SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Just like the past few weekends, the opening round in Springfield is an ABBI Classic competition. The winning bulls from both Thackerville and Tulsa are entered here as well. Sometimes the riders have had trouble with the young bulls, but they’ve done well enough the past two weeks, riding 13 in Tulsa and 10 in Thackerville.
Brant Atwood on 212 Locked & Loaded:
We don’t know too much about this bull, but we do know that Silvano Alves scored 88.5 points on him just last week to place second in Round 1 in Thackerville. This is a solid draw for Atwood, who hasn’t seen much at this level over the past couple of years, but has been riding really well at PBR Canada events recently.
Eduardo Aparecido on 1202 Mr. Deeds Jr.
At a three-day event, getting a score on every bull is a big deal. Aparecido has a good chance to start things off with a qualified ride in Round 1, but may not be able to win the round or place high on this bull unless everyone else falls short tonight. Mr. Deeds has been ridden three times for scores ranging from 83-86 points. Jess Lockwood was 83.75 points on him in Tulsa a couple of weeks ago.
Jess Lockwood on 397A Frequent Flyer:
This is an interesting matchup because both the rider and bull are at the beginning of their careers. Lockwood is the best young rider to come along in quite a while. Meanwhile, Frequent Flyer is a three-year-old who won the ABBI Futurity Championship last fall in Las Vegas. At the futurity level, two-year-old bulls compete with a remote controlled dummy rather than a rider, so he is just getting adjusted to having a rider aboard. He threw Mason Lowe last week in his Built Ford Tough Series debut in Thackerville. Lockwood has the edge here because he’s obviously well-adjusted to competition at this level, but this could be good watching.
J.B. Mauney on 2739 Flat Top Pete:
Mauney missed last week with an injury, and while he was out, his competition made the most of it. The two guys ahead of him in the world standings, Cooper Davis and Kaique Pacheco, both earned a lot of points in Thackerville, and they are two of the hottest riders going right now. Mauney will need to earn some points here in Springfield, and his first bull is something of a question mark. Pete threw Valdiron de Oliveira off last week, and he’s 4-0 in his short career. He’s earned respectable marks so far, but Mauney will be a big test for him.
Mike Lee on 255 Organized Crime:
Organized Crime won the Classic in Thackerville a week ago, and he took things one step further by having the best trip of his career and tying Seven Dust for the high marked bull of the weekend. He had the kind of trip that raises every eyebrow behind the chutes. If he does the same thing here, Lee will have a hard time hanging on.
Joao Ricardo Vieira on 204 Deep Water:
These two met in Sacramento, California, earlier this season, and Deep Water won the match in under five seconds. This is one of the more experienced bulls in this group. He’s faced quite a few good riders, and hasn’t allowed a qualified ride in 15 career outs. Vieira needs a breakout event to get him headed towards a possible World Championship, and there are a lot of potential points up for grabs in Springfield. He could certainly win the opening round on this bull, but it won’t be easy. Nothing about chasing a gold buckle is.
Kaique Pacheco on Z3 Swamp Wreck:
Pacheco has been keeping pace with Davis. In the world standings race, and both guys drew well in this round. This bull has been ridden a couple of times this season. He hasn’t been ridden by a right-handed rider, but he does spin to the right. Pacheco should get along with him just fine.
Cooper Davis on 2013 Cool Hand Luke:
Davis rode this bull in the opening round in Thackerville last week for 86.5 points and a fifth place finish in the round. He’s obviously the favorite to win this matchup, but Davis’ spot at the top of the standings doesn’t mean anything to this bull. If Davis wants to stay on top, he has to ride all the bulls he’s supposed to ride, and more than a few of the ones where he’s an underdog. He’s been doing that, but there are still a lot of bulls between him and the gold buckle.
Shane Proctor on Z8/8 Losing My Religion:
Guilherme Marchi won the opening round in Thackerville on this bull, and Proctor has a great opportunity to pick up some points here with this draw. Proctor isn’t having his best year, but he’s still in the Top 10 in the world standings. More importantly, he’s in position to qualify for his 8th PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals and his 5th National Finals Rodeo. It’s a difficult task to qualify for both in the same year, but Proctor has done it three times before.
Stetson Lawrence on 56Z Lifting Lives:
Back in 2014 this bull got on everyone’s radar by winning one of the futurities during the World Finals with a 94.5 point out. He’s been competing with riders for a little under a year now, and he’s unridden. You can still see a little bit of that 94.5 point out in his style today, and this is a bull worth keeping an eye on in the future. Lawrence has a crack at being the first man to stay on him, but it will be an uphill battle. Nothing about this bull is easy.
© 2018 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.