By: Kristian Limas
June 05, 2016
VINITA, Okla. – A little corner of Oklahoma got a taste of the big leagues when local stock contractor Gene Owen and partner Jimmy Roth challenged two-time reigning PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney to a $25,000 matchup against Wicked at the Hometown Dodge Touring Pro Division event Saturday night in Vinita, Oklahoma.
Wicked won the challenge, bucking off the World Champion in 5.48 seconds and shocking the fans in attendance at the American Legion Rodeo Complex.
The out won’t officially count in the World Champion Bull race standings, but Mauney is now 1-for-2 against Wicked. He had covered Wicked for 89 points earlier this season in Kansas City, Missouri, and Mauney admitted that this time he was caught off guard.
“He’s smart,” Mauney said. “He’ll turn back a few rounds then he’s going to jump about 10 feet forward on you. That’s his M.O. and everybody knows what he’s going to do. He’s kind of wild and shoots forward on you.”
Though Mauney does not usually try and nail down a bull’s tendencies, he had an inkling of what Wicked was going to do but couldn’t compensate for it quickly enough.
“I knew what he was going to do,” Mauney added. “But that’s just the way it goes. Sometimes they’re just a little better than you are.”
Whether Mauney rode or not, the night was still a success for Owen.
Although, Owen hoped his hometown crowd could have seen a full 8 seconds. That said, he still would put his money on Mauney in the future.
“If I had to bet again tomorrow, I’d still bet on J.B.,” Owen said. “Wicked just had a better day today. He was close to home and had three weeks off, so he was fresh and he just had a good day.”
It was a dominant night overall for Owen’s bulls as only two riders, Thad Newell and Elijah Mora, turned in qualified rides during the TPD event. The pair later bucked off in the championship round, but still split the event win after both going 1-for-2 with 86.5-point rides in the first round.
It was a little surprising for Owen, who had hoped to see a few more rides Saturday night.
“You know, I’d like to have seen a little more try out of the riders,” Owen said. “There was some weaker bulls in there they should have rode. Overall though, there was two or three bulls that I didn’t like, but everything tried to buck I felt like.”
Owen felt he and his bulls did their jobs.
“Well, I did all I could do, but I’d have liked to seen them ride more bulls,” he said.
If Mauney was disappointed, he didn’t show it for very long as he was quickly taking pictures and signing autographs for fans on their way out. It was a nice change of pace for Mauney, who was hanging out and helping Owen unload his bulls earlier in the afternoon.
“Shoot I didn’t have anything else to do this weekend,” Mauney said with a chuckle.
As for a rematch with Wicked?
“We’ll meet again,” Mauney said. “He’s not done yet.”
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