By: Justin Felisko
October 08, 2016
NAMPA, Idaho – Here are three things we learned following Round 1 of the DeWALT Flexvolt Invitational Friday night at the Ford Idaho Center.
Mauney returns from broken rib with ride; world leaders shine (10-8-16)
J.B. Mauney once again proved on Friday night that no injury is too much for him to withstand as the two-time World Champion rode Mr. Clark for 84.5 points in his first event back since missing two weeks with a broken rib.
“That was a great bull,” Mauney said. “He has been around for a long time and can go either way. I couldn’t ask for a better bull to come back on.”
Any pain near his ribs?
“Nah,” Mauney replied. “I felt good. The dismount didn’t work, but that is the way it goes.”
Mauney, who said his house in Mooresville, North Carolina, won’t be impacted significantly by Hurricane Matthew, finished seventh in the round and gained five points on world leader Kaique Pacheco.
Pacheco turned down his re-ride following a 70.75-point ride on Say Goodbye. He, Ryan Dirteater and Jess Lockwood all decided against attempting Intensified Clyde for a higher score.
“I haven’t been on a bull since Charlotte and to get one way under your belt gets your confidence going,” Mauney concluded.
Mauney has drawn War Cry (0-0, BFTS) for Round 2 on Saturday night.
World No. 2 Cooper Davis joined his fellow world leaders with a qualified ride in Round 1. Davis gained 45 points on Pacheco after tying for third-place with an 86-point ride on Grandpa Joe.
It was Davis’ first qualified ride against Grandpa Joe after previously bucking off Chad Berger’s bovine in three previous meetings.
“That is the equivalent to riding Wicked right about now,” said Davis, referencing his 0-5 record. “Me and him have had a streak that has gone on for a while. Chad was joking that he had been on cows for the last few weeks and said if I did ride him that was his excuse.”
Davis trails Pacheco, who is 15th in the event, by 830.33 points heading into Saturday night’s Round 2. Davis takes on Thunderbolt (1-0, BFTS) and Pacheco will see Wonder Fly (0-0, BFTS).
Friday was just one round, but the top three riders in the world standings showed they were focused.
“Heck, that is what our job is,” Davis said. “Show up and ride our bulls. I don’t think anybody is looking any more into that than what it is. You can crunch numbers all day long, but it don’t matter until Nov. 6.”
Eguchi jumps back into the Top 35
Marco Eguchi kept blinking his eyes as the pain radiated throughout his left shoulder (free arm) in the moments following his 86.75-point ride on Jericho.
Eguchi was riding with a separated left shoulder that he injured at the Memphis, Tennessee, BlueDEF Tour event two weeks ago.
Still not truly healthy, Eguchi, who began the event No. 36 in the world standings, knew he couldn’t stay home if he wanted to earn his first trip to the Built Ford Tough World Finals in two years.
Eguchi’s grit paid off as he finished second in the round for 60 world points to move to 33rd in the world standings.
“I take 10 days off and was going to physical therapy every day,” Eguchi said. “It still hurts a lot. Every ride right now is so important. It can be the key to go to the Finals, so I am just having fun and trying to ride all of my bulls.
“But it is not easy.”
Chase Outlaw remained 34th in the world standings after tying for fourth-place in the round. Outlaw rode Smoke Wagon for 85.75 points and 22.5 world standings points.
Eguchi and Outlaw were two of four riders ranked 30-36th to have earned a qualified ride.
No. 31 Ty Pozzobon, returning to the BFTS for the first time since 2014, rode Phantom for 83.5 points and No. 32 Nevada Newman rode Big Skyfor 81.5 points.
Newman sustained a concussion and is doubtful for Round 2, according to Dr. Tandy Freeman, after Big Sky rolled over him following the 8-second ride.
Neither Pozzobon nor Newman earned points toward the world standings seeing as they placed outside of the Top-7 in the round.
Fraser Babbington was bucked off by Ground Control in 3.86 seconds and dropped to 36th in the world standings.
Proctor one step closer to new goal
There were plenty of times growing up that Shane Proctor had his dad, Lucky, bring him to various Idaho Cowboy Association rodeo events.
Proctor grew up six hours away in Grand Coulee, Washington, and competed multiple times at the Ford Idaho Center as an amateur bull rider. He once again found success on Friday by winning Round 1 with an 87.5-point ride on Blind Spot.
“That is a good way to start this weekend,” said Proctor, who got a ride from the airport to his hotel from his dad. “I have a good feeling about this. I have been to this arena a thousand times. It is a fun place and a state that has a great cowboy heritage. They really know what’s going on when they show up at this arena.”
Proctor faces Lifting Lives (5-0, BFTS) in Round 2.
Proctor said before the event his new goal until the World Finals was to win a career-high third regular-season BFTS event.
His round win and 100 world points has him one step closer to that now.
“That was just fun,” he said. “Before I had been real, real tight. I just thought smile. Just smile.”
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, world No. 6 Eduardo Aparecido is questionable for Round 2 after he bruised his left buttock and sprained his left SI joint when he was thrown by Jo Blow into the chute gate.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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