Davis ends Cut the Cord’s buckoff streak; injuries pile up in Sioux Falls

Cooper Davis' ride on Cut the Cord ended his 15 consecutive BFTS buckoff streak. Photo: Andy Watson / BullStockMedia.com


  • Cooper Davis ended another buckoff streak Sunday when he rode Cut the Cord to win the championship round in Sioux Falls.
  • Matt Triplett left Sioux Falls last year broken, his season ended by a major injury to his shoulder. He returned this weekend and won his first BFTS event since 2015.
  • Meanwhile, J.B. Mauney won Round 3 but couldn't close things out in the championship round.

In This Article

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Here are three things we learned from this weekend’s First PREMIER Bank PREMIER Bankcard Invitational at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.

Davis ends another bull’s buckoff streak (4-2-17)

Cooper Davis didn’t end Jared Allen Air Time’s buckoff streak this weekend, but the 2016 World Champion did come through by slaying another rank Built Ford Tough Series eliminator.

A week after ending Spotted Demon’s streak of 24 buckoffs in a row, Davis rode Cut the Cord for 91 points during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round to end the bovine athlete’s streak of 15 BFTS buckoffs and 26 overall.

“That bull was really good and I had wanted to get on him for a while,” Davis said. “I was just happy he was there for me to pick. I don’t know what it is. When they buck, I ride better. I can’t ride the easy ones. Might as well just go for gold every time.”

Davis’ ride was the best of six in the championship round. The six rides in the championship round matched the six rides in Rounds 1 and 3. There were 14 qualified rides in Round 2.

The 23-year-old also won Round 2 Saturday with 89.5 points on Udder Lover.

Davis (2-for-4) earned 100 points for the championship round victory, which propelled him to a third-place finish with 265 world points overall.

He now heads to next weekend’s Stanley Performance In Action Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, ranked sixth in the world standings.

Davis has already won the Built Ford Tough World Finals and a PBR gold buckle.

In his third season on tour, he is now enjoying the challenge of taking down some of the PBR’s hardest bulls to ride.

“It probably helps,” Davis said. “I am still trying to show up and block it all out, but, at the same time, when I get to the short round I am glad to get one rode like that. He was going real fast and I knew he was going to buck hard. My hand started working its way out, but I kept it close and even got off OK.”

Triplett wins first event since disastrous, injury-plagued 2016 campaign

One year after Matt Triplett dislocated his left shoulder so badly in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, that he eventually needed to undergo reconstructive shoulder surgery, the 25-year-old bull rider instead will be leaving the Mount Rushmore state a much happier man.  

Triplett rode Little Red Jacket for 88.75 points in the championship round to win his first BFTS event since the Anaheim Invitational in 2015 and in the same venue that played host to his 2016 season-altering injury.

“I just had to pull it together and get it done,” Triplett said. “He bucked pretty good. It is my first short round bull this year and this is what I needed to do. He has a little suck back and I just threw my chest and he feels so good like a dream.”

Triplett began his weekend with 82.25 points on Black Sugar in Round 1 and 87.25 points on Red Sails in the Sunset. He then had to rebound from his Round 3 buckoff against Biker Bob (5.75 seconds) and ride Little Red Jacket in the championship round. 

The five-year BFTS rider got some help in the championship round as Dakota Buttar, Fabiano Vieira and J.B. Mauney all bucked off their championship-round bulls, while Derek Kolbaba’s 86.75-point ride on Red Bandana wasn’t enough to leapfrog Triplett into the No. 1 position.

Triplett won the event with 625 points toward the world standings, 500 of which came from winning the event average. He jumped from 20th in the world standings to No. 9.

Cody Nance (3-for-4, 350 world points), Davis, Kolbaba (3-for-4, 255 world points) and Joao Ricardo Vieira (2-for-4, 200 world points) rounded out the Top 5.

The Columbia Falls, Montana, bull rider now heads into his home state event, which he was unable to compete at last year while recovering from shoulder surgery, firing on all cylinders.

“This is huge,” Triplett said. “I can’t even tell the world how hard I worked. I spent so much time in the gym and in therapy. I have dedicated my whole life to this sport. Those were my first injuries and to overcome that is huge.

“This is the confidence I needed going into Billings. It is my home state. I don’t even know what to say.”

Mauney wins Round 3, but comes up short in the championship round

Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney put himself in position to win the event on Sunday afternoon after winning Round 3 with 89 points on Mudshark.

“He was just a good bull,” Mauney said. “I knew he was going to be really good if I did my job. He stomped on me a little bit, but that is the way it goes.”

The 30-year-old, who had injured his right knee during the ride, then selected Magic Train with the first pick of the championship-round draft.

However, Mauney wound up bucking off Magic Train in 5.02 seconds as the 7-year-old yanked Mauney down over his head.

Mauney finished tied for second in Round 2 with an 87.25-point ride on Red Rocket after being bucked off by Midnight Show (2.79 seconds) in Round 1.

“Anytime I get my ass handed to me like I did last night, it pisses me off. It is not that I am mad because I tried, but that bull flat bucked me off. It pisses you off too. You can’t really be mad at yourself, but that bull was a little better than me.”

Mauney (2-for-4) finished in sixth-place overall with 175 world points.

He is 11th in the world standings and 1,902.09 points behind world leader Eduardo Aparecido.

“I want to get as many points possible,” Mauney said. “I don’t put it on any number. I just ride. Wherever I am before the break is where I am at.”

Injury Updates

PBR Sports Medicine was close to full capacity Sunday with multiple riders either nursing injuries from the course of the three-day event or sustaining new ones.

One of the biggest injuries of the weekend came on Sunday afternoon when Brady Sims broke his left leg (tibia and fibula) when he was stepped on by Swashbuckler (6.27 seconds).

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Sims was transported to Sanford Hospital for surgery.

Mason Lowe (back spasms), Stormy Wing (right calf contusion), Gage Gay (left sacroiliac sprain) and Ryan Dirteater (left thigh adductor strain) all did not compete in Round 3.

Lowe is probable for Billings, while Wing, Gay and Dirteater are listed as questionable.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

Marchi records ride 598 & can reach 600 on Championship Sunday (4-1-17)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Here are three things we learned from Round 2 of the First PREMIER Bank PREMIER Bankcard Invitational Saturday night at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.

Guilherme Marchi hadn’t felt nervous or overwhelmed by his pursuit of becoming the first rider in PBR history to reach 600 Built Ford Tough Series rides earlier this year, but the 2008 World Champion admitted this weekend he is feeling the pressure a little bit more.

Marchi bounced back from his Round 1 buckoff on Friday night by riding Banjo for 84.75 points for career ride 598 in Round 2 in front of a sell-out crowd of 9,908 fans.

“It is getting tougher the closer I get to the number,” Marchi said. “I don’t know why. Maybe the pressure from the fans and the PBR. I felt it this week. I hadn’t thought about it the past couple of weeks, but this week everybody talked about 600. In Brazil too. I am getting close.

“I hope I can get it done tomorrow.”

The 34-year-old then joked, “Then these people can leave me alone.”

Marchi was bucked off by Speed Demon in the 15/15 Bucking Battle in 3.42 seconds.

The 14-year veteran was an injury replacement in the bonus round for world leader Eduardo Aparecido.

RELATED: Aparecido to miss time because of riding arm injury

Marchi will need to ride Hooey (2-0, BFTS) in Round 3 and then ride his championship-round bull to become the first rider to reach the historic mark.

He is currently sitting tied for ninth in the event average

“Fans want to see these things happen,” Marchi said, “but this sport is tough. It is not easy. You need to be 100 percent. You need to be ready. You need to be focused. No matter what kind of pressure you feeling, you need to get on your bulls, tie your rope and ride.”

Buttar in contention for first BFTS victory

Dakota Buttar is on the opposite end of the spectrum compared to Marchi, but the 24-year-old is also hoping to reach a milestone of his own on Sunday afternoon.

Buttar heads into Championship Sunday on top of the event average and is on pace to possibly win his first BFTS event.

The Kindersley, Saskatchewan, bull rider followed up his Round 1 ride (86.5 points on American Sniper) with an 84.5-point ride on Red Fury in Round 2.

“He felt like he was going to pull me onto his head,” Buttar said. “I was kind of scrambling to stay there. I have seen that bull three times and he has done that every single time, but I was happy with the draw.”

Buttar hadn’t ridden two or more bulls in an event since the season-opener in New York at Madison Square Garden.

“To me, this is pretty important because I haven’t done that yet,” Buttar said. “I have had good starts, but I haven’t finished. Finishing is key in this sport. You have to finish what you have started. That is my goal. To keep that momentum going.”

Buttar takes on All Aboard (1-1, BFTS) in Round 3.

Matt Triplett and Kaique Pacheco are the only other riders a perfect 2-for-2 heading into Round 3.

Triplett tied for second place in Round 2 with 87.25 points on Red Sails In the Sunset, while Pacheco placed 10th with 84 points on Purina Athlete.

If Buttar were to follow through and pick up the event victory, he would become only the second Canadian-born rider in the last 13 years to win a BFTS event.

Davis wins Round 3, but Air Time wins showdown

Cooper Davis made it two consecutive weeks with a round victory when he rode Udder Lover for 89.5 points and 100 points toward the world standings.

“That bull was really strong today and he really had me kind of leaned back there at first,” Davis said. “I knew he could be right there to the right too. I didn’t want to set a trap for him to the left. He really bucked and we got by him.”

The reigning World Champion has won four rounds this year and heads into Round 3 sitting in fourth place in the event.

However, arguably the bigger story involving Davis on Saturday night was him trying his guts out against Jared Allen’s Air Time in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

Air Time (45.25 points) dislodged Davis from his bull rope at the 4.46-second mark. 

It was the second time Air Time has bucked off Davis at all levels of competition.

Air Time has bucked off 29 consecutive BFTS riders.

“I will ride him next time,” Davis said after surviving Air Time’s initial first couple jumps out of the bucking chute.

The top bull of the 15/15 Bucking Battle was SweetPro’s Bruiser after the defending World Champion Bull made easy work of Derek Kolbaba.

Bruiser earned a 46.25-point score for bucking off Kolbaba in 2.22 seconds during the duos’ first meeting since Kolbaba rode the D&H Cattle Company superstar for 92 points in Oklahoma City.

The No. 2 bull in the World Champion Bull race has posted a 46-point bull score in four consecutive outs.

World No. 1 bull Pearl Harbor was scored 45.25 points for bucking off Ryan Dirteater in 2.7 seconds.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

Wilkinson cracks Top 30 of world standings (3-31-17)

PUEBLO, Colo. – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of the First PREMIER Bank PREMIER Bankcard Invitational on Friday night at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.

Troy Wilkinson knew he had to be ready for anything on Friday night, such is the case when you are attempting to ride a 1,500-pound and unpredictable bucking bull.

Wilkinson also knew he had to pick up a big-time ride if he wanted to avoid losing his spot on the Built Ford Tough Series this weekend.

Therefore, Wilkinson made sure not to be fooled when Call the Law decided to turn away from his riding hand 4 seconds into his 86.5-point ride in Round 1.

“When you are on the bubble, it is tough,” Wilkinson said. “It is on the back of your mind the whole time. To get some round points, that is good for the rest of the weekend.”

Wilkinson tied for second-place in Round 1 with Dakota Buttar (86.5 points on American Sniper) to pick up 55 points toward the world standings.

The 26-year-old entered Round 1 ranked 34th in the world standings and ended the evening ranked 29th.

Wilkinson credited stock contractor Cord McCoy for prepping him with a scouting report on Call the Law.

“I seen he went to the left and Cord MCoy, who owns him, said he may go right. I was ready for anything. Like any other bull. He felt good into my hand and I was pretty happy he went away from my hand. That made it a little bit easier.”

Wilkinson prefers bulls that go away from his hand, and he will look to further distance himself from the BFTS cutline when he takes on Sam (5-4, BFTS) in Round 2 on Saturday night.

Fans can catch all of the action exclusively on PBR LIVE beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Also helping his cause to remain on the BFTS was Robson Aragao.

The 37-year-old placed fourth in the round with an 84.5-point ride on Smooth Over, ending a streak of four consecutive buckoffs.

Aragao, this weekend’s Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour invite, picked up 40 world points to move to 35th in the world standings.

The Brazilian bull rider also wants to increase his standing in the world rankings so that he can compete at the PBR Global Cup in Edmonton on Nov. 9-11.

“I need to ride good,” Aragao said. “I am very excited for the Global Cup. I need to be ranked in the Top 5 (of Brazilian riders). This is very important for anyone trying to ride bulls at this time. I am going to try so hard.”

The Top 5 riders in the world standings after the Thackerville, Oklahoma, BFTS event for Brazil, Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United States will automatically qualify for the Global Cup.

Aragao may be looking far down the road, but he knows it starts with getting the job done at the BFTS level.

“Riding bulls is not easy,” Aragao said. “If you are riding good, it don’t matter if the bull is rank. Tonight, this bull bucked good and helped me.”

Aragao will take on Big Show (0-0, BFTS) in Round 2 on Saturday night.

Practice pays off for Vieira…sort of

Joao Ricardo Vieira picked up the Round 1 win by doing what he does best, riding bulls into his left riding hand.

Bad Moon Rising spun right into Vieira’s wheelhouse and the ride was basically over within the first 2 seconds.

“That was a very fast bull,” Vieira said. “I don’t see nothing at one point. He was so fast. My body is good and my mentality was good.”

Vieira picked up 100 world points for his third round win of the season, but the No. 11 ranked bull rider in the world standings knows what he has to do if he ever hopes to become a World Champion.

The 32-year-old’s kryptonite is riding bulls away from his hand and he made that a focus on Tuesday when he rode three practice bulls at the D&H Cattle Company ranch in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

“It was good practice,” Vieira said. “I am only riding bulls that turn right. It is helping me, but H.D. Page’s bulls are crazy. You have to be mentally ready to practice.”

Vieira also spent time chatting with PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert prior to Round 1 about his struggles riding bulls away from my hand.

“He told me to use more of my (riding) shoulder,” Vieira said. “I like him for wanting to help me. He is a very experienced cowboy. It is OK. It is not too late to be fix it.”

Vieira expects to be challenged Saturday in Round 2 against Big Benny (7-4, BFTS).

“Usually he starts to the left and turns to the right,” Vieira said.

Vieira will then compete in the 15/15 Bucking Battle when he takes on Smooth Operator (36-3, BFTS).

Bulls dominate in Round 1

Night one was an ABBI Classic Round and the top 3- and 4-year-old bucking bulls got the best of the Top 35 bull riders.

There were only six qualified rides in Round 1, with the Top 20 riders in the world standings going a combined 3-for-20.

The six rides ties a season-low for long round competition. There were six rides in Round 2 of the Oklahoma City event.

Kaique Pacheco was the only rider inside the Top 10 of the world standings to pick up a qualified ride, and his was not anything special.

Pacheco decided to keep a 69-point score after covering Red Moon. The 21-year-old injured his left elbow during his dismount, but said it wasn’t anything serious.

World leader Eduardo Aparecido may have won the round if not for bucking off just before the whistle.

Aparecido was bucked off by Wild Sky’s in 7.88 seconds, while Jess Lockwood lasted 4.85 seconds on Get Smoked.

The good news for Lockwood was that he said his left groin felt fine in his first competition in five weeks.

“It is good,” he said. “I just got bucked off.”

4A Midnight Show and Thunder’s Cartel tied for first place in the ABBI competition.

4A Midnight Show disposed two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney in 2.79 seconds, while Thunder’s Cartel used a massive jump out of the bucking chute to throw Chase Outlaw after 2.21 seconds. 

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

Lowe, Outlaw continuing to make strides; Sioux Falls draw notes (3-29-17)

PUEBLO, Colo. – In 2016, Mason Lowe began his slow breakthrough toward a career-year with a 91-point ride on SweetPro’s Bruiser in Oklahoma City and then a 90-point ride on Brutus to win the Ty Murray Invitational.

Lowe was unable to defend his Murray crown this year because of a right hip pointer, but continued his growth as a Top-10 bull rider by returning to competition and going a perfect 3-for-3 last weekend at the Ak-Chin Invitational.

The No. 7 ranked bull rider in the world standings finally broke through in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round by riding Tractor Tippin for 90.5 points to end a 0-for-5 skid in the championship round.

RELATED: Click HERE for the complete Round 1 draw.

“Oh, it was a good bull,” Lowe said. “He went right and had a little drop toward the end. You start to feeling good and you go to spurring something.”

Lowe wound up finishing in second-place, two points behind in the event average, after deciding to keep his 79-point score (Johnny B) in Round 2 after riding Grandpa Joe for 86.75 points in Round 1.

“I had a good event,” Lowe added. “Any time you go 3-for-3 or 4-for-4 is pretty good. I am feeling good. I kind of got a little sored up from the second round, but not as bad as last week so I will be ready for Sioux Falls.”

Lowe will take on JJ (1-1, BFTS) in Round 1 of the First PREMIER Bank PREMIER Bankcard Invitational.

The 23-year-old is one of six riders in the Top 10 of the world standings 24 years or younger.

Lowe is riding at a 45.71 percent ratio – a 9.5 percent increase from his career average (36.18 percent) and is well on his way to setting a new career-high for qualified rides. He is already 16-for-35 and should surpass his 2016 total of 22 before the summer break.

Also coming through in the championship round was Chase Outlaw.

Outlaw, 24, moved up to No. 3 in the world standings by riding Sully for 89.25 points.

He had previously bucked off five in a row in the championship round.

“Man you just have to keep pushing forward,” he said. “It don’t matter what you got. You just have to give it to them 110 percent every time.”

Outlaw continues his pursuit of the world No. 1 ranking when he takes on Thunder’s Cartel (0-0, BFTS) in Round 1 on Friday night.

The man above Outlaw in the standings – No. 2 Jess Lockwood – is returning to competition after missing five events because of a torn left groin.

Lockwood takes on Get Smoked (4-2, BFTS) in Round 1, while world leader Eduardo Aparecido takes on Wild Sky’s (2-0, BFTS). Aparecido leads Lockwood by 1,217.5 points.

Going back on the injury list is Robson Palermo after the three-time World Finals event winner sustained a concussion when he was bucked off by Springer Mountain Stryker in Round 2 (3.18 seconds).

Joining Palermo on the not competing list is No. 15 Shane Proctor (right wrist), No. 31 J.W. Harris (left groin), No. 35 Nevada Newman (reconstructive shoulder surgery), No. 68 Wallace de Oliveira (ankle), No. 145 Tanner Byrne (groin/hamstring), Lachlan Richardson (bicep surgery) and Aaron Roy (leg).

No. 39 Alex Marcilio, No. 40 Emilio Resende and No. 42 Kyle Jones will be competing as alternates.

This weekend will be Marcilio’s season debut and third event of his career. The 28-year-old hasn’t competed on the BFTS in three years.

Marcilio is 14-for-21 in 10 Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour events for 155 world points. He is 60 points outside of the Top 35.

The Macaubal, Brazil, bull rider takes on Switch Hitter (2-2, BFTS) in Round 1 and hasn’t bucked off two bulls in a row all season.

The Sioux Falls Velocity Tour event invite is No. 37 Robson Aragao.

Aragao went 3-for-3 to win the Bangor, Maine, Velocity Tour event on March 11.

The 37-year-old is only 15 points behind the Top 35, but he is 3-for-15 in six BFTS events and has bucked off four consecutive bulls. 

Aragao has drawn Smooth Over (4-1, BFTS) for Round 1.

15/15 Bucking Battle Matchups

Dener Barbosa vs. Stone Sober (45-3, BFTS)
Silvano Alves vs. Hey Jack (15-0, BFTS)
Joao Ricardo Vieira vs. Smooth Operator (36-3, BFTS)
Ryan Dirteater vs. Pearl Harbor (23-2, BFTS)
J.B. Mauney vs. Burn It Down (8-1, BFTS)
Stormy Wing vs. Cochise (21-4, BFTS)
Marco Eguchi vs. Jack Shot (16-2, BFTS)
Cooper Davis vs. Air Time (30-1, BFTS)
Mason Lowe vs. Bad Beagle (8-1, BFTS)
Rubens Barbosa vs. Seven Dust (24-1, BFTS)
Derek Kolbaba vs. SweetPro’s Bruiser (30-7, BFTS)
Kaique Pacheco vs. TLW’s Big Cat (24-1, BFTS)
Chase Outlaw vs. Mystikal (9-0, BFTS)
Jess Lockwood vs. BC Circular Insanity (8-1, BFTS) 
Eduardo Aparecido vs. Speed Demon (5-2, BFTS)

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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