By: Justin Felisko August 17, 2014@ 02:00:00 PM
TULSA, Okla. – Cody Nance tried to take a page out of Julio Moreno’s book on Saturday night at the BOK Center, but the third time was still not the charm for the Paris, Tennessee, native.
Even with his own 13 cents in his shirt pocket and a piece of Big Red gum, Nance was no match for Bushwacker in their third-ever meeting and all Nance could do was shake his head after being plastered to the ground following 3.13 seconds aboard the two-time World Champion Bull in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round of the Express Employment Professionals Classic, presented by Jack Daniel’s.
“He felt great,” said a somber Nance immediately following the ride. “I just messed up and I am going to ride him next time. I got a little late around the corner and I didn’t drop my elbow like I should of. I will ride him next time.”
Nance, who rode Soldier’s Pride for 87.5 points in Round 2 to qualify for the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, didn’t expect to select Bushwacker when he stepped up onto the shark cage with the eighth pick of the bull draft, but when he announced that he wanted to choose Shepherd Hills Trapper he was quickly reminded that Renato Nunes had already picked him.
After pausing to think for a couple of seconds, he finally made the highly desired pick the crowd had been taunting him and every rider before to make.
Douglas Duncan, Kody Lostroh, Gage Gay, Ryan Dirteater, Kasey Hayes, Nunes and Chase Outlaw all passed on the opportunity to face the soon-to-be retired bull. This weekend was the first time since the Ty Murray Invitational in March that Bushwacker bucked in the short round of a BFTS event.
Once Nance left the dirt he was immediately greeted by 2004 World Champion Mike Lee, who has lasted the longest on Bushwacker this year at 5 seconds. After telling Nance to try and keep his rope from getting to far out over the bull, Lee gave his friend 13 cents to put in his shirt pocket for a little extra luck after learning about Moreno’s superstition this summer.
“I went up to Julio and he goes, “Ah, you knew about about it,” Nance said with a laugh. “Then I said, ‘Hey you wouldn’t happen to have a piece of Big Red gum on you, would you?’ He said, ‘I am chewing my last piece.’
“First person I turn around to, and I go, ‘Chase (Outlaw) you wouldn’t have a piece of Big Red Gum on you, would you?’ Nance continued. “He said, ‘Yes I do,’ and took a piece out of his vest pocket and handed me half of it.”
Moreno called the taunt all in good fun.
“It was kind of funny they did that, it was good gestures,” Moreno said. “It was awesome. I thought Cody had a chance.”
Bushwacker made sure it was no laughing matter though, dispatching Nance to remain perfect this season on the BFTS at 9-0.
“We tried to mess up the voodoo,” Lee said jokingly, “But, I don’t know. It didn’t work.”
Bushwacker was marked 46.5 points for the out, which is his second-highest bull score of the season after being credited with 46.75 points at the Dr Pepper Iron Cowboy V. Still, he came up short against rising World Champion Bull contender Jared Allen’s Air Time, who was marked 47.5 points after taking care of Kasey Hayes in 3 seconds flat.
Moreno said he was still happy to see Bushwacker rebound at the site of J.B. Mauney’s historic 95.25-point ride on him last year and finish ahead of the other World Champion Bull contenders such as Asteroid, Fire & Smoke and Mick E Mouse.
Bushwacker used four jumps while turning to the right to eliminate the eighth-ranked rider in the world standings.
“I thought he was great, but he was cowboy friendly today,” Moreno said. “Air Time was good and that is his competition probably now.”
It was the third time Nance faced the two-time World Champion Bull, and it was also the longest he has ever lasted. He previously faced Bushwacker at the 2011 BFTS event in Springfield, Missouri, and made it to 2.34 seconds. In 2010, Nance was bucked off by Bushwacker in 2.10 seconds in Memphis, Tennessee, when the then 4-year-old was marked 47 points.
He is still left hoping for one more chance.
“I told you before and I will tell you again, I will get him rode this year,” Nance said.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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