UNCASVILLE, Connecticut – When it comes to taking advantage of an opportunity, Douglas Duncan knows how to do that.
While all the attention at the Mohegan Sun Invitational’s round two on Saturday, Oct. 2 was on the World Champion race, and the fourth of five “Final Five Showdowns,” Duncan, of Alvin, Texas, snuck in and stole the round with an 89.5 pointer on “Cheerio” (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve).
Duncan pulling off a big win isn’t anything new – while he is 66th in the Built Ford Tough Series points standings, he is sixth in qualifying dollars, having won $157,171 this season.
So in the midst of the World Finals frenzy, Duncan quietly took the round.
It wasn’t quiet as far as the crowd was concerned, as his ride fired up the packed house in the Mohegan Sun Arena, drawing huge cheers.
But with the focus so strong on the World Championship contest, some left the arena that night – having just watched nearly three hours of bull riding – wondering aloud “who won the round?”
The scores showed it clear enough though; the night belonged to Duncan.
Second in the round was the Kansas kid, Kasey Hayes, who put up 88.5 points on “Backyard Big Rig” (Jeff Robinson). In a night where the bulls were not behaving (four re-rides), and riders were popping off right and left, Hayes never wavered in the middle of the bull throughout the 8 seconds.
There were 18 qualified rides in all, giving the fans plenty to cheer about. And cheer they did.
Splitting third and fourth were Sean Willingham and Valdiron de Oliveira at 87.5 points. Willingham’s came on his re-ride, “Walk the Line,” after “Riddle Me This” (Dakota/Berger/Struve) slipped and slid, finally dropping to its knees. Oliveira showed that “The Dudd” (Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls/L&G Cattle Co.) was anything but a dud.
Heading into Sunday’s round three and short-go, Oliveira is third in the average, while Willingham is ¼ point behind him in fourth.
Luke Snyder brought cheers when he posted 87.25 points on “George’s Pride” (Hebert Bucking Bulls) for fifth in the round, his first score of the weekend.
In a do-or-die position as far as making it to the World Finals, 2002 world champion Ednei Caminhas did what he has done so many times before in the same position: He stepped up and rode. Caminhas – who would basically need to win both Mohegan Sun and next weekend in Columbus, as he is 99th in qualifier dollars – rode “Slim to None” (Cornwell Bucking Bulls) for sixth in the round. More importantly, Caminhas heads into Sunday’s round in the number one spot in the event average.
His countryman, Silvano Alves, was right behind Caminhas in the round, taking 7th with a 86.5 pointer on “Pushing Cotton” (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger Bucking Bulls). That leaves Alves fifth in the average after the first two rounds.
Eighth in round two is Ryan McConnel, putting up 86.25 points on “Jacked Up” (Dakota Rodeo/Berger/Struve) to start off Saturday night’s round. His second score of the weekend, McConnel is second in the average after two rounds.
Rounding out the top ten in round two were Paulo Lima in 9th, at 85.5 points on “Jeffrey Scott’s Buckle Man” (Jeff Robinson/Jeffrey Scott/Pinnacle Bull Group); and 10th place going to Caleb Sanderson, with 85.25 points on “Gun Shy” (Jeff Robinson).
There were 18 qualified rides in the round, following Friday night’s 22 scores. Seven riders head into Sunday’s round 3 and championship round with two scores already in the books, pretty much setting their spots in the short-go. A total of 33 of the event’s 45 riders – 40 BFTS riders, and 5 in from the Pro Touring circuit by invitation – have at least one score on the weekend.
“Final Five Showdown”
Most of the focus and hype all night was on the fourth of five “Final Five Showdown” rounds, which followed the regular round Saturday night. With the PBR World Finals only one event away, every point mattered as the top 10 riders in the BFTS standings that are at the Mohegan Sun event got a chance for extra points.
It started off with fireworks galore, as the first four riders out in the Showdown each beat their bulls at the buzzer.
SKeeter Kingsolver started it out on “Bootlegger” (Dakota Rodeo/Berger/Struve) for 88.75 points; followed by Shane Proctor who showed up the “Alpha Male” (Jeff Robinson) for 83.5 more.
Things got even more fired up when McKennon Wimberly set off the confetti cannons, scoring 90 big points on “Chick’N Fried” (Dakota/Berger/Struve).
The crew barely had time to re-load the confetti cannons when they were firing again, this time for Robson Palermo, who went just a little higher, with 90.25 points on “My Space” (Dakota Rodeo/Berger/Struve).
Then things went cold, and got even colder. The next six riders out – the top six riders in the BFTS World Championship chase – never made it to the buzzer, as Ryan McConnel, Mike Lee, Valdiron de Oliveira, Renato Nunes, JB Mauney and number one Austin Meier hit the dirt early, one after the other.
After no scores in the Showdown, and no points in round two for the top three riders – Meier, Mauney and Nunes – there was no shift in position in the World Championship standings.
The round will conclude at 2 p.m. Sunday, with round three and then the short-go.
Saturday night’s “Final Five Showdown” is slated to air on CBS Sunday afternoon at around 4 p.m., East Coast time (after football). Sunday’s rounds will air on Versus Sunday night.