Friday’s opening round in Thackerville is an ABBI Classic round featuring the top 3- and 4-year old bulls in the ABBI. Many of them were in Round 1 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a few weeks ago, where they gave up 11 qualified rides. You might consider every Classic round at this level to be something of a heavy long round. Overall the bulls will be better than the average BFTS long round. There are several Classic age bulls that are more than qualified to appear in the short round here.
Thackerville is an outdoor event, and as is the case with all outdoor events, the environment could come into play. There’s no rain expected, and while temperatures can get high during the day, it will be nicer by showtime.
Round 1 Matchups
Cody Nance on Y16 Brutus:
Brutus is the heavy hitter of this bunch. His hauling buddy Bruiser is in the spotlight more often, but Brutus is just as good, and definitely stronger. He can be a little slow at times, and he’s relatively unpredictable, but he always bucks with a lot of power and a lot of up and down. Nance has done well on this kind of bull before, but he will have his hands full here.
J.B. Mauney on 1217 Red Moon:
This will be one of the more anticipated matchups of the night, and rightfully so. Red Moon is one of the better bulls in this group, he is seldom ridden, and Mauney is well known for knocking off the top bulls. It remains to be seen how Mauney’s injury will affect him, but he could put up a big score here. Red Moon has some experience, but Mike Lee is the only top- tier rider he has faced and Lee is the only guy who has ridden him.
Brady Sims on 124 Spin Machine:
Anytime a bull has the word spin in his name, it’s a good sign for the rider. Bulls that seem to be the best at spinning often have pretty good timing as well, particularly when they are at the age where they earn a name. This one is going to spin into Sims’ hand and he’s given up five rides in eight career outs.
Matt Triplett on 110 Sinful Nature:
We haven’t seen much of this bull, but we’ve seen enough to know what he’s about. He goes all in to the left, and he gave up 88.25 points to Robson Palermo in Tulsa. He will go away from Triplett’s hand, but Triplett is one of the best at riding bulls going away from his hand.
J.W. Harris on 567 Lester Gillis:
While Mauney’s matchup may garner more attention, this one is the most interesting of the night in my opinion. Lester Gillis is making his BFTS debut here, and he’s not well known, but he may be the real deal. He has bucked off two of the past three PRCA World Champions, and Harris is the one he hasn’t faced yet. This bull will remind you a lot of War Dance, the 2005 PRCA Bull of the Year who was 27-1 in his career at the Built Ford Tough Series level. War Dance went to the left hard as soon as the gate opened, and this bull has a very similar style. The odds are against Lester turning out to be as good as War Dance, but he’s off to an impressive start.
Mason Lowe on 2103 Buck Autism:
This is the bull that Mauney was 91.25 points on in Tulsa to win the opening round. Mauney made him look easier than he is — this bull has a lot of talent. With Mauney he had even timing, and went to the right, which should be good for the right-handed Lowe.
Luis Blanco on 32Y Bruiser:
Bruiser is the undisputed star of this class of Classic Bulls. He’s got the most experience, and he’s the flashiest and the coolest 4-year-old bull around. He does tend to have great timing, and he’s given up four 90-plus point rides in his career. Any of these guys are capable of getting him ridden, but only if they are mistake-free.
Reese Cates on Y1 Crazy Days:
This is a rematch from Tulsa. Cates lost that one, but he shouldn’t have. Crazy Days is one of the more rideable bulls here, with a record of 2-2 when he has faced the better riders. Eduardo Aparecido was 87 points on him in Kansas City, Missouri, earlier this year.
Tyler Harr on 630 Rebelution:
Rebelution is making his debut here, but like Lester Gillis, he’s probably going to be better than your everyday debut bull. He’s been on the Classic trail this year, and he has the talent to stand out even among this group of bulls. He gave up an 88-point ride to Luis Blanco back in the spring, and Blanco is really the best rider he’s faced. Harr has a good draw here — in a bull that can be ridden and can score some points as well.
Neil Holmes on Y2 Stone Cold Crazy:
These two met at the ABBI Lifetime Derby last year during the World Finals, when this bull was a 3-year-old. Holmes rode him, but he didn’t dominate. Stone Cold Crazy has given up a couple of rides since then, but’s he’s older and wiser than he was a year ago. He looked good with Chase Outlaw in Tulsa, and this should be a pretty even match.
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