MAUNEY, HARRIS HIGHLIGHT DES MOINES DRAW (4-23-2014)
FORT WORTH, Texas ― He’s back.
After missing the past two Built Ford Tough Series events, J.B. Mauney will return to competition this weekend in Des Moines, Iowa.
The reigning World Champion has been out with what has been described as a complicated sprained left riding wrist and includes a bone bruise.
Despite missing four BFTS events in the first 15 weeks, Mauney is currently ranked ninth in the world standings. He is 1,680.81 points off the pace being set by Guilherme Marchi, who has been the top ranked rider in the world for the past eight weeks.
Marchi leads a cluster of five Brazilians all ranked among the Top 6 –Fabiano Vieira, 2, Joao Ricardo Vieira, 3, Silvano Alves, 5, and Valdiron de Oliveira, 6 – with only 2004 World Champion Mike Lee, 4, among them.
For the past three weeks, all eyes have been on a pair of BFTS invitees –Guytin Tsosie, 31, and J.W. Harris, 34 – who have both fared well and rode their way into the draw this week.
Both make up two of the Top 3 alternates this week that also includesHarve Stewart and Austin Meier.
Following the Billings, Mont., event two weeks ago, Harris said, “Every bull that I’ve been on here has been good and just what a guy wants to get on. That’s probably been the best part about it, is getting on good bulls.”
In three events, Harris has ridden 5-of-9.
The past two events he’s finished in the Top 10, including a second-place finish in Nampa, Idaho.
Harris has also commented in multiple media outlets that he enjoys being able to fly in and out of one city and the ability to spend weekdays with his wife and two kids.
“Whenever you rodeo you have to spend 10 to 12 hours (driving) and you’re going during the week, and you miss a lot, especially having two kids,” he said. “You’re back home Sunday or Monday and it just makes it a lot better.”
He added, “A cool thing too about being over here is you hear all this stuff about what’s said about rodeo guys and none of that’s been the case here. It’s been nothing but good stuff since I’ve been here and I dang sure have no complaints.”
Harris took last weekend off – his first since Christmas – and spent Easter with his family.
The 28-year-old, four-time PRCA champion estimates he rode in as many as 40 rodeos this year prior to being offered a BFTS exemption.
He joked that riding bulls is the easy part and the wear-and-tear of traveling is what gets hard. Competing among the Top 35 bull riders in the world has been a welcomed change of pace.
“I’m hoping to be here for the long haul,” Harris said.
Kody Lostroh and Pistol Robinson are also both in the draw this weekend, having used injury exemptions, while Jordan Hupp and Justin Grangereach earned a spot with Touring Pro Division wins last weekend.
A trio of riders inside the Top 30 – Robson Palermo, 19, Nathan Schaper, 25, and Chase Outlaw, 26 – is out with injuries.
Palermo underwent successful shoulder surgery on Tuesday.
A full update on his status will be posted on Sunday following the BFTS event.
Schaper isn’t expected to return to competition until after the summer break, while Outlaw is week-to-week with a sprained pelvis and strained groin.
The official draw will be released later today.
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