ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Here are three things we learned from the Ty Murray Invitational, presented by Isleta Resort and Casino, this weekend at WisePies Arena, aka The Pit.
Aparecido increases world lead to over 1,000 points (3-19-17)
If not for Stormy Wing’s record-book heroics Sunday afternoon, Eduardo Aparecido would have walked out of The Pit with the most-impressive bull ride of the weekend.
Regardless, Aparecido’s 91.25-point ride on Speed Demon during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round propelled the world leader to 265 world points and a tie for second-place in the event.
“He was very fast into my hand and real good,” Aparecido said. “This bull, bucked down and then spun fast. It was fun. Speed Demon is a good bull and this is a good score.”
Aparecido now leads No. 2 Jess Lockwood, who remains out of competition because of a torn groin, by 1,152.5 points.
“These points are good,” Aparecido said. “This is my best ride this year.”
The 26-year-old has the largest lead of any world leader since two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney entered the 2015 World Finals with a 1,315-point lead over No. 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira.
In the three seasons since the PBR updated its points system, the only other time a rider had a 1,000-point or larger lead in the standings was when Vieira went into the 2015 summer break with a 1,007.5-point lead on Matt Triplett.
“I thought Eduardo looked great,” nine-time World Champion Ty Murray said. “Yesterday and today both he looked like the No. 1 guy. When you are the No. 1 guy, you are supposed to look like the No. 1 guy.”
Aparecido finished the weekend 2-for-4. He was bucked off by Scotty's Crossroads in 6.93 seconds during Round 1 and by GOOD RIDE’s Jailbreaker (1.95 seconds) in Round 3. He won Round 2 on Saturday night with an 88.75-point effort aboard Mudshark.
He now leads the PBR with 22 qualified rides and a 57.89-percent riding average.
It is a sign of confidence, said Murray.
“I feel like Fast Eddy has to believe in himself,” Murray added. “You don’t go win a World Championship and think you are good enough. I think you have to find a way to believe you can do it and then go do it. That is where Fast Eddy is at. He is realizing he is as good as there is.
“That makes him that much more dangerous.”
Wing’s 95.25-point ride sets off fireworks in victory; Pearl Harbor ties with Bruiser in bull showdown
Stormy Wing has won a Built Ford Tough Series event before, but he never made a ride like he did on Sunday afternoon at The Pit.
Wing rode 2016 World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser for a historic 95.25 points to eventually win the Ty Murray Invitational.
Bruiser took two big jumps out of the bucking chute before turning into Wing’s left hand. Just beyond 6 seconds, Bruiser then began backing up with Wing climbing high into the air, back arched, and grasping onto his bull rope for the final 1.5 seconds.
“It was rank man,” Wing said. “Rides like that are just a blur. You nod your head and you just move. I knew that bull. I have been on him before. I like H.D. and Dillon Page bulls. It just worked out.”
The 27-year-old’s career-best ride ranks within the Top 25 in PBR history.
Twenty-two riders have scored higher, but the 95.25-point score is the fifth-highest numerical scored ride when you take away the multiple riders that have earned 96.5, 96, 95.75 and 95.5 points.
Wing’s ride is the highest on the BFTS since Mauney rode three-time World Champion Bushwacker for 95.25 points in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2013.
Wing had begun the event 2-for-2 with rides on Switch Hitter (88.5 points) and Cracker Breaker (88 points) before being bucked off by Little Deacon (6.79 seconds) in Round 3.
The Dalhart, Texas, cowboy finished 3-for-4 and won a whopping 715 points toward the world standings. Wing jumped from 33rd in the world standings to 10th.
“It means a lot,” Wing said. “This is a well-known bull riding and I got me a .45 pistol that has Ty Murray’s name on it. This is something I won’t forget for a very long time.”
Wing earned the victory after Guilherme Marchi (Jack Shot) and Cody Nance (BC Circular Insanity) bucked off their final bulls of the weekend.
Bruiser tied a career-high by being marked 46.75 points in Albuquerque.
In regards to the World Champion Bull race, Bruiser’s memorable out with Wing was even more important as Pearl Harbor returned to competition this weekend with a career-high 46.75-point bull score as well.
Dillon Page of D&H Cattle Company was thrilled with Bruiser.
“He really bucked,” Page said. “Right at the end when he backed up, that is usually when he breaks and comes the other way. I think he was off a foot, but he still brought it back around.”
Both bulls split top bull honors at the Ty Murray Invitational and continue to separate themselves from the rest of this year’s contenders.
Pearl Harbor bucked off Stetson Lawrence in 3.82 seconds in the championship round.
Lawrence, who was stepped on by Pearl Harbor after being hung up, compared the ride to that of a slow, vicious roller coaster.
“I got my ass handed to me,” Lawrence said. “He bucks. He is powerful. He hangs up in the air and drops. It is hard to get in time with him because you have to be slow, but fast at the same time.
“He is legit.”
Countdown to 600: Marchi gets career ride 596 thanks to review
Guilherme Marchi fell short of the victory on Sunday afternoon when he was bucked off by Jack Shot in 5.74 seconds during the championship round, but the 2008 World Champion is now four rides away from making history.
Marchi, who finished fourth overall, rode Wired Child for 85.25 points after a judges’ review determined that the 14-year veteran still had full control of the ride despite his slight touch of the bull’s horn.
The call was made in reference to Rule 126.96.36.199.1.2 in the PBR’s official rulebook:
“If a rider is deemed to have slapped the bull by making contact with the horn or tail, the judge shall use his/her discretion to determine if the slap warrants a disqualification. In the event that the rider is in a position of complete control (body, free hand and arm inertia are in full control of the rider at the time of the slap) and the movement of the bull creates contact between the bull’s horn or tail with the free hand, arm, or extension thereof, the judge may deem that the slap did not warrant a disqualification at his/her discretion.”
Marchi was thankful the judges’ ruled in his favor.
“I am glad the judges understand that and I am happy to cover that bull,” Marchi said. “I know I needed to get past the first jump. He is very strong right there. After that, I know I would be good. I am so happy to cover that bull.”
Marchi is four rides away from becoming the first rider to reach 600 career rides on the Built Ford Tough Series and is the fourth rider to conquer Wired Child.
He will be unable to set the record next week at the Ak-Chin Invitational in Glendale, Arizona, but may hit 600 as early as Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Marchi five rides away from 600 (3-19-17)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Here are three things we learned from Round 2 of the Ty Murray Invitational Saturday night at WisePies Arena, aka The Pit.
A fired up Guilherme Marchi is always a dangerous one in the arena, and the 2008 World Champion picked up career ride No. 595 despite Bar Down giving him fits inside the bucking chute.
Marchi nodded for the gate with five seconds remaining on the chute clock after Bar Down was crushing his inner leg, but that wouldn’t deter the 34-year-old from taking another step toward history.
Once he got out of the chute, Marchi used his upper-body strength to carry himself to 82.75 points after Bar Down tried wearing down the 14-year veteran’s legs in the chute.
Marchi is now five rides away from becoming the first rider to reach 600 career rides on the Built Ford Tough Series.
“I had a lot of problem in the chute,” Marchi said. “He was hurting my legs, but it gave me more fire. I am happy to cover that bull. I rode strong. That bull has big shoulders. I tried to get under my rope, but he didn’t give me chance, but I knew that bull was going to be a good out. He is one jump and right there to the right.”
Marchi finished Round 2 in 11th place, but he is 2-for-2 and fourth overall in the event average heading into Championship Sunday.
He will go for ride 596 against Wired Child (20-3, BFTS) in Round 3.
“My family is so proud,” Marchi said. “They make me happy. My fans love me. PBR thinks about me too. I have been here for 14 years and have done a lot.”
Aparecido wins Round 2 to extend world lead
World leader Eduardo Aparecido knows he can’t let opportunities slip past him during his pursuit of the 2017 World Championship, and he will head into Sunday with a chance to extend his lead over No. 2 Jess Lockwood to 1,000 points or more.
Aparecido won Round 2 with 88.75 points on Mudshark as he took care of business against the D&H Cattle Company bovine athlete away from his hand.
“He is a very good and strong bull,” Aparecido said. “It is a good score tonight. This is good competition against the Top-35 bull riders. My confidence is good.”
The 26-year-old picked up 100 points toward the world standings and leads the injured Lockwood by 987.5 points.
2016 World Champion Cooper Davis finished in second with an 88.5-point ride on Udder Lover. Davis picked up 60 world points for the performance.
Three riders – Shane Proctor (Cooper’s Comet), Dakota Buttar (VJV Nailed) and 2016 PBR Brazil Champion Dener Barbosa (Biker Bob) – turned in matching 88.25-point scores to tie for third place in the round.
Proctor and Buttar both had rematches in Round 2, while Barbosa covered his re-ride bull, Biker Bob.
All three riders earned 40 world points.
Not only did Aparecido increase his lead on Lockwood, but he is also ahead of every rider in the Top 10 of the world standings competing at this event outside of Chase Outlaw, who is 2-for-2 and sitting third overall.
Outlaw followed up the 100th ride of his career Friday by riding Texicali for 86.75 points on Saturday.
The only other Top 10 riders with qualified rides are Davis and Marco Eguchi, who was tossed into the stands during Round 2 by Too Smooth (6.52 seconds).
Aparecido takes on GOOD RIDE’s Jailbreaker (15-1, BFTS) in Round 3.
He had bucked off three bulls in a row prior to his fifth round win of 2017.
“This is a lot of (world) points,” Aparecido said. “Last night my rope slipped inside. The bull spun right and my rope went to the side and I bucked off. Tonight, I put my rope in the same spot and it didn’t.”
Wing & Nance on pace for first victories since 2014
Stormy Wing, Cody Nance and Outlaw may not have won Round 2 on Saturday night, but all three riders made impressive bull rides of their own to put themselves in contention for the event victory along with Marchi.
Wing – Friday night’s Round 1 winner – finished sixth in the round with a high-flying 88 points on Cracker Breaker and is leading the event average.
“I am just having fun riding bulls again,” Wing said. “I love J.B. Mauney and I feed off him. He is my hero. He tells me every day to just do what you love and not think about anything else.”
Nance finished tied for seventh in the round with an aggressive 87.25-point ride on 2016 World Champion Bull contender Crossfire to finish the evening second in the event average.
The 2009 Rookie of the Year was gritting his teeth in excitement as the adrenaline rush of the ride overwhelmed him behind the chutes.
“I had my hammer cocked,” Nance said. “I knew he was rank. I got my rope good and sticky. I said, ‘Let me have him.’
“That bull bucked in there a couple times. I was thinking, ‘Fight, Fight Fight. Grab, Grab Grab.’ I didn’t know what he was going to do. It worked out. Praise God.”
Nance is 31st in the world standings, but is in contention for his first event victory since April 2014 (Billings, Montana).
Wing – the No. 25 bull rider in the world standings – also last won an event in 2014 (Oakland, California).
Nance takes on Juicy Fruit (0-1, BFTS) in Round 3, and Wing will attempt 8 seconds on Little Deacon (1-0, BFTS).
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Tanner Byrne will not be competing on Sunday after aggravating his left groin strain attempting to ride Chocolate Shake (1.85 seconds) in Round 2.
Cody Jesus bruised his left elbow (free arm) and sustained a right costochondral sprain in Round 2 against Bandy’s Bad Boy (3.76 seconds).
Cody Rodeo Tyler bruised his left shoulder and bruised his right ankle attempting to ride Shocker (5.23 seconds) in Round 2.
J.W. Harris strained his left groin (hip adductor) during his 86.25-point ride on Chute Boss in Round 1.
Ryan Dirteater is competing with a left rib sprain from his Round 1 buckoff against Losing My Religion (3.19 seconds).
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Marchi gets career ride 594 (3-17-17)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Here are three things we learned from the Ty Murray Invitational, presented by Isleta Resort and Casino, Friday night at WisePies Arena, aka The Pit.
2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi is one ride closer to making history.
Marchi easily rode Parachute for 86.25 points into his right-riding hand for career ride 594.
The 34-year-old is now six rides away from becoming the first rider in PBR history to reach 600 qualified rides.
“594!” Marchi said with his famous smile beaming from cheek to cheek. “Getting closer. Only six more bulls to getting 600 bulls. I am so happy to cover that bull. He is a strong bull to the right. I am so happy to draw a good bull like that. He made me work hard.”
The ride is Marchi’s 13th of the season and helped him finish in a three-way tie for fifth place in the round.
Cody Rodeo Tyler (86.25 points on Vegas Lights) and J.W. Harris (86.25 points on Chute Boss) tied with Marchi.
All three riders earned 16.6 points toward the world standings.
Marchi is ranked 19th in the world standings.
However, right now the focus is solely on Marchi’s pursuit of 600 rides, and he has drawn Bar Down (3-0, BFTS) for Round 2 on Saturday night.
Fans can watch Round 2 exclusively on PBR LIVE beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.
The extra attention on him is fueling his fire as well.
“It is motivation,” Marchi said. “I want to reach 700 bulls now. You try to beat your records. That will be my next motivation.”
Marchi may have been a little too jacked up by the energy of the 6,791 in attendance at The Pit, but he doesn’t think it is completely out of the realm of possibility.
“I am in great shape,” Marchi said, grinning. “I can get to 700 in two years.”
Wing jumps away from the cutline with round win
Stormy Wing was hanging on to a BFTS draw spot by the thinnest of hairs, but his sensational 88.5-point ride on Switch Hitter has him comfortably away from the dreaded cutline for the near future.
Wing won Round 1 with his best ride of the season for 100 world points and jumps from 33rd in the world standings to 25th.
“I slid up there and felt good,” Wing said. “I don’t know if they hung a gate or what, but he came out and about broke my toe. After that it was around to the left and felt good.”
Claudio Montanha Jr. finished second in Round 1 with an 87.75-point ride on Acting Crazy. The current PBR Rookie of the Year leader earned 60 points toward the world standings.
Stetson Lawrence and Troy Wilkinson tied for third place after recording identical 86.5-point scores.
Lawrence reached rode Juicy Fruit, while Wilkinson covered Roll of the Dice. They took home 45 world points.
Wilkinson had bucked off the first 19 bulls of his career prior to getting career ride No. 1 in Albuquerque and was happy to finally get that monkey off his back.
“It was pretty darn good,” Wilkinson said. “I was getting pretty sick of PBR showing me fall off all the time. I watched video of him during the week and I knew he was around to the right and fast and good. I like bulls away from my hand a lot and he suited me.”
Meanwhile, Wing switched out his American bull rope to a Brazilian-styled rope a little over a month ago and has ridden four of his last seven bulls attempted.
“I am finally getting my Brazilian rope figured out,” Wing said. “I really like it. It is not hurting my hand as much. You don’t change your style much. I was just doing some things wrong. I had to get some stuff figured out and my head.”
Wing takes on Cracker Breaker (4-1, BFTS) in Round 2 on Saturday night.
“I got a bucker tomorrow,” Wing said.
Only two Top-10 riders record qualified rides
A strong start to Round 1 petered out later in the evening as the Top 10 riders got dominated by the bulls.
Only two riders – Chase Outlaw and Marco Eguchi – inside the Top 10 of the world standings were able to reach the 8-second mark.
Outlaw finished 11th in the round with 83.5 points on J-Dub, while Eguchi turned down his re-ride option following 74.5 points on Thunderstruck.
Neither rider picked up world points to gain ground on world leader Eduardo Aparecido, who was bucked off by Scotty’s Crossroads in 6.93 seconds.
“I had seen two videos, and that bull normally turns to the right,” Eguchi said. “He had a different trip today. I kept my score. It is three-day event. I am just getting back.”
Eguchi was returning to competition after missing the Bad Boy Mowdown in Little Rock, Arkansas, last weekend because of two broken ribs.
The No. 8 bull rider in the world standings sustained the injury a month ago at Iron Cowboy.
“Trying to breathe hurts,” a winded Eguchi said after his 15th-place ride in Albuquerque. “Deep breaths hurt.”
Eguchi immediately sat down near rider walk off and crouched over.
“I don’t feel it when I ride really,” Eguchi said. “We will see how the rest of the event goes.”
Eguchi takes on Too Smooth (3-0, BFTS) in Round 2 and Outlaw has a matchup against Texicali (13-10, BFTS).
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Rubens Barbosa is probable for Round 2 after bruising his back when he was bucked off by X’tendabull in 5.87 seconds during Round 1.
Ryan Dirteater is listed as questionable for Round 2 with undisclosed injuries after he was slammed by Losing My Religion in 3.59 seconds, and Shane Proctor is also questionable after sustaining a concussion when More Big Bucks disposed of him in 2.39 seconds.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Teel gaining on Top 35; Lowe out for Albuquerque (3-15-17)
PUEBLO, Colo. – 2012 PRCA champion Cody Teel is trying to make the slow climb to the Built Ford Tough Series, and he tried to make the most of his last-minute opportunity last weekend.
Teel was not supposed to be riding in North Little Rock, Arkansas, until Marco Eguchi decided to opt out of the 10th BFTS stop of the season because of a rib injury.
“It wasn’t too bad,” Teel said. “I have been traveling for a few years now. I am used to switching flights. I was pretty excited when I got the call. It makes it easier going to one event trying to get points instead of two. Any way you can make it work, you just go for it.”
The PBR competition department informed Teel last Thursday morning that he had a draw spot in Little Rock and Teel re-routed his flights from Florida, where he was competing in a PRCA rodeo, instead of heading to Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and Bangor, Maine, for Touring Pro Division and Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour events.
Teel would have liked to have done much better at the Bad Boy Mowdown, but the 24-year-old’s 85.25-point ride on Bad Moon Rising in Round 2 propelled him to a 10th-place finish and 35.8 world points.
“I almost screwed him up a bit, but that bull requires you to ride through the 8 (seconds). He was a good bull away from my hand. That bull was kind of rolling out and I tried to roll my hips and stay squared as best I could. I am glad I got it done.”
The points are minimal, but they were just enough to keep Teel, who is ranked 36th in the world standings, in the draw for this coming weekend’s Ty Murray Invitational, presented by Isleta Resort and Casino, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Teel has a Round 1 matchup against Dirt Man Do (1-0, BFTS) Friday night.
“The main deal is just stay on your bulls,” Teel said. “You have to do that before you get points. You can’t look too far ahead. You have to take it one at a time, but it is harder trying to get those points. I have been close and I have let a few opportunities that would have vaulted me into the Top 35 that I didn’t take advantage of.”
Fans can catch all of Round 1 exclusively on PBR LIVE beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Other alternates from outside the Top 35 include No. 37 Emilio Resende, who won the Worcester, Massachusetts, Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour event, No. 38 Troy Wilkinson, No. 130 Paulo Lima (final injury exemption), No. 138 Tanner Byrne (five remaining exemptions) and Cody Jesus.
Jesus is the annual Native American invite to the Ty Murray Invitational. The 18-year-old is the 2016 Indian National Finals Rodeo bull riding champion.
He has drawn Lost Soul (5-2, BFTS) for Round 1.
Lima needs to make up 188 world points to crack the Top 35.
The 29-year-old takes on Payback (3-0, BFTS).
Four-time PRCA champion J.W. Harris and Robson Aragao are also returning to the BFTS after being cut earlier this year.
Harris finished first and second in Poplar Bluff to move to No. 35 in the world standings, and Aragao won last weekend’s Velocity event in Bangor, Maine, to jump to No. 33.
Harris takes on Chute Boss (1-3, BFTS), while Aragao faces Bocephus (0-0, BFTS).
There are eight riders not competing in Albuquerque because of injuries/personal reasons.
No. 2 Jess Lockwood (groin), No. 7 Mason Lowe (hip and abdominal injuries), No. 26 Reese Cates (personal), No. 31 Nevada Newman (shoulder surgery), No.121 Robson Palermo (left knee), No. 62 Wallace de Oliveira (ankle), Lachlan Richardson (bicep surgery) and Aaron Roy (leg) are also still out.
Lowe is missing his first event after a few rough weekends in the arena. He said he may take another week off and return in two weeks for the First PREMIER Bank PREMIER Bankcard Invitational in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
World leader Eduardo Aparecido will look to expand his 887.5-point lead on Lockwood when he begins his weekend against Scotty’s Crossroads in Albuquerque.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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