HICO, Texas – It looked like Mother Nature had plans to ruin Cody Ohl’s Touring Pro Division event – Hico’s Steak Cook Off Chute Out – on Saturday night.
Thankfully, Lady Luck intervened and the dire predictions of torrential downpours didn’t materialize during the event at the open-air arena.
Regardless of the threatening weather, nothing was going to slow down J.B. Mauney from continuing his hot streak since returning from a torn ACL a few weeks ago.
Mauney took home the event title by going 2-for-2 with a combined ride score of 178.5 points. The 2013 World Champion successfully coveredCalifornia Sports Coat in the first round for 86 points, and later rode Gigolo Beau for 92.5 points in the championship round.
“For two years I’d promised fans that J.B. would be here,” said Ohl. “But with the occupation he’s got, you never know when it’s going to go wrong. He kept getting hurt and couldn’t make it. Well, the third year was a charm.”
Finishing second was Fabiano Vieira, who won the first round with an 88-point ride on Crazy Days. He later received 82.5 points on Magic in the championship round.
The stock contractors and the riders had all kept an eye on the weekly, then daily, then hourly weather forecast. But no one was as nervous as event producer and stock contractor Ohl. The past two weeks had seen record rainfall, tornadoes and even hail pound Texas.
Two days before the event, the rain had changed to intermittent showers.
Ohl and his team worked around the clock getting the arena ready. Not only was his third annual TPD event in jeopardy, so too was a bonus round showdown between Mauney and four-time PRCA champion J.W. Harris.
The two riders were each matched up against an unridden bull with the winner taking home $10,000.
Both champions had already agreed that they would give the check to Madison Burt, a Texas girl fighting brain cancer.
Ohl knew fans would pack the stands in Hico to watch the two legends battle it out, he just hoped they would be riding on dirt instead of mud.
Harris was up first in the bounty matchup. Having been stepped on earlier in the event, Harris had already decided he wouldn’t ride in the championship round, so he could ride in the bounty round for charity.
He wanted to give the fans the event they’d come to see. Harris faced Wolverine and Ohl’s bull made quick work of him and Harris was left limping out of the arena.
Mauney was up next. This time he faced Circle T’s Crossfire. The bull once again got the best of him after previously bucking Mauney off in 1.83 seconds in Oklahoma City.
“I’d like to have another go at that bull,” said Mauney, “but we’ll have another chance again. What matters is that we raised money for a great cause.”
Lady Luck, however, can be fickle. After a phenomenal event that left fans, cowboys and contractors happy, Ohl was in the back pens when disaster struck. A bull turned back and ran Ohl over, opening up a huge gash on his forehead. One stock contractor tore off his shirt and held it over the wound, while another called 911. When it was decided it would take too long for the ambulance to arrive, Ohl was rushed to the hospital by a third contractor.
Mother Nature then followed Lady Luck’s lead. The skies opened up and sheets of rain began coming down. The last of the contractors rushed to load their bulls and leave the arena as flash flood warnings began to sound.
By the next morning, the sun was shining and Ohl was home from the hospital. He had a few staples in his head, a beat up leg and a bruised body – but a smile on his face.
In his opinion, the event couldn’t have gone any better.
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