By: Justin Felisko
March 05, 2017
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Here are three things we learned following the Jacksonville Invitational this weekend at Veterans Memorial Arena.
Nance comes through with important round win to avoid cutline (3-5-17)
Cody Nance has qualified for the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals for eight consecutive years since beginning his career as the 2009 Rookie of the Year.
However, the 29-year-old was flirting with the Built Ford Tough Series cutline prior to tying with 2017 Rookie of the Year contender Claudio Montanaha Jr. for the Round 2 victory Sunday afternoon.
Nance rode Pneu Dart’s Captain for 87 points in dramatic fashion after he was nearly disqualified in the bucking chute with the chute clock running down to three seconds before he nodded for the gate.
“No, I knew I would be ready,” Nance said. “I called for him before I even slid. I was ready. That is the rule. You have to call for the gate. If you call for the gate before the clock runs out you are good.
“He was a good, little black bull. He is electric and fast around to the left.”
Nance earned a highly important 80 points for the round victory and left Jacksonville with 85 world points and a seventh-place finish.
The Paris, Tennessee, bull rider was bucked off by Godfrey’s Red Bull in 7.86 seconds during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.
Nance began the weekend No. 33 in the world standings and now moves back into the Top 30 at No. 28.
He had bucked off 11 consecutive bulls before riding Captain and is 3-for-23 (13.04 percent) through nine events.
“I believe I am still one of the best bull riders in the world even though I am pushing 30,” Nance said. “Nowadays, people have learned how to train and eat right. Back in the day, people were starting to retire at my age. I am not ready to retire. I feel like I am as strong and in good of shape as any of these guys here.
I am not ready to quit. I don’t see myself riding anywhere else. This is my ninth year and I am not ready to go anywhere. I just have to remember how I got here and keep doing that.”
Stormy Wing, another veteran dancing near the cutline, finished 2-for-3 in Jacksonville for 30 world points and a 10th-place finish.
The 27-year-old is trying to hang onto a BFTS draw spot and is 32nd in the world standings heading into next weekend’s Bad Boy Mowdown in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Wing rode Millennium’s Back for 83.25 points in Round 1 Saturday and Micro Man for 84.25 points in Round 2. The Dalhart, Texas, cowboy then nearly made a sensational ride on Sosa’s Alley Cat (7.21 seconds) in the championship round.
“This is the weekend I have been looking for,” Wing said. “Every weekend is important, but when you don’t show up and do your job it is easy to start going downhill. You have nobody to blame but yourself.”
Aparecido wins third event in four weeks; extends world lead to 887.5 points on Lockwood
Eduardo Aparecido bounced back from a 1-for-4 showing in St. Louis last weekend and re-asserted himself as the rider to beat so far in the 2017 world title race with his third event win in four weeks.
Aparecido capped off a 3-for-3 performance in Jacksonville by riding Bezerk into his hand for a championship-round winning 87.25 points.
“I fell last week, but that didn’t hurt me,” Aparecido said with the help of Guilherme Marchi translating. “I feel strong mentally. I saw the draw this week and knew I had a possible chance to cover those good bulls. I came into the championship round in a good spot with a good chance to pick another great bull and win this event.”
Aparecido selected Bezerk with the third pick in the championship-round draft.
“I have saw that bull before and I didn’t know many of the other bulls,” Aparecido said. “I knew if I ride this bull, I had the possibility of a very good score.”
Koal Livingston (5.95 seconds on Alligator Arms) and Montanha (4.66 seconds on Jammin Jackson’s Handsome Jeff) later bucked off, sealing the victory for Aparecido.
“I am very happy to have won three events this year,” said the surging Aparecido. “I am feeling so strong.”
Aparecido earned 550 points toward the world standings in Jacksonville to extend his lead on No. 2 Jess Lockwood, who did not compete because of a torn groin, to 887.5 points.
Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney finished second after finishing his weekend with an 85.75-point ride on Rebel Yell II. Mauney moves up to ninth in the world standings after earning 311.7 world points.
Meanwhile, 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi is now eight rides away from becoming the first rider to reach 600 rides on the BFTS. Marchi rode St. Patty for 82.5 points in Round 2 and Pneu-Dart’s Southern Style in the championship round for 83 points.
Marchi finished third overall with 275 world points.
Castro has first 3-for-3 event of his career
2015 PBR Brazil champion Luciano de Castro continues to gain momentum during his first season competing in the United States.
Castro finished off his first three-ride weekend on the BFTS by riding a sky-jumping Air Marshall for 87 points in the championship round.
The ride propelled him to a career-best fourth-place finish and 220 world points.
“That bull has a lot of air and a lot of kick, but he felt good,” Castro said. “I was very comfortable riding him.”
Castro entered the championship round in 10th place after turning down a re-ride option following his 77.75-point ride on Rocco in Round 2.
However, he was only able to leapfrog six other riders with his second-place finish in the championship round.
Castro began the weekend with an 87-point ride on Ante Up in Round 1.
The 20-year-old is third in the Rookie of the Year race behind Dener Barbosa and Montanha.
Montanha (2-for-3) overtook the No. 1 rookie ranking from Barbosa after earning 161.7 points in the world standings this weekend.
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Marco Eguchi did not compete on Sunday because of an old right rib injury.
Robson Palermo was unable to attempt Jug Head in Round 2 after his left knee (preexisting PCL and meniscus tears) locked up as he was trying to mount the bull in the chute.
Matt Triplett sustained bruises and abrasions of his right hip when he was stepped on following his 80.75-point ride on Pitch Black.
Wallace de Oliveira bruised his left ankle when he was stepped on after being thrown from One Like That (3.41 seconds) in Round 2. Oliveira returned to competition earlier in the day after passing the PBR’s concussion protocol.
Mason Lowe sustained a right hip pointer and abdominal bruising when he was stepped on by Richard (6.61 seconds) in Round 2.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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