THACKERVILLE, Okla. – Here are three things we learned from the WinStar World Casino & Resort Invitational this weekend in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
Davis continues push to repeat as World Champion 9-3-17
Reigning World Champion Cooper Davis is well aware that time is ticking if he hopes to join Silvano Alves and become only the second rider in PBR history to repeat as World Champion.
Davis – the No. 6 ranked rider in the world standings – continued his pursuit in Thackerville and used a Round 2 victory to chip away at Kaique Pacheco’s grasp of the world No. 1 ranking.
The 23-year-old rode Ice Pick for 88.5 points for the round victory, which was his sixth of the season, and 100 points toward the world standings.
“He is one you want to get on,” Davis said. “I had never seen him before, but I went back and heard he was one to have.”
It was otherwise a slow-going weekend for Davis.
Davis was bucked off by Cooper’s Comet in 3.69 seconds in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round and finished 1-for-3 for a sixth-place finish (132.5 world points).
The Jasper, Texas, bull rider was slated to compete in the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Saturday night against TLW’s Big Cat, but Davis sustained a concussion during his 3-second buckoff against Get Smoked in Round 1.
Davis passed the PBR’s concussion protocol on Sunday before being cleared by the PBR Sports Medicine Team to return to competition.
“I feel great,” Davis said. “It is hot, but I feel good, especially after that.”
Davis understands he has work to do if he hopes to overcome his 1,334.17-point deficit in the world standings.
There are only seven regular-season BFTS events remaining before the 2017 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals on Nov. 1-5 in Las Vegas.
“It is definitely go time,” he said. “Everybody knows it is go time. Whether you put the pressure on yourself or go continue to have fun, everybody has a different approach to it. Mine right now is to take it the same way I have all year and keep putting in the work.”
Top 10 riders fail to convert in Thackerville
It is certainly go time, and the Top 10 riders let opportunities pass them by in Thackerville.
The Top 10 riders in the world standings went a combined 3-for-25, including the 15/15 Bucking Battle, in a weekend that was bull domination.
There were only 10 qualified rides through the first two rounds of competition by all 36 riders in attendance, and only nine riders – Guilherme Marchi, Claudio Montanha Jr., Dener Barbosa, Ramon de Lima, Marco Eguchi, Stetson Lawrence, Stormy Wing, Cooper Davis and Cody Nance – qualified for the championship round.
After some confusion, world leader Kaique Pacheco was drawn back for the championship round based on PBR Rule 220.127.116.11:
“The BFTS Championship Round will have a minimum of ten (10) Contestants. In the event there are fewer than ten (10) qualified rides in the rounds leading up to the championship round, then PBR will draw back a total of 10 bull riders – the qualified rides plus the number of riders necessary to have a total of 10 championship-round competitors. Riders will be drawn back based on current PBR world standings as of the conclusion of the prior BFTS event.”
Originally, world No. 3 Jess Lockwood had been informed he would be getting on Hurricane Hustler in the championship round based on his total combined buckoff times in Round 1 & 2.
Regardless of the second chance, Pacheco failed to convert.
The world leader was bucked off by Hurricane Hustler in a quick 1.75 seconds. It was the second time this weekend that Pacheco, who finished 0-for-4 in Thackerville, was bucked off before the 2-second mark.
In fact, this was the first time in his career Pacheco bucked off four bulls in a single BFTS event weekend.
However, outside of Davis, Stormy Wing (Saturday night’s Round 1 winner), Eduardo Aparecido (the 15/15 Bucking Battle winner) and Lockwood (a fourth-place finish in the 15/15 Bucking Battle), none of the Top 10 riders were able to take a significant step forward in the 2017 World Championship race with Pacheco struggling.
Aparecido was unable to attempt his re-ride in Round 2 on Sunday after sustaining a concussion when Wild Thing fell on him in 1.7 seconds, but the No. 2 man in the world standings said he would be OK for Springfield.
Two-time World Champion and CBS Sports Network analyst Justin McBride called it a “tough weekend for the guys.”
“The bulls dominated,” McBride said. “A lot of missed opportunities. Pacheco looked bad this weekend. To be blunt, and he got another shot in the championship round and couldn’t convert on anything. Lockwood was 2 seconds – combined – from making the whistle on two rides. Two big rides. Even if they don’t win the go-round, they were placing in the rounds. The Top 3 guys didn’t perform at their best at all.
“It was just kind of a flat weekend for the guys.”
Lawrence wins first career BFTS event
Sometimes it is better to be lucky than not, and Stetson Lawrence isn’t complaining one bit about it.
After being on the wrong side of lady luck multiple times in his career, Lawrence finally caught a break and wound up winning his first BFTS event in the process.
Lawrence rode Pick-It Construction’s Find Jesus for 88.75 points in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round and then watched on as Wing, Davis and Cody Nance all bucked off their bulls to clinch him his first BFTS win.
“Shoot, I was just lucky the other guys all rode so poor,” Lawrence joked. “I honestly thought all three of those guys would ride their bulls because they rode them before like I rode my bull before.”
Lawrence had previously finished in second place at four BFTS events in the last two seasons.
“I have a had a lot of close calls and, man, I am just honored to finally get one and get that monkey off my back and not worry about no more,” Lawrence said.
“Now I can go do my job like I did this weekend.”
The Williston, North Dakota, bull rider easily could have won the event outright with no help if not for a 7.58-second buckoff against DaNutso in Round 2 earlier on Sunday afternoon.
However, he shook off the buckoff by riding Find Jesus for a season-best 88.75 points. Combine that with his 88.25-point ride on Wild Sky’s in Round 1 and it was enough to propel him to the victory.b
“I was disappointed in myself for bucking off that second-round bull and I came back in the short round mad at myself, wanting to prove to myself I can ride these bulls.”
Lawrence earned 560 points toward the world standings and moved up to 17th in the rankings.
Rounding out the Top 5 was Ramon de Lima (2-for-3, 360 world points), Marco Eguchi (2-for-3, 280 world points), Nance (2-for-3, 175 world points) and Claudio Montanha Jr. (2-for-3, 145 world points).
Lima rode Black Rose for a career-high 88.5 points in the championship round to propel himself to a career-best second-place finish.
Lawrence was competing in only his third BFTS event, and eighth overall, since fracturing his pelvis in April at the Tacoma Invitational.
Now he is right back on track toward making a run at the Top 10.
“I have been inconsistent and would always ride one bull here or one bull there,” Lawrence said. “I am working on staying consistent like I did this weekend.
Lawrence then paused and smiled.
“Well, kind of.”
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, No. 7 Fabiano Vieira was transported to a local hospital after sustaining a dislocated left shoulder, concussion and left ear laceration.
Vieira was attempting to ride What the Heck in Round 2 before getting hung up at 5.62 seconds and dislocating his shoulder. The 35-year-old then sustained the concussion when he hit the ground, before lacerating his ear when the bull kicked him on the ground.
He is listed as doubtful for the PFIWestern.com Invitational, presented by Bass Pro Shops, in Springfield, Missouri, next weekend.
Matt Triplett was unable to compete on Championship Sunday because of his concussion from Round 1 on Saturday, while Ryan Dirteater passed his PBR concussion test Sunday before being bucked off by La Malta in 4.17 seconds.
Wing takes Round 1 in Thackerville 9-2-17
Stormy Wing pushed himself back into the Top 10 of the world standings with an emphatic 88.5-point ride on Call the Law to win Round 1 during a night where the world title contenders all bucked off.
Wing began the event ranked 11th in the world standings and was the highest-ranked bull rider to earn a qualified ride in Round 1.
In fact, the 28-year-old was one of only five riders to earn a qualified ride in Round 1.
Wing picked up 100 points toward the world standings to move into the No. 8 ranking. He now trails world leader Kaique Pacheco, who was bucked off by After Midnight (1.03 seconds) in Round 1 and Jack Shot (6.88 seconds) in the 15/15 Bucking Battle, by 1,590 points.
“That was a good bull of Cord McCoy’s,” Wing said. “I saw him last week, but didn’t remember what he does. (Cord) said he was going to be both ways. He went left, stayed left, and kind of jumped out of it in that one spot there.”
The round win is Wing’s seventh of 2017, which ties him with Chase Outlaw and Eduardo Aparecido for the PBR-lead.
“I am always riding better when I am moving,” Wing said. “It may not necessarily look like that. People say sometimes when I start moving that is what throws me off, but they don’t know what they are talking about. He felt good, so I started moving my foot right there at the end and it felt really flashy. I kind of overexposed myself and just tried to drag into the handhold.”
The win also has him in the driver’s seat for Championship Sunday. Wing will take on Whiskey River (0-1, BFTS) in Round 2.
Stetson Lawrence rode Wild Sky’s for 88.25 points and a second-place finish in Round 1.
“That is just a great bull that was up and underneath himself,” said Lawrence, who picked up 60 points toward the world standings. “I just did my job and it worked out great.”
Lawrence will have his hands full in Round 2 against DaNutso (29-10, BFTS).
“Stay in the middle,” Lawrence said about DaNutso. “None of them are easy at this level. If they were, everybody would be here.”
Marco Eguchi placed third for 50 world points with an 87-point ride on The Rising Sun, while Cody Nance (81.5 points on Wacker Kat) and 2008 Guilherme Marchi (73 points on The Hard Stuff) rounded out the Top 5.
Nance – the No. 12 rider in the world standings – picked up 40 world points.
Marchi remains 21st in the world standings after earning 112.5 points when factoring in his second-place finish in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
The 2008 World Champion tied with Joao Ricardo Vieira (87.75 points on Fire Rock) for second-place with an 87.75-point ride on Uncle Tink.
“I am so glad to cover this bull,” Marchi said. “I got on him two times and he bucked off. He bucked me off in Nashville too. I rode strong with him. It was a long 8 seconds.”
Marchi was a last-minute substitution in the 15/15 Bucking Battle after Matt Triplett was ruled out by Dr. Tandy Freeman with a concussion.
“I had taken all my stuff off before they told me I was up for the 15/15,” Marchi added. “But it is good too. You don’t think too much. You just pick up your rope, put your boots on and get on and see what happens.
“It turned out really good for me.”
Aparecido wins 15/15 Bucking Battle to close gap on Pacheco
Eduardo Aparecido has made a habit of bouncing back this season whenever he puts together a poor showing, and the No. 2 rider in the world standings did it once again on Saturday night.
Two weeks after losing the world lead to Kaique Pacheco, Aparecido took a chunk out of Pacheco’s reign atop the standings by riding Honey Hush for 89.25 points to win the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
Aparecido’s strength was on full display as he muscled his way to the 8-second buzzer away from his hand on Honey Hush.
“It is good to ride this strong bull,” Aparecido said. “Only three guys have rode him in five years. I concentrated to ride him for my dad. This is a lot of points for the standings.”
Aparecido earned 150 points toward the world standings with his second 15/15 Bucking Battle win of the season, and he now trails Pacheco by 210 points.
He also becomes the first rider to win multiple 15/15 Bucking Battles this year.
Not only did Aparecido rebound from losing the top spot in the world standings, but he also overcame a 7.63-second buckoff in Round 1 against Kmag YoYo.
“I was concentrating on riding both my first bull and this bull,” Aparecido said. “That first bull was a young bull. I don’t know. He spin no good for me. I lost my concentration, but I thank God for this 15/15 win.”
Jess Lockwood also gained ground on Pacheco by riding Wired Child for 85.75 points and a fourth-place finish in the 15/25 Bucking Battle.
The No. 3 rider in the world standings earned 60 points toward the world standings and is 580 points behind Pacheco.
Lockwood was bucked off by Opus (7.05 seconds) in Round 1.
Overall, the Top 10 riders competing in Thackerville went a combined 2-for-16 in Round 1 and the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
Magic Train impresses for second straight week and ties with Bruiser and Jack Shot
Magic Train had not been marked 45 points or higher in over a year prior to his 45.25-point bull score for bucking off Jess Lockwood in Nashville, Tennessee, two weeks ago.
Now Magic Train has made it two consecutive trips with 45-point domination.
The 7-year-old bull yanked Fabiano Vieira to the ground in 4.05 seconds in the 15/15 Bucking Battle to tie with SweetPro’s Bruiser and Jack Shot as the top bull-performers on Saturday night.
“He was (ripping) on my shoulder,” Vieira said. “He is so strong. I had been going to physical therapy all week every day. He is just so strong.”
All three bulls were marked 45.25 points, but it was Magic Train once again making quite the statement.
Bruiser was unable to add on his World Champion Bull average, but he took down 2012 PRCA champion Cody Teel in only 1.9 seconds. Jack Shot exacted revenge against Pacheco by dislodging the No. 1 bull rider in the world at the 6.88-second mark.
Pacheco was previously a perfect 2-for-2 against Jack Shot.
“That bull bucks,” Scharping said of Magic Train. “Honestly, I figured some nutritional stuff out, and I really like it. The bull had a lot more snap and they are serious about it. They all feel good right now.”
Scharping wouldn’t discuss what details he changed with his nutritional program, but he also was happy with how Bad Beagle performed.
Bad Beagle bucked off Shane Proctor in 2.83 seconds for a 44.75-point bull score.
“Beagle too,” Scharping added. “I thought Beagle was as strong as what Magic Train was tonight. Them two bulls had been really good. I am really proud of both them bulls.”
Dr. Tandy Freeman diagnosed 2016 World Champion Cooper Davis, Matt Triplett and Ryan Dirteater with concussions during Round 1.
All three riders were replaced in the 15/15 Bucking Battle and are listed as questionable for Round 2 on Sunday.
Campbell to compete with baby on the way; Thackerville Draw Notes 8-31-17
PUEBLO, Colo. – Cody Campbell’s wife, Amanda, is due with the couple’s second child on Monday.
However – as of Thursday morning – Cody is going to roll the dice and plans to head to Thackerville, Oklahoma, for this weekend’s WinStar World Casino & Resort Invitational on Saturday and Sunday after being named an alternate to replace Chase Outlaw (separated right shoulder).
RELATED: Outlaw out week-to-week.
Cody will catch a flight to Dallas on Saturday and then fly back to Georgia to be with his wife first thing Monday morning. He had hoped to catch a red-eye on Sunday night, but none were available.
“Baby is due Monday, and I’m coming as long as we aren’t having a baby when I’m supposed to be coming,” Campbell said.
Campbell heads into the weekend ranked 40th in the world standings and trails No. 35 Cody Rodeo Tyler by a mere 28.76 points. He is trying to qualify for the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals for the first time since 2011 after qualifying for three consecutive seasons (2009-2011).
The 30-year-old is amidst a jumbled race at the bottom of the Top 35.
Only one Built Ford Tough Series round win (100 world points) separates No. 30 Brennon Eldred and No. 41 Brady Sims.
“I can’t not go to Thackerville with the position I am in,” Campbell said. “It would be a different story if I was 15th in the world, but I am not. I need to capitalize and get those points to get where I need to be. This is how I provide for my family and this is how I take care of my family.
“All I need to do is ride three bulls.”
Campbell has drawn Show Me Homie (3-0, BFTS) for Round 1, while Tyler will take on Hangman (1-0, BFTS).
Two weeks ago, Campbell drove to Nashville for the Music City Knockout before turning right around to get home after being bucked off by Jungle Fire in the first round.
He then finished last weekend in sixth-place at the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour event in Salinas, California after receiving texts from Amanda saying she was headed to the hospital.
“I have been riding like this for the past few weeks,” Campbell said “When I landed in San Jose, I had texts from Amanda saying she was headed to the hospital. It is scary, but it ended up being some false labor stuff.”
The Summerville, Oregon, native is one of six alternates competing in Thackerville.
Also in the draw is No. 37 Lachlan Richardson, No. 37 Kurt Shephard, No. 39 Luis Blanco, No. 43 Sonny Schafferius and No. 50 Nevada Newman.
Schafferius was in Australia this week when he was informed Wednesday that he had qualified for Thackerville and immediately booked his flight to the United States.
The 28-year-old has drawn Sky Rocket (1-0, BFTS) for his first BFTS action since March.
Newman is in the draw courtesy of an injury exemption and has two more remaining before being subject to the BFTS cutline. He will look for 8 seconds aboard Smooth Air (7-1, BFTS).
No. 27 Troy Wilkinson is returning to competition after missing the Built Ford Tough Music City Knockout two weeks ago in Nashville. The 2017 PBR Australia champion has drawn Bushwacked (3-0, BFTS).
No. 5 Outlaw (shoulder), No. 8 J.B. Mauney (shoulder), No. 14 Mason Lowe (elbow) and No. 34 J.W. Harris (lower abdominal strain) are all missing Thackerville because of injuries.
Lowe and Harris both expect to compete next week at the PFIWestern.com Invitational, presented by Bass Pro Shops, in Springfield, Missouri.
According to the PBR competition department, No. 31 Aaron Kleier turned down his opportunity to compete in Thackerville this weekend to focus on the PBR Australia schedule.
No. 36 Brock Radford explained to Kacie Albert of PBRCanada.com Wednesday that he also turned down his draw spot as he tries to wrangle in the 2017 PBR Canada championship.
Riders are only required to compete at the BFTS level, barring an injury or excused absence, when they are ranked inside the Top 30 of the world standings.
World leader Kaique Pacheco takes a 360-point lead on No. 2 Eduardo Aparecido into Oklahoma and has drawn After Midnight (6-0, BFTS) for Round 1.
Fans can watch all of Round 1 exclusively on PBR LIVE beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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