By: Justin Felisko
April 09, 2017
BILLINGS, Mont. – Here are three things we learned from Round 2 of the Stanley Performance In Action Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, Saturday night at Rimrock Auto Arena.
Mauney in the driver’s seat in Billings (4-9-17)
Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney was the No. 1 bull rider in the world standings last year, but was unable to compete in Billings because of a hip injury.
Mauney now has an opportunity on Sunday afternoon to take a massive step forward toward working his way into contention for the 2017 World Championship.
The 30-year-old rode Buck John for 86.25 points in Round 2 on Saturday night to take over the lead in the event average of the three-day event.
“He was just up and down the way I like them,” Mauney said. “I just had to do my job.”
Mauney, who did get kicked in the stomach by Buck John, finished Round 2 tied for fourth-place with Gage Gay (86.25 points on Can’t Get Right) and 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi (86.25 points on Shocker) for 28.33 world points.
Mauney earned 50 points toward the world standings Friday night with an 86.75-point ride on Tequila Sunrise.
The Mooresville, North Carolina, cowboy is 10th in the world standings and trails world leader Eduardo Aparecido by 1,823.76 points.
“I am not where I want to be,” Mauney said. “Every time you nod your head you have to take advantage of it because these guys ahead of you don’t slip pretty much. Any time you can make the whistle and get some points that is what it is about.”
Mauney, Gay (172.75) and Marchi (169.75) are three of six riders a perfect 2-for-2 in Billings.
Also 2-for-2 are Shane Proctor (169.75), Derek Kolbaba (169.75) and Claudio Montanha Jr. (151.75).
Mauney has a chance at earning even more points on Sunday in Round 3 when he faces off against Mudshark (1-2, BFTS).
The 12-year pro got his first round win of the season last week in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, when he rode Mudshark for 89 points.
Triplett wins Round 2 in front of home state crowd
Reigning Stock Contractor of the Year Chad Berger and Mike Heald of Heald Bucking Bulls may want to start demanding a portion of Matt Triplett’s winnings.
Triplett rode Red Sails In The Sunset for a second consecutive weekend to win Round 2 Saturday night in front of his home state crowd.
The Columbia Falls, Montana, native covered his re-ride bull for 88.25 points a week after riding Red Sails In The Sunset for 87.25 points in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
“I might have to buy an interest in that bull,” Triplett said. “That bull fits me really well. He bucks so hard, and when they kick that hard it helps me out a lot. It sets me up to my rope. If I do my job right, turn my toes out and throw my hips it is going to work out.”
Triplett earned 100 points toward the world standings with his second round win of 2017.
Triplett was able to bounce back from his 2.27-second buckoff against More Big Bucks in Round 1 on Friday night.
He has not bucked off two consecutive bulls since getting a pep talk from his dad, Pat, before the Sioux Falls event, which he won last weekend.
“It is just nice having my dad here this weekend and having his support. It is so cool for him to bring bulls here and we both can live our dream.”
World No. 5 Kaique Pacheco also bounced back from a Round 1 buckoff (5.16 seconds on Red Sails In The Sunset) by finishing second in Round 2 with an 87.75-point ride on DaNutso.
Matt has drawn Hot Stepper (6-1, BFTS) for Round 3, and he has his work cut out for him on Sunday if he hopes to leapfrog the six riders ahead of him in the event average, but he knows he will have Rimrock Auto Arena on his side.
“All of the fans in Montana come here and support us Montanans huge,” Triplett said. “Just to not let the pressure and all the hype get to me is huge tonight.”
Proctor may have torn ligament in his wrist, but that isn’t slowing him down
Shane Proctor placed third in Round 2 with an 86.5-point ride on Sketchy Bob for 50 points toward the world standings.
“He is really neat,” Proctor said. “He is really up and down and an old-school bucker. He has a lot of drop and kick and is just outstanding. By about 6 seconds he freaked out and just bucked in the same spot. He kept blowing up and I got a couple of chops in. It was a lot of fun. That is my kind of bull.”
Proctor (2-for-2) has looked extremely strong through two rounds of bull riding despite missing Sioux Falls because of a wrist injury on his riding hand, and the No. 15 ranked bull rider in the world standings is in position to pick up his second victory of the season.
The 32-year-old had undergone X-rays during his time off and Dr. Tandy Freeman informed Proctor this weekend the X-rays showed a variety of injuries.
“The deal is he doesn’t know if the ligament is torn in there, but it is at least sprained,” Proctor said. “Then he said but that wasn’t the part that was bad. Beforehand, my wrist has always been bad. I have an edge of the bone broken off. I have arthritis running all the way through my wrist. Then I have bone spurs coming on the inside of my arm.
“My wrist has been pretty messed up.”
Other than the ligament, everything else is basically old injuries for Proctor.
Therefore, Proctor, who has drawn Sully (1-6, BFTS) for Round 3, is going to stick with taping his wrist, while taking advantage of the upcoming Easter break.
“A week off will help me not getting it jacked up,” he said. “I have had to tape it up a lot more than I ever had to before and I mean it is what it is. I am 32 years old. This stuff adds up.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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