By: Justin Felisko
March 30, 2016
PUEBLO, Colo. – It may be time to transfer Stanley FatMax from the bucking chutes to the football field.
The 10-year-old bovine continues to maul, batter and bulldoze opposing bull riders at such an impressive clip that he may be best suited for paving the way for an NFL running back rather than competing as a PBR bucking bull.
However, like many of the best offensive linemen in the NFL, FatMax never seems to be given enough attention or praise for his accomplishments.
Fat Max posted the 68th buckoff of his Built Ford Tough Series career three weeks ago in Duluth, Georgia, by embarrassing Kurt Shephard in 1.87 seconds.
FaxMax’s 68 buckoffs is the most among active bulls and is tied for the sixth-most in PBR history with Slick Willy.
“He is just kind of unassuming,” said owner and four-time Stock Contractor of the Year Jeff Robinson. “He is kind of one of those players like a football player that just never really got the attention and you look at the whole career and they have been to Pro Bowl after Pro Bowl and next thing you know they are in the Hall of Fame.”
Blueberry Wine holds the PBR record with 84 BFTS buckoffs. Robinson doesn’t believe it’s impossible to think FatMax may just be able to set the record in the next two to three years.
“I will be honest with you. I didn’t know what the all-time buckoff rate was. Yeah, it is possible,” Robinson said. “I feel like he will get to 75 this year. Maybe a couple more. Maybe not.”
In seven years on the BFTS, FatMax has an impressive 68-4 record.
FatMax is 6-0 in 2016 and is coming off an impressive 18-1 2015 campaign. The black bull has averaged 14.75 outs in the past four years and only needs eight more buckoffs this season to reach 75.
“He just has that real up and down about him,” said a disappointed Shephard. “I sure didn’t have enough rope and I paid for it I guess.”
If FatMax were to reach the 75 buckoff mark, he would tie Western Wishes for third all time, as well as pass Little Yellow Jacket, who is currently fourth with 73.
Fatmax is set to square off against Eduardo Aparecido during Saturday night’s 15/15 Bucking Battle in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The 15/15 Bucking Battle can be seen Sunday on CBS national television at 2:30 p.m. ET.
It will be the third time that FatMax and Aparecido go head-to-head. Aparecido was bucked off by FatMax in New York in 4.81 seconds and in Nampa, Idaho, last season in 5.45 seconds.
Here is a look at the 15/15 Bucking Battle Matchups
Ben Jones vs. Cooper Tires Semper Fi (22-10, BFTS)
Kaique Pacheco vs. Magic Train (23-3, BFTS)
Derek Kolbaba vs. Slinger Jr. (19-1, BFTS)
Lachlan Richardson vs. Cochise (7-3, BFTS)
Cooper Davis vs. Wicked (23-6, BFTS)
Mason Lowe vs. Little Red Jacket (14-11, BFTS)
Robson Palermo vs. Big Tex Walk Off (48-6, BFTS)
Eduardo Aparecido vs. Stanley FaxMax (68-4, BFTS)
Mike Lee vs. Jared Allen’s Air Time (20-1, BFTS)
Wallace de Oliveira vs. Crossfire (21-1, BFTS)
Fabiano Vieira vs. Seven Dust (8-0, BFTS)
Joao Ricardo Vieira vs. Beaver Creek Beau (37-4, BFTS)
Shane Proctor vs. Boot Jack (26-2, BFTS)
Paulo Lima vs. I’m a Gangster Too (46-13, BFTS)
J.B. Mauney vs. Pearl Harbor (11-1, BFTS)
What really makes the 10-year-old’s career record unfathomable is his record against the last two PBR World Champions, J.B. Mauney and Silvano Alves.
The two riders have combined to win the last five world titles, but are only 2-9 against FatMax.
“Two of the guys that have ridden him in the four times –J.B. Mauney and Silvano – and he has bucked them off nine times,” said PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert. “He deserves the most talk of any bull. He doesn’t have a chance to win the championship, but he is a legendary bull that deserves that legendary status.”
Alves has been bucked off five consecutive times after riding FatMax for 83.5 points at the Grand Island, Nebraska, Touring Pro Division event in 2009.
“He looks good (to ride), but I don’t know. I just don’t know,” said a perplexed Alves. “He is strong. He jumps to the right. All the time to the right. Sometimes he will go two jumps and to the left, but normally right. He is a big bull. Strong bucker.”
Mauney conquered FatMax for 89.75 points during the 15/15 Bucking Battle in Oakland, California, during his historic come-from-behind rally to win the 2013 world title.
“One of my favorites was when J.B. actually rode him in Oakland,” Robinson said. “They only marked him 89.75, but that was one of the few times J.B. had to hustle as much as I had seen him to ride a bull. And it was pretty. That was when he was starting his roll.”
Mauney is the only left-handed rider to make the 8-second mark on FatMax in 47 attempts at all levels.
It isn’t just Mauney and Alves.
FatMax has also dispatched 2004 World Champion Mike Lee twice, as well as 2010 World Champion Renato Nunes, 2009 World Champion Kody Lostroh and 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi once.
That makes FatMax a whopping 14-2 against PBR World Champions. FatMax has also bucked off other standout riders like Joao Ricardo Vieira, Kaique Pacheco, Valdiron de Oliveira, Cody Nance, Fabiano Vieira and J.W. Harris.
“It is a tough deal. I don’t know why that bull bucks off so many people,” a puzzled Robinson said. “I thought he was kind of done a couple of years ago, or coming to an end, but, man, he keeps on clicking. That bull has been hauled a bunch too.”
Robinson added that he is a little surprised to see FatMax in potentially the best shape of his career. He acquired FatMax from New Frontier Rodeo in 2012, and he has switched his feed program for his older bulls this year. FatMax is the son of four-time World Finals qualifier Squirt Gun (34-21, BFTS).
Tanner Byrne was the last rider to solve the FatMax riddle when he covered the bull for 86.75 points at the 2014 Iron Cowboy. The bovine athlete only averages 43.5 points per out, but his sometimes trashy and deceptive bucking style has fooled everyone.
FatMax has bucked off 18 in a row on the BFTS since Byrne rode him.
“He is a really big bull, but he is built really weird,” Byrne said. “He is built kind of like a buffalo straight up hill. The way he bucks, he is moving the hips so much that every time he kicks he sits back on the rope and he keeps trying to run you back. All I did was run my knees up a whole bunch and try and stay forward. Obviously, it worked out for me. I didn’t know the whole history behind him. I knew he bucked a lot of guys off, but I just went at him.”
The only other rider to have ridden FatMax was Jordan Hupp (87.25 points in Jan. 2013 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.)
FatMax is expected to compete at this weekend’s Ty Murray Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Robinson then plans on hauling him to potentially three more BFTS events before the summer break.
“He just keeps on coming,” Robinson said. “It is kind of amazing. He is the kind that shows up and it doesn’t matter what you ask of him or how many times you ask him. That bull really bucks and I think he is sure underrated for what he is.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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