By: Justin Felisko
April 23, 2017
TACOMA, Wash. – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 and the 15/15 Bucking Battle at the Tacoma Invitational Saturday night at the Tacoma Dome.
Mauney moves to No. 2 in the world, but 500 will have to wait (4-23-17)
J.B. Mauney’s pursuit of becoming the third rider in history to reach 500 qualified rides on the Built Ford Tough Series will have to wait another week, but the two-time World Champion did his part to move up to No. 2 in the world standings.
Mauney finished Round 1 in second-place with an 88-point ride on WSM Auctioneer’s Like A Boss for career ride 497, but he later was bucked off by Spotted Demon in 4.74 seconds during the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
Regardless, Mauney’s second-place finish in Round 1 netted him 60 points toward the world standings and pushed him ahead of Kaique Pacheco for the No. 2 world ranking.
“He is a good bull and I knew if I rode like I am supposed to we would be 88 or 89,” Mauney said.
Pacheco rode Lone Wolf for 84.5 points to finish Round 1 in a three-way tie for seventh place and 1.66 world points. He was later bucked off by 2012 World Champion Asteroid during the 15/15 Bucking Battle in 2.83 seconds.
More importantly, Mauney and Pacheco both jumped at the opportunity of world leader Eduardo Aparecido bucking off Billy Bat Skat in Round 1 and will have a chance on Championship Sunday to take another chunk out of Aparecido’s 1,000-point lead atop the world standings.
“The ball is rolling now,” Mauney said.
Mauney has ridden seven of his last 10 bulls for an average score of 88.71 points.
He also wound up earning an additional 30 points toward the world standings courtesy of his third-place finish at the 2nd annual Sean Willingham Invitational this weekend in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The 30-year-old had gone 2-for-2 in Tennessee on Friday night before flying to Tacoma on Saturday.
Cody Nance and Alex Cardozo tied for the Chattanooga event victory for 65 points toward the world standings.
Mauney now trails Aparecido by only 1,033.76 points heading into his Round 2 matchup against Shakey (6-0, BFTS).
Shakey bucked off Jess Lockwood in 4.19 seconds in Round 1.
Mauney added after the 15/15 Bucking Battle that he felt fine despite being tossed on his head by Spotted Demon.
“We just learned that my head weighs more than my body,” Mauney joked.
Proctor wins 15/15 Bucking Battle by slaying Pearl Harbor
Instead of being sent flying into the Puget Sound, Shane Proctor flooded the Tacoma Dome with electricity and excitement on Saturday night by covering No. 1 bull Pearl Harbor for a career-high 93.5 points.
“Everything went my way today,” Proctor said. “I bucked off the not as hard to ride one (Long Haired Outlaw in 5.86 seconds) in the long round, so I couldn’t finish the day with two buckoffs. In front of the home state crowd, they are very supportive of Derek (Kolbaba) and I. It means the world to me to have that bull and that matchup here.”
Not only did Proctor ride him, but the Grand Coulee, Washington, native from 4 hours east of Tacoma made it look easy into his hand.
Proctor was able to handle Pearl Harbor’s notorious first big drop out of the bucking chute before settling into the 5-year-old’s methodical spin and got to spurring for the final seconds.
“The stars aligned and it was meant to be,” Proctor said.
Reigning Stock Contractor of the Year Chad Berger credited Proctor for making a helluva ride, but admitted his bull certainly did not bring his “A” game.
Pearl Harbor, though, appeared to lose steam as the ride progressed and was only marked 45.75 points.
“It was a great ride,” Berger said. “The bull had a good trip, and I am not taking anything away from Shane, but it wasn’t a Billings trip. We will see what kind of man he is now when we go to Vegas.”
It is the third time Pearl Harbor has been ridden in 28 outs.
The ride also broke Proctor’s previous career high of 91.25 points (Bones and Say I Won’t Gunslinger) and earned the No. 11 ranked bull rider 150 points toward the world standings.
Matt Triplett rode Tractor Tippin for 87.75 points to finish in second for 90 world points, while Joao Ricardo Vieira made it three consecutive rides on Fire & Smoke by covering Berger’s bovine athlete for 86.5 points and 75 points toward the world standings.
2016 World Champion Cooper Davis put up the only other ride of the 15/15 Bucking Battle, 85 points on Jack Daniel’s After Party for 60 world points.
Wing ends buckoff streak to win Round 1
Stormy Wing had bucked off five consecutive bulls since riding 2016 World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser for 95.25 points to win the Ty Murray Invitational last month.
Wing finally got things back on track by covering Locke & Loaded for 88.75 points to win Round 1 here in Tacoma.
Locke & Loaded spun away from Wing’s hand, but the 27-year-old made it look smooth as the bull faded toward the center alley gate.
“He usually turns out backwards and he did today,” Wing said. “He went around to the right. I had kind of been having hell and I didn’t really think anything about it. I just did my job and it worked out.”
Rounding out the Top 5 in the round was Mauney, Triplett (87 points on Red Sails In The Sunset), Emilio Resende (86.25 points on Clevenger) and Cody Campbell (86.25 points on Slick Rick).
Resende and Campbell, who are both competing as alternates, each earned 35 points toward the world standings as they try to jump back into the Top 35 of the world standings.
Resende moves up to No. 38 in the world standings and is 44.17 points behind No. 35 Robson Aragao, who rode Grave Digger for 83 points and a 14th place finish in Round 1.
“It is very important for me to ride the first bull,” Resende said. “Tomorrow I will try to give my maximum effort and ride again. Every point is very important to me. For me to stay in the Top 35 and get back in the game. Everyone knows my fight of going up and down with the Velocity Tour.”
Campbell is sitting 41st in the world standings, 56.68 points behind Resende.
The ride is Campbell’s first since January 7, 2012, when he rode County Mounty 87.75 points in Madison Square Garden.
Campbell had bucked off 20 bulls in a row since then.
“Things just hadn’t been going right,” Campbell said. “I am just trying to gather up some points and get up there where I need to be. That is all it amounts too. You have to take everyone as it comes.”
There were 18 rides in Round 1.
Wing was bucked off by Smooth Operator in 3.63 seconds in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
Smooth Operator was marked 45 points for his second-highest score of 2017.
“He was just long,” Wing said. “He really set up around there and tried to whip my feet behind me and when I stuck them back down he just had me into my hand and bucked me off. It was my own fault.”
Wing will look to pick up his second win of the season Sunday afternoon when he begins the final day of competition against Cowboy Up (15-10, BFTS).
Gage Gay responded from being crushed inside the bucking chutes and bruising his right shoulder when Dirty Gringo flipped over inside the chutes to ride Sully for 84 points in Round 1.
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Jess Lockwood strained his neck during his 4.19-second buckoff against Shakey in Round 1, while J.W. Harris sustained a lower back strain when he was kicked in the back by Flight Plan during his 3.86-second buckoff.
Lockwood and Harris are probable for Round 2.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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