By: Justin Felisko
February 05, 2017
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Here are three things we learned from the Frontier Communications Showdown, presented by Ariat, this weekend at the Honda Center.
Pearl Harbor bucks off Mauney for career-high bull score (2-5-17)
Pearl Harbor won the matchup of titans on Saturday night against two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney.
Mauney lasted only 2.79 seconds before being launched toward the bucking chutes when the 30-year-old picked up his head during Pearl Harbor’s third jump of the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.
“I should have tried a lot harder,” an extremely frustrated Mauney said. “He did exactly what I expected. He bucked. If you are where you are supposed to be you can ride him all day long.”
Mauney later added, “Mark my words. I will pick him again.”
Pearl Harbor was scored a career-high 46.5 points and once again asserted himself as a favorite for the 2017 World Champion Bull title.
He was named the YETI “Bred For the Wild” Bull of the Event in Anaheim.
The 5-year-old bovine athlete has two 46-point outings in three events this season.
Fans can see the matchup exclusively on CBS national television Sunday at noon ET.
“We got to see an early preview of two greats,” two-time World Champion and CBS Sports Network commentator Justin McBride said. “Pearl Harbor is now definitely, with two huge scores, the front runner. Pearl Harbor is going to be tough to beat. He is going to be extremely tough to ride. J.B. was really frustrated with himself when he got up. He knew he picked his head up early and could have put out more effort, but do not take anything away from Pearl Harbor.”
Mauney selected Pearl Harbor with the 12th pick in the championship round draft after previously being bucked off by Cowboy Up (5.72 seconds) in Round 2.
“They had left him for me,” Mauney said. “I will pick him every time they leave him for me. I was going to pick him if I was first.”
Reigning Stock Contractor of the Year Chad Berger was not at the event on Saturday night because of an illness.
Therefore, his bull handler, Joey Hales, was thrown into action in Anaheim and had to flank Pearl Harbor and Berger’s bulls.
“Pearl Harbor was amazing,” Hales said. “Just amazing. That is Chad’s baby right now and obviously the front runner for Bull of the Year. I dang sure didn’t want to screw it up.”
Reigning World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser also rocked the Honda Center with his own 46-point bull score.
Bruiser bucked off Luis Blanco in 6.63 seconds during the championship round.
Blanco avoids Built Ford Tough Series cutline
Luis Blanco woke up on Saturday morning knowing he had the exact bull he needed to win Round 2 and earn enough points toward the world standing and avoid being cut from the Built Ford Tough Series.
Still, it didn’t make it any easier for him when he walked through the Honda Center doors knowing his BFTS early-season fate would be decided in a few hours.
Blanco can take a sigh of relief for the meantime after his 87.75-point Round 2 winning-ride on Sosa’s Alley Cat pushed him to 20th in the world standings.
“This is a huge ride,” Blanco said. “I wasn’t worried about the event, but I was worried about the bull. That bull is really rank and I had seen him out with some of the pretty good riders.”
The 28-year-old was competing with his final BFTS exemption of 2017 and jumped into the Top 20 after beginning the weekend 52nd in the world.
“I knew this was my chance,” Blanco said. “I knew what was going on. It is hard when you have to think about it. You have to work so hard to try to stay here. I just said before the event this will be day and try to enjoy it.”
Blanco finished 1-for-3 in Anaheim and tied with Joao Ricardo Vieira for fourth-place with 185 world points.
Meanwhile, Nathan Schaper and Tyler Harr both finished 0-for-2 and will be relegated to the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour after failing to earn any world points in Anaheim.
Proctor earns second career victory in southern California
Shane Proctor didn’t finish the weekend the way he would have liked, but getting revenge on two bulls that previously bucked him off wound up being enough to propel him to his first win of 2017.
Proctor finished 2-for-3 and took home the Frontier Communications Showdown victory with 450 world points.
The 31-year-old began his weekend with an 86.75-point ride on American Hustle to finish Round 1 tied for fourth place (35 world points. Proctor then finished sixth (15 world points) in Round 2 with an 85.75-point ride on Flight Plan.
“Both bulls had bucked me off before,” Proctor said. “American Hustle had bucked me off a few years ago at the PBR Finals and he turned out really good, blowing up and had a lot of kick. Flight Plan was a Chad Berger bull. He bucked me off in the 15/15 in Chicago. It was redemption for both of those bulls.”
Proctor clinched the victory after three-time World Champion Silvano Alves bucked off Red Bandana (3.45 seconds).
The Grand Coulee, Washington, bull rider then bucked off Catfish John in 4.56 seconds.
“It is good to get this win here,” Proctor said. “I would like another shot at Catfish John. I felt like I was in the right position. He just put too much pressure on my hand.”
Proctor was competing in Anaheim with a sprained right thumb, which he injured last weekend in Sacramento.
“I had been dealing with those hand issues,” Proctor added. “It had been swelled up. I have to wear a pad. Just the grip strength wasn’t there. I felt it on my first bull tonight kind of roll out and that was the only concern I had out of the entire weekend – my hand coming out of my rope. It did in the short round, luckily I still had it won, but you get lucky sometimes.”
Alves (2-for-3) wound up finishing third overall with 220 world points after Rubens Barbosa (2-for-3, 370 world points) jumped ahead of him with his championship-round winning, 85.5-point ride on Cracker Breaker.
Barbosa is back to No. 2 in the world standings and trails world leader Jess Lockwood (0-for-2) by 495 points.
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi sustained a concussion when he was stepped on by Spotted Demon during the championship round.
Matt Triplett aggravated a sprained left thumb and sustained a bruised left thigh when he was
stepped on after his 82-point ride on Shake it.
Paulo Lima did not compete in Round 2 because of two rib fractures he sustained on Friday night.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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