVERS BOUNTY BULL FOR 5K
Cooper Davis, who has lost 13 pounds since the Tulsa, Oklahoma, event put together his greatest performance since living on 1,200 calories per day by riding You’re Next for 88 points to win Round 1.
“That bull is a handful,” Davis said. “I didn’t really know much about him. He didn’t have a whole lot of stats, but the stats he had said he was a pretty good bull – and he was.”
Davis earned 100 points for the round win – his third of the season – and he moves from 20th in the world standings to 17th.
The rookie then followed that up with an 88.5-point ride on bounty bull BootDaddy.com for an additional $5,000.
Davis was almost fooled when BootDaddy.com turned back to the right in the final seconds.
“He had me beat,” Davis said. “I don’t know how I caught back up to him. I never quit. He went back left and felt better than he did when he went right.”
In total, Davis earned $8,580 heading into his Round 2 matchup against Butchers Nightmare.
BootDaddy.com previously bucked off Davis in 4.12 seconds in Nashville, Tennessee, to eliminate him from the Jack Daniel’s Music City Knockout.
“I am not going to complain about that,” Davis said. “To get him rode here and some money in my pocket, I couldn’t be happier.”
Davis decided to cut down on his weight after being approached by PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert and J.W. Hart in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month.
To help lose weight, Davis has been primarily eating chicken, brown rice and broccoli during the week.
He has been happy with the recent results.
“I got one rode last week for 85 and this week I feel better,” Davis said. “I am adjusting to the weight a little bit better. I feel confident and feel like I can move around a whole lot better than I had.”
Rounding out the Top 5 was J.W. Harris (87.5 points on Legacy), Mauney, Stetson Lawrence (87 points on Slinger Jr.), Sims (86.5 points on Come on Baby), Chase Outlaw (86.5 points on What A Burger) and Aaron Roy (86.5 points on Ms. Kitty’s Peacemaker).
Harris earned 60 points toward the world standings to move from 12th to 10th, while Lawrence moved up one spot to ninth after earning 40 points.
Sims, Outlaw and Roy all split fourth through sixth and walked away with 10 points toward the standings.
Outlaw was returning from a left shoulder injury that kept him out of Thackerville last weekend.
BRUISER TAKES HOME TOP BULL HONORS
For the second week in a row, Bruiser was the top-marked bull in the first round of a Built Ford Tough Series event.
Although this weekend, Bruiser stepped it up to an even higher notch than he did in Thackerville.
The D&H Cattle Company bovine athlete sent Valdiron de Oliveira tumbling over like a tree at the 4.29-second mark inside JQH Arena for a 46-point bull marking.
The 46 points is a season-high for Bruiser and the bull score also ties his career-high he set last year at the World Finals when Mauney rode him for 93.25 points.
“He was just bucking,” Oliveira said. “He wasn’t too strong. He was just a fast bull. This is my fault. I needed a little bit more concentration.”
Oliveira added that his chest felt OK despite being slammed to the ground by Bruiser near the corner of the bucking chutes.
Friday night was Oliveira’s first BFTS event since sustaining a broken sternum last month in Biloxi, Mississippi.
“For the first bull, I am alright,” he said. “It feels good. I hit the ground pretty hard and I don’t feel sore or nothing.”
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, there were five riders competing injured in Springfield – Michael Lane (right shoulder sprain/nerve injury), Alexandre Cardozo (sprained right ankle), Tyler Harr (sprained knee, sprained wrist and left rib fractures), Stetson Lawrence (sprained knee and left ankle) and Neil Holmes (lacerated left index finger on his riding hand).
Ben Jones (sore neck) and Ryan Dirteater (concussion) also returned to action this weekend.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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