By: Justin Felisko
ARLINGTON, Texas – Reigning YETI World Champion Bull Smooth Operator may be in the twilight of his career, but the 10-year-old made sure to dig deep on Thursday night in his pursuit of a second consecutive world title.
Smooth Operator erupted out of the bucking chutes inside AT&T Stadium to buck off Dener Barbosa in 3.57 seconds in Round 1 of the 2020 PBR World Finals for a 46-point bull score, overtaking the world No. 1 ranking from previous leader Chiseled.
“I’m very happy with him,” reigning Stock Contractor of the Year Chad Berger said via text message. “I thought he laid it out there on the floor.”
Barbosa thought he had a chance to conquer Smooth Operator, but the stout bovine had very different plans and made quick work of the 2016 PBR Brazil champion.
“He is a good bull,” Barbosa said. “I thought I would get the 8 seconds on him, but tonight he was better.”
Smooth Operator began the World Finals ranked No. 2 in the world standings, 0.03 points behind Chiseled in the world standings.
Chiseled, the regular-season champion bovine, bucked off Andre da Cruz de Souza in 2.81 seconds for a 45.25-point bull score.
PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert believed Smooth Operator was a bit better than Chiseled.
“They came through well,” Lambert said. “Smooth Operator was definitely the better one of the two, and I think the judges got it that way. I had just a hair more separation. I thought Smooth Operator was 46.5, and I thought Chiseled wasn’t 45.25. I just had Smooth Operator a little higher, but it’s still a race. That’s what it’s coming down to.”
Smooth Operator has now been scored 46 or more points in five of his 16 outs this season.
Smooth Operator (46.11 World Champion Bull Average) will head into Championship Sunday with a 0.05-point lead on Chiseled as the YETI World Championship contenders will buck in the championship round for their final 2020 outs.
Chiseled will need to be 0.75 points higher than Smooth Operator on Sunday to win the World Championship.
The 2020 YETI World Champion Bull receives a $100,000 bonus. The champ will be the animal with the highest average bull score from their top eight regular-season outs and two outs at the PBR World Finals.
I’m Busted is in the lead for the PBR Bull of the Finals event title following his Round 1-leading 46.25-point bull score. I’m Busted bucked off Daylon Swearingen in 6.09 seconds.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Photo courtesy of Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media
© 2020 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.