BILLINGS, Mont. – There are six riders with two scores coming into the third round, and at least three of those guys look set to get another one here. The Built Ford Tough Championship Round is stacked at this event, and that gives J.B. Mauney and Guilherme Marchi the edge for the event win because they are two of the best ever against the top end bulls. Marchi has a tougher path to get here because his bull in this round isn’t as good a fit for him as Mauney’s is.
Round 3 Matchups
J.B. Mauney on A1 Mudshark:
Mauney couldn’t have drawn a better bull here. He rode this bull handily in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, last week for 89 points and a round win. Mauney is leading the event here, and if he stays on this bull it may be impossible for anyone to overtake him until the championship round.
Luciano de Castro on X18 More Big Bucks:
Castro has one score in the books here, and he will probably get another to go with it today. He rode this bull last fall at a Velocity Tour event in New Town, North Dakota, for 88.5 points. More Big Bucks carried Cody Teel to an event win in Glendale, Arizona, just two weeks ago.
Derek Kolbaba on 226Z Wired Crazy:
This matchup is close to a push. Wired Crazy threw Kolbaba off in Sacramento, California, earlier this year, but he’s a rideable bull for left-handed riders. Kolbaba is riding better than he ever has at the moment.
Gage Gay on 89 Lip Trick:
Gay is in good shape to get a third straight score here. Lip Trick is notably weak against right-handed riders. He’s 1-3 against them, and the one buckoff was at 7.8 seconds. Gay is only a quarter-point behind Mauney for the event lead, but Mauney has a better scoring bull in this round.
Chase Outlaw on 09 Legal Tender:
This bull made short work of J.W. Harris last night, but Outlaw has ridden him before. Legal Tender is always a pretty tough bull to ride. He’s not the best fit for left-handed riders because he goes to the right, and he’s tough on shorter riders because he consistently tries to get the rider’s feet behind him. That said, Outlaw is strong away from his hand, and he’s good at sitting up and meeting the kick when he needs to.
Shane Proctor on 764 Sully:
Sully is going to go away from Proctor’s hand here, and he’s been effective at getting rid of right-handed riders. He’s 1-8 against lefties and 8-1 against righties. There’s no physical reason for that, though. He’s got even timing, and Proctor rode a bull a lot like him in the first round.
Marco Eguchi on -915 Hammer Down:
This is a rematch from the Built Ford Tough World Finals where Eguchi scored 87.25 points on Hammer Down. There’s a chance he could do it again, but even with this bull spinning into his hand it won’t be easy. Hammer Down is not a bull that guys ride consistently because there’s very little margin for error on him, and he can punish any mistake. He is one of the better scoring bulls out in this round, so Eguchi has a chance at a great score.
Matt Triplett on 6 Hot Stepper:
This bull should be a great fit for Triplett. He’s a lot like Sully - the bull Proctor has - but he goes to the right. Hot Stepper tends to stay close to the ground, and keeps the pressure on the rider, so Triplett can’t afford to get out of position here.
Jess Lockwood on 954 Machinery Auctioneers Lil Joe:
Lil Joe is far better for right-handed riders than he is for lefties, but Lockwood should be able to handle him. This bull has some wild jumps and can cover a lot of ground before he turns back, but once he gets into a spin he has solid timing and is rideable.
Guilherme Marchi on 058 American Sniper:
Marchi may get ride No. 601 here, but he will have to do it going away from his hand, and on a bull that has bucked him off before. Stetson Lawrence won the first round on American Sniper with 88 points.
Brennon Eldred on 262 Jailhouse Jr and Silvano Alves on 027 Kookaburra:
There is major deja vu on several levels involving these two matchups. Eldred had Kookaburra last night, and Alves had Jailhouse Jr. Both guys bucked off. On top of that, these two bulls are a lot alike. They both like to spin to the right first, take a jump forward and go back the other way. Both these guys have a good chance, and Alves has ridden both bulls before.
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