By: Justin Felisko
October 16, 2016
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Here are three things we learned from the San Jose Invitational, presented by Ariat, this weekend at the SAP Center.
Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney made sure to congratulate Cooper Davis on his event victory Sunday afternoon before grabbing his bull rope and heading toward the locker room.
Mauney shrugged and smiled when asked about his 3-for-3 performance as Davis celebrated atop the shark cage as the newly minted No. 1 bull rider in the world standings.
For Mauney, he knows he did his job in San Jose and isn’t going to nitpick ride scores or anything of that matter.
He is third in the world standings and within 520 points of Davis.
“That is all you can do,” Mauney said.
Mauney capped his weekend with 86.5 points on Lifting Lives in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round. He finished second in the round behind Davis (89.75 points on Beaver Creek Beau) for 60 of the 380 world points he earned in San Jose.
“Oh, they said he was good since they swapped him to the left,” Mauney said. “Shoot, the last couple of weeks you can’t go wrong with Page bulls. They have been pretty good to me.”
Mauney won the Nampa, Idaho, event last week with a 92.5-point ride on Stone Sober after Davis was bucked off by Little Red Jacket on the final ride of the night.
The Mooresville, North Carolina, bull rider’s only snafu came in the 15/15 Bucking Battle when 2012 World Champion Bull Asteroid bucked him off in 3.78 seconds.
Mauney split the Round 1 victory (80 world points) with Tanner Byrne courtesy of his 86-point ride on Blowing Smoke. He rode LL Cool J for 82.75 points in Round 2.
The 29-year-old earned 380 points toward the world standings, 240 of which came from finishing second in the event average.
Mauney believes he should be No. 1 in the world, but he takes responsibility for not holding the top spot.
“The way I look at it is I should be sitting first in the world, but the reason I am not is I fell off bulls I should have rode,” Mauney concluded. “That is the way it goes. If you sit there worrying about what you should have done all year long you are going to worry yourself to death.
“I learned a long time ago what happen yesterday no one remembers, you worry about today.”
Davis takes over the world lead on the back of his old pal Beaver Creek Beau
Cooper Davis laughed when asked if he should be considered a dragon slayer after ending Beaver Creek Beau’s streak of 16 consecutive buckoffs on the BFTS, but his 89.75-point ride was no laughing matter.
The ride propelled Davis not only to the event victory Sunday, but also back into the No. 1 position in the world standings for the first time since he underwent surgery to repair his broken clavicle on Sept. 14.
“I don’t know,” Davis said. “You watch J.B. He is the one getting on all the great ones, I guess maybe there is one in me too.”
Davis went 4-for-4 in San Jose, including his 15/15 Bucking Battle victory, and earned 690 points toward the world standings with his two victories.
The Jasper, Texas, bull rider leads No. 2 Kaique Pacheco by 167.17 points in the standings. Pacheco went 2-for-3 and finished in 12th place with 32.5 world points.
“It feels really good to get them all down, especially getting bucked off in the short round last week on one I should have rode,” Davis said. “It keeps lighting a fire for the next day and I am ready for the next round.”
The 22-year-old previously rode Beaver Creek Beau this summer for 92.5 points at Chad Berger’s BlueDEF Tour event in Bismarck, North Dakota.
“I stayed on him before and I figured I could ride him if I did it once,” Davis said. “He felt a little harder today and I was a few less points on him, but it doesn’t matter.”
Davis won the 15/15 Bucking Battle Saturday night with an 89.5-point ride on Berger’s Big Cat for 150 points toward the world standings.
The two rides are Davis’ second and third-highest of the season. His only better performance was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when he became the first rider to conquer Crossfire (91.5 points).
Davis began his weekend in San Jose with 84.75 points on Kylie in Round 1 and 81.5 points on Hawaiian Bond in Round 2.
He is now tied for the BFTS lead with three event wins heading into next weekend’s regular-season finale – Cooper Tires Take The Money and Ride, presented by Ak-Chin Indian Community – in Tucson, Arizona.
“I came in here this weekend with the expectation to stay on all of my bulls and it worked out,” Davis said. “I didn’t go in there and pick an easy one like I did in the short round last week. I can’t ride the easy ones.”
Tanner Byrne (3-for-3, 280 world points), Wallace de Oliveira (3-for-3, 195 world points) and Stetson Lawrence (2-for-3, 170 world points) rounded out the Top 5.
Stone Sober moves into World Champion Bull conversation
Stone Sober has snuck himself into the World Championship bull race with two impressive back-to-back weeks with one Built Ford Tough Series event remaining.
Stone Sober posted his second 45.5-point bull score in as many weeks when he whipped Stormy Wing into the steel bucking chutes in 2.71 seconds during the championship round.
“I was trying to sneak out of there on him and he kind of hung his horn when he did,” Wing said. “It was me mentally sitting down on my (butt), and when you get behind from the start on bulls like that you have no chance and they will make you look stupid.”
Less than 24 hours earlier, Stone Sober had bucked off Pacheco in 3.91 seconds during the 15/15 Bucking Battle for a 44.25-point bull score.
The two outs – combined with his 45.5-point score from Mauney’s winning ride in Nampa – has him currently seventh in the World Champion Bull race with an average bull score of 45.5 points.
Stone Sober may end up qualifying for the World Finals as a World Champion contender as the No. 7 seed depending on which bulls buck in Tucson.
The Top 7 bulls based on the sum of their best eight BFTS outs of the season automatically qualify for the Finals as World Champion Bull contenders.
Stone Sober’s surge knocked Wicked into the eighth spot. Beaver Creek Beau dropped to ninth after being only marked 43.75 points during Davis’ ride.
“As far as I am concerned, Stone Sober bucks,” Wing said. “He is in the short round all the time. I don’t know what the debate would be. I am not saying he is the best one, but he is one of them.”
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Robson Palermo bruised his left knee and may have torn his meniscus when he was thrown into the chute by Set ‘em Up Joe in Round 2. He is questionable for Tucson.
Eduardo Aparecido bruised his right knee, pelvis and sprained his right sacroiliac joint when he struck the shark cage at the end of his 67.5-point ride on Tso-Op. He did not accept a re-ride option and missed the championship round. He is probable for Tucson.
Gage Gay strained his left groin during his 84.5-point ride on Strong Heart in Round 2.
Marco Eguchi missed the championship round after he sustained a right hip pointer when he landed hard following his 83-point ride on Little Man in Round 2. He is probable for Tucson.
Ben Jones sustained a bruised right calf when he was stepped on after being thrown from Hell Pony in Round 2. He is probable for Tucson.
Ryan Dirteater did not compete in Round 2 because of a concussion he sustained in Round 1. He is questionable for Tucson.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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