By: Keith Ryan Cartwright January 26, 2014@ 06:15:00 PM
Nathan Schaper won the first BFTS event of his career this weekend. Photo by Andy Watson / BullStockMedia.com.
OKLAHOMA CITY ― As in life, effort will get you a long way in bull riding too.
Just ask Nathan Schaper.
The 23-year-old from Grassy Butte, N.D., was the lone rider to go 4-for-4 in Oklahoma City to claim his first career Built Ford Tough Series event win to the roar of the crowd inside Chesapeake Energy Arena this weekend.
“You want something so bad and work so hard and do everything it takes to finally make it happen,” said Schaper, who selected Percolator with the first pick in the bull draft for the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.
Schaper had seen Mike Lee, who also found himself off the outside, make the whistle two weeks ago in Chicago for 82.5 points. He thought the bull was up-and-down and described him as “nice.” Percolator is also known to turn back.
His roommate and travel partner, veteran Billy Robinson, was with him behind the chutes offering some last minute words of encouragement and helped to alleviate any pressure he might have otherwise felt.
Schaper’s championship round ride was only 79 points, and he was on the side of Percolator – gutting it out – for much of the ride, but that effort, much like he’s displayed in 35 previous BFTS events, earned him the win overJoao Ricardo Vieira.
“I’ll take it,” Shaper said. “It will probably be one of my most memorable moments looking back—my first event – win hanging on the side like that. Kind of relative to when Justin McBride won the world that time.”
McBride hung on the side of Camo in the final round of the 2005 World Finals to win his first world title with a 75-point ride.
Coincidentally, McBride was in the television booth this weekend and said, “I love his effort.”
“I’m still kind of disgusted that I got off the side, because that’s such a great bull.” Schaper said.
However, he admitted, “There’s more to him, I think, than he looks. He felt kind of funny to me and I don’t know why I got off the side so quick. There’s something to him.”
Schaper explained that in recent weeks everything “has been blank” once he nods for the gate.
He didn’t hear or see anything until he hit the ground Sunday in Oklahoma. At which time, despite the disappointment of finding himself on the side of Percolator so quickly, he only realized he had held on for 8 seconds by the reaction of the crowd.
It’s about focus, effort and riding jump for jump.
Schaper added, “Finishing the ride.”
In fact, he wasn’t even aware of his score until well after he had done a television interview with Leah Garcia for CBS Sports Network and an in-arena interview with Brandon Bates.
Schaper opened the three-day event with an 82-point ride on Under Par in the opening round on Friday night and then followed with 86.75 points in Round 2 on Saturday when he covered Texicali.
Sunday he started with 82.25 points on Rock & Roll Fantasy to earn the top pick among the three riders – Reese Cates and Ty Pozzobon being the others – to enter the final round 3-for-3.
Vieira, who is now second in the world standings, won the final round, which featured six qualified rides including his 89.5 point-performance onCowtown Slinger. The reigning Rookie of the Year also finished second to Schaper (333.75 points) in the event with 263.5 points.
Rounding out the Top 5 in the average were Lee, who extended his lead atop the world standings, Cates and Pozzobon.
Schaper’s win moved him to sixth in the world behind Lee, Vieira (-522.88),J.B. Mauney (-580.63), Guilherme Marchi (-653.75) and Fabiano Vieira(-748.13).
“I’m always so thankful to be here and to be healthy, no matter what the outcome is,” said Schaper, who intended to call his family after finishing several other interview obligations. “I was just focused on doing my job here this weekend.
“I’m just blessed, so thankful and so happy to be here and this family we have with the PBR—this family we have here on the weekends is also special to me.”
INJURY UPDATES: Kody Lostroh did not compete on Sunday afternoon in Round 3 due to his left wrist/hand injury. According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, he is questionable for next week’s BFTS event in Sacramento, Calif.
Eduardo Aparecido bruised the left elbow and shoulder of his riding arm when he hit the chute gate during his third-round attempt on 10-X. He declined a re-ride option, but competed in the championship round.
L.J. Jenkins strained his left hip adductor (groin) during his ride in the championship round on Who Dey. He is probable for Sacramento.
Emilio Resende sustained a left hip pointer injury in Round 2 on Saturday night when he was hit by a horn after being thrown from Redneck. He did not compete in the 15/15 Bucking Battle or third round on Sunday afternoon. He is listed as probable for next week, in Sacramento, Calif.
On Friday night, Freeman reported a trio of injuries including:
Claudio Crisostomo bruised his left jaw when he was hit by a horn as he was thrown from his first round bull (Margy Time).
Cody Nance continued competing with a left hip pointer sustained when he was stepped on while he was hung up after being thrown from his first round bull (JT X2). He also continued after bruising his left (riding) hand in the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Saturday night, while Marco Eguchi went on to win the 15/15 despite suffering a sprained left ankle when he was also stepped on after being hung up Still Doin Time in Round 1.
Prior to the event, Freeman reported a laundry list of riders competing this weekend with various injuries.
Ryan Dirteater competed with a torn posterior cruciate ligament graft in his reconstructed left knee, Jory Markiss rode with a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and Pozzobon competed with a strained right hip adductor (groin muscle).
Valdiron de Oliveira rode with a bruised left elbow and forearm on his riding arm.
Chase Outlaw competed with a torn ligament in his left elbow on his riding arm and an aggravation of his right free-arm shoulder sprain/strain (posterior capsule, rotator cuff) sustained last summer.
Douglas Duncan rode with a sprained left riding hand and Ben Jones is riding with an aggravation of a sprained little finger on his right riding hand.
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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