By: Slade Long
This is a group of ABBI Classic bulls, and they are all either 3 or 4 years old. With the crazy schedule we haven’t seen an ABBI Classic round since Little Rock, Arkansas, back in March. Many of these bulls have been to events here and there, but not as a competitive group. That doesn’t mean they’ve been mostly idle. ABBI events have continued over the summer, so many of these bulls have been to 10 or more competitions this year, but they haven’t faced the top riders as often.
Cody Teel on 635 Axle:
This bull doesn’t have a long history, and he’s only been to a couple of ABBI Classic events, but he’s one of the brightest stars in this round. In five outs since late August he’s turned in five bull scores of 44 or more, and two of those were 45 and 45.5. He’s thrown off Joao Ricardo Vieira, Jess Lockwood and Jose Vitor Leme. This will be a tough matchup for Teel, but the potential for a round win is there.
Ezekiel Mitchell on 698 Crossover:
Brennon Eldred was 92.25 points on this bull a few weeks ago to win the short round and the event in Des Moines, Iowa. Eldred also won a round on him in Oklahoma City in January, and Joao Ricardo Vieira won the last ABBI Classic round in Little Rock on him as well. So he’s been ridden three times for three round wins. He should spin into Mitchell’s hand as well.
Lucas Divino on 612 Ridin’ Solo:
Ridin’ Solo is one of the better draws in this group. There are bulls in here who can outscore him, but he’s honest, rideable and consistent. He spins to the left, away from Divino’s hand, but with solid timing and no tricks. Divino has a chance at a high 80s score here.
Colten Jesse on 60 Midnight Rock:
This is another proven performer and a great draw. Midnight Rock brings a lot of energy, but he has steady timing, and that’s allowed riders to have some success on him this season. He’s likely to go away from Jesse’s hand, and he will have some speed, but his timing makes him rideable.
Daylon Swearingen on 62X Lockdown:
Swearingen was 3-for-3 last weekend to win second in Lincoln, and his hot streak may continue through this matchup at least. Jess Lockwood was 87.75 points on this bull earlier this year, and if he has the same trip here, he will be a near perfect fit for Swearingen.
Cole Melancon on 606 Slumlord:
This bull is making his debut at the UTB level, but from what we’ve seen of him he’s one of the more rideable bulls in the round. He should go to the right, into Melancon’s hand, and he’s the kind of bull the top riders should get along with. Melancon is 0-for the last couple of events, and may be able to turn things around here.
Eduardo Aparecido on D17 Suns Up:
Jess Lockwood won the ABBI Classic round in Kansas City on this bull back in February with a 90.5-point ride. This bull has a lot of speed and he’s intense. Aparecido will have to match him move for move going away from his hand.
Cooper Davis on 1622 Blessed:
Another debut bull here who hasn’t really gone against the top riders, but at ABBI competitions he’s looked very rideable and goes to the right. Davis should get along with him. Davis is heating up at the right time, and is coming off a win in Lincoln last week.
Joao Ricardo Vieira on 1695 Little Joe:
This is a similar matchup to the one Aparecido has in that this bull is really quick and should stay hooked away from Vieira’s hand. The key advantage for the bull is that it takes a lot of precision and focus to stay in position on a fast spinning bull, and when the bull is going away from the rider’s hand he has a slight amount of leverage that the rider would have had if he were going into the rider’s hand. Vieira is capable of handling this bull, but in seven career outs, no one has made the whistle on Little Joe.
Keyshawn Whitehorse on 681 Dirty Sancho:
Whitehorse has a great draw here. Sancho is 1-2 against right-handed riders, and he’s a near perfect fit for almost any rider here. He’s an honest bull who gets some altitude but doesn’t have a lot of breakover and drop. Most riders at this level should be able to handle him.
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