NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. (January 8, 2011) – Snow was falling outside of Madison Square Garden as the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) started round two of the kick-off event of the Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) 2011 season, but the bulls inside the landmark arena were hot.
Unlike round one, when more than half the riders posted scores, more of the rides in round two went to the bulls. In Saturday’s round two, 14 riders posted scores, nine of which were second scores of the event for those who found success Friday as well.
In the end, round two went to Brazilian Valdiron de Oliveira, who scored 89.25 points on “Flashpoint” (Teague Bucking Bulls).
But Oliveira wasn’t ready to stop there. In the newest change to the PBR format, there was a short-go round of sorts after round two, when the top 10 riders in the event average so far got an extra bull run under them, in an effort to distance themselves from each other, and to make them uncatchable by the rest of the pack.
Oliveira, riding “Super Duty,” (Jeff Robinson), a bull that, while known as “Major Payne” before this season’s renaming, had previously sent Oliveira to the ground twice.
But this time, the ride – and the new short-go – went to Oliveira, who put on a blazing 92.25 point ride aboard the bull. That trip, combined with Oliveira’s success in round two, was enough to launch him into the number one spot in the average heading into Sunday’s round three and championship round. The two scores, along with Friday’s 82-pointer, has Oliveira going into the round with three scores totaling 264 points.
In round two, the very popular JB Mauney gave his fans something to cheer about, riding “Clam Digger” for 88.75 points and 2nd in the round. He ended the ride by flipping over the bull’s head and to the dirt, but walked away unhurt.
Third in the round was Brazilian Paulo Lima, with 87.5 points on “Another Husker” (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve), followed by Cody Campbell, riding “Comet’s Surprise” (Ohl/Brian Payne/Do or Die Pro Rodeo) for 87.25 points, taking fourth in the round.
Fifth and sixth places were shared at 87-points, by Ben Jones, who broke out his infamous dance moves after riding “Segs the Juice” (Jeff Robinson), and Harve Stewart, getting his first score of the weekend on “Amy’s Pet” (Ohl/Payne/Do or Die Rodeo).
Dustin Elliott continued his successful weekend, riding “PFI’s Disco Baby” for 86.5 points. Elliott’s ride included a big move to recover when the bull got him out of position at about the 2-second mark.
Sharing eighth and ninth in the round were Pistol Robinson and McKennon Wimberly, at 86.25 points. Robinson earned his on “SoulJa Boy” (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve), while Wimberly mastered “Larry the Cable Guy’s Smoky” (Jeff Robinson/Jeffrey Scott/Pinnacle Bull Group).
Rounding out the top 10 in round two was L.J. Jenkins, with 86 points on “Pushing Cotton” (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger), his re-ride bull, after “Cooper Tires Big Guns” (Berger/Struve/Schott) fouled Jenkins coming out of the chute, bucking him off at 3.03 seconds.
Other qualified rides in round two were:
11th, Brendon Clark, riding “Evil Doer” (Clark/Owens/Showsports) for 85.5 points;
12th, Kody Lostroh, riding “Closet Gangster” (Robinson/Mesa) for 84.75 points;
13th, Silvano Alves, riding “Ludacris” (Clark/Owens/Showsports) for 80.5 points. Alves was hanging off the side of the bull for the second half of the ride. He was reportedly hurt, as he was helped from the arena after his ride and did not ride in the night’s top-10 short-go, although he qualified for it in 10th place in the average.
14th, Jordan Hupp, riding “Molalla Jack” (Chad Berger/Ross Coleman) for 80.25 points.
Top Ten short-go
The top ten riders in the average after round two returned for another bull each, which ended up providing some of the most exciting outs of the weekend so far.
Oliveira, who entered the new short-go 4th in the average, jumped to the head of the pack on the strength of his 92.25 pointer.
But his wasn’t the only 90+ point ride to fire up the crowd. Second in the short-go was round one winner Douglas Duncan, who rode “Carillo Cartel” for 91 points. That was Duncan’s second score of the weekend, and he heads into Sunday third in the average, at 180.5 points.
The third 90-plus pointer came from dancing machine Ben Jones, who rode “Mr. Slim” (Jeff Robinson) for 90.25 points. Jones heads into Sunday second in the average, one of only two riders to have covered all three bulls so far, sitting at 259.5 points.
“Mr Slim” is a clone of famous bull, “Panhandle Slim.” Another clone of the same bull, “I’m Back” (Jeff Robinson), also appeared in the short-go, and made quick work of Jordan Hupp. Hupp sits 11th in the average, having entered it in 9th.
The only other score that went up on the boards in the Saturday short go was the first one out of the chutes, J.B. Mauney, who scored 88.5 points on “Highway 12” (Robinson/Mesa). That ride vaulted Mauney from 11th in the event average to 4th place heading into Sunday, with 177.25 points.
The other match-ups in the bonus round were:
Paulo Lima, who lasted 2.18 seconds on “I’m a Gangster” (Jeff Robinson/Cappello);
L.J. Jenkins, sent to the dirt by “Smack Down” at 2.72 seconds;
Dustin Elliott, who was unsuccessful in his attempt to ride “Lincoln Electric’s Bring It,” bucking off at 2.22 seconds;
Pistol Robinson, who took on “Big Tex” (Dakota Rodeo/Berger/Struve), but lost at 2.35 seconds;
Cody Campbell, bucked off “Yellow Jacket Jr.” at 3.37 seconds.
Round three and the event championship round take place Sunday, January 9, beginning at 1 p.m. The rounds are set to air on NBC Sunday afternoon, beginning at 2:30 p.m. (eastern time zone).
©2011 story and photographs by Mary Rudloff.
(**Note that where contractors’ names are not listed with the bulls, they were not included on the PBR daysheet for the event. Also, some scores from round one vary from those that were announced to the audience during the round on Friday at the event.)