Injuries open door for bubble riders in Tucson

Tyler Harr will compete this weekend in Tucson, Arizona.

Highlights

  • Lachlan Richardson, Dave Mason, Luis Blanco and Tyler Harr are all competing this weekend because of injuries to other riders.
  • Mason, Blanco and Harr are all looking to qualify for the World Finals for the first time in their careers.
  • No. 36 Michael Lane currently holds the final qualification spot in the world standings with this weekend’s event and the BlueDEF Velocity Tour Finals in two weeks remaining before the regular season is over.

In This Article

PUEBLO, Colo. – Lachlan Richardson, Dave Mason, Luis Blanco, Tyler Harr and Neil Holmes were able to breathe a sigh of relief – at least for a couple of minutes – this week after being informed by the PBR competition department that they were in the draw for this weekend’s Cooper Tires Take the Money and Ride Built Ford Tough Series event in Tucson, Arizona.

All five riders are competing because of injuries that are preventing No. 7 Nathan Schaper (left groin), No. 10 Guilherme Marchi (torn ligaments in his left knee), No. 11 Tanner Byrne, No. 13 Silvano Alves (left hip) and No. 28 Chase Outlaw (left arm) from attempting to ride in Tucson.

Holmes was a late addition on Thursday morning after Byrne withdrew from the event because of his groin injury.

Therefore, the riders ranked 37-41 in the world standings will have another opportunity in the BFTS regular season finale to earn enough points to qualify for the World Finals.

Mason, Blanco, Harr and Holmes are all looking to qualify for the first time in their careers.

No. 36 Michael Lane currently holds the final qualification spot in the world standings with this weekend’s event and the BlueDEF Velocity Tour Finals in two weeks remaining before the regular season is over.

Lane leads Richardson by just 15.83 points and Mason by 23.33 points. Even placing fifth in a round could bump Richardson and Mason ahead of Lane.

Meanwhile, Harr is only 80.83 points behind Lane.

RELATED: PBR World Standings

Things only get cloudier on the bubble with the return of Bonner Bolton in Tucson.

Bolton has been out since breaking his right clavicle attempting to ride Buckle Up in August.

The rookie was 31st in the world standings at the time of the injury and has fallen to 35th, but he is only 25 points ahead of Lane.

Here is a look at Round 1 matchups for the bubble riders:

No. 31 Brady Sims vs. Mr. Nightlinger (0-0, BFTS)
No. 32 Alexandre Cardozo vs. Boo-Ray (8-5, BFTS)
No. 33 Robson Palermo vs. Smoke Wagon (3-1, BFTS)
No. 34 Douglas Duncan vs. For Play (0-0, BFTS)
No. 35 Bonner Bolton vs. Painkiller (0-0, BFTS)
No. 36 Michael Lane vs. Jiggs (0-0, BFTS)
No. 37 Lachlan Richardson vs. Outside The Box (3-0, BFTS)
No. 38 Dave Mason vs. Muddy Smile (3-4, BFTS)
No. 39 Luis Blanco vs. Circus Mouse (0-0, BFTS)
No. 40 Tyler Harr vs. Rum Stinger (0-0, BFTS)
No. 41 Neil Holmes vs. Rooser (0-0, BFTS)

Palermo was bucked off by Smoke Wagon in 7.5 seconds at Last Cowboy Standing in May.

World leader J.B. Mauney has drawn Big Naughty (0-1, BFTS) in Round 1, while No. 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira will face Midnight Train (0-0, BFTS).

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

MAUNEY THROWS HAYMAKER IN WORLD STANDINGS RACE

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Here are three things we learned from the Allentown Invitational this weekend at the PPL Center.

Mauney continues march to second world title; extends lead

J.B. Mauney keeps throwing haymaker after haymaker and the rest of the World Champion contenders continue to flounder.

Mauney finished 2-for-3 in Allentown to earn 340 points toward the world standings and a second-place finish.

The world leader extends his lead over No. 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira to 817.5 points and No. 3 Kaique Pacheco to 990 points.

Mauney had previously earned 90 world points in the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Friday night with a 90.25-point ride on Modified Clyde.

He then carried that momentum into Saturday and won Round 2 with an 89-point ride on Cash Ya Out for 100 of his world points and then placed second in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round with an 89.5-point ride on Mr. U for 60 world points.

Mauney leads the BFTS with 12 round wins. 

He finished third in the event average for an additional 180 points.

“We have Tucson next week and I will go to the BlueDEF Finals the next weekend,” Mauney said. “I then have a weekend off and then Finals. You can’t think about it.”

One thing Mauney was thinking about on Saturday night was working on dismounting from his bulls better.

After riding Cash Ya Out, Mauney was run over by the bovine athlete in the arena.

Therefore, following his ride on Mr. U, Mauney joked, “The dismount was much better on that one.”

Mauney also added that he was fine from his slight wreck with Cash Ya Out, who also mashed Mauney’s ankle inside the bucking chutes last month in Nashville, Tennessee.

“I was like man this isn’t good,” he said. “Luckily, he just sored me up a bit.”

In regards to the world title race, Mauney continues to make the 8-second mark while the rest of the top contenders continue to come up empty.

A week after winning in Charlotte, Pacheco put up a goose egg and went 0-for-3 in Allentown, including his 5.44-second buckoff against Boot Jack in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

Meanwhile, Vieira opted out of the championship round because of a sprained left wrist that he injured while riding All Jacked Up for 82.25 points in the second round.

Vieira’s decision not to compete in the championship round cost him any chance at earning points toward the world standings and he has now gone three consecutive events without earning a point and has only earned 60 world points in the past seven events.

Vieira confirmed to PBR.com that he will be in Tucson, Arizona, next weekend for the regular-season finale.

Matt Triplett – the fourth-ranked rider in the world standings – also opted out of the final round despite riding Escape Artist for 83.25 points.

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Triplett didn’t compete after aggravating his left knee injury in Round 1 on Friday night when he was bucked off by Legal Tender in 2.23 seconds.

Triplett also confirmed to PBR.com that he will indeed be competing in Tucson.

However, Vieira and Triplett, as well as Pacheco, are all that much farther behind Mauney then when they arrived in Allentown.

Mauney paused when asked if he could sense how much closer he is to a second world title.

He then responded, “I don’t really worry about it. It don’t really matter to me until the last bull is bucked in Vegas. If I do my job, I will be where I should be. All you can do is ride your bulls and the chips will fall where they may.”

Harris says hold the celebration

J.W. Harris isn’t ready to throw in his towel yet in the world title race and his 89.75-point ride on Redbone in the championship round not only clinched his third career victory, but it very much kept alive his World Championship aspirations.

Harris earned a season-high 570 points – 100 for winning the championship round – to move up a spot to fifth in the world standings and trails Mauney by 1,605 points.

The four-time PRCA champion nearly cost himself a ride on Redbone before digging down deep to readjust and finish the ride.

“I about screwed him up halfway through,” Harris said. “I had to do just about everything to keep from slapping him. I was just focused on trying to stay out over him because he is so big and has so much whip. I just kind of focused maybe too much of crawling out over him. After that correction, I got my feet down, had to sit up and set my hips. I’ll take it, it works.”

Coming behind Mauney and Harris in the event Top 5 was Cooper Davis (3-for-3, 310 points), Alexandre Cardozo (2-for-3, 200 points) and Mason Lowe (2-for-3, 165 points).  

Davis, who finished fifth in the championship round with an 87.5-point ride on Bad to the Bone and fourth in Round 2 with an 86.75-point ride on Joe The Grinder, moves from 21st in the world standings to 14th.

Lowe finished third in the championship with an 88.5-point ride on Set ‘em Up Joe – it was his first career ride in the championship round after previously going 0-for-6.

He jumps from 19th to 16th in the world.

Cardozo takes advantage of golden opportunity  

If not for Robson Palermo withdrawing from the Allentown Invitational this week because of a groin injury, Cardozo would not have been competing on the BFTS.

The 25-year-old took advantage of the lucky break and responded by going a career-high 2-for-3 for a career-best 200 world points.

Most of all, the performance moves him from 41st in the world standings to 32nd.  

Cardozo came into the event 1-for-28 this season in 14 BFTS events and was the lowest-ranked rider competing at the PPL Center

“This is good for my mind,” Cardozo said. “I know I can ride good. I didn’t feel pressure, but my mind sometimes (thought about) it.”

The 25-year-old first ended a streak of 11 consecutive BFTS buckoffs by riding Hot & Juicy for 87 points in Round 2. He tied with Douglas Duncan (87 points on The Kraken) for second-place.

Each rider earned 55 world points for their second-place finish in the round. Duncan earned a total of 72.5 points and placed seventh overall in the event.

The points were important for Duncan as he moved from 35th to 34th in the world standings.

Cardozo almost looked stunned that he had made the 8-second mark in the championship round.

“I wasn’t surprised because I know I can ride good,” Cardozo said. “I was just so glad. I feel blessed.”

Cardozo was advised to select Texicali by 2010 World Champion Renato Nunes and three-time World Champion Silvano Alves.

“I told him this is his passport to the Finals and he did it,” Nunes said. “I am so happy for him. I pull for him a lot. He worked hard all year long and I hope he makes the Finals.”

Afterwards, Cardozo knew he was that much closer to qualifying for his first World Finals.

 “This is my dream,” he concluded. “To make a World Finals. I have worked for this and tried so hard.”

Injury Updates

Dr. Tandy Freeman was a busy man on Saturday night, tending to multiple riders for various injuries.

The most common were groin strains as Gage Gay (right), Nathan Schaper (left), Tanner Byrne (right) and Shane Proctor (left) all sustained one during the second round.

Gay and Schaper are listed as probable for Tucson, while Byrne and Proctor are questionable.

Proctor’s strain kept him from competing in the championship round.

Fabiano Vieira didn’t compete in the championship round after aggravating his left knee and thigh contusion that he first sustained in the chutes on Friday night during the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

The No. 5 bull rider in the world standings was bucked off by Westley’s Pet in 2.95 seconds during Round 2.

Dave Mason lacerated his left leg when he struck the chute attempting to ride Clementine in Round 2. It was sutured in the training room.

Cody Nance was bucked off by Big Enough in 3.35 seconds while attempting to ride after separating his right shoulder following his 86.25-point ride on Little Red Jacket in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

Chase Outlaw (aggravation of a previous left arm injury) and Mike Lee (concussion) each sustained their injuries during the championship round. Outlaw was bucked off by Father Shadow in 2.01 seconds, and Lee collided with Bad Touch’s head in 1.49 seconds.

Outlaw is probable for Tucson and Lee is questionable.

3 THINGS WE LEARNED FROM ROUND 1 & THE 15/15 BUCKING BATTLE (9-25-2015)

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 and the 15/15 Bucking Battle of the Allentown Invitational on Friday night at the PPL Center.

Mauney extends world lead on Vieira

J.B. Mauney’s 61st career 90-point ride wasn’t enough to grant him his first career 15/15 Bucking Battle victory, but it was enough to help him extend his lead on No. 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira in the world standings.

Mauney rode Modified Clyde for 90.25 points to finish second in the 15/15 Bucking Battle and gained 90 points toward the standings.

Vieira bucked off his eighth consecutive bull when Stanley FatMax disposed him in 2.28 seconds in the 15/15. Earlier in the night, he was bucked off by Little Gremlin in 2.4 seconds during Round 1.

Mauney leads Vieira by 477.5 points in the world standings.

“That is what you ride bulls for – to be 90 every time,” Mauney said. “It was nice to get a little pay back.”

Modified Clyde previously bucked off Mauney earlier this year in Des Moines, Iowa.

Mauney was happy to bounce back from his 3.04-second buckoff in Round 1 against Tattoo.

The 2013 World Champion had plenty of time to think about his mistake as he was the first man out of the gate in the first round and the last to ride in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

“I am usually at the end of the event and I always hate being the last guy out because you have to wait the whole bull riding to get on,” Mauney said, “but when you are the first guy out you are just there.

“I made a mental mistake on that first bull and I told them they weren’t going to do it twice to me in one day.”

The second-place finish and world points were important for Mauney to earn seeing as No. 5 Fabiano Vieira (84.5 points on Cooter), No. 6 J.W. Harris (85.25 points on Big Dan) and No. 8 Stetson Lawrence (85.75 points on Micro Man) all posted qualified rides in Round 1 and are one bull ahead of him in the event average.

Lawrence and Harris are sitting second and fourth in the Allentown Invitational event standings.

RELATED: Stormy Wing wins Round 1 in Allentown

Fabiano Vieira also rode Wicked for 88.5 points in the 15/15 Bucking Battle for a fifth-place finish and 45 points toward the world standings.  

Mauney said having those guys put forth qualified rides only motivates him to join in the fun with them.

“Oh yeah,” said the 28-year-old. “I am not riding against those guys. I am riding against a bull. I pull for them guys just as much as they pull for me. If you make a good bull ride, I don’t care if you are sitting first or second or if you are 35th, I am going to tell you good job.”

Triplett wins second career 15/15 Bucking Battle

Matt Triplett is no stranger to the dark cloud that has been hovering over him since the BFTS resumed from its summer break last month in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Following his eventual 15/15 Bucking Battle 90.5-point winning ride on Shaft, the No. 4 rider in the world standings sat down in the Bad Boy Mower’s Lead Dog Chair with a big grin on his face.

“It’s been a while since I have been right here. I love it,” Triplett said. “Perfect timing. We are coming here at the end of the year. Things have not been going great for me. I don’t know. I have been going through the worst slump in my career and I think I just woke up and finally said you have to pull your head out of your butt and get things together.

Triplett entered the night mired in a 4-for-17 slump and was bucked off by Legal Tender in 2.23 seconds in Round 1.

The Columbia Falls, Montana, bull rider admitted he was frustrated he wasn’t awarded a re-ride when Legal Tender hit the bucking chutes on his way into the arena, but he knew he had to quickly refocus if he wanted to be just the second rider in 22 outs to make the 8-second mark on Shaft.

“He has bucked me off twice before,” Triplett said. “I just knew he was going to fit. He fits me really good. He kicks really hard and spins really good. I was just happy to get on him.”

It is Triplett’s second-career 15/15 victory.

The win also gives Triplett 150 points toward the world standings.

He trails Mauney by 1,180 points and knows he needs to get his act together in time for the Built Ford Tough World Finals.

“I have an opportunity of a lifetime,” he concluded. “I have been dreaming about this opportunity since I was a little kid and I was just letting it go away. To be able to ride a bull like that does great for my confidence.”

Aparecido conquers Mississippi Hippy in the bovine’s return

Eduardo Aparecido wasn’t even supposed to be in the 15/15 Bucking Battle until three-time World Champion Silvano Alves was ruled out because of an aggravation of his left hip injury following his 2.37-second buckoff against Circle City in Round 1.

Regardless, Aparecido conquered the massive Mississippi Hippy for 89 points.

“He is a very difficult bull,” Aparecido said with the help of Silvano Alves translating. “He is very hard. I tried all the time to go to to the front of the bull. I went a little bit to the side and I tried to stay strong. I am very happy to ride this bull. He is one of the best bulls in the world.”

Mississippi Hippy was returning to competition for the first time since Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month because of a procedure to remove an infection in his horn.

He had previously bucked off 11 consecutive riders on the BFTS.

Aparecido is the third rider in 36 BFTS outs to ride the largest bovine athlete in the PBR.

“In Brazil, I rode bigger ones, but Mississippi is too strong,” he added.

Aparecido tied with Valdiron de Oliveira (89 points on Pound The Alarm) for third-place in the 15/15 Bucking Battle. They each earned 67.5 points toward the world standings.

Aparecido moves from 17th to 16th in the world standings.

Injury Updates

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Alves is listed as questionable for the regular-season finale next weekend in Tucson, Arizona.

The defending World Champion said he has been feeling some soreness and pain the past couple of weeks, but thought maybe it was just in his head and had avoided seeing Freeman earlier this week for treatment.

“When I squeeze my knees I feel sore, sore, sore every jump of the bull,” Alves said. “In Tulsa, I (got bucked off) and was limping and I thought it was just in my head because of the surgery, but no, it is inflamed. I need to rest a little bit because of the inflammation and keep going to physical therapy to get my muscles strong. I want to make sure I am ready for Finals and ride like I am supposed to.”

In other injury news, Ben Jones (concussion), Robson Palermo (right groin strain), Guilherme Marchi (torn ligaments in his left knee) and Bonner Bolton (broken right clavicle) were out because of injuries.

Four riders were competing injured in Allentown: Michael Lane (right shoulder sprain and nerve injury), Alexandre Cardozo (sprained right knee), Tyler Harr (sprained knee/sprained left wrist and rib fractures) and Stetson Lawrence (sprained left knee and ankle). 

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

MAUNEY AND PACHECO HAVE REMATCHES SET FOR ALLENTOWN (9-23-2015)

PUEBLO, Colo. – J.B. Mauney and Kaique Pacheco have been two of the hottest riders on the Built Ford Tough Series since August and the two world title contenders have rematches waiting for them in the final 15/15 Bucking Battle of the season.

Mauney leads No. 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira by 560 points in the world standings and is set to square off against Modified Clyde.

The last time Mauney and Modified Clyde met, it was in Mauney’s first competition since tearing his left ACL and Modified Clyde bounced him off his back in 3.24 seconds.

The buckoff didn’t cost Mauney the victory in his return, but it left a sour taste in his mouth after selecting the bull with the first pick of the championship round draft.

That little bull, he bucks,” Mauney said in Des Moines. “I felt like I was in a good position when I left there, but boy when he turned back he just whipped everything. He got my chin and I was a little late around the corner. I didn’t turn loose and he slammed me on top of my head, but that is what I deserve for not riding like I was supposed to.”

PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert said on this week’s CBS Sports production call that Mauney has a good chance against Modified Clyde this weekend.

The 15/15 Bucking Battle airs on CBS network television Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.

“I think Mauney has the advantage,” he said. “I think he will really fit him. It is not a done deal, but he has a good chance.”

Meanwhile, Pacheco also has a rematch from Des Moines against Boot Jack.

Boot Jack was marked 45.25 points in Des Moines by bucking off Pacheco in 2.1 seconds. It was the second-quickest BFTS buckoff in Pacheco’s career.

J.W. Harris, ranked sixth in the world, has the strongest rematch on paper in the 15/15 Bucking Battle when he takes on Who Dey, who he rode for 90.5 points during THE AMERICAN.

World No. 4 Matt Triplett is also competing in Allentown after missing the final night of competition in Charlotte because of a concussion.

He has drawn Shaft, who was a late replacement for Fire & Smoke.

Shaft (19-1, BFTS) has bucked off Triplett twice in his career.

Other rematches in the 15/15 Bucking Battle include:

Cody Nance vs. Little Red Jacket (2.64 seconds in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2015)

Tanner Byrne vs. American Sniper (87.25 points in Billings, Montana, in 2015)

Valdiron de Oliveira vs. Pound The Alarm (5.11 seconds in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 2015; 4.05 seconds in Laughlin, Nevada, in 2014)

RELATED: Full list of 15/15 Matchups

Triplett is actually the one World Champion contender who also has a rematch in Round 1 of the Allentown Invitational.

He will take on Legal Tender (8-4, BFTS), who he rode for 86.75 points in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Mauney will be the first ride out in Round 1 and faces Tattoo (0-0, BFTS).

Joao Ricardo Vieira faces Little Gremlin (4-4, BFTS), and Pacheco has drawn Springer Mountain (1-1, BFTS).

The race to qualify for the World Finals remains tight at the bottom of the standings with No. 34 Michael Lane and No. 39 Tyler Harr separated by 80.83 points.

Harr was the last rider in the draw this week, while Douglas Duncan used his 6-for-6 performance on the BlueDEF Velocity Tour in the last week, including a 2-for-2 win in Cleveland, Ohio, to jump from 40th to 35th in the standings.

Duncan will face Gonzo (1-1, BFTS).

Luis Blanco placed third in Cleveland and earned enough points to move from 41st to 38th and earn one of the last two spots in the draw this weekend.

Derek Kobalba won the Pendleton, Oregon, BlueDEF event and he is in Allentown with an exemption, while Cody Tyler White is competing with his Wichita, Kansas, BlueDEF exemption from earlier this season.

Kobalba takes on Rojo (0-0, BFTS), and White will see Fire Bender (6-3, BFTS).

Ben Jones is out for Allentown because of a concussion, while Guilherme Marchi (biceps/knee) continues to rehab in Brazil.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

GAY JUMPS INTO TOP 16

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Here are three things we learned from the Express Employment Professionals Invitational this weekend at Time Warner Cable Arena.

Gay uses two round wins to jump into Top 16 of world standings

Gage Gay will get another opportunity to appear on CBS national television next weekend when he competes in the Allentown, Pennsylvania, 15/15 Bucking Battle following a career-high two Built Ford Tough Series round wins in one event this weekend.

A night after winning Round 1 with an 88-point ride on Americana, Gay followed that up by kicking things off Saturday with an 88.5-point ride on Cowboy Up on the first out of the night.

The ride held up as the best in Round 2 and Gay earned another 100 points toward the world standings.

“I had seen Kaique (Pacheco) get on him last night, and as soon as I seen him I was like, ‘Man I want that bull sometime soon,’” Gay said. “It just so happened soon enough was the next day, so I am happy with it. He was just good.”

Not only are Gay and Pacheco both 21-year-old bull riders, they are also a similar size and build.

However, Gay doesn’t pay much attention to how certain bulls fit other similar-sized riders.

“My dad (Troy) tells me I should pay attention to it, but I never seem too,” Gay said.

Rounding out the Top 5 in Round 2 was J.B. Mauney (87.25 points on Bad to the Bone), Stormy Wing (86.25 points on Mr. Mustachio), Stetson Lawrence (86 points on Superfreak), Eduardo Aparecido (85.75 points on Side Winder) and Fabiano Vieira (85.75 points on Blues Man).

Mauney was able to rebound from his Round 1 buckoff against Barstool Mountain and earned 60 of his 75 world points in Charlotte by placing second in the round.

“You get down to these last couple of events and you can’t let them get to you,” Mauney said. “You have to take every opportunity you can. They asked me earlier if you lay off the gas because you are sitting first. Hell no. You keep that gas pedal mashed to the floorboard because there are 35 guys wanting the same thing. They are not letting up.”

Mauney finished seventh overall in the event following his 4.57-second buckoff against Jared Allen’s Air Time in the championship round.

Air Time was marked 45.5 points for the out.  

Gay went into the championship round leading the event average and was bucked off by Dakota Style’s Hy Test in 3.71 seconds.

He was originally going to select Percolator before Ben Jones convinced him to select Hy Test.

Gay finished second overall and earned a total of 440 points toward the world standings. The Staley, North Carolina, bull rider jumped from 23rd in the world to 16th.

Pacheco wins event and makes move in world standings

Rookie Kaique Pacheco stole the show from crowd favorite and North Carolina native Mauney this weekend by going 3-for-3 for his third BFTS event win of the season.

Most of all, he gained 475 points toward the world standings compared to 75 for Mauney.

The 21-year-old now sits just 560 points behind Mauney with two BFTS regular-season events remaining until the Built Ford Tough World Finals on Oct. 21-25.

Pacheco earned the victory by riding Sasquatch for 88.75 points in the championship round.

Sasquatch had bucked off his six consecutive BFTS opponents. The last rider to conquer Sasquatch was when Pacheco’s mentor Silvano Alves rode the bull for 89 points two years ago in Springfield, Missouri.

Once he saw the list of championship-round bulls, Pacheco knew he would select Sasquatch, especially after remembering how the bull bucked when Eduardo Aparecido attempted to ride him (7.18 seconds) in Biloxi, Mississippi, last month.

“I have watched that bull a couple of times on video and saw Eduardo get on him,” Pacheco said with the help of Robson Palermo translating. “I know he is a great bull bucking and he wants you to go to the outside a little bit. I know I had to make a really good ride to not buck off.”

To try and make sure he didn’t get caught out of position, Pacheco explained he adjusted his leg.

“I loosened up my leg and kind of spurred a little bit, so I stayed in the center a little bit and could make a good ride,” Pacheco added.

Pacheco rode Cowboy Up for 85.5 points in Round 1 on Friday night and Loco Lizard for 82 points on Saturday.

World No. 5 Fabiano Vieira gained 95 points on Mauney after going 2-for-3 and finishing in fourth place (170 world points).

Vieira rebounded from his first-round buckoff against Sunday Funday (6.96 seconds), to ride Blues Man for 85.25 points in Round 2 and Diesel for 88.5 points in the championship round.  

He trails Mauney by 1,305 points.

Tanner Byrne wins championship round aboard Percolator

The major beneficiary of Gay’s last minute switch in the championship-round draft was Tanner Byrne.

Byrne, who was a fellow rookie last season with Gay, was able to select Percolator with the seventh pick of the draft and then took care of business aboard Jeff Robinson’s bovine athlete for 89.25 points.

“Man, I am telling you, I was looking at that list for a long time trying to figure out (who) to pick,” Byrne said. “I overthink that stuff to much as it is, but I never ever thought that far down I would have a chance at that one. When they left him for me, there was no question.”

It was an important out for Percolator, who was marked 43.75 points, after the bovine athlete ran off in the arena during the Jack Daniel’s Music City Knockout in Nashville, Tennessee, last month when Pacheco rode him for 76.5 points.

This week, PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert said that Percolator would need to improve if the bull was going to be invited to compete at the World Finals.

The final decision will not be in Byrne’s hands, but the 23-year-old hopes Percolator gets to appear at the World Finals again.

“I mean he had a bad trip last time, but them bulls are just like we are,” Byrne said. “We have bad days. A couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t make it out of the chute. I figured a bull as good as that, he won’t have two bad trips in a row.”

It was the high-marked ride of the weekend and helped propel Byrne to a third-place finish for the second consecutive week.

Byrne moves from 14th in the world standings to 11th.

“It felt so good,” Byrne said. “I was kind of a little bit to the outside and he kicks and gets in the air so long that he gives you enough time to readjust and get back over there.

“That is one of my favorite bulls I have ever been on.”

The other four qualified rides in the championship round were Pacheco, Fabiano Vieira (88.5 points on Diesel) and Shane Proctor (88.25 points on I’m A Gangster Too).

INJURY UPDATES

Dr. Tandy Freeman has five riders listed as questionable for next weekend’s event in Allentown:

World No. 7 Nathan Schaper sustained a concussion in Round 2 attempting to ride Crooked Face before being struck by the bull’s head after being bucked off.

Reese Cates did not compete in the championship round after aggravating a pre-existing biceps strain (riding arm) during his 83.5-point ride on Camo.

Robson Aragao sustained a contusion of his right thumb (riding hand) when it got caught in the coil of his bull rope when he dismounted Freakster following his 66-point ride. He turned down his re-ride option.

Ben Jones missed Round 2 with a concussion from Round 1 when he was kicked in the head by Minnie’s Money.

Robson Palermo was out for Round 2 because of a right groin and lower abdominal strain that occurred during Round 1 on Friday night.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

TRIPLETT OUT FOR REMAINDER OF CHARLOTTE (9-19-15)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Matt Triplett has been ruled out for the remainder of the Express Employment Professionals Invitational with a concussion.

The No. 4 bull rider in the world standings sustained the injury when Al Capone struck Triplett in the head following his 6.3-second buckoff.

Triplett is questionable for next weekend's Built Ford Tough Series event in Allentown, Pennsylvania. 

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

3 THINGS  WE LEARNED FROM ROUND 1 IN CHARLOTTE (9-19-2015)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of the Express Employment Professionals Invitational at Time Warner Cable Arena on Friday night.

Birthday boy Pacheco gains ground on Mauney

Kaique Pacheco had been receiving birthday wishes and texts from his friends and family back home in Brazil throughout the day.

On Friday night, the newly-minted 21-year-old gave himself his own present with an 85.5-point ride on Cowboy Up to finish Round 1 tied in fifth-place with Stormy Wing (85.5 points on Casique).

Paired with J.B. Mauney’s 3.19-second buckoff against Barstool Mountain, the No. 3 bull rider in the world standings gains 15 points on the world leader.

“I am very happy to ride good tonight and on my birthday,” Pacheco said with the help of Silvano Alves translating. “I am happy too because I needed the points tonight. I want to keep going and ride good tomorrow. I need to ride every day, every bull.”

Pacheco trails Mauney by 945 points in the world standings heading into Round 2 on Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET.

RELATED: Saturday daysheet 

Pacheco has a rematch with Loco Lizard in Round 2. He rode Loco Lizard for 86.5 points in St. Louis.

Mauney was supposed to face Past Time in Round 1, but was given a re-ride after Past Time failed to cooperate inside the bucking chutes.

Pacheco was one of three qualified rides made by Top 10 riders in the world standings.

J.W Harris – ranked sixth in the world – rode Nefarious for 83.5 points and is sitting tied for seventh place, while Valdiron de Oliveira turned down a re-ride option following his 73.75-point ride on Dragonfly.

It was an odd decision seeing as Oliveira would have faced Say I Won’t Playboy, a bull he previously rode for 86.75 points in Seattle earlier this season.

“I don’t feel very good,” Oliveira said. “I didn’t want to risk losing the points. I wanted to keep the points. You just never know.”

Oliveira ended Round 1 in 12th place.

There were 12 qualified rides.

No. 7 Nathan Schaper accepted his re-ride option after his 76.25-point ride aboard The Mountain and proceeded to buck off Say I Won’t Playboy in 5.17 seconds.

No. 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira’s struggles continued away from his hand, and he was bucked off by Texas Ranger in 2.87 seconds.

World No. 4 Matt Triplett was launched by Al Capone when the bull hit him in the chest after bucking him off in 6.3 seconds. Triplett was assisted by sports medicine off the dirt, before walking under his own power to the locker room.

Gay wins in front of home state crowd

Gage Gay has had the best of times and the worst of times going up against Americana.

There was the one time he rode Chad Berger’s bovine athlete for 91.5 points in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and then there was the instance in Bismarck, North Dakota, when Americana nearly knocked Gay unconscious when he slammed him onto the ground in 7.1 seconds.

Gay now has another fonder memory to add to his list featuring Americana.

The 21-year-old rode Americana for 88 points to win Round 1 and earn 100 points toward the standings.

“That was pretty fun,” Gay said. “I have a history with that bull. He had the same trip that he about knocked me out earlier this summer. It felt good to get him back. I guess the third time is the charm again. It was fun to do it here in front of my home crowd.”

Gay’s entourage is quite small in Charlotte.

“It is just my parents, a family friend and my girlfriend,” Gay said with a laugh. “Not too many.”

Gay moves up one spot in the world standings with his third BFTS round win of the season.

Finishing behind Gay in the Top 5 was Cooper Davis (87 points on Pure Bull), Rubens Barbosa (86.5 points on Whistlin Dixie), Tanner Byrne (86.5 points on King Buck), Pacheco and Wing.

Davis earned 60 points toward the standings, while Byrne and Barbosa each earned 45 points.

Charlotte is the closest BFTS event to Gay’s Staley, North Carolina, home that he has ever competed at. Staley is a little under two hours away.

“I try not to think about it because I feel like I may put more weight on my shoudlers that I don’t need to worry about, but it is important to do good in front of my home crowd just to show them what I got. Show them I am not a dud.”

Tyler Harr only bubble rider to make 8 seconds

Tyler Harr bent over and bit down on his lip as he firmly gripped his riding wrist.

“I hurt it a few weeks ago,” Harr said before hunching over and grabbing at his wrist again. “That bull had a really short back, moved forward and yanked on me from the time I nodded my head.”

Harr had just ridden Munster Man for 82.75 points in Round 1 moments earlier and was feeling the effects of one his latest injuries.

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Harr has been competing with a sprained left knee, a sprained left  wrist and broken left ribs.

“After going 2-for-3 in Biloxi, I went down to Brazil and tried breaking in a new bull rope and that is when I hurt my hand,” Harr said. “I got on their bucking bull of the year and had him rode and lost my feet. Ever since then I have had trouble.”

The ride wasn’t his best, and certainly one that wasn’t going to place him in the round, but Harr knows getting a qualified ride on the board puts him better position at earning points toward the world standings for finishing in the event average.

Harr was the only rider on the BFTS bubble to earn a qualified ride on Friday night and is sitting in 11th place.

He had previously ridden just one of his last 10 bulls on the BFTS.

The 8-second feeling helps numb all of the pain in the rest of his body, Harr said.

“It sure does,” Harr said. “I am hurting. That is why when I got off I sighed. The whole ride hurts. Everything hurts. My knee hurts. I just need to put together a couple more this weekend and go have a good weekend in Allentown.

“I need to worry about tomorrow night first.”

INJURY UPDATES

According to Freeman, there were four riders competing injured in Springfield – Michael Lane (right shoulder sprain/nerve injury), Alexandre Cardozo (sprained right ankle), Harr (sprained knee, sprained wrist and left rib fractures), Stetson Lawrence (sprained knee and left ankle).

Valdiron de Oliveira (lower back), Robson Aragao (separated right shoulder), Eduardo Aparecido (sprained foot) and Mauney (sprained ankle).

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

3 THINGS WE LEARNED IN SPRINGFIELD (9-13-2015)

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Here are three things we learned from the PFI Invitational, presented by Bass Pro Shops, this weekend at JQH Arena.

PALERMO CELEBATES BIRTH OF SON WITH SIXTH-PLACE FINISH

Robson Palermo found out at the end of Round 2 on Saturday night that his wife, Priscila, had just gone into labor moments after he had ridden Fire Rock for 86.25 points.

Palermo had been hoping his son, Lucas, would hold off on his arrival into the world until he headed home after the Pendleton, Oregon, BlueDEF Velocity Tour event on Monday and Tuesday.

Well, Lucas had other plans and Priscila gave birth to the Palermos’ third child at 5 a.m. in Texas. Lucas is 6 pounds, 5 ounces.

Palermo, who stayed up all night on the phone with his mother-in-law, unfortunately was unable to be home for the birth of his son, so he did the next best thing possible by riding Rebelution for 87.5 points in Round 3.

“I had a baby this morning, and I just kept thinking I have to ride the bull for him, for Lucas,” Palermo said. “I did and I feel great. I feel good now. I have had a lot of pressure not knowing the day he was going to come. I had to fix his room, this and that. Now it is over and he is healthy.

“I am so happy.”

The ride helped him finish second in the round and earn 60 points toward the world standings. He eventually bucked off Walk Off in 3.54 seconds the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, but he finished fifth in the event average to earn an additional 65 points.

Overall, he placed sixth in the event with 145 points.

What makes those points so important is that they move Palermo from 36th to 32nd in the world standings.

Palermo has an 85-point cushion on No. 35 Lachlan Richardson. In fact, he was the only rider on the BFTS bubble able to earn any world points during the three-day event.

Therefore, Palermo may decide to skip Pendleton and spend the next few days home with his wife and newborn son before heading to the BFTS event next weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“It was hard not being there today,” Palermo said. “I told her I wanted to be there (at the hospital) so bad. I am going to drive back to Texas and will think if I should go to Pendleton or not.”

Bruiser posts second-consecutive 46-point outing

H.D. Page said before the start of the final day of the PFI Invitational he felt if Bruiser had another strong outing this weekend following his 46-point out on Friday night that he may indeed end up becoming a World Champion Bull contender for this year’s World Finals on Oct. 21-25.

Bruiser didn’t disappoint his owner and he came through with a career-best 46.25-point score by just getting Renato Nunes off his back in 7.41 seconds.

“I think he has earned the right to be mentioned,” Page said. “He was here this weekend against most of the contenders and he out-marked them. He actually was out twice this weekend and out-marked them both times.”

Bruiser beat World Champion Bull contenders SweetPro’s Long John (44 points as J.W. Harris rode him for 90.25 points), Smooth Operator (44.25 points for a 3.44-second buckoff of Matt Triplett) and Little Red Jacket (43.5 points for a 2.62-second buckoff of Gage Gay).

The 2010 World Champion believes Bruiser should be up there with the other contenders now.

“For sure he is,” Nunes said. “There is no question about it.”

Nunes thought he had Bruiser right where he wanted him after studying film of the bovine athlete before the event, but he was unable to come through with an 8-second ride.

The 34-year-old would like a rematch with Bruiser in October.

“He bucked pretty good,” Nunes said. “He had better kick than before. He turned back to the right at 7 seconds and he caught me. He was hopping a lot, and I didn’t have enough fast moves to pick it up with him. He beat me this time. I hope to get on him again at the Finals and win some go rounds over there.”

J.W. Harris rides Long John for second event win

Four-time PRCA champion J.W. Harris made it two straight weeks in a row that a bull rider made dominant work aboard Long John.

Harris rode the World Champion Bull contender for the second-consecutive year in Springfield, this time for 90.25 points to win the championship round and event average.

“I am just glad I remember this,” Harris said. “Last year, he knocked me smooth out, and it was my own fault because I got off like crap.”

Before being knocked out in 2014, Harris rode Long John for 87.5 points in Springfield.

This year, the 29-year-old was able to keep himself tight to the front end of Long John and handle each of Long John’s bucking waves for his second 90-point ride of the season.

“I let him beat me right out of there and for some reason on him, that first jump I rear back on him and really shove my hips. He hits me in the back every time I get on him and it kind of just helped me out really. It made me drive back to the front and I just stayed there.”

The ride helped Harris win the championship round for 100 points and overall event title with 560 points. He earned 400 of those points by going 3-for-4 to win the event average.

Harris decided he would pick Long John if the bull was available in the championship-round draft after he was bucked off by Pile Driver in 4.65 seconds in Round 3.

He selected Long John with the eighth pick and was the only rider to notch a qualified ride in the championship round.

The win moves Harris from 10th in the world standings to sixth. He will head to next weekend’s BFTS event in Charlotte trailing world leader J.B. Mauney by 1,690 points.

Rounding out the Top 5 in the event was Mason Lowe (325 points), Tanner Byrne (240 points), Stetson Lawrence (190 points) and Ben Jones (145 points).

Lowe moves from 21st in the world standings to 18th, while Byrne goes from 17th to 14th.

Lawrence jumps one spot to eight in the world, and he trails Mauney by 1,916.25 points.

Jones earned 100 of his points by winning Round 3 with an 88.25-point ride on Blind Spot.

“He just made one big jump and was around to the right,” Jones said. “I couldn’t have picked a better one.”

INJURY UPDATES

The end of Round 3 featured a wild turn of events for world leaders Mauney and Joao Ricardo Vieira.

Mauney and Vieira were scheduled to be the third and second to final outs of the round before sports med was sent running into action.

First, Mauney got rocked viciously back and forth inside the bucking chute as he tried to tie his hand into his bull rope aboard Pearl Harbor.

After a few quick jerks back and forth, Mauney was grabbed and lifted out of the chute by Nathan Schaper before he began grimacing in pain and grasping at his left ankle.

Mauney was unable to get back on his bull and ruled out of the competition by Dr. Tandy Freeman.

According to Freeman, Mauney bruised his left leg and ankle, and also sprained his left MCL, when his leg got hung in the slates of the chute.

Mauney is listed as probable for Charlotte and he was able to leave the arena without crutches.

It was a tough blow for the world leader, who was already 2-for-2 and in a position to potentially win the event and extend his world lead.

However, Mauney still earned 10 points for finishing ninth in the event average. Paired with his third-place finish in Round 1 on Friday night for 50 world points, Mauney extended his lead slightly on Vieira to 312.5 points.

Vieira finished 0-for-3 and also was left limping out of the arena.

The No. 2 bull rider in the world standings bruised his left thigh when he was slammed into the steel bucking chute by Crazy Days when the bull hipped himself leaving the chute.

Vieira immediately grabbed his knee in the arena and was assisted by sports medicine to the back of the chutes. He eventually took his re-ride, which was Pearl Harbor, and he was bucked off in 1.72 seconds.

World No. 8 Valdiron de Oliveira did not compete on Sunday because of a prior back injury.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

THREE THINGS WE LEARNED FROM SPRINGFIELD, DAY 2 (9-12-2015)

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Here are three things we learned from Round 2 of the PFI Invitational, presented by Bass Pro Shops, on Saturday night at JQH Arena.

TRIPLETT GAINS GROUND IN WORLD TITLE RACE; MAUNEY IN GOOD SHAPE

Matt Triplett didn’t have much to say on Saturday night. All he knew was that he had made the 8-second mark aboard Comfortably Numb, even if it came down to a judges’ review.

The judges agreed with Triplett and awarded the Columbia Falls, Montana, bull rider  an 86.75-point score aboard Comfortably Numb.

Other than confirming he had no doubt he made the 8-second mark, Triplett had few words following his first qualified ride in six outs.  

“It is just something I need to be more comfortable doing,” Triplett said.

Triplett earned 50 points toward the world standings for his third-place finish in Round 2 and made up the 50 points he lost to world leader J.B. Mauney on Friday night.

The No. 4 bull rider in the world standings is 1,165 points behind Mauney.

However, Mauney still rode his Round 2 bull – Top Hat – for 83.75 points and the No. 1 bull rider in the world is sitting second in the event average (2-for-2, 171 points).

Therefore, Triplett will need to cover his Round 3 bull (Loose Change) or else Mauney will likely pad his lead atop the world standings by the end of the event on Sunday night.

Mauney has been matched up with Pearl Harbor in Round 3.

World No. 3 Kaique Pacheco is still in the hunt for an event victory after riding Little Bighorn for 86 points. He is sitting 14th in the event average after tying for seventh in the round.

Like Triplett, Pacheco will also likely need a qualified ride in Round 3 to keep pace with Mauney.

He has drawn Buck Autism.

Joao Ricardo Vieira took another step back in his pursuit of his first career gold buckle after he was bucked off by Super Natural in 7.6 seconds.

Vieira had minutes earlier accepted the re-ride option following his 61.25-point ride aboard Nasty Boy.

The 31-year-old has been bucked off past the 7-second mark in three consecutive outs.

Vieira had only one buckoff all season long past 7 seconds before his recent streak.

BIRTHDAY BASH FOR LOWE

Mason Lowe celebrated his 22nd birthday with a career-high 88.5 point-ride aboard Pushing Pills to win Round 2.

“That bull is from about 10 miles from here and I have seen him a little bit,” Lowe said. “I was excited last night when I found out I had him. He usually goes back the other way at the end, but he kind of stayed in it.”

The 21st ranked bull rider earned 100 points toward the world standings with the round win.

Lowe was able to bounce back from a 5.63-second buckoff against Johnny’s Boy in Round 1 on Friday night.

The rookie has about 200 friends and family that have made the 64-mile trip from Exeter, Missouri, area to see their hometown kid compete on the biggest stage.

Lowe has always dreamed about being able to compete in front of his friends and family in JQH Arena.

“I like having the support of my hometown, and it is even better to win a round for them,” Lowe said. “I didn’t want to come here and get shut out. To win a round is awesome.”

Rounding out the Top 5 in the round was Gage Gay (87.5 points on Money Maker), Triplett, Cody Nance (86.5 points on Spitball), Brady Sims (86.25 points on Gigolo Beau) and Robson Palermo (86.25 points on Fire Rock).

Gay earned 60 points toward the world standings to move one spot ahead of Aaron Roy for 24th in the world standings, while Nance earned 40 points and Sims and Palermo picked up 15 points apiece.

Palermo, who is expecting the birth of his third child any day now, remains ranked 36th in the world, but the 15 points will be helpful as he tries to claw his way to the World Finals in October.

The three-time World Finals event winner was able to hang on as Fire Rock reared him way far back midway through the ride.

“He didn’t go the way I wanted,” Palermo said. “I wanted a little more points from him and I know he is a great bull. I didn’t know what he was going to do because they changed him to a right delivery. I am so happy. I have been bucked off by so many bulls that I feel like I couldn’t even ride a stick horse. We will see what happens tomorrow.”

SIMS LEADING EVENT AVERAGE

Sims heads into Sunday leading the event average and is in a potential position to win his first career BFTS event.

The Holt, Missouri, native followed up his 86.5-point ride on Come On Baby on Friday night with an 86.25-point ride aboard Gigolo Beau on Saturday.

“He had a lot more up and down and (was) kind of trying to really get me into my hand,” Sims said. “I just kept fighting and kept leaning over there and trying to not let him get me way too far into my hand. It felt terrible, but I guess it looked alright.”

Gigolo Beau is partially owned by the recently retired L.J. Jenkins, who participated in a series of PR appearances with Sims this week.

“He was giving me a hard time about it all last night when I told him I had his bull,” Sims said.

According to Sims, he has about 10-15 friends and family in attendance.

Being the home state kid with Lowe certainly gives you a motivational boost, said Sims.

“Whenever you come to these events like this you definitely try a little bit harder because you know everybody came to watch you and it is kind of like you should try that hard every time,” Sims added. “Unfortunately, you don’t always try that hard.”

Rounding out the Top 5 in the event average is Mauney (171 points), J.W. Harris (170.5 points), Tanner Byrne (169.75 points), Lowe (88.5 points) and Cooper Davis (88 points).

INJURY UPDATES

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Eduardo Aparecido and Robson Aragao have been ruled out for Round 3 on Sunday afternoon.

Aparecido sustained a right ankle injury when his foot was twisted in the slats of the bucking chute prior to attempting to ride American Hustle. He was unable to take his ride.

Aragao is out because of a separated right shoulder that happened when he was thrown from Dirty Work (2.13 seconds).

Luis Blanco is questionable for Sunday after sustaining an injury to his lower left ribs when Shoot Out The Lights stepped on him following his 3.73-second buckoff.

Lane Lasley is probable after bruising his right arm (riding arm) when he was stepped on after being tossed by Set ‘em up Joe in 4.31 seconds.

Tyler Harr sprained his left knee (grade 3 MCL and aggravation of chronic PCL) when he hung up to Crash in Round 2. 

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

3 THINGS WE LEARNED FROM ROUND 1 IN SPRINGFIELD (9-12-2015)

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of the PFI Invitational, presented by Bass Pro Shops, on Friday night at JQH Arena.

MAUNEY EXTENDS WORLD LEAD

J.B. Mauney continues to take care of business on his pursuit of a second career world title and Joao Ricardo Vieira continues to let good opportunities slip by.

Mauney extended his world lead on Vieira to 302.5 points by riding Spin Machine for 87.25 points to finish Round 1 in third place and earn 50 points toward the standings.

More importantly, the ride helped Mauney continue to slowly build his padding atop the world standings after Vieira bucked off Red Moon at 7.26 seconds.

“It was a good bull,” Mauney said. “I had seen him last week when Brady Sims had him. I knew he would be a good one to have. I just have to keep riding.”

It is the second consecutive weekend in which Vieira has been bucked off just past 7 seconds.

Vieira appeared to be in good position when Red Moon strongly pulled to the left, but once the bovine turned back to the right it sent Vieira crashing to the ground.

Last weekend, the No. 2 bull rider in the world appeared poised to win the WinStar World Casino & Resort Invitational before bucking off DaNutso at the 7.02-second mark during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.

In a sport where every second and millisecond counts, those two buckoffs are major reasons why Vieira is currently looking up at the 28-year-old from Mooresville, North Carolina, after sitting on top of the world standings for the majority of the season.

Mauney was the only rider in the Top 7 of the world standings to record one of the 10 qualified rides in Round 1.

He replied that his left ankle was not bothering him after walking out of the arena with limp.

“It is just a stinger. I will be fine,” he said.

DAVIS WINS ROUND 1; COVERS BOUNTY BULL FOR 5K

Cooper Davis, who has lost 13 pounds since the Tulsa, Oklahoma, event put together his greatest performance since living on 1,200 calories per day by riding You’re Next for 88 points to win Round 1.

“That bull is a handful,” Davis said. “I didn’t really know much about him. He didn’t have a whole lot of stats, but the stats he had said he was a pretty good bull – and he was.”

Davis earned 100 points for the round win – his third of the season – and he moves from 20th in the world standings to 17th.

The rookie then followed that up with an 88.5-point ride on bounty bull BootDaddy.com for an additional $5,000.

Davis was almost fooled when BootDaddy.com turned back to the right in the final seconds.

“He had me beat,” Davis said. “I don’t know how I caught back up to him. I never quit. He went back left and felt better than he did when he went right.”

In total, Davis earned $8,580 heading into his Round 2 matchup against Butchers Nightmare.

RELATED: See the entire Round 2 draw

BootDaddy.com previously bucked off Davis in 4.12 seconds in Nashville, Tennessee, to eliminate him from the Jack Daniel’s Music City Knockout.

“I am not going to complain about that,” Davis said. “To get him rode here and some money in my pocket, I couldn’t be happier.”

Davis decided to cut down on his weight after being approached by PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert and J.W. Hart in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month.

To help lose weight, Davis has been primarily eating chicken, brown rice and broccoli during the week.

He has been happy with the recent results.

“I got one rode last week for 85 and this week I feel better,” Davis said. “I am adjusting to the weight a little bit better. I feel confident and feel like I can move around a whole lot better than I had.”

Rounding out the Top 5 was J.W. Harris (87.5 points on Legacy), Mauney, Stetson Lawrence (87 points on Slinger Jr.), Sims (86.5 points on Come on Baby), Chase Outlaw (86.5 points on What A Burger) and Aaron Roy (86.5 points on Ms. Kitty’s Peacemaker).

Harris earned 60 points toward the world standings to move from 12th to 10th, while Lawrence moved up one spot to ninth after earning 40 points.

Sims, Outlaw and Roy all split fourth through sixth and walked away with 10 points toward the standings.

Outlaw was returning from a left shoulder injury that kept him out of Thackerville last weekend.

BRUISER TAKES HOME TOP BULL HONORS

For the second week in a row, Bruiser was the top-marked bull in the first round of a Built Ford Tough Series event.

Although this weekend, Bruiser stepped it up to an even higher notch than he did in Thackerville.

The D&H Cattle Company bovine athlete sent Valdiron de Oliveira tumbling over like a tree at the 4.29-second mark inside JQH Arena for a 46-point bull marking.

The 46 points is a season-high for Bruiser and the bull score also ties his career-high he set last year at the World Finals when Mauney rode him for 93.25 points.

“He was just bucking,” Oliveira said. “He wasn’t too strong. He was just a fast bull. This is my fault. I needed a little bit more concentration.”

Oliveira added that his chest felt OK despite being slammed to the ground by Bruiser near the corner of the bucking chutes.

Friday night was Oliveira’s first BFTS event since sustaining a broken sternum last month in Biloxi, Mississippi.

“For the first bull, I am alright,” he said. “It feels good. I hit the ground pretty hard and I don’t feel sore or nothing.”

INJURY UPDATES

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, there were five riders competing injured in Springfield – Michael Lane (right shoulder sprain/nerve injury), Alexandre Cardozo (sprained right ankle), Tyler Harr (sprained knee, sprained wrist and left rib fractures), Stetson Lawrence (sprained knee and left ankle) and Neil Holmes (lacerated left index finger on his riding hand).

Ben Jones (sore neck) and Ryan Dirteater (concussion) also returned to action this weekend.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

VIERIA GETS OPPORTUNITY TO ANSWER MAUNEY; MARCHI OUT (9-11-2015)

PUEBLO, Colo – The draw for Round 1 of the PFI Invitational, presented by Bass Pro Shops, was released Wednesday night by the PBR competition committee and the round will feature a couple of interesting matchups.

Joao Ricardo Vieira, who lost his No. 1 ranking to J.B. Mauney last weekend in Thackerville, Oklahoma, will get an opportunity to try and answer Mauney’s recent surge when he takes on Red Moon.

Coincidentally, Red Moon is the bull Mauney rode last weekend in Thackerville for 90.5 points to win Round 1.

Red Moon went to the left with Mauney, which would be right into Vieira’s wheelhouse. 

Vieira has struggled (4-for-10) since the BFTS resumed in August and he trails Mauney by 252.5 points with four regular-season events remaining.

An 8-second ride on Red Moon could be the kind of ride that can turn things around for Vieira.

On the flipside, Mauney also has a great matchup against Spin Machine (0-5, BFTS).

Brady Sims rode Spin Machine for 86.25 points last weekend, and Mauney will likely be able to have a qualified ride on the board by the time Round 1 is over inside JQH arena.

According to ProBullstats.com, Spin Machine is 2-2 against known left-handers.

In other draw news, world No. 8 Guilherme Marchi is out with a torn left MCL and PCL in his left knee.

Marchi sustained the torn MCL in Thackerville when he was thrown by Cut The Cord in Round 1.

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Marchi will need surgery, but the 2008 World Champion plans to postpone the surgery until after the World Finals. Marchi will go to physical therapy in the meantime.

Valdiron de Oliveira is returning to competition for the first time since Biloxi, Mississippi, (Aug. 7) when he broke his sternum attempting to ride Whiskey.

Oliveira – ranked seventh in the world standings – trails Mauney by 1,984.17 points.

The 36-year-old has drawn Bruiser, who bucked off Luis Blanco in 3.39 seconds last weekend.

It won’t be an easy matchup as only one right-handed rider (Kaique Pacheco, 94 points) has ridden Bruiser in 10 career outs at all levels.

There will be 41 riders competing in Springfield rather than the standard 35 riders. 

Billy Robinson was expected to compete this weekend, before being replaced by Blanco after he withdrew on Thursday evening because of an undisclosed injury.

Blacno, who is 41st in the world standings, will face Brutus (3-2, BFTS)

With the 41-rider draw, that opens up another opportunity for riders chasing the final qualification spots for the World Finals after the majority of them failed to make any substantial moves last weekend.

No. 36 Robson Palermo, No. 37 Tyler Harr, No. 38 Neil Holmes, No. 39 Alexandre Cardozo and No. 40 Douglas Duncan are all separated by 23.75 points.

No. 44 Sean Willingham is also in the draw and the 34-year-old only trails Palermo by 150 points.

Palermo is 47.5 points behind Mason.

Chase Outlaw is also back this week after missing last weekend with a sprained left shoulder injury.

The No. 26th ranked bull rider faces What A Burger (3-1, BFTS) in Round 1. Gage Gay rode What A Burger for 84.75 points in Thackerville.

Zane Cook is competing as a Native American invite, while Lane Lasley is making his BFTS debut with a BlueDEF Velocity Tour exemption because of his win in Moline, Illinois, in June.

Cook takes on Screamer (0-0, BFTS) and Lasley will see Shattered Dreams (0-0, BFTS) in Round 1.

According to the PBR competition department, Emilio Resende has decided to hold his four remaining BFTS exemptions for the 2016 season.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

BEHIND THE CHUTES: THACKERVILLE, DAY 2

THACKERVILLE, Okla. – Here are three things we learned from this weekend’s WinStar World Casino & Resort Invitational.

APARECIDO WINS SECOND CAREER EVENT

Eduardo Aparecido was the only rider to go 3-for-3 in Thackerville and the 25-year-old earned it the hard way by working every second of the way to cover No Regrets for 87.75 points in the championship round.

The ride helped Aparecido (460 points) edge J.B. Mauney (440 points) by 20 points for his second career-event victory.

The difference maker was Aparecido winning the event average and it’s accompanying 400 points compared to Mauney, who went 2-for-3 with two round victories.

“I am really happy to win this event,” Aparecido said with the help of Robson Palermo translating. “Sometimes I have been down this year because I was in a slump. To win an event, I can show everyone what I can do.”

Aparecido hadn’t posted three qualified rides at a regular-season event since the BFTS event in Allentown, Pennsylvania, last October.

His last event victory was last season in Nampa, Idaho. He did win the 15/15 Bucking Battle at the Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden in January with a 90-point ride on KISS Animalize

In Thackerville, Aparecido didn’t earn any points for his consecutive sixth-place finishes in Round 1 (87.25 points on Johnny’s Boy) and Round 2 (85.25 points on Deja Voodoo), but he still moved from 23rd to 15th in the world standings.

Finishing behind Aparecido and Mauney was Cody NanceMason Lowe and Fabiano Vieira.

Nance (2-for-3) was bucked off by Shaft (6.01 seconds) in the championship round, while Lowe was tossed by Recovery Time at the 6.9-second mark.

Nance earned 270 points toward the world standings to move up one spot to 13th. He picked up 180 for finishing third in the event average after earning 30 points in Round 2 for placing fifth in the round with an 85.5-point ride on Rusty.

Lowe (2-for-3) finished fourth with 190 points. The rookie tied for second in Round 2 with his 86.25-point ride on Tracker to earn 50 points. Lowe placed fourth in the event average for 105 points.

MAUNEY GAINS NO. 1 RANKING

J.B. Mauney used a sensational season-high 92.25-point ride on SweetPro’s Long John on Saturday night to win the Built Ford Tough Championship Round and take over the world lead from Joao Ricardo Vieira.

“That is why I come here, to get on rank bulls like that,” Mauney said. “It ain’t for the show. It ain’t for the money. It is to prove to myself I can do it. It ain’t got nothing to do with trying to show off or being the dragon slayer. In a sport like this, you need to prove every time you can do it to yourself and the day you think you can’t do it is the day you need to retire.”

Mauney, who leads the BFTS with 11 round wins, finished the event 2-for-3 and second overall with 440 points.

The 2013 World Champion will head to Springfield, Missouri, next weekend with a 252.5-point lead on Vieira.

“Yup, this is where I want to be,” Mauney said.

Long John was marked 45.25 points and tied with Stone Sober for the highest-marked bull of the night. Stone Sober bucked off Renato Nunes in 5.21 seconds.

Vieira nearly finished the weekend a perfect 3-for-3 before DaNutso shed him at the 7.02-second mark moments after Mauney brought the sellout crowd to its feet.

Vieira only earned 20 points toward the standings.

He earned no round points with his 86.5-point ride on Wicked Stick in Round 1 Friday or his 65.25-point ride on Superstition in Round 2 Saturday. The 31-year-old elected to turn down his re-ride option in the second round.

Mauney leads No. 3 Kaique Pacheco by 900 points, No. 4 Matt Triplett by 1,165 points and No. 5 Fabiano Vieira by 1,340 points.

According to Pacheco, the 20-year-old rookie opted out of the championship round, which featured only 14 riders because of injuries and opt outs, and a chance to try and earn points after having his left calf stomped on by Mr. Clark, as well as taking a shot to the chin.

Fabiano Vieira (2-for-3) was the only rider in the Top 5 outside of Mauney to earn a solid amount of points (115) toward the world standings. He rode Legal Tender for 86.25 points to tie for second-place in Round 2 and pick up 50 points. The 33-year-old earned the other 65 for placing fifth in the event average.

“This week I have really concentrated,” Vieira said following Round 2. “I just am very focused on riding.”

Vieira failed to capitalize on his opportunity to win the event when he was downed by Red Rover in the championship round in 1.91 seconds.

PROCTOR WINS FIRST BFTS ROUND IN 2 YEARS

Shane Proctor missed all but one event last season because of two reconstructive shoulder surgeries.

Proctor returned this season at full strength and has competed in all 22 BFTS event this year and he finally came through with his first round victory in two years by riding Sambo for 86.75 points.

“Luckily it didn’t take as much as yesterday and I am happy to just get one covered,” Proctor said before the championship round. “Man, it was a good bull and kind of like a lot of the bulls I grew up on in the Northwest. He was a bigger one and those kind of fit my style. I felt like I rode him good and luckily it worked out.”

Proctor’s last BFTS round win actually came in Thackerville in 2013 when he rode Redneck for 88.5 points in the second round.

The Grand Coulee, Washington, bull rider finished sixth in this weekend’s event and has now posted three consecutive Top-10 finishes since Tulsa, Oklahoma, three weeks ago.

However, despite the round win, Proctor dropped one spot to 16th in the world standings because of Aparecido’s victory.

INJURY UPDATES

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi tore his left MCL and aggravated a previous PCL tear when he was thrown by Cut The Cord in Round 1.

Stetson Lawrence sprained his left ankle dismounting Handsom Jeff in the first round Friday night.

Ryan Dirteater was unable to compete in the championship round after sustaining a concussion in Round 2 when his head collided with Palm Springs' head during his ride attempt.

Ben Jones did not compete in the championship round because of a neck strain sustained when he was kicked by Gnarly Head after being thrown off in the second round.

Luis Blanco sustained a bruised throat when he was struck by Fifty Shades' horn following his 84.25-point ride in Round 2. He was unable to compete in the championship round.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko. 

THREE THINGS WE LEARNED IN THACKERVILLE, DAY 1 (9-4-2015)

THACKERVILLE, Okla. – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of the WinStar World Casino & Resort Invitational on Friday night.

Chasing their first World Finals berths

Neil Holmes (87.75 points on Stone Cold Crazy) and Mason Lowe (87.75 points on Buck Autism) split fourth and fifth-place in Round 1 for an important 35 points toward the world standings.

It isn’t a lot, but those points will certainly be difference makers as each rider is on the hunt for their first career berths to World Finals.

The points were especially important for Holmes.

The Houston native moved up two positions to 40th in the world following Round 1.

“You will appreciate it a lot more when it is earned,” Holmes said about potentially qualifying for Finals. “We still have a little ways to go and, hell, I am not backing down now.”

It was the second consecutive time Holmes had ridden Stone Cold Crazy.

However, it didn’t come without consequences as Holmes lacerated his left index finger on his riding hand when Stone Cold Crazy’s horn grazed his hand in the chutes.

Dr. Tandy Freeman stitched up Holmes during the event and Holmes is expected to ride in Round 2.

Lowe is currently the 25th-ranked bull rider on the tour and his ride helped him break out of a mini-slump (1-for-8).

The rookie was able to handle every burst of energy from Buck Autism as the bull tried to pull him down toward the middle.

“I was pretty excited when I saw I had him this week,” Lowe said. “I had seen J.B. get on him (in Tulsa) and it looked like he had a lot of timing. He didn’t turn back there, but he was getting high in the air.

Lowe is ahead of No. 35 David Mason by 344.16 points.

“I am fired up and ready to go,” Lowe concluded.

Mauney wins 10th round of 2015 to close in on world lead

A left ankle may have taken him out in Nashville, Tennessee, two weeks ago, but it is not going to knock J.B. Mauney out of the 2015 world title race.

Mauney showed no ill effects after injuring his ankle at the final PBR Major of the year and the 2013 World Champion fought his way across Red Moon for a Round 1-winning 90.5 points Friday night.

“He was a really good bull of Riley Sanford's. I had never seen him before,” Mauney said. “Riley sent me a video of him and I knew if I did my job I could win the round on him. That is what he told me at the start of the night. He said, ‘Let’s go win one.’

“That’s what I tried to do.”

Mauney did not just win his BFTS-leading 10th round of 2015; he also is that much closer at potentially winning a second world title.

The round win gave him 100 points toward the world standings to move within 67.5 points of world leader Joao Ricardo Vieira.

CBS Sports Network commentator and two-time World Champion Justin McBride congratulated Mauney following Round 1.

He also knew that Mauney was about to whip his free arm after a couple of jumps from Red Moon.

“I could see that big ole skinny arm coming,” McBride said to Mauney. “That was a great ride.”

Mauney added, “I was out of shape around the second or third round and I let him beat me around the corner and I had my hips way out of there. I knew if I didn’t throw the Hail Mary and see if it would work, it wouldn’t have worked at all.”

Rounding out the Top 5 in Round 1 was Cody Nance (89.25 points on Brutus), Ryan Dirteater (88.5 points on Savage Moves), Holmes and Lowe.

Vieira is currently seventh in the event average with an 86.5-point effort aboard Wicked Stick.

World No. 5 Fabiano Vieira is sitting ninth with 85.75 points on Born in the USA, while No. 3 Kaique Pacheco turned down a re-ride option and kept his 71.5-point ride on Midnight Bender. Pacheco is sitting 13th out of the 13 qualified rides in the first round.

In terms of Mauney, is it safe to say his ankle will not be an issue?

“It is sore, but you don’t need to run,” Mauney said. “You need to ride.”

Bruiser bounces back from Tulsa

SweetPro’s Long John may be the World Champion Bull contender stud on the D&H Cattle Company trailer, but Bruiser continues to show he has the potential to one day be a star on the Built Ford Tough Series.

The 4-year-old bull rebounded from his foul in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month by bucking off Luis Blanco in 3.39 seconds for a round-high 45 points.

It is Bruiser’s fifth 45-point or higher bull score of his career.

Blanco admitted he was mentally defeated even before the chute gate swung open after Bruiser jumped forward on him inside the chute.

“I tried to focus a lot, but he broke my focus when he started bucking in the chute,” Blanco said. “I tried to do my perfect stuff and I lost my focus to win.”

Bruiser made easy work of Blanco by causing the 26-year-old to lose control of his feet mid-spin.

“I just tried to stay on the inside and he felt me there coming back and I was soft to the outside and I lost my legs.”

Blanco was disappointed he didn’t take advantage of an opportunity to earn points toward the world standings.

He began the weekend  ranked 40th in the world standings and dropped to 41st.

“When I see the draw, I was really glad because that is a bull (that) could help me make it to World Finals,” Blanco said. “I could have won the round and get the points I need for Finals.”

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko. 

THACKERVILLE DRAW PREVIEW (9-2-2015)

THACKERVILLE, Okla. – The odds are stacked against Guilherme Marchi as the 2008 World Champion continues to try and ride with a torn biceps in his riding arm (right).

Yet the 2008 World Champion flashed a bit of his old self in Barretos, Brazil, last weekend when he went 4-for-5, including a 90.5-point ride on Whatsapp.

He also wore a protective brace on his left knee, similar to the one he wore last year in the second half while contending for a world title with a right knee injury.

The bull power on the Built Ford Tough Series is much stronger than at PBR Brazil events, but the one area that Marchi was looking to work on when he first returned to competition in Nashville was to find a sense of trust in his arm.

Marchi knows it will be tough to contend with the biceps injury, but he is confident he can finish out the season and place within the Top 10 of the world standings for the 11th consecutive season.

He added that there was no pain in his arm in Barretos.

RELATED: Guilherme Marchi returns from torn biceps

The No.8-ranked bull rider in the world standings is set to take on Cut The Cord (1-0, BFTS) in Round 1 on Friday night. Cut The Cord bucked off Stetson Lawrence in 2.29 seconds in Tulsa, Oklahoma, earlier this month.

Standout rookie and No. 3 bull rider Kaique Pacheco returns from Barretos and a 5-for-5 performance to take on Midnight Bender (0-1, BFTS). Midnight Bender last bucked on the BFTS in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where J.B. Mauney rode him for 87 points.

Mauney, the No. 2 bull rider in the world, will face Red Moon (1-0, BFTS) in Round 1 in his first action since injuring his left ankle in Nashville two weeks ago. Red Moon bucked off Robson Aragao in 1.83 seconds in Tulsa.

World leader Joao Ricardo Vieira is slated to face Wicked Stick (1-0, BFTS). Wicked Stick bucked off Gage Gay in 2.27 seconds.

Lachlan Richardson is returning to the BFTS for the first time since being cut following Last Cowboy Standing.

Richardson had not qualified for the past three BFTS events, but took the Touring Pro Division by storm lately.

He has gone 6-for-6 to pick up two TPD victories (Missoula, Montana, and Springdale, Arkansas) and a second-place finish in Eureka, Montana, in the last three weeks. Those three performances helped him earn 150 points toward the world standings to jump to 34th in the world standings after being ranked 45th at the beginning of August.

The 22-year-old has drawn Pearl Harbor (3-1, BFTS) in Round 1.

There are only 122.5 points separating Richardson from No. 42 Neil Holmes – the last rider in the Thackerville draw.

According to the PBR competition department, there will be 39 total riders competing in Thackerville.

RELATED: Check out the Round 1 draw

No. 36 Robson Palermo, No. 37 Tyler Harr, No. 38 Alexandre Cardozo and No. 39 Douglas Duncan are in the draw because of injuries to Valdiron de Oliveira (sternum), Chase Outlaw (shoulder),  Bonner Bolton (clavicle) and L.J. Jenkins (retirement).

No. 40 Luis Blanco, No. 41 Justin Paton and Holmes are competing as alternates, while Emilio Resende is using the fourth of his eight BFTS exemptions.

Resende has only earned five points toward the world standings in three events since offseason reconstructive knee surgery. He has five events remaining to try and overcome a 530-point deficit to crack the Top 35 and earn a spot for the 2015 Built Ford Tough World Finals.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.

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