PUEBLO, Colo. – For the past three weeks, PBR.com has been talking with various riders on the Built Ford Tough Series about the current 2015 World Champion Bull Race.
PBR.com asked 27 different riders that have competed on the BFTS this year for their Top 3 possible selections for World Champion Bull and there were various answers.
Each year before the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals, the world’s top bull riders vote to determine the candidates for World Champion Bull. The World Champion Bull is the finalist who accumulates the highest total bull score during the World Finals.
The leading vote getter of the unofficial poll was SweetPro’s Long John, who received 20 of the 81 votes cast. Long John was the lone bull that the majority of riders were willing to say was the top bull among this year’s contenders.
It should be noted that the majority of the riders were polled prior to last week’s announcement that Mick E Mouse had to be put down. Mick E Mouse received nine votes.
Almost 75 percent of the riders believed that Long John has the skills and pedigree to win the 2015 title.
Long John has posted a bull score of 45 points or better in six of his last seven BFTS outs. He is 9-1 on the BFTS this season with an average bull score of 45.43 points per out.
Placing second in the poll was Chad Berger’s Smooth Operator with 16 votes.
Smooth Operator is one of the top bulls slated to compete in this weekend’s Second Chance Bracket at the Jack Daniel’s Music City Knockout.
Smooth Operator did have some question marks for some rider’s because of his 41-point outing in Billings, Montana, but his summer performances on the BlueDEF Velocity Tour convinced many that Berger’s bull would bounce back once he BFTS resumed.
He bucked off Emilio Resende in 3.42 seconds for a 45-point bull score last weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Smooth Operator has gone 11-1 and is averaging 44.69 points per out.
Interestingly enough, Julio Moreno’s Roy received strong recognition from the BFTS riders. In many instances one rider would say Roy was part of their Top 3 bulls in the PBR, which led to another rider saying, “Oh yeah, I forgot about him. I want him in my top three.”
Roy has competed limitedly this season and according to stock contractor Julio Moreno, fans won’t see his bull buck again until the regular-season BFTS finale in Tucson, Arizona.
Regardless, the bull that nearly stole the show from Bushwacker at last year’s Built Ford Tough World Finals has clearly impressed the riders in limited action this season.
Roy has gone 5-0 with an average bull score of 45.25 points.
Placing fourth in the poll was Jared Allen’s Air Time with 11 votes.
Air Time is also bucking in the Nashville Second Chance Bracket.
Air Time currently has the longest active buckoff streak (11) among any of the 11 bulls that received a vote in the poll.
The NFL superstar Jared Allen and Matt Scharping’s aspiring World Champion Bull bucked off Luis Blanco in 1.59 seconds last week in Tulsa. Air Time was marked 44.5 points.
Air Time is averaging 45.04 points per out in six outs in 2015.
One bull that wasn’t listed in any of the 27 riders’ Top 3 was Little Red Jacket.
Little Red Jacket has been gaining steam with a 46.5-outing against J.B. Mauney in Las Vegas and a 45.25-point performance with J.W. Harris two weeks ago in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Gene Owen’s bovine will get another opportunity to show what he’s got when he bucks in the Nashville Second Chance bracket Saturday.
COMPLETE POLL RESULTS (27 riders questioned; 81 votes casted)
- Long John (20 votes/74.07 percent)
- Smooth Operator (16 votes/59.26 percent)
- Roy (14 votes/51.85 percent)
- Jared Allen’s Air Time (11 votes (40.74 percent).
- Mick E Mouse (nine votes/33.33 percent)
- Percolator (two votes / 7.41 percent
- Boot Jack (two votes/ 7.41 percent
- Bruiser (two votes / 7.41 percent
- Stone Sober (two votes / 7.41 percent
- Cooper Tires Brown Sugar (two votes 7.41 percent
- Mr. Bull (one vote 3.70 percent)
*Percentage represents total percent of riders that placed the bull in Top 3. Each rider was given three votes.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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