BILLINGS, Mont. – Last week in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the riders struggled a bit, riding only 26% of the bulls. The bulls did even better in the 15/15 Bucking Battle, where only two bulls allowed a qualified ride, and those were arguably the two easiest bulls in the round.
The riders won’t catch that much of a break in Billings, Montana, this week. The long rounds should be slightly easier than the Sioux Falls long rounds, but the Billings championship round will look a lot like the 15/15 Bucking Battle in Sioux Falls. Jared Allen’s Air Time and TLW’s Big Cat won’t be there, but Pearl Harbor, SweetPro’s Bruiser, Stone Sober and Seven Dust will headline in Billings.
We saw quite a few different stock contractors last week, but in Billings we will see only nine, and three of those are bringing the bulk of the bulls. There are 103 bulls set for Billings, and 77 of them belong to Chad Berger, D&H Cattle or Rocking I Rodeo.
Berger has a huge presence here with 39 bulls, while D&H has 21 and Rocking I is bringing 17. The other six contractors each have five or fewer bulls on their trucks. Jane Clark and Gene Owen have five bulls here, and four of those are in the championship round.
Billings will be an important stop in the World Champion Bull race. Pearl Harbor and SweetPro’s Bruiser are the clear front runners at the moment, and they will square off again in the Billings championship round.
Pearl Harbor has six outs on the season with an average bull score of 46.04, while Bruiser has eight outs and an average of 45.84. No other bull is over 45 points, although there are quite a few between 44 and 45. Pearl Harbor has looked the strongest so far this year, because he’s outscored Bruiser directly at four of the six events he’s been to. The two bulls tied in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Bruiser won in in Sioux Falls. Because their best eight outs of the season count going into the Built Ford Tough World Finals this year, both bulls have a solid foundation already.
Gene Owen’s Hey Jack, Seven Dust and Mystikal, along with D&H’s Stone Sober and Jack Shot are all sitting on average bull scores of between 44 and 45 points on the season. For this group, and the rest of the bulls with 44-45 point averages, more outs can only help their cause. Once they reach eight outs on the season they have a chance to erase some of their lower scoring outs and move up dramatically.
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