By: Justin Felisko
April 23, 2016
DES MOINES, Iowa – Here are three things we learned from the Des Moines Invitational on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena.
Valdiviezo bounces back from 7-second buckoffs (4-23-16)
Jorge Valdiviezo knows he has let multiple opportunities pass him by this season with four 7 second buckoffs.
Valdiviezo could have won the Stanley Performance In Action Invitational last weekend in Billings, Montana, if not for two costly buckoffs just past 7 seconds.
He responded in Des Moines by making sure he made the 8-second mark and was rewarded for his extra effort.
The Baja California, Mexico, bull rider rode Shoot Out The Lights for 87.25 points and a second-place finish in Round 1.
“I knew I had a pretty good draw and tried to enjoy it and do my job,” Valdiviezo said. “I come here to try and ride and continue to live my dream.”
Valdiviezo is 4-for-11 on the Built Ford Tough Series this season. He finished second in Round 3 in Billings with an 88-point ride on Chantilly Lace and a career-best fifth overall.
The 26-year-old earned 60 points toward the world standings Saturday and has jumped from 38th to 28th in the world standings in two weeks.
Valdiveizo could be ranked even higher if not for six of his seven buckoffs coming beyond 5 seconds.
He explained his tough-luck buckoffs have been a matter of him getting beat in the final seconds rather than any mental error on his end.
“I am frustrated. I can’t do that,” he said. “I can ride and 7 seconds doesn’t work for me. I need to try so hard. Man, I swear it is not a physical (mistake). I try so hard every week to ride and maybe it has been some (bad) luck.”
Valdiviezo has drawn Rocco (8-0, BFTS) for Round 2 on Sunday afternoon.
Dirteater wins Round 2; Mauney bucks off in return
Ryan Dirteater bounced back from a goose egg performance in Billings, Montana, last week to win Round 1 of the Des Moines Invitational and gain 100 points toward the world standings with an 88-point ride on Milky Jones.
“That was a good bull of Jared Allen’s,” Dirteater said. “Matt Scharping told me that he is going to really buck and go either way. He bucks by feel and it worked out tonight. I kept on trying, kept on making those moves and we scored for 88.”
Dirteater moved from 10th in the world standings to eighth with the round win – his second of 2016 – and, more importantly, gained 100 points on world leader J.B. Mauney.
Mauney was bucked off by Justified in 6.53 seconds in his first action since missing Billings because of a left hip pointer and left elbow injury. Mauney began the ride in good position, but was caught off guard when Justified slowed down and turned back just past the halfway mark.
The Mooresville, North Carolina, bull rider said before the event on the PBR LIVE pre-show that he “was feeling great” and had begun taking a multivitamin that has helped his hip improve.
The buckoff helped Dirteater cut Mauney’s lead to 627.5 points in the world standings.
“I really try not to think about it,” Dirteater said, “but every bit helps.”
Dirteater was one of three riders inside the Top 10 to record a qualified ride.
Joao Ricardo Vieira moved to third in the world standings with his 85.25-point ride on Cowtown Slinger. Vieira, who has successfully ridden Cowtown Slinger four consecutive times on the BFTS, finished fourth in the round for 40 world points. He trails Mauney by 300 points.
World No. 4 Paulo Lima turned down his re-ride option after riding his first re-ride bull Highwood Squirrel for 73 points. Lima heads into Round 2 in 10th place.
Rubens Barbosa used an 85.75-point ride on Mr. Big Stuff for third place and 50 points in the world standings, while Kasey Hayes placed fifth with his 84.5-point effort on Secret Agent. Hayes picked up 30 points toward the world standings.
Valdiron de Oliveira (83.25 points on Black Powder) and Cooper Davis (83 points on Comfortably Numb) finished in sixth and seventh place for 15 and five world points, respectively.
Dirteater went to sports medicine to grab a bag of ice for his ribs following the ride. The Hulbert, Oklahoma, bull rider didn’t think it was anything to serious though.
“I was just making moves I guess,” Dirteater said. “I need to start stretching more.”
He will take on Torch (3-1, BFTS) in Round 2.
Babbington builds off Touring Pro Division win
It was only a Touring Pro Division event on Thursday night, but Fraser Babbington gained much more than 60 points toward the world standings with his event-winning 87.5 point ride on Wild Eyes in Clovis, California.
“I have been in a little bit of a bad run lately and haven’t been covering my bulls,” Babbington said. “I got one rode so that boosted my confidence back up. There is more self-belief that is what I am here for.”
Babbington built off his TPD victory by riding Knot Head for 80.5 points and eighth place in Round 1 here in Des Moines.
There were a total of 11 qualified rides in Round 1.
Babbington was offered a re-ride, but decided to keep his score and look ahead toward the final day of competition Sunday.
“I have actually taken every re-ride option I have been given, but it is out of three bull so I am going to leave it for tomorrow.”
Babbington said it was easier to turn down the re-ride knowing he was no longer an alternate for the BFTS because of his win in Clovis. He qualified for Des Moines as the 37th ranked rider in the world, but his Clovis win bumped him up to No. 33.
“For sure,” Babbington said. “I ended up getting in as the first alternate this week. That’s a bit of pressure. That win after Clovis changed everything around. Mentally, mainly.”
Babbington is hoping a strong finish Sunday in Des Moines will put him far enough ahead to qualify for the final BFTS event of the first half – Last Cowboy Standing in Las Vegas.
The PBR Major carries a $100,000 payday.
“Dollars, dollars, dollars,” Babbington said. “Keep your hand shut. I have never been to Vegas before.”
Top 10 riders Tanner Byrne and Mike Lee each sustained injuries during Round 1.
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Byrne bruised and sustained some abrasions on his right forearm (riding arm) when he was stepped on by Ram It. He is questionable for Round 2.
Lee is probable for Round 2 after separating his right shoulder (free arm) when he was bucked off by Cow Skin Rug in 4.95 seconds.
Stormy Wing is questionable for Round 2 because of a strained right groin he sustained attempting to ride Tom Horn. Wing was unable to attempt his re-ride bull.
There were 11 riders competing with injuries in Round 1: Justin Paton (sprained right riding hand/sprained left sternoclavicular joint/sprained right knee), Kasey Hayes (right shoulder separation of his free arm), Stormy Wing (aggravation of an old sternal fracture), Derek Kolbaba (sprained left riding hand), Wallace de Oliveira (right knee sprain), Rubens Barbosa (right SI sprain and sprained right ankle), Fabiano Vieira (right thigh bruise), Silvano Alves (bruised chest), Valdiron de Oliveira (sprained left knee/strained right groin), Gage Gay (sprained right thumb, free hand) and Guilherme Marchi (sore right knee).
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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