BILLINGS, Mont. – Seven Dust may not have the bull scores just yet to reflect his dominance against Built Ford Tough Series competition, but Gene Owen and Jane Clark’s black, bovine beast continues to ridicule his challengers.
Owen deployed Seven Dust during Round 1 of the Stanley Performance In Action Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, on Friday night and Seven Dust gave a rude welcoming to rookie Ramon Rodrigues.
The 2015 Brazilian national champion was outmuscled by Seven Dust in 2.62 seconds. The buckoff was Seven Dust’s eighth consecutive buckoff of the season.
However, the bull was only scored 44.5 points.
“He was as rank as he was at Arlington,” Owen said. “His feet were two-feet off the ground. He kicked. When he came around, he kind of disappeared. He dropped his shoulder. I thought it was his rankest trip next to Arlington ever.”
Seven Dust was marked 46 points in Arlington this season when he bucked off Matt Triplett in 3.46 seconds.
Regardless of bull score, Rodrigues was left dumbfounded by Seven Dust.
“He is so strong, especially in the front,” Rodrigues said with the help of Luis Blanco translating. “He is difficult to ride left-handed. He opened his front and twisted my shoulder.”
Seven Dust is 26-1 in his three-year BFTS career.
“I don’t know why the judges don’t like him,” Owen said. “Maybe they will mark him more if he is in the short round.”
Owen is bucking both Seven Dust and Mystikal on Championship Sunday after the two bulls were out Friday night.
He said the goal is primarily to get more outs underneath his two bulls as they both try to gain ground in the Word Champion Bull race as favorites Pearl Harbor and SweetPro’s Bruiser continue to rack up 45-46-point scores nearly every time they are out.
Pearl Harbor and Bruiser are also scheduled to buck in the championship round Sunday at Rimrock Auto Arena.
“Well, it wasn’t many years ago where it was pretty common,” Owen said. “The deal with the race is nobody is really out. Seven Dust wasn’t even considered until after the break last year. Now, we can’t get eight outs after the break, but he has a 46. If we can get one or two 45.5 points this weekend that would help.”
Last year, Seven Dust only had one 45-point score in his first 10 outs. Then he erupted for six 45-plus scores in the second half, including two at the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals.
As a reminder, the 2017 World Champion Bull will be the bovine athlete with the highest average bull score across eight regular-season outs and two at the World Finals.
Seven Dust is currently seventh in the bull standings, but his 44.31 bull score is second behind Bruiser (45.84) among bulls that already have a minimum of eight outs.
Pearl Harbor is averaging 46.04 points per out through six outs this season.
“I will go home and complain to my wife,” Owen said with a chuckle. “She can hear it all I want. To tell the truth, Seven Dust has had some good days and they marked him 44. I am wondering what is the difference between this year and last year? I can’t figure the judging out sometimes. I can’t.”
Owen did admit that it was his own fault in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, when Seven Dust posted his lowest bull score (42.25 points) in a year, while almost being ridden by Rubens Barbosa (6.94 seconds).
The Vinita, Oklahoma, stock contractor decided to pull back on the amount of flank he uses, and it was a bad decision.
“Seven Dust was a stupid deal on my part,” Owen said. “He gets in there and gets his rear up, but he don’t get his feet from underneath him and extend. A lot of times that is from too much flank. I am usually heavy-handed. I don’t usually under flank one. I got to overthinking stuff. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I thought maybe I was flanking him too tight and I backed it off quite a bit and I almost embarrassed myself.”
The last time Owen bucked Seven Dust twice at one event was last year in Springfield, Missouri, when he was fighting to get Seven Dust qualified for the World Champion Bull race.
Seven Dust had hipped himself in the 15/15 Bucking Battle against Joao Ricardo Vieira, and Owen decided to run his bull back for Championship Sunday seeing as he was in desperate need of a good score.
It wasn’t 45 points, but Seven Dust bucked off Kaique Pacheco in 6.33 seconds for a 44.5-point score.
Owen believes the 2017 World Champion Bull title may indeed come down to Pearl Harbor or Bruiser stubbing their toe.
“Unless something happens, they are 46-plus all the time,” Owen said. “Nobody else is cracking 46. You figure eight outs they may be 10-12 points ahead of third by the time the Finals starts.
“Everybody else is playing to win third. The only way those two bulls won’t win is if they get hurt or fall down and hip themselves at the Finals.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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