By: Justin Felisko
September 25, 2016
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Here are three things we learned from the Rumble in the Rockies, presented by Cooper Tires, Sunday at Broadmoor World Arena.
Gene Owen knew Seven Dust needed an impressive out, bull score included, if his bovine athlete was going to have a chance at earning one of seven World Champion Bull contender positions for the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals.
On Sunday, Seven Dust gave Owen more than just a good out. Seven Dust came through for a season-high 45.75-point bull score with a 7.55-second buckoff against Kaique Pacheco in what nine-time World Champion Ty Murray called a “heavyweight showdown.”
“That was two heavyweights trading blow for blow,” Murray said. “That was going to be a hell of a ride. That is why I don’t judge. I would have said he was close enough. He was 92.”
Owen said, “He just stayed hooked and the power. He never weakened and never did Pacheco. He would have been 95 or 96 today. He was that good. Pacheco gave him a chance.”
Owen believes the out only solidifies Seven Dust as more than just a dark horse World Champion Bull contender.
“I think he was a dark horse a month ago,” Owen said. “I don’t know how he can’t be a (contender). I am not saying that because he is ours. Video don’t lie.”
The out raises Seven Dust’s World Champion Bull contender average to 44.69 points, which is the sixth-best in the PBR. Seven Dust has been marked 45 points or higher in three of his last four outs.
The end of the out proved to be a scare for Pacheco as the world leader was slammed against the bucking chutes. The 22-year-old was helped out of the arena by PBR sports medicine and was diagnosed with a bruised right knee and forearm by Dr. Tandy Freeman.
Pacheco finished 1-for-3 in Colorado Springs and earned only 10 world points.
He leads No. 2 Cooper Davis by 600.33 points heading into next weekend’s Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic in Eugene, Oregon.
“Everything is good,” Pacheco said. “That was a hard bull. He is fierce.”
Vieira wins first non-PBR Major event since February 2014
It had been 2 years and 7 months since Joao Ricardo Vieira won a Built Ford Tough Series event that wasn’t a PBR Major until Vieira teed off on Chad Berger’s Big Cat for 87.75 points Sunday afternoon.
Vieira, who won two PBR Major events last season, used his Built Ford Tough Championship Round ride to win him the Rumble in the Rockies after Luis Blanco and Jess Lockwood both came down before the 8-second mark during the final two rides of the event.
“It is very important for me because I have been trying every week to do my very best,” Vieira said with the help of a translator. “Today, I rode two bulls that were extremely challenging.”
Vieira was the only rider to go 3-for-3 after riding Dirty Little Secret for 84.25 points in Round 1 Saturday night and Crazy Days for 84.75 points on Sunday afternoon in Round 2.
The 32-year-old picked up a monumental 570 points toward the world standings and moved up to No. 4 overall. He earned 400 points for winning the event average, 100 for winning the championship round, and 70 points for his third- and fourth-place round finishes.
Vieira moved up to fourth in the world standings and is within 1,142.83 points of Pacheco.
“My mind and my body are in a really good place right now,” Vieira said. “I am very confident and excited to get to the next event and to really ride my bulls.
“To win an event and to be a champion is the consequence of doing a great job. I am doing my best.”
Vieira last won a regular BFTS event in 2014 on Valentine’s Day weekend in Kansas City, Missouri.
Coming in behind Vieira, Lockwood and Blanco was Mason Lowe and Ryan Dirteater.
The third-place finish was a career-high for Blanco and he jumped from 34th to 26th in the world standings.
Vieira was riding with a special lucky charm this weekend in his left pocket.
Vieira met a retired member of the U.S. Special Forces at a Bass Pro Shops autograph signing on Thursday. The two broke off into a conversation and the retiree ended up giving Vieira a special coin from his time of service.
The retired Special Forces soldier, David, attended the event on Saturday and, according to Vieira, served in the United States Army for 40-plus years
“It always symbolized success and he passed it on to me so that I can feel I will always have that extra strength with me,” Vieira said. “He always worked very hard for his living, for his country and for his profession. To me, this a symbol of the kind of hard work to preserve.”
Lockwood ties Pacheco’s rookie record
Jess Lockwood isn’t interested in any consolation prizes, but the soon-to-be 19-year-old tied a PBR rookie record by winning his seventh BFTS round.
Lockwood won Round 2 with an 87.25-point ride on Superstition, but wound up losing the event victory when he was bucked off in 7.88 seconds by Catfish John on the final ride of the weekend.
“I didn’t do my job,” Lockwood said. “That is pretty much it. You just have to ride your bulls.”
It was the second time this year Lockwood was bucked off by Catfish John in the championship round.
“Frick, he was just bucking. I was a little behind so I was having to back door him. I finally got so behind that he caught me with that hip and blew me out of there.”
Pacheco set the record last year with seven round wins of his own.
“Heck, Kaique was a rookie last year and I am trying to do just as good as him or better, of course,” Lockwood said. “That is pretty cool to think.”
Lockwood finished 2-for-3 and second in the event with 400 world points. The Volborg, Montana, bull rider moved up to sixth in the world standings and is only 1,664.5 points behind Pacheco.
Earlier in the day, PBR Exclusive Entertainer Flint Rasmussen, gave Lockwood SpongeBob SquarePants’ cupcakes as an early birthday present. Lockwood turns 19 on Wednesday.
“I didn’t have any when I am staying in shape,” Lockwood said with a smile. “I will save them and take a picture.”
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Jorge Valdiviezo did not compete in the championship round because of a bruised right shoulder (riding arm) sustained when he was struck by CRG’s Love Bites’ horn as he was bucked off in 3.65 seconds. He was also competing with an old right ankle injury he aggravated in Round 1 on Saturday. Valdiviezo is probable for Eugene.
Tyler Harr (broken rib) and Nevada Newman (left arm) missed the final day of competition because of injuries sustained in Round 1.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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