By: Justin Felisko August 29, 2014@ 11:55:00 PM
ROUND 1 HIGHLIGHTS AND STORYLINES FROM THACKERVILLE (8-29-14)
THACKERVILLE, Okla. – Here are three things that stood out from Round 1 of the WinStar World Casino & Resort Invitational on Friday night.
1. Vieira wins sixth round of 2014 Built Ford Tough Series
Joao Ricardo Vieira notched his sixth round win of the 2014 Built Ford Tough Series with an 88.75-point ride aboard Bruiser during the final section of action.
“It went very well,” Vieira said. “It was a good bull.”
Vieira’s ride highlighted the ABBI Classic Round of bulls on a night when there were 13 qualified rides.
Rounding out the Top 4 was J.B. Mauney (88 points), Josh Faircloth (87.25) and Emilio Resende (87). J.W. Harris, Kody Lostroh and Stetson Lawrence finished in a three-way tie for fifth place with 86.75 points.
2. World leaders rise to the occasion with injuries
Joao Ricardo Vieira, who began the weekend third in the world standings, couldn’t make up much ground in the standings as No. 1 Guilherme Marchi and No. 2 Fabiano Vieira both covered their first-round bulls.
Vieira placed 12th with 84.25 points on Griz Jr. It was another gutsy effort by the cowboy after he dislocated his shoulder two weeks ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Perola, Brazil, native said before the event that on a scale of one to 10 his shoulder pain was at a seven.
“We will see how it goes,” the 32-year-old said. “It hurt a lot last time.”
To try and help keep his shoulder in place on Friday, Vieira taped it before putting on his shoulder brace and then taped it once again.
During the ride, he was able to keep his normally unstable shoulder stable and compact as Griz Jr. broke into a steady spin.
It wasn’t anything spectacular, but after the ride he confidently nodded his head toward the bucking chutes after showing a glimpse of the rider who is determined to make a run at his first world title.
Speaking of confidence, there was no rider in need of a ride this weekend more than Marchi. After re-aggravating his right PCL injury in Tulsa, Marchi hinted at the end of the Express Employment Professional Classic that he was losing confidence in the knee.
By the time he was disembarking Domino on Friday, Marchi was tossing his cowboy hat toward the left side bleachers and echoing a loud celebratory roar to the Thackerville faithful.
His 82.75 points gave him a first-round, low 13th -place finish, but it reassured him that the last two weeks he spent in Brazil rehabbing with physical therapist Nivaldo Baldo had paid off.
“It felt great,” Marchi said. “I feel happy to get on that bull and ride him. It was the first time I used that brace and it helped me pretty good. The physical therapy helped me too. My leg is strong. The brace is more important for keeping it (in place).”
In Brazil, Marchi said he participated in a series of swimming exercises and leg workouts to help strengthen the muscles in his right leg. Marchi admitted he had originally planned on taking this weekend off, but after a couple of days in Brazil his knee was beginning to improve. More importantly, with every successful exercise in Brazil came a new sense of confidence that the knee was strong enough to compete in the United States, especially seeing as he had only been on two bulls since Last Cowboy Standing.
“That was my plan, but I feel better,” Marchi said. “I went to physical therapy in Brazil and did the treatment over there and feel better. I feel good. I don’t feel 100 percent yet, but I need to try. Some points here are important.”
3. Mauney says Tulsa performance was ‘disgusting’
Mauney seemed poised for a Round 1 victory after he rode More Big Bucks for an emphatic 88 points. Mired in a 1-for-14 slump dating back to the first half, the 2013 World Champion rebounded from his 0-for-2 showing in Tulsa with a noteworthy ride Friday.
To put it frankly, Mauney admitted he was embarrassed by his performance two weeks ago in Tulsa.
“I don’t like getting beat and anytime I feel like it is something I did that caused it I am disgusted with myself,” Mauney said. “That performance there in Tulsa was horrible. I can’t live with myself when I do stuff like that. I am supposed to ride bulls and I am supposed to do it every time.”
So how did he respond?
Well, Mauney went home that Sunday (Aug. 17) and got on three practice bulls that night. The next day he then got on another two.
“It was still fresh in my mind,” Mauney responded when asked why he decided to get on practice bulls that same day.
Mauney’s determination was on full display on Friday when he covered Mike White’s bull with ease.
“I knew he was going to be a good bull,” Mauney said. “Mike (White) told me he rode good, a lot of the guys said he was going to be good. I didn’t ask a whole lot about him because I asked in Tulsa and that obviously didn’t work out.
“I just didn’t quit today. I went home and got on some practice bulls and felt a lot better. I was trying like I was supposed to be. In Tulsa, I felt like I wasn’t trying as hard as I should have and we fixed it.”
Beyond Marchi and Vieira, a variety of other riders returned to action in Thackerville after missing time in Tulsa.
Billy Robinson (groin strain), Marco Eguchi (bruised left shoulder) and Claudio Crisostomo (respiratory infection) all returned to competition after missing the Tulsa Built Ford Tough Championship Round.
Ryan Dirteater (unstable left knee), Renato Nunes (unstable right shoulder) and Zane Lambert (sprained left knee) also competed injured.
Tanner Byrne missed the event due to an aggravation of a right wrist injury sustained in Canada and Tulsa, while Scottie Knapp was out with a separated right shoulder (free arm) acromioclavicular joint that he hurt in Tulsa.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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