KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Here are three things we learned from the Kansas City Invitational, presented by Express Employment Professionals, this weekend at the Sprint Center.
Barbosa closes gap on Lockwood; world standings tighten (2-12-17)
With world leader Jess Lockwood being unable to ride on Championship Sunday because of a deep thigh bruise, Rubens Barbosa and the some of the Top 10 riders in the PBR world standings took a bite out of Lockwood’s grip on the No. 1 ranking.
Barbosa, the No. 2 rider in the world standings, will head into next weekend’s Iron Cowboy only 395 points behind Lockwood after winning Round 2 Sunday afternoon with an 87.25-point ride on Chute Boss.
The 33-year-old continue his trend of being near dominant when bulls spin into his right riding hand.
“I like it because for me it is easier coming into my hand,” Barbosa said. “This is a good bull. He came into my hand and I made a good ride.”
It wasn’t a great weekend for Barbosa, but his 1-for-3 performance helped him gain 110 points on Lockwood.
“I did not know he was not competing today,” Barbosa said. “That is indifferent to me. I do not compete against bull riders. I compete against bulls.”
Barbosa passed Lockwood for the most round wins (4) on tour.
“I am getting stronger,” Barbosa said. “I work out every week at Fit-N-Wise in Decatur. They are helping me a lot. They are giving me massages and making me stronger. I feel good. I feel better. I work on everything because to ride bulls you need everything. Legs strong. Arms strong. Head strong.”
The biggest winner in the standings – outside of event victor Eduardo Aparecido – was reigning World Champion Cooper Davis.
Davis, who won Round 1 on Saturday, finished second overall and gained 400 world points on Lockwood by going 3-for-3.
The 22-year-old rode Jailhouse Jr. for a season-high 89.25 points to finish second in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round. In Round 2, Davis rode Cheese Bandit for 82.75 points.
Davis will arrive in Arlington, Texas, as the No. 5 bull rider in the world standings. He trails Lockwood by 835 points.
Lockwood is listed as questionable for Iron Cowboy by Dr. Tandy Freeman.
World No. 4 Marco Eguchi turned down his re-ride option in Round 2 after riding Evil Intentions for 73.5 points.
Eguchi said he declined the re-ride attempt because of a groin injury.
Aparecido repeats in Kansas City
Eduardo Aparecido made it back-to-back victories in Kansas City with a ride on a familiar foe during the championship round.
Aparecido rode Cooper Tires Brown Sugar for 88.75 points for the ride-off victory on the final ride of the weekend. He previously rode Brown Sugar for 89.25 points in Billings, Montana, last season.
“I come today here and rode my first bull and my confidence was on this bull,” Aparecido said with the help of Robson Palermo translating. “I saw him in the draw. I am so happy. It went right.”
Aparecido has ridden six bulls in a row during regularly-formatted BFTS events in Kansas City.
“I am so happy,” Aparecido said. “Last year, I won this event too. I come this year and won again. It is so awesome.”
The 26-year-old picked up 540 world points in the victory and is sitting third in the world standings. He is 617.5 points behind Lockwood.
Aparecido placed third in the championship round for 50 world points.
He was one of four riders to go a perfect 3-for-3 in Kansas City and earned 400 of his 540 points by winning the event average.
Aparecido began his weekend with an 87.75-point ride on Switch Hitter in Round 1 for 60 world points (second place). He then followed that up with 85.5 points on Swashbuckler in Round 2 Sunday afternoon for 30 world points (fifth place).
“I had different bulls this weekend,” Aparecido said. “Brown Sugar went into my hand, and the rest went away. It was very good.”
Rounding out the Top 5 was Davis (3-for-3, 400 world points), Silvano Alves (3-for-3, 225 world points), Shane Proctor (2-for-3, 215 world points) and Claudio Montahna Jr. (3-for-3, 170 world points).
Montahna Jr. capped off his flawless BFTS debut with an 85.5-point ride on Jack Daniel’s After Party.
The 27-year-old jumped all the way up to 20th in the world standings, solidifying himself a draw spot for Iron Cowboy.
“I am just happy to have a good week,” Montahna Jr. said via Alexandre Cardozo. “I had good bulls. I am really happy.
“This is a new experience. I am looking forward to Iron Cowboy.”
Proctor’s rope switch continuing to pay dividends
Shane Proctor began the season 1-for-9 before deciding to switch out his American bull rope for a Brazilian bull rope prior to the Sacramento Clash three weeks ago.
Proctor has since gone 6-for-12, including his season-high 89.75-point ride on Cooper’s Comet Sunday afternoon in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.
The ride held up as the best of the round, giving Proctor his first round win of 2017.
Cooper’s Comet bucked off Proctor in 2.16 seconds last year at the PBR World Finals.
“Redemption is sweet,” Proctor said. “He bucked me off at the PBR Finals last year. Big, thick Canadian bull. Went to the NFR. Around to the right and felt really good. Really strong. Had a big ole back and a nice seat to him.”
Proctor won the Anaheim Showdown, presented by Ariat last weekend, and finished fourth overall this weekend in Kansas City with 215 world points.
The 31-year-old has earned 707.5 points toward the world standings since switching bull ropes and is ranked seventh in the world. He trails Lockwood by 970 points.
“I rode with it all summer last year, and then when I got back on tour I got to struggling and went back to the American,” Proctor said. “I was struggling on earlier this year. The rope I was riding with was the bull I rode 7-of-10 bulls at the NFR. It just seemed like when I got on tour it was breaking over a little too much and when I would hang up, I would hang up bad. I had about three really rough hang-ups so I put my Brazilian on in Sacramento and that is when it started.”
Reese Cates was a perfect 2-for-2 heading into the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, but he was unable to ride in the final round because of his on-going biceps injury.
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, J.W. Harris sustained a concussion in Round 2 when he was throw into the bucking chutes in 3.07 seconds by Grave Digger.
Harris is 43rd in the world standings and has been cut from the BFTS. He may be eligible for an alternate spot for Iron Cowboy depending on if some injured riders are unable to compete in Arlington next weekend.
Five riders did not compete in Round 2 because of injuries – Chase Outlaw (concussion), Stormy Wing (concussion), Dakota Buttar (concussion), Matt Triplett (sore left shoulder) and Lockwood (thigh bruise).
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Davis wins Round 1 (2-11-17)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of the Kansas City Invitational, presented by Express Employment Professionals, and the 15/15 Bucking Battle Saturday night at the Sprint Center.
As question marks begin to circle around the current Top 3 in the world standings, defending World Champion Cooper Davis is starting to heat up.
Davis won Round 1 with an 87.75-point ride on Bezerk for his second BFTS round win of the season.
The 22-year-old did a fantastic job staying out over his bull rope and riding the front of Bezerk all the way to the 8-second mark.
“That bull was kind of under himself and then jumped ahead pretty hard a few times,” Davis said. “He wanted to snatch on me, but I kept fighting for it and the whistle blew.”
Davis earned 100 world points and is ranked a season-high seventh in the world standings.
He is 7-for-19 this year, but all seven of his rides have placed him in the Top-3 of a BFTS round.
Eduardo Aparecido finished second in Round 1 with an 86.75-point ride on Switch Hitter. Aparecido earned 60 points toward the world standings.
Shane Proctor continued to build momentum off his Anaheim, California, victory with a third-place finish (50 world points) for his 86.25-point ride on Red Fury.
Meanwhile, Stetson Lawrence (86 points on Bad Water) and Ryan Dirteater (85.5 points on Whiskey) rounded out the Top 5. Lawrence picked up 40 world points and Dirteater, who ended a streak of 10 consecutive buckoffs, earned 30 world points.
Davis’ father, Chad, is attending his first event since watching his son win the 2016 world title. Cooper’s son, Mack, is also in Kansas City this weekend.
“It is always fun with (Chad) being here because he used to haul me around everywhere,” Davis said. “It just goes back to when everything was for fun and not the money or bulls. It was about getting on bulls because you have fun.”
Earlier this week, Davis was at a local gym in Jasper, Texas, when he saw a quote on the chalkboard talking about motivation:
“Motivation will die. Let discipline take its place.”
Davis posted the quote to Instagram and said it was another reference to trying to find the same fire he had during his 2016 world title run.
“I had a hard time getting motivated and showing up and being happy being here,” Davis said. “On the gym chalkboard, that was pretty much talking to me. It is hard once you get something like that done and want to stay at it as hard as you were.”
Davis was no match for Hey Jack in the 15/15 Bucking Battle after getting wiped over the black bull’s front end in 1.14 seconds.
He will look to build on his Round 1 lead, though, in Round 2 against Cheese Bandit (0-0, BFTS) on Championship Sunday.
“I worked my butt off all week in the gym and I want to see it pay off,” Davis concluded.
Pearl Harbor posts third 46-point bull score
Rubens Barbosa was right in tune with Pearl Harbor through the first 5 seconds of his 15/15 Bucking Battle matchup, but the only way to win in bull riding is to reach 8 seconds.
The No. 2 bull rider in the world was in good position as the 2017 World Champion Bull contender took big strides toward the right and center of the arena, but once Pearl Harbor turned back the bovine athlete continued to get stronger while Barbosa began to lose his position.
Once 6.67 seconds arrived, Barbosa was gassed and Pearl Harbor was parading around the dirt following a 46.25-point bull score.
“I keep saying he is the bull to beat,” reigning Stock Contractor of the Year Chad Berger said. “I still don’t think they mark him high enough, but I have been around long enough that if he is not a 24-point bull then there is not one.”
Pearl Harbor has now been marked 46 points or higher in three of his four BFTS outs this season. He leads the PBR World Champion Bull race with a 46.06-point average.
Most impressive, Pearl Harbor was been able to earn his high bull scores regardless if a rider last only a few jumps or flirts with a potential 8-second ride.
“He has been able to show himself real well, and I don’t think there is a more explosive bull out of the bucking chutes,” Berger said. “He is all bull, and he is all business.”
World leader Jess Lockwood was no match for 2015 World Champion SweetPro’s Long John in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
Long John rocked Lockwood in 1.49 seconds with one big jump out of the bucking chute.
The 19-year-old had to then be helped off the dirt and to PBR Sports Medicine because of a deep left thigh bruise. According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Lockwood is questionable for Round 2.
2016 World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser was marked 45 points for taking down No. 3 Marco Eguchi in 2.17 seconds.
Berger missed Pearl Harbor’s 46.5-point bull score last weekend in Anaheim, California, after being admitted to a local hospital because of an issue with his intestines.
The Mandan, North Dakota, native is still recovering from the illness, but he is feeling better, especially after Pearl Harbor continues to make a push for the 2017 World Champion Bull crown.
“He leaves no doubt when it is over which one is the best bull at the event,” Berger concluded. “To me, that is the sign of a real champion.”
Pacheco wins 15/15 Bucking Battle despite pelvis injury
It was a tale of two ride attempts Saturday night for Kaique Pacheco.
Pacheco looked absolutely terrible in Round 1, getting bucked off by Call the Law in 2.5 seconds, while then looking solid as a rock with his 86.25-point ride on Moto Moto to win the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
So what was the problem?
Well, Pacheco is competing with a pelvis injury after injuring it last month attempting to ride Losing My Religion in Oklahoma City.
Pacheco said he feels about 75 percent.
“It is so-so” Pacheco said. “I am going to Fit-N-Wise in Decatur, getting help from their sports medicine (staff). When bulls go to the right it is no problem, but back to the left it is more sore.”
Moto Moto went to the right with Pacheco, while Call the Law went to the left.
“When bulls go left, it is putting pressure on my leg and it hurts,” Pacheco added.
He is 4-for-9 since first injuring his pelvis.
The win is Pacheco’s second career 15/15 Bucking Battle victory.
The 22-year-old earned 150 points toward the world standings and jumps to No. 4 in the standings. He trails Lockwood by 932.5 points.
Pacheco was the only rider to earn a qualified ride in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
“It is very important to win the 15/15 because all of the points are important for the world title,” Pacheco said. “I am very happy.”
It was a busy night for Dr. Tandy Freeman and the PBR Sports Medicine staff as multiple riders sustained injuries.
According to Freeman, four riders sustained a concussion.
Chase Outlaw did not compete in the 15/15 Bucking Battle after he broke his nose, sustained a concussion and lacerated his scalp while being slammed inside the bucking chutes by Jump Street.
Outlaw is doubtful for Round 2.
Dirteater is questionable for Round 2 after getting in hit in the head by Little Red Jacket (2.38 seconds) in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
Stormy Wing is also questionable following his concussion against Bad Juju (3.29 seconds).
Dakota Buttar was transported to a local hospital to be evaluated for a possible concussion after being bucked off by After Midnight in 1.26 seconds in Round 1. Buttar, who also bruised his throat when the bull’s horn hit him, is doubtful for Round 2.
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Top three riders to square off against Top 3 bulls; Kansas City draw notes (2-8-17)
PUEBLO, Colo. – The top three riders in the world standings are set to face off against the three bulls that tied for the 2016 World Champion Bull title during Saturday night’s 15/15 Bucking Battle in Kansas City, Missouri.
World leader Jess Lockwood will square off against 2015 World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Long John (31-7, BFTS), while No. 3 Marco Eguchi has a date with 2016 World Champion SweetPro’s Bruiser (27-6, BFTS) at the Kansas City Invitational, presented by Express Employment Professionals.
Meanwhile, No. 2 Rubens Barbosa has a rematch against Pearl Harbor (21-2, BFTS).
Pearl Harbor demolished Barbosa in 3.65 seconds during his season debut in Oklahoma City.
A slew of dust flew into the air during the matchup as Pearl Harbor took four large leaps and turned back to the right.
“Too hard,” Barbosa said in Oklahoma City. “He is a World Champion Bull. I couldn’t see because of all the dust in my eyes. I don’t see what even happened.”
The 46.25-point bull score was the best of Pearl Harbor’s career until earning a 46.5-point bull score last weekend in Anaheim, California, for disposing of two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney in 2.79 seconds.
Pearl Harbor is averaging 46 points per out in three showings this season.
Defending World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser is averaging 45.58 points per out, but he is coming off a season-high 46-point out last weekend. Bruiser bucked off Luis Blanco in 6.63 seconds.
Eguchi and Bruiser have never faced each other.
Lockwood and Long John have also never squared off, but the 19-year-old said he was excited for the opportunity to challenge the 2015 World Champion.
“He’s like a drop barrel that turns back, so get that front and he’ll ride good,” Lockwood said.
Long John is bucking at his second event after dismantling Mason Lowe in 1.84 seconds in Oklahoma City.
15/15 Bucking Battle Matchups
J.B. Mauney vs. Wired Child (17-3, BFTS)
Matt Triplett vs. Stone Sober (41-3, BFTS)
Ryan Dirteater vs. Deep Water (12-1, BFTS)
Mason Lowe vs. Cochise (18-3, BFTS)
Cooper Davis vs. Hey Jack (11-0, BFTS)
Dener Barbosa vs. Seven Dust (20-1, BFTS)
Mike Lee vs. Smooth Operator (33-2, BFTS)
Shane Proctor vs. Honey Hush (21-2, BFTS)
Chase Outlaw vs. Brutus (13-7, BFTS)
Eduardo Apaecido vs. Jack Shot (13-1, BFTS)
Kaique Pacheco vs. Moto Moto (12-3, BFTS)
Derek Kolbaba vs. Mystical (6-0, BFTS)
Marco Eguchi vs. SweetPro’s Bruiser (27-6, BFTS)
Rubens Barbosa vs. Pearl Harbor (21-2, BFTS)
Jess Lockwood vs. SweetPro’s Long John (31-7, BFTS)
Lockwood has drawn Over The Top (0-1, BFTS) for Round 1 on Saturday night and is trying to rebound from his 0-for-2 weekend in Anaheim.
Barbosa rode Over The Top for 84.5 points in Oklahoma City.
The 33-year-old trails Lockwood by 495 points in the world standings.
Barbosa takes on Frequent Flyer (6-0, BFTS) in Round 1.
With five Built Ford Tough Series events officially in the books, the first BFTS cut has come and gone.
Tyler Harr and Nathan Schaper have been relegated to the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour, while No. 10 Dener Barbosa, No. 14 Matt Triplett, No. 19 Brady Sims, No. 20 Luis Blanco and No. 23 Koal Livingston have earned draw spots on the BFTS.
No. 28 Sonny Schafferius, No. 29 Reese Cates, No. 30 Claudio Montanha and No. 32 Cody Ford also earned themselves a spot on the BFTS.
Barbosa, Livingston, Schafferius and Montanha are the current riders eligible for the 2017 Rookie of the Year award.
Schafferius and Montanha are making their BFTS debuts in Kansas City.
Schafferius is from Dysart, Australia, and has only competed at 11 PBR-sanctioned events in Australia and the United States. He primarily competed at Australian Pro Rodeo Association events until making his PBR Australia debut last year.
The 27-year-old faces Fist Full of Mad (0-1, BFTS) in Round 1.
Montanha is also 27 years old and is 7-for-13 (53.85 percent) at the Velocity Tour and Touring Pro Division level.
The last two years, Montanha has finished in the Top 10 of the PBR Brazil standings.
The Ribeirao dos Indios, Brazil, bull rider has drawn Golly Gee (1-0, BFTS).
No. 42 J.W. Harris is down to his final injury exemption. The four-time PRCA champion needs to earn roughly 38 world points in Kansas City to avoid being cut from the BFTS.
Harris has drawn Fraulein (0-0, BFTS) for Round 1.
Rounding out the 36-rider draw are alternates Cody Rodeo Tyler, Alex Cardozo, Robson Aragao and Cody Heffernan.
Nevada Newman (shoulder), Guilherme Marchi (concussion), Wallace de Oliveira (clavicle), Paulo Lima (broken ribs), Tanner Byrne (shoulder) Lachlan Richardson (bicep) & Aaron Roy (leg) are all out because of injuries.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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