TULSA, Okla. – Here are three things we learned from the Express Employment Professionals Classic, presented by Osage Casino, this weekend at the BOK Center.
Pacheco Misses Final Day With Groin Injury 8-13-17
Kaique Pacheco had a slight limp in his step late Saturday night after riding Lester Gillis for 85.5 points during the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
At first, Pacheco brushed it off as no big deal, but on Sunday morning the injury had worsened to the point where he met with Dr. Tandy Freeman and the PBR Sports Medicine Team.
Pacheco was eventually ruled out for the remainder of the weekend with a right groin strain.
The No. 2 ranked bull rider in the world said he will “100 percent” be in Nashville for the final PBR Major of the season – The Built Ford Tough Music City Knockout – next weekend despite the injury.
“I want to be ready for Nashville,” Pacheco said. “There are more points (available) there. It is better for me to rest and workout for Nashville then get on.”
The 22-year-old had been bucked off by Hangman in 5.22 seconds in Round 1 Saturday.
Pacheco, who iced the injury and received a massage/treatment in the PBR Sports Medicine room, said he believes the injury is unrelated to the right groin/pelvis injury he sustained in Oklahoma City in January.
However, Pacheco is going to meet with Freeman on Tuesday to go over a precautionary MRI he had done in Brazil once the first half of the BFTS came to a conclusion with Pacheco winning Last Cowboy Standing.
“I think I am OK, but I want to make sure,” Pacheco said. “I will begin to rehab at Fit-N-Wise Rehabilitation and Performance Center in Decatur, Texas.”
Head Athletic Trainer Rich Blyn of the PBR Sports Medicine team said Freeman will review the MRI and the team can work with getting Pacheco on a rehab schedule.
“He has a history of an injury and it was bothering him again in Brazil, but the MRI hadn’t reviewed it by anyone here in the United States,” Blyn said. “It is the same groin, but it doesn’t mean the injury is exactly the same. We will then probably start him with some physical therapy once Tandy sees exactly what it is. That is the problem. Guys are mild and they don’t take the time off, but then they deal with it longer. Instead of taking the time to let it heal, get it better and then come back strong.”
Aparecido Extends Lead With Round 2 Win
It didn’t take long for Eduardo Aparecido to strike against Pacheco with the man on his heels out of the competition.
Aparecido rode Shownuff for 87.25 points to win Round 2 Sunday afternoon for 100 world points.
It was Aparecido’s sixth round win of the season.
“That was a good bull,” Aparecido said. “J.W. Hart said the bull would go right. It worked out good and I got a good score.”
The 27-year-old finished the weekend 2-for-3, not including his 15/15 Bucking Battle buckoff against Mystikal, after bucking off Alligator Arms in the championship round. He picked up an additional 10 world points for finishing tied for ninth in the event average.
Aparecido said he was happy to bounce back from his mental lapse during the 15/15 Bucking Battle when Mystikal turned back on him in the final second and caused him to lose his rope.
“That was no good,” Aparecido said. “I was telling Emilio (Resende) I felt good and the bull was going to (keep) going right. I made a mistake in my head.”
The Gouvelandia, Brazil, bull rider now leads Pacheco by 170 points with nine regular-season events remaining before the Built Ford Tough World Finals.
Lockwood Caps off Sensational Weekend with Victory
Jess Lockwood began the season with a PBR Major victory in New York and the 19-year-old began the stretch run to the World Finals by winning the first BFTS event of the second half.
Lockwood rode Pick-It Construction’s Find Jesus for 89.25 points on the final ride of the Built Ford Tough Championship Round to cap off a perfect 3-for-3 weekend and earn 560 points toward the world standings.
“Heck, I knew that bull of J.W. Hart’s was going to be a good one,” Lockwood said. “Cooper (Davis) and I were talking, I didn’t really know I had a hold of him so I had to start spurring him. I couldn’t ask for any better of a bull.”
The Volborg, Montana, bull rider moved up to No. 3 in the world standings and now trails Aparecido by 340 world points.
Both riders are tied for the PBR-lead with three event wins in 2017.
“Heck, you have to make the most of each bull you get on and ride every one you get on,” Lockwood said. “You can’t win world titles without being consistent and I am just trying to take it one bull at a time and it is working.”
Lockwood’s victory came 24 hours after riding Seven Dust for 87.5 points and a third-place finish in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
The 2016 Rookie of the Year didn’t underestimate Force Awaken in Round 2 either and covered the bull for 85.25 points to head into the championship round leading the event average.
Lockwood then selected Find Jesus in the championship-round draft and cake-walked his way to the victory.
The second-year pro began his weekend by winning Round 1 Saturday night with an 87.5-point effort on Astro.
Just like that and Lockwood is right on the doorstep of the world No. 1 spot heading into the most important event of the season remaining outside of the World Finals.
Rounding out the Top 5 in Tulsa was Ryan Dirteater (3-for-3, 340 world points), Cooper Davis (3-for-3 270 world points), Chase Outlaw (2-for-3, 215 world points) and Cody Nance (3-for-3, 205 points).
Outlaw’s championship-round winning 89.75-point ride on Air Marshall propelled him to his fourth-place finish. Outlaw bounced back from two buckoffs Saturday night by riding Dirt Man Do for 87 points in Round 2.
“We are supposed to bounce back from it and that is why we are the best bull riders in the world,” Outlaw said. “We are supposed to be able to handle adversity.”
Outlaw slipped ahead of Derek Kolbaba for fourth-place in the world standings and trails Aparecido by 873.34 points.
Dirteater (88 points on Cooper’s Comet), Davis (88 points on Nailed) and Nance (88 points on Wiley) all tied for third-place in the championship round.
Dirteater came up just short of his first win in Oklahoma, but his perfect weekend that pushed him from 22nd to 16th in the world standings.
The Hulbert, Oklahoma, had bucked off eight in a row at the BFTS level before this weekend. He also hadn’t ridden three consecutive bulls since January.
Davis moved up three spots in the world to No. 7, while Nance jumped up four spots to No. 11.
Troy Wilkinson (2-for-2) was in contention for the event victory after riding Big Lew for 84.25 points on Sunday in Round 2, but the bull stepped on the back of his right knee during Wilkinson’s dismount.
Wilkinson was diagnosed with a large contusion and abrasions and was ruled out for the championship round. According to Freeman, the 2017 PBR Australia champion is questionable for Nashville.
J.W. Harris did not compete in the championship round after straining his abdomen during his Round 1 ride on Sitting Bull (83 points) Saturday and then attempting to ride South Texas Gangster (2.1 seconds) in Round 2 Sunday. He is questionable for Nashville.
Mason Lowe and Brennon Eldred both passed the PBR’s concussion protocol Sunday morning and returned to competition.
Lowe finished in 16th place after riding Little Red Jacket for 84 points in Round 2 and bucking off Shakey (2.88 seconds) in the championship round.
Eldred was bucked off by Sam in 6.01 seconds in Round 2.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Lockwood Makes Major Statement 8-12-17
TULSA, Okla. – Here are three things we learned from Round 1 and the 15/15 Bucking Battle of the Express Employment Professionals Classic, presented by Osage Casino, Saturday night at the BOK Center.
Jess Lockwood could do some serious damage in the world title race on Sunday afternoon after winning Round 1 with his 87.5-point ride on Astro, but it was his 87.5-point ride on Seven Dust during the 15/15 Bucking Battle that may just be the sign he is truly ready to make a deep push at the 2017 World Championship.
Lockwood became just the second rider in 29 outs to ever cover the Gene Owen/Jane Clark bull.
The moment left the 19-year-old shaking with adrenaline even after the event.
“Like me and (Cody) Lambert said this week, World Champions ride Seven Dust, and if you are going to be in a world title contention, you have to get him rode,” Lockwood said. “So I wanted to turn loose. When he reared me back, I knew if I didn’t start spurring it was going to get Western.”
Lockwood wound up finishing third in the 15/15 Bucking Battle behind Stormy Wing (89.5 points on Wired Child) and Matt Triplett (88 points on Cochise).
Regardless, Lockwood’s performance with Seven Dust was arguably one of his best rides this season.
“He was just wild out there and kind of lost, really,” Lockwood said. “He is just so damn mean that he was probably just looking for someone to hook. He is the meanest bull on tour. I don’t know if he lost his footing, but he reared up straight at me and kind of sat me back. I knew if I didn’t start spurring him I am going to go out over the front.”
Capped with his Round 1 victory, Lockwood earned 175 points toward the world standings to jump ahead of Derek Kolbaba for the No. 3 ranking.
He now trails world leader Eduardo Aparecido by 690 points in the standings.
Aparecido was bucked off by Mystikal in 7.72 seconds in the 15/15 Bucking Battle, but did cap off Round 1 with an 82.25-point ride on Smooth Over for 10th place.
Kaique Pacheco couldn’t handle Hangman (5.22 seconds) in Round 1, but the No. 2 man in the world standings is now within 60 points of Aparecido after riding Lester Gillis for 85.5 points in the 15/15 Bucking Battle and a fifth-place finish (45 world points).
Two-time World Champion and CBS Sports Network commentator Justin McBride said the 15/15 Bucking Battle featured plenty of marque moments by the top riders in the world.
Reigning World Champion Cooper Davis placed fourth with an 86-point ride on Right Turn Clyde after World Champion Bull contender TLW’s Big Cat hipped himself.
McBride, though, called Lockwood’s effort a World Champion-caliber moment.
“That was big,” McBride said. “That was good, good, good stuff right there. The bull had a terrible day, but it was a terrible day to ride him. He was not good to ride. He was out across there with a big roll, turned back and Lockwood went at him. That was gritty, gutty and confident.
“That is the kind of stuff that World Champions are made of. That is when a guy is not hoping that he makes the whistle, that is when a guy is expecting to make the whistle and that is one of scariest, rankest bulls right now.”
Lockwood heads into Championship Sunday on top of the field and has drawn Force Awaken (0-0, BFTS) for Round 2.
“Hell, I am ready for the whole season,” Lockwood concluded.
Dirteater looking for first win in home state; raises $26,000 for charity
Ryan Dirteater is hoping to finally give his home state fans an event-winning performance.
The Hulbert, Oklahoma, native has never won a Built Ford Tough Series event held in Oklahoma.
Dirteater will have a chance to check that bucket off his to-do list Sunday after finishing Round 1 in second-place with an 87-point ride on JJ.
“That bull really tried around the left and Cord (McCoy) said I would love him and he was right,” Dirteater said.
There were 13 qualified rides in Round 1.
Rounding out the Top 5 were Emilio Resende (85.5 points on Bezerk), Troy Wilkinson (85.5 points on Big Crush) and 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi (85.5 points on Livin’ Large). The three riders all tied for third-place and picked up 40 world points.
Dirteater will look to set himself to get that illusive first Okie win when he takes on Hurricane Kitty (0-0, BFTS) in Round 2.
“It is on the list,” Dirteater said. “That would be icing on the cake. Man, to get that W would be something great. That is one of my goals to do before I am done riding bulls. If I keep staying on bulls and doing my job, I will be on top of the weekend.”
The ride was the latest highlight for Dirteater this weekend.
Dirteater won first and second at his annual Roping for Wishes charity event Friday at Riverbend Arena in nearby Inola Arena.
The team roping competition helped raise $26,000 for charity. The money will be split between Make-A-Wish Oklahoma and the Rider Relief Fund.
“It is huge,” Dirteater said. “I just love granting wishes for kids. That is why we do it. A lot of the bull riders showed up and we had fun. I was just part of it. I love seeing smiles on kids.”
Aparecido’s Advice Pans out for Resende
Resende is trying to hang onto to his Top 35 ranking this weekend in Tulsa and the veteran got some helpful advice from Aparecido.
The No. 1 bull rider in the world standings previously rode Bezerk for 87.25 points in Jacksonville, Florida, and Aparecido made sure to share what he knew about the bull with Resende.
“That was a good ride and good bull,” Resende said. “Eduardo rode him in Jacksonville. Eduardo told me this is the bull I need. He said, ‘He really bucks and does nothing different. He blows and is a spinner.’
The scouting report paid off for Resende, who moved from 34th to 30th in the world standings.
“Eduardo helped me a lot,” Resende added.
Resende is now 49.16 points ahead of the BFTS cutline heading into Round 2.
He has drawn Acting Crazy (7-4, BFTS) for Round 2.
“Everyone knows my fight (for the Finals),” Resende said. “It is never easy, but that is part of it. I am living my dream. I hope I can ride a couple of bulls tomorrow. I am ready to live my dream and be here with my friends and brothers. I am happy.”
Marco Eguchi replaced Mason Lowe in the 15/15 Bucking Battle after Lowe sustained a concussion in Round 1 attempting to ride Rocket Man. Lowe is questionable for Round 2, while Eguchi was bucked off by Losing My Religion in 5.69 seconds.
Brennon Eldred sustained a concussion when he was stepped on after being thrown from Yeti’s Ice Breaker (4.69 seconds). He is also questionable for Round 2.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Tulsa draw: Tyler ready for home state event; Byrne back 8-9-17
PUEBLO, Colo. – Cody Rodeo Tyler is amidst his first true push at qualifying for the PBR World Finals, and he will begin the stretch run to the 2017 Finals close to his backyard.
The Guthrie, Oklahoma, bull rider grew up 90 miles southwest of the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and when the Built Ford Tough Series resumes on Saturday night Tyler will have a good group of friends and family in attendance.
“I couldn’t even tell you how many are coming, but I will have a lot of family going there,” Tyler said. “I still have tickets to get. I have a lot of family going.”
Tyler is currently 32nd in the world standings and is trying to hold onto his BFTS draw spot and qualify for his first PBR World Finals.
The 22-year-old sits 25.41 points ahead of No. 35 Brady Sims, who is recovering from a broken leg he sustained in April in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Sims and two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney, who is out for the remainder of the season following reconstructive shoulder surgery, are the only two riders in the Top 35 currently out because of injury following the summer BFTS break.
Tyler was able to maintain his Top 35 ranking this summer courtesy of a victory at the Touring Pro Division event in Thief River Falls, Minnesota.
The rookie went 2-for-2 with rides aboard Beernuts (87.5 points) and Pile Driver (86 points) in his first event with a Brazilian-style bull rope.
Tyler had decided to switch up his bull rope after dealing with a hand injury during the spring.
“My hand has still been messing with me, but that Brazilian rope hangs on to me a little better now,” Tyler said. “It is working.”
Tyler is 5-for-13 (38.46 percent) since making the switch and added that he still has some work to do to get comfortable with the rope. He was previously riding at a 31.14-percent clip.
“With my American rope, I can put my rope in the middle of the back and it won’t move,” Tyler said. “That Brazilian, I have to put it four inches down the side of them or I feel like my hand is coming completely over his back bone. Bulls into my hand, I have to push all the way across to get over there still. It is weird. Away from my hand I feel solid. It is going to take a little bit of getting used to, but I can see myself using it for a while.”
There are three riders competing in Tulsa thanks to injury exemptions from the first half of the season.
Lachlan Richardson will make his season-debut after missing the first six months of the year recovering from offseason bicep surgery.
Richardson has had a strong summer run – going 14-for-38 (36.84 percent) to jump to 39th in the world standings since making his non-BFTS season debut on May 20 in Australia.
RELATED: Richardson heats up the summer.
Richardson, who has eight guaranteed BFTS events before being subject to the cutline, has drawn Something Magical (1-0, BFTS) for Round 1.
Nevada Newman is returning to the BFTS after missing six months while recovering from reconstructive shoulder surgery in January. Newman is using the first of five injury exemptions, and the No. 47 rider in the world standings is 105 points behind the Top 35.
The 24-year-old finished in second-place in his second event back last weekend at the Livingston, Montana, Touring Pro Division event. Newman has drawn Landshark (0-0, BFTS) for Round 1 in Tulsa.
RELATED: Newman on flightpath back to BFTS.
Tanner Byrne will also be returning to the BFTS after last competing at The Ty Murray Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Byrne has only been able to compete at three BFTS events in 2017 because of a broken collarbone and torn groin.
Byrne is set to square off against Church Bells (4-3, BFTS) in Round 1.
In other injury-related news, No. 24 Stetson Lawrence (fractured hip) and No. 25 Mike Lee (left elbow dislocation), No. 29 Troy Wilkinson (groin strain) and No. 30 Dakota Buttar (torn elbow ligaments) are back on the BFTS after being unable to compete at Last Cowboy Standing in May.
World leader Eduardo Aparecido will be returning to the United States for the first time since Last Cowboy Standing and takes a 105-point lead on No. 2 Kaique Pacheco into Tulsa.
Aparecido will continue his pursuit of the 2017 world title when he takes on Smooth Over (4-2, BFTS).
15/15 Bucking Battle Matchups
Claudio Montanha Jr. vs. Sosa’s Alley Cat (4-1, BFTS)
Cody Nance vs. Gangster’s Wildside (12-0, BFTS)*
Shane Proctor vs. What’s Under Your Hood (8-1, BFTS)
Cody Teel vs. Big City (0-0, BFTS)
Rubens Barbosa vs. Gambini (7-0, BFTS)*
Mason Lowe vs. Losing My Religion (13-1, BFTS)
Cooper Davis vs. TLW’s Big Cat (25-1, BFTS)
Joao Ricardo Vieira vs. Brutus (16-7, BFTS)*
Stormy Wing vs. Wired Child (20-4, BFTS)
Matt Triplett vs. Cochise (24-4, BFTS)
Chase Outlaw vs. Cut The Cord (15-1, BFTS)*
Jess Lockwood vs. Seven Dust (27-1, BFTS)
Derek Kolbaba vs. Rodeo Time (18-1, BFTS)
Kaique Pacheco vs. Lester Gillis (19-1, BFTS)*
Eduardo Aparecido vs. Mystikal (10-1, BFTS)
Pacheco is the only rider with a rematch that previously covered his bull. The No. 2 man in the world standings rode Lester Gillis for 88.75 points in St. Louis.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
© 2018 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.