ARLINGTON, Texas – The major bull power is really in Round 2 here in Iron Cowboy, but don’t think that means a lot of riders are going to breeze through the opening round here. Round 1 is full of bulls who know how to get riders on the ground, and a lot of riders are underdogs in their respective matchups.
High scores do play a tie-breaking role in the event, but no rider is going to win this event in this first round. They are all looking for any kind of qualified ride to let them advance to the next round. While the riders with the highest riding percentage have an advantage in this progressive format, it only takes one mistake on one bull to get eliminated. Drawing more forgiving bulls in each round is also an advantage.
Derek Kolbaba on 1212 Gambini:
This is a rematch, and Kolbaba lost the first round, but there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to handle this bull. Gambini has given up a couple of qualified rides in eight career outs, and that’s two more than a lot of the other bulls in this round.
Robson Palermo on C12 Rebel Yell:
Rebel Yell is one of the nicer and more rider-friendly bulls out in this round. He’s been ridden in five of his last eight trips, and riders are 7-for-13 on him at the Built Ford Tough Series level. Any bull with a buckoff percentage under 50% is exceptionally easy for this level of competition, but that doesn’t mean they are easy in general. It’s also easy to fall off any bull marginally good enough to come to BFTS events.
Shane Proctor on B60 Handsome Jeff:
Handsome Jeff is an up and coming bull who has some impressive outs. We’ve seen him twice this year, and he’s been ridden twice, but he’s not that easy. This is a quality bull with a bright future, and we should see him in short rounds quite a bit this year. He’s a better draw for left-handed riders, but Proctor is a well-rounded rider and doesn’t have a weakness.
Rubens Barbosa on 247 Red Bandana:
This bull hasn’t been around that long, but he’s been around long enough for Barbosa to have had him three times. Red Bandana probably thinks it’s normal to draw the same guy 20% of the time. Barbosa has one ride in three attempts, and that was in Chicago last month. He followed that up by bucking off of him in Sacramento, California, at the 7 second mark. Barbosa should have a slight advantage in this matchup, because he’s very familiar with this bull and obviously gets along with him.
Cody Teel on 412 Chute Boss:
This is Teel’s BFTS debut, but he’s no rookie to the sport. He won a PRCA World Championship in 2012 at 20 years old, and he’s a seasoned and proven professional. He’s got the talent to stay at this level if he wants to, and he can ride the kind of bulls you have to ride to win here. Chute Boss will spin into Teel’s hand, and he’s 3-2 against right-handed riders. Teel should win every time with those odds.
Kaique Pacheco on 0/325 Yoga:
Pacheco isn’t overmatched here. This bull should be a good fit for him. Yoga likes to go to the left, but he can go either way, and he’s a fairly honest and straightforward bucker. It usually takes more than that to get Pacheco on the ground.
Robson Aragao on 83 Cowboy Up:
It’s not often I get to write about “Spider Man” because he isn’t often matched up this well. Aragao isn’t really the Brazilian phenom some of his countrymen are, but what he lacks in talent he makes up for in grit and try. He does whatever he can to get a score, and he will pack a lunch and do his best to be there until quitting time. This bull is pretty vulnerable to a right-handed rider with some try. He’s a wild and showy kind of bull that likes to go to the right, and he’s 9-9 against righties.
Ryan Dirteater on 20A High Test:
This is a rematch from the World Finals where Dirteater was 86.75 points on High Test in Round 1. Don’t think of this as an automatic win for Dirteater, though. This bull gave him all he wanted in Las Vegas. He went to the right and it was all Dirteater could do to keep up with him.
Guilherme Marchi on C02 Cheap Trick 2:
This bull has been around for a long time - long enough that he gave up a qualified ride to Marchi in Nampa, Idaho, four years ago. He’s good to right-handed riders, and Marchi is unstoppable on bulls that go into his hand.
Jess Lockwood on 1037 Cooper Tires Brown Sugar:
This is easily your marquee matchup of the night. It may seem that Lockwood is primarily a James Dean impersonator or a clothing catalog model, but he’s actually the number one ranked rider in the world right now, and the best young talent we’ve seen in a long time. Cooper Tires Brown Sugar is the best draw in the entire sport of bull riding. Anywhere you go, from a weekly jackpot to the PBR World Finals, this is the bull you would want to have if you want to win it. He does have the talent to throw Lockwood off, but this will be good watching either way it goes.
Cooper Davis on 262 Jailhouse Jr.:
Davis knocked this bull out for 89.25 points just last week, and you can look for him to do it again here. This is a salty bull, and he’s not easy, but Davis handled him well in Kansas City.
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