Lowe wins highest-marked ride award at Iron Cowboy

Mason Lowe became only the second man to cover Smooth Operator on the BFTS Photo: Andre Silva


  • Mason Lowe became the second man to ride Smooth Operator on the BFTS and leave AT&T Stadium with a nice parting gift.
  • Eduardo Aparecido proved a lot of doubters wrong Saturday with his perfect 4-for-4 performance in Arlington. The long-time dark horse now owns the top spot in the world standings for the first time in his career.
  • Meanwhile, 2012 PRCA bull riding Champion Cody Teel recorded a ride in his BFTS debut but got a quick lesson in bull power from SweetPro's Bruiser in Round 2.

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ARLINGTON, Texas – Here are three things we learned from the Frontier Communications Iron Cowboy, presented by Kawasaki, on Saturday night at AT&T Stadium.

Lowe wins high-marked ride award at Iron Cowboy (2-18-17)

It wasn’t the highest scored ride of his career, but Mason Lowe’s emphatic 90.75-point ride on Smooth Operator in Round 2 will certainly go down as his personal best so far.

“This is my biggest accomplishment so far,” Lowe said. “You have all the other ones, but any time you are 90 it is awesome.

Lowe became only the second rider to reach the 8-second mark on Smooth Operator in five years to win the $26,000 high-marked ride award at Iron Cowboy.

“Man, that is what I am talking about,” Lowe said. “That was awesome. That sucker made pretty quick work of me last time, but I made it work. I kind of hung my rope around the outside and it kept me out of that deal and everything went right.”

Lowe was previously bucked off by Smooth Operator in 1.24 seconds in Chicago.

Reigning Stock Contractor of the Year Chad Berger was happy to see Smooth Operator get tested for a full 8 seconds.

“He should have been 92 or 93 on that bull,” Berger said. “That was a rank ride. The kid rode him perfect. The bull bucked hard. I am glad to see him get rode. I was curious how he would finish and that bull finished stronger than how he started.”

The ride is the second-best of Lowe’s career. Lowe rode SweetPro’s Bruiser for 91 points last year in Oklahoma City.

Saying Smooth Operator has been dominant in his career would be an understatement.

2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi was only rider to ever cover Smooth Operator in 52 previous outs at all levels of competition.

“Once you got around there, he kind of felt good,” Lowe said. “He was trying to step on my head and stuff, but I stayed to the front.”

Lowe was later eliminated by Fire & Smoke in Round 3 in 6.32 seconds, but finished second overall with 145 round points.

The 23-year-old from Exeter, Missouri, won a career-high $38,766.67 and moved up to ninth in the world standings.

Lowe began his night with an 86.5-point ride on Pick-It Construction's Find Jesus.

Aparecido wins Iron Cowboy to take over world No. 1 ranking

If you are not on board the Eduardo Aparecido train, it may just be time to hop aboard.

Aparecido won his first PBR Major and $138,766.67 with four impressive bull rides to walk out of AT&T Stadium as the new No. 1 bull rider in the world standings.

“Before I came here, I knew I had to ride each bull I get on,” Aparecido said with Marchi translating. “I self-prepared to be here. I asked God to save my life and give me confidence for each bull I get on. I know some people have said no good things about me, but I have shown I have the potential to be a World Champion and win big events.”

The 26-year-old clinched his second victory in as many weeks by riding Catfish John – the same bull 2016 World Champion Cooper Davis rode to win the world title – for 89 points in Round 4 after Fabiano Vieira was bucked off by Cochise in 1.56 seconds.

“I knew the bull I draw was a really good bull,” Aparecido said. “He has been around for a long time. I had a good draw and had to stay on and see what happens. I saw Fabiano fall off the bull and I tried to stay strong and do my job.”

Aparecido earned 955 points toward the world standings to move from No. 3 in the world standings to the top position.

Previous world leader Jess Lockwood was bucked off by Cooper Tires Brown Sugar in 3.62 seconds in Round 1 and sustained a left groin injury, in addition to aggravating his thigh bruise.

Aparecido leads Lockwood by 337.5 points heading into next weekend’s Bass Pro Chute Out, presented by Cooper Tires, in St. Louis. It is the first time in his career that Aparecido is ranked No. 1 in the world.

The Gouvelandia, Brazil, native began his march to the Iron Cowboy title with an 85-point ride on Oscar P in Round 1 for 10th place and five world points. Aparecido was one of 15 riders to advance to Round 2.

His best ride came in Round 2 when he rode Jack Shot for 90.5 points and a second-place finish (75 world points).

Aparecido, Vieira (86.5 points on Red Rover) and Lowe were the only three riders to advance to Round 3.

Aparecido then advanced to the final round by covering Big Black Cat for 88.75 points to win Round 3 for 125 world points. Vieira had ridden Honey Hush for 88.5 points to qualify for Round 4.

“To win a big event against the greatest bulls, I am so grateful right now,” Aparecido said. “I am the Iron Cowboy.”

SweetPro’s Bruiser welcomes 2012 PRCA champ Cody Teel to the BFTS

2012 PRCA champion bull rider Cody Teel began his BFTS career with an 84.75-point ride on Chute Boss, but Teel then got a first-hand lesson in just how rank PBR bulls are in Round 2.

Teel was bucked off by 2016 World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser in 2.69 seconds and the Texas native was left dusting off his riding vest in disgust.

“That is a great bull,” Teel said. “He is a World Champ for a reason, but, shoot, I let one get by me for dang sure. A good opportunity let go. You have to stay on those when you get them.”

Bruiser was marked 46 points to tie with Seven Dust as the YETI “Built for the Wild” Bulls of the Event.

It was the second time this season Bruiser has been marked 46 points.

“He was exactly what I thought,” Teel said. “He got me raised up sitting on my rear end and he really hangs and floats in the air. A lot of time dropping down and just enough to raise me up and sit me flat on my butt. It is my fault. He is a great bull. I should have rode him.

“This is not up to my standards by no means the way it ended.”

Seven Dust earned his season-high bull score by disposing Matt Triplett in Round 2 in a quick 3.67 seconds.

“He is just a nice bull,” Triplett said. “I just let him get my feet.”

Jared Allen’s Air Time finished as third ranked bull with a 45.25-point bull score after he bucked off 2015 PBR Brazil champion Luciano de Castro in 5.24 seconds.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

Marchi and Byrne returning at Iron Cowboy (2-15-17)

PUEBLO, Colo. – Two heavy hitters will be making their returns this weekend at the Frontier Communication’s Iron Cowboy, presented by Kawasaki, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi is returning to competition after a vicious wreck in Anaheim, California, that resulted in the 34-year-old sustaining a concussion.

RELATED: Click HERE for the complete Round 1 draw.

Marchi will first have to pass the PBR’s concussion protocol on Saturday afternoon, but the No. 30 rider in the world standings says he is doing much better after missing last weekend’s Kansas City Invitational, presented by Express Employment Professionals.

“I am feeling great,” Marchi said. “I am ready for this week. I feel like a champion.”

Iron Cowboy is a single-elimination “ride or go home” format with riders advancing to the next round by making a qualified ride.

Marchi advanced to Round 3 of the Iron Cowboy last year and appeared to have qualified for Round 4 after riding Sheep Creek, but a re-ride flag was thrown and Marchi had to attempt to ride Walk Off (6.87 seconds).

According to the PBR’s Iron Cowboy ground rules, riders must take their re-rides at Iron Cowboy.  

Not only is there a $100,000 payday awaiting this year’s Iron Cowboy, but one rider can earn a maximum of 1,250 points toward the world standings. The 2017 Iron Cowboy will receive 625 of those points.

Marchi takes on Cheap Trick 2 (8-2, BFTS) on Saturday night. He previously rode Cheap Trick 2 for 84.25 points in 2013 in Nampa, Idaho.

Meanwhile, Canadian superstar Tanner Byrne is making his season debut following a six-week absence because of a practice pen wreck four days before the season opener that broke his shoulder blade and the bone that connects his collarbone and shoulder.

Byrne advanced to the final round of the 2015 Iron Cowboy before being bucked off by Boot Jack in 1.82 seconds.

The 24-year-old recently caught up with Ted Stovin of Everything Cowboy in a great article.

Byrne, who is also riding in memory of his late good friend Ty Pozzobon, explained he has participated in a month of physio rehab and also trained with Tom Ockerman in Hawaii for 10 days in preparation for Iron Cowboy.

“He’s worked with players from the NBA, NFL and fighters from the UFC,” Byrne told Stovin. “He, along with a massage therapist here in Maui have rehabbed greatly. They have me feeling no pain, physically I feel 100% again. I’m ready to come back and do some winning.”

Byrne has drawn Wired Child (18-3, BFTS) for Round 1.

Iron Cowboy is a minimum of two rounds and a maximum of five. At least 10 riders will advance to Round 2, with any draw spots being filled by the current world standings heading into Iron Cowboy if there are less than 10 rides in Round 1.

If all riders buck off in Rounds 2, 3 or 4 then all riders that attempted a bull advance to the next round.

If there is more than one ride in the final round (Round 5), then the Iron Cowboy will be the rider with the highest-ride score in Round 5. If there are no rides in Round 5, then the Iron Cowboy will be the rider with the most round points that had competed in Round 5.

Wallace de Oliveira is also returning for the first time since undergoing surgery for a broken clavicle following the season-opener in New York. He has drawn Recovery Time.

There are three riders competing in Arlington as Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour invites – 2012 PRCA champion Cody Teel (Roanoke, Virginia, winner), Kyle Jones (Portland, Oregon) and Cody Rodeo Tyler (Oakland, California).

Teel and Jones are making their BFTS debuts, as is 19-year-old Jake Gowdy.

Teel, 24, has posted six seasons with a 50 percent or higher in his PRCA rodeo career, according to ProBullStats. He takes on Chute Boss (0-2, BFTS) in Round 1.

Jones is from Troy, Missouri, and is friends with fellow Missouri cowboy Mason Lowe. Jones, 23, is 7-for-22 (31.82 percent) at non-BFTS events this season. Jones faces Rooster (6-2, BFTS) in Round 1.

Gowdy won last weekend’s Grand Rapids, Michigan, Velocity Tour event to jump to 32nd in the world standings and qualify for Iron Cowboy. He is 7-for-20 (35 percent) this year at non-BFTS events. Gowdy will look to advance out of Round 1 against Biker Bob (3-1, BFTS).

There are four riders currently out of competition because of injury. Nevada Newman (shoulder surgery) Paulo Lima (broken ribs), Lachlan Richardson (torn bicep) & Aaron Roy (broken leg).

They have been replaced in the draw by No. 33 Sonny Schafferious, who went 0-for-2 in his debut last weekend, No. 34 Robson Aragao, No. 73 Fraser Babbington (visa exemption), and unranked Jorge Valdivizeo (injury exemption).

World leader Jess Lockwood (deep thigh bruise) is competing and will take on Cooper Tires Brown Sugar (36-14, BFTS) in Round 1. He leads No. 2 Rubens Barbosa by 395 points in the world standings. 

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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