By: Slade Long May 09, 2014@ 11:00:00 AM
LAS VEGAS ― This opening round is a huge opportunity for the lower ranked guys. If fewer than 25 riders get a score, the guys from the top of the world standings will move on to the next round. So, each non-seeded rider who makes the whistle not only guarantees that he moves on to the next round, but he also knocks one of the top-seeded riders out in the event that there are not 25 scores on Friday night.
Round 1 Matchups
Ben Jones on 22 Muddy Smile:
We haven’t seen Jones on tour since Albuquerque, New Mexico, and we haven’t seen this bull since this same event last season. The two did meet at a Touring Pro Division event late in 2012 and Jones earned 87 points there. When Muddy Smile has faced the better riders, he’s been ridden more often than not.
Marco Eguchi puts up 86.25 points on Muddy Smile in Round 1 of the 2013 PBR Last Cowboy Standing in Las Vegas.
J.W. Harris on J08 Strike Back:
This is a rematch from Fresno, California, where Harris came down at 6.37 seconds. But, Harris also had this bull at a rodeo in October 2013 and scored 94 points on him. Strike Back is a quality bull, but he won’t produce that kind of score at this level. Guilherme Marchi rode him for 86.75 points in Fresno, California. Marchi and Harris are the only two who have ridden him in 17 career outs. Harris should be the favorite here and handled the bull pretty well in Fresno. It was only a small mistake that cost him a score.
Marco Eguchi on 42 Braveheart:
Luke Snyder won this event in 2011 and this bull played a large role. He carried Snyder to a Round 2 90.5-point score, which put him in position to beat three other riders in Round 3 for the win. Braveheart has lost a step since then, and Eguchi is more than capable of riding him, but this is an unpredictable and, at times, squirrely bull that can scoot out from under anyone.
Silvano Alves on 828 Maverick:
This is an interesting matchup. Alves has won this event the past two years and in the past he had a distinct advantage – he simply rode his bulls more often than anyone else. That advantage has dwindled away because at this point in his career he isn’t the guy you can count on to ride 60 percent of his bulls anymore. However, over the past five events he has done pretty well. This bull is not strong or intimidating, but he is fast, tricky and likes to go to the left. He got the best of Marchi in Fresno and will be a challenge for Alves.
Pistol Robinson on 2W Duck Butter:
This bull is a good draw for anyone here. He’s a hardworking bull, and while he’s not easy to ride, he’s very rideable. When Luke Snyder won this event in 2011, Robinson was one of the four guys who made it to Round 3. He’s got a good chance to move on to Round 2 with this bull under him.
Zack Brown bucks off Duck Butter in Round 2 of the 2013 PBR BFTS DEWALT Guaranteed Tough Invitational in Boise, Idaho.
Scottie Knapp on 043 Arctic Monkey:
Although we rarely see Knapp on tour, he’s a relatively experienced rider. He doesn’t have the career numbers that the average Built Ford Tough Series rider does, but he’s been on good bulls and has had some success. This bull is going to spin into his hand and should be a good fit for him. Knapp is a longshot to win this event, but he could easily move on to the second round.
Brant Atwood on 915 Houla Hoop:
Atwood really couldn’t have drawn better. Houla Hoop spins to the right, has great timing and at the Built Ford Tough Series level he’s been ridden three times in six outs.
Guytin Tsosie on 821 Super Kool Kat:
This bull likes to spin to the right, and he likes to try to throw guys to the inside of the spin. Tsosie is right-handed and it can be tricky to ride a bull that is welly and spinning into your hand, but Tsosie has a good chance.
Kaique Pacheco on 705 Johnny Rocker:
You may not have heard of this guy before, but you’ll probably be hearing more of him. He’s a Brazilian rider who hasn’t been here very long, but he’s ridden more than half the bulls he’s faced since arriving. He definitely knows how to ride. That said this bull definitely knows how to get out from under anyone on his back. He’s fast and extremely unpredictable, and he typically gets guys on the ground quickly. His first couple of jumps can be very hard to get by. We will probably see Pacheco on tour later this year, but the odds are we won’t see him in Round 2.
Johnny Rocker lands on Silvano Alves in Round 2 of the 2013 PBR BFTS Ty Murray Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M.
Valdiron de Oliveira on 42 Bird Creek:
Oliveira has been on this bull twice before – both times in 2010. We haven’t seen Bird Creek on tour since the 2013 Built Ford Tough World Finals, but he has 46 career outs at the BFTS level. Oliveira really fits this bull better than most riders, but recently he hasn’t been riding well at all. He just hasn’t been himself.
Claudio Crisostomo on 7X Right Cross:
This is another rematch. Crisostomo notched 83 points on Right Cross at a TPD event in January. But, like Oliveira, Crisostomo has gone ice cold. He’s ridden just two weak bulls, Blue Knuckle and Damn It’s Good, since mid-February.
Guilherme Marchi on -83 Kujo:
Marchi has a good shot here. This bull isn’t ridden very often. Harris put up 87.5 points on him in Billings, Montana, but he’s only been ridden three times in 21 career outs – one of those rides came on an uncharacteristically weak out. Marchi is not Superman, but if you look at his ride on Wicked last week, you see that he’s more than capable of riding any bull.
Cody Nance on B010 Crackerjack:
This is a pretty new bull with only four career outs. However, in his most recent out, Nance rode him for 86 points in Fresno earlier this season. Nance is likely to earn his way to the second round with this draw.
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