Nampa 15/15 Round:
Mike Lee on 706 Percolator:
On paper this is a pretty good matchup for Lee. He’s ridden this bull before. They met in Chicago, and Percolator had a decent trip, but Lee didn’t ride him very well. He lost some points with being out of shape, and ended up with a score of 82.5. Percolator is probably the one bull in here these guys would like to have the most, especially the left-handed ones. He bucks hard enough to be in this pen, but he’s a little easier to ride than most of the bulls he fits in with.
Stetson Lawrence on 1237 Walk Off:
Walk Off was ridden at each of the last two events, but let’s put that in perspective. Joao Ricardo Vieira was the guy who put the last two rides on him, but he’s also thrown Vieira off twice before. He’s thrown pretty much everyone else off as well, as he’s only been ridden four times in 42 career outs. In short, he’s still one of the harder to ride bulls around, and him being ridden at two events in a row is something of an anomaly. Lawrence will have his hands full here.
Cody Nance on 44W Stone Sober:
Stone Sober really doesn’t look like much fun. He’s given up a couple of rides in his 58-out career, but those certainly haven’t come when he’s had his best outs. He’s prone to be squirrely at times, and sometimes he just doesn’t buck very well. Back in 2013, he had a pretty nice and easy trip (for him) with Emilio Resende and gave up an 88-point ride. When he really bucks, someone could possibly be 98 points on him if they could stay on, which isn’t easy. He’s always going up and away from the rider, and he doesn’t give a guy a lot of help. In the past, Nance has been a guy who has beaten the out of line and hard to ride bulls at times. He’s got a chance here, but the odds are way against him.
Shane Proctor on 81 Mick E. Mouse:
You have to figure Mick E. Mouse will give up a qualified ride sooner or later, and it will probably be to a right-handed rider. Proctor has faced him once before, early in the bull’s career, and was just one of a long list of victims. If anything, Mick E. Mouse is tougher and more seasoned now than he was two years ago, but on any given day he could be just a little nicer to ride, and for guys at this level that’s usually all it takes.
Fabiano Vieira on 058 American Sniper:
This is a pretty good matchup that could go the rider’s way. American Sniper likes to go to the left, which will be into Vieira’s hand. Vieira’s injury is the only thing that is keeping him off the top of the standings, and he’s more than capable of getting the whistle on this bull.
Nathan Schaper on 841 Wicked:
Wicked isn’t a great fit for Schaper, but that’s mostly because he isn’t a great fit for anyone. Wicked is fast, he’s unpredictable, and he doesn’t spend much time in the air – a set of qualities most bull riders aren’t hoping for. Getting a score on a bull like this is a lot of work, requires a lot of focus and very quick reflexes. One great big move on the rider’s part and it’s over.
Guilherme Marchi on 77 Calypso:
This is a rematch from Seattle where Marchi won second in the short round with a 90.5-point score on Calypso. Marchi had no trouble with this bull then, and you can look for a similar result here.
Eduardo Aparecido on 850 I’m a Gangster Too:
This is another rematch from Seattle, and Aparecido didn’t make the whistle there. I’m a Gangster Too may have the oddest stat of any bull here – he’s been around for a long time, he typically spins to the right, and he’s never been ridden by a right-handed rider. He’s 21-0 against them. There’s very little margin for error on him, and anything less than a perfect ride won’t get it done.
Reese Cates on 5 Chocolate Thunder:
Chocolate Thunder has been out of action since last summer with a foot problem. I believe this will be his first trip back. When we’ve seen him before, he’s been really good, and he is probably one of the nicer to ride bulls in this group. This is a good draw for Cates, but this bull won’t necessarily keep spinning in the same direction once he starts. He can jump out and reverse it.
Kaique Pacheco on 001 Smooth Operator:
So far this season, Smooth Operator has really run a gauntlet of tough right handed riders, and he’s made them all look silly. He will spin to the right, but he will probably go out a couple of jumps changing leads first, and this is what gets everyone before he even gets into a spin. He will set guys up right before he comes around by feinting to the left and coming back around hard to the right. This is a well-rounded bull that is good at everything bulls do, and Pacheco has already bucked off of him once this season – he couldn’t stay off the bulls head in their previous meeting.
J.W. Harris on 80 Jeremiah:
Jeremiah is unridden in 17 career outs, and he’s faced several of the top riders. The guys who have ridden him the longest have all been right-handed. Harris hasn’t turned in a score in a bonus round or short round since Kansas City, Missouri, in February, but this particular bull is not as rank as the short rounders he’s been on most recently. At the last two events, he’s been thrown by Smooth Operator twice, and Mick E. Mouse once. He will probably be looking to take it out on something.
Silvano Alves on 1037 Brown Sugar:
These two have met before, and it went the bull’s way pretty quickly. This is really a prime matchup. Brown Sugar may be the best bull to have here. He’s quality through and through, and he’s more than a match for Alves. Although he’s talented enough to ride anything, Alves is used to bulls that give in or give up a little, and Brown Sugar is pretty well known for never doing that. So if he’s going to get on the board here, Alves will have to bring it, and keep bringing it, which is something he doesn’t always have to do.
Valdiron de Oliveira on 58X Long John:
I really think only a handful of guys in bull riding are a good fit for Long John, and I think Oliveira is one of those guys. But, they have met twice in the past year or so and Oliveira didn’t make 3 seconds either time. At one time, Oliveira was a beast on the stronger and harder bulls, and you really didn’t know it a bull was the real deal or not unless he could throw this guy off. I think this is one of the more interesting matchups regardless of what happened between them before, and I think Oliveira has a better shot at Long John than a lot of other guys would.
L.J. Jenkins on 90 Boot Jack:
This is another bull that goes to the right, but he’s only been ridden twice by left-handed riders. He’s really a better bull now than he was when he was ridden. He’s come into his own lately. He’s a problem for anyone to ride, whatever hand they use, because he’s what you might call multi-faceted. He’s rank enough to just whip a guy down like he did to Valdiron de Oliveira in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He can also be deceptive and tricky. Once he gets into a spin he can move away and drop a guy to the inside, or he can bow up and whip a guy to the outside. This all adds up to a pretty difficult bull to ride, and one you can’t fall asleep on.
Joao Ricardo Vieira on 02 Beaver Creek Beau:
There’s nothing tricky about this bull. He’s going to go to the right, he’s going to be extremely strong, and he’s not very fast. He has some serious power. He’s thrown Vieira before, but he’s also thrown just about everyone who has tried him. If Vieira can get the job done here, no one should bring up the subject of bulls that go away from his hand ever again. This is about as difficult a bull as there is to ride away from your hand.
Round 1 Matchups:
Kaique Pacheco on 0114 Tahonta’s Magic:
Very good long round draw here, and Pacheco should ride him easily. Tahonta’s Magic goes to the right with good timing, and has been pretty vulnerable to right-handed riders.
Kasey Hayes on 807 Cowtown Slinger:
This is a rematch from Albuquerque, and Hayes lost that battle right at the whistle. Hayes should be favored on this bull every time – he’s a left handed guy’s dream bull, and Hayes is very good on bulls that go into his hand. On top of that, Cowtown Slinger can produce very good scores. Their meeting in Albuquerque would have been close to a 90 point ride had Hayes held on for a fraction of a second more.
Valdiron de Oliveira on 1275 Joe the Grinder:
This is a very nice draw for a right handed guy. Kaique Pacheco won a round on him in Albuquerque, and Shane Proctor placed on him in another round there. He has good timing, pretty good speed, and Oliveira should like him a lot.
Claudio Crisostomo on DPX18 More Big Bucks:
It seems like I mention this bull in the Morning Line every time he shows up at an event, and there’s a reason for that. He’s one of the worst bulls around at bucking left handed guys off, and he draws a lot of lefties. He’s 2-5 against them. J.B. Mauney placed in a round on him at the World Finals, but the scores he’s been producing lately aren’t as good.
JW Harris on 95X DaNutso:
This bull is a little wild, a little out of line, and really isn’t the best fit for a right-handed rider. But, he’s got J.W. Harris here, and Harris doesn’t really have a weakness as a rider. He does well on every kind of bull. He’s usually going to be more of a test for his bull than the bull is for him, particularly on the long-round caliber bulls. DaNutso will typically spin to the left, he often doesn’t have a lot of vertical kick. He can drift quite a bit in the spin, and his bucking style is very similar to Julio Moreno’s Roy, but he’s not as good as Roy. This won’t be a breeze for Harris, but it’s certainly not beyond his capability.
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