By: Slade Long
February 27, 2016
Morning Line – Iron Cowboy Round 1:
The format of this event is really simple. It’s a contest to see who can ride the most bulls in a row. The answer last year was that Joao Ricardo Vieira could ride three in a row and no one else could. The key to the whole event is that the toughest bulls are in the second round, and they are numbered. So if only seven guys get a score in Round 1, Round 2 will be the seven toughest bulls in the PBR essentially. If 14 guys ride, then Round 2 will be the 14 toughest bulls, and that much expansion makes it more likely that several guys will get a second score.
Cody Lambert said he expects to see 14-18 rides in the opening round, but the way this is drawn up, we could see more than that, even. There are a lot of guys with favorable matchups. If the riders get out of the funk they were in in Kansas City, Missouri, there could be a lot of rides.
Aaron Roy on 70 Doc Mosely:
This is a bull that has been in one short round this year, but he’s really a little too nice for the short go. He’s 1-3 against right-handed riders, and he’s 0-1 against tall Canadians. Tanner Byrne rode him in Anaheim, California, to seal the event win.
Cooper Davis on 185 I’m Trouble:
I’m Trouble has been ridden several times in his career, but so far only the best rider’s he’s faced have been able to best him. He’s a solid, quality bull that goes to the left. He’s not quite short round material, but he can be enough bull to place high in a long round. he likes to go to the left, but he’s given up more rides to right-handed riders, mostly because he’s faced more of them. Gage Gay has ridden him twice for more than 87 points each time.
Ryan Dirteater on 629-10 Ante Up:
Nevada Newman won the opening round in St. Louis with an 88.25 point ride on this bull. That was the Built Ford Tough Series debut for Ante Up, and he looked like he is just the kind of bull that guys will want to draw — particularly left-handed guys. He has some speed, but he has great timing to go with it, so every rider has a shot.
Joao Ricardo Vieira on 868 After Party:
Vieira has won this event the past two years in a row. He did it last season by being the only rider to stay on three bulls. He didn’t have easy bulls — he rode Bruiser in Round 2 — but he did have three bulls that went to the left. He will start out with a tougher test here. After Party is a seasoned veteran, and despite being one of the more rideable bulls in most short rounds, he’s still plenty tough, especially against left-handed riders. He goes to the right in a hurry every time, and he’s able to get a lot of riders down on his head within the first two jumps. He’s usually one of the first bulls picked in a short round, and a lot of riders like him, but because of his backup he does produce a lot of wrecks.
Kaique Pacheco on 0114 Tahonta’s Magic:
By the numbers, Pacheco should have an easy time with this bull, but when they met in Nampa, Idaho, last season he did not. Tahonta’s Magic gets ridden pretty often, and it’s not just guys staying on him — they are dominating him. He’s a straightforward bull with no tricks. He has a steady rhythm to him, and he can have a good bit of up and down for the first few jumps. He’s the kind of bull that a lot of guys at this level can open up and spur on, and Pacheco should be a favorite here even though this bull has bucked him off before.
Mike Lee 105Y Chantilly Lace:
This is a showy bull who has a lot in common with some of his relatives. He’s a D&H Cattle Company bull, and he’s related to the Page’s 81X American Hustle. Like Hustle, he’s a little wild and he can have a lot of backup. Bulls that back up under themselves are easier to ride if the rider knows it’s coming. We do see Lee get thrown over the front end at times, and this will be all about avoiding that. He’s got a good chance to come away with a score.
Josh Faircloth on 078 Grandpa Joe:
We haven’t seen Faircloth on tour since September of last season, but he’s making his comeback at just the right time. He drew one of the best long round bulls going right now. Grandpa Joe goes to the left, into Faircloth’s hand, and he bucks with his head level to high, which results in the rider not feeling as much power from him. Bulls that get their head low on the drop have more drop and pull on the riders arm a lot more. Asteroid is a good example of this. Grandpa Joe goes around and around, and doesn’t have a lot of drop, and that makes him very rideable. Just about every rider at this level can handle a bull with a lot of drop, and they can handle bulls that spin, but when a bull puts those two things together he becomes exponentially more difficult.
Ben Jones on 033 Shoot Out the Lights:
Shane Proctor won the third round in St. Louis on this bull with an 88.75-point score, and Jones will likely be more than that if he can get the job done here. This is a high jumping bull that really shows off, and Jones tends to make every bull look great. That combination could result in a high score here.
Juliano Antonio da Silva on 567 Lester Gillis:
Everything we’ve seen out of this bull so far indicates he’s one to keep an eye on. He’s primarily a spinner, and he doesn’t bother with leaping high in the air and showing off. He can have world class speed, and he can really stretch out and have a lot of whip. He’s unridden in 13 career outs, and he’s 8-0 at the Built Ford Tough Series level. Silva will have his work cut out for him here, but he showed he has a lot of effort in Kansas City last week.
Cody Nance on 1037 Cooper Tires Brown Sugar:
This is really one of the best bulls to have at this level. He went for a long time without being ridden very often, but he’s given up a score in each of his last three outs. Nance rode him in 2014, and he also bucked off of him just a couple of months prior to that. The most impressive thing about Brown Sugar is that he has a rider-friendly style, no horns, none of the riders are the least bit intimidated by him, he gets the absolute best effort from every rider and he still wins more than 80 percent of the time. Nance can handle him, but it won’t be an easy score.
Follow Slade Long on Twitter @Probullstats
© 2016 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.