What They Did On Their Summer Vacation

While the Built Ford Tough Series is off duty, not every PBR cowboy is lounging by the pool guzzling margaritas. Some gluttons for punishment are working out in the Touring Pro Division and on the BlueDef Velocity Tour. Basically, they’re bait. It’s not like some of them need the points.

I mean, really, does Matt Triplett need to ride on the BlueDef Velocity Tour? He’s #2 in the world, the new scoring system has fixed it so a guy (we know which guy) can’t win the world title unless he wins a bunch of events, and since points from other circuits don’t count as much as BFTS points, now it’s just about the money (while he increases the likelihood of an injury).

I understand Marco Eguche, Fabiano Vieira, Robson Palermo, and Kaique Pacheco doing it: Marco, Fabiano, and Robson are trying to make up for lost time while they were out with injuries, and Kaique is young and hungry. I may be selfish about wanting to see him ace the Finals, but I’m the most disappointed person on earth (except his family) every time a Palermo shoulder pops out of place.

If “big names” draw people to BlueDef events, the audience will hear other names, too, so new riders will have some name recognition when they get to the BFTS—if they get to the BFTS. I don’t know why PBR thinks it needs a third touring entity to accomplish this, when they have plenty of Touring Pro riders who deserve attention, but—what on earth am I thinking?? It’s about the money. Three revenue streams are better than one. (I’m not counting sponsorship, merchandising, Pay Per View, Fan Club, and other ways PBR makes money.)

PBR has now hooked into the best pipeline ever: the PRCA and CBR. They’re starting to cherrypick riders that PBR fanatics weren’t aware of—until J.W. Harris finally jumped the fence. As I’ve said umpteen times, it’s about time the world got a load of J.W.! The only other person PBR doesn’t seem to mind bopping back and forth is Shane Proctor. Could it be because they don’t want to make waves with his brother-in-law?

Basically, PBR takes what it wants, but the PRCA has a different attitude. This story  illustrates the difference: last year, young Brazilian Junior Nogueira came to the U.S. with a rope and a suitcase. Jake Barnes (7 world championships, ProRodeo Hall of Fame) took him in, helped him train, and got him into the PRCA—the first Brazilian roper to qualify. Jake paired up as his roping partner. In PBR Land, when great young bullriders come to the U.S. from Brazil hoping to succeed—it’s called “the American dream,” folks—they get slagged off by judges, commentators, and some fans. (Not all of them, mind you; some of us are decent human beings.)

More riders now are making the rounds of the different organizations: Kody Lostroh (you won’t see him back with PBR), Ben Jones, Jay Miller, Brady Sims, Neil Holmes, Luis Blanco, Robson Aragao, Bonner Bolton, Alexandre Cardozo, Cooper Davis, Gustavo Pedrero, Luis Blanco, Beau Hill, Markus Mariluch, Jory Markiss (although that may not be voluntary), Craig Jackson (hey, we want the braids back!), and more. I like that the bosses have decided to play nice—at least, until PBR hijacks the SS Kimzey, and then there’s gonna be a lot of gnashing of teeth. (Didja ever notice how there’s no gnashing of anything else?)

One funny example of this new organizational cross-pollination: in the middle of a televised PRCA event, CBSSports ran an ad for the PBR. The cable network sure is hedging its bets.

Who Are Those Guys?? (Props to anyone who recognizes that line.)

There are noteworthy riders that plenty of bull riding fans know about, but PBR fanatics don’t. You have to live in an area where PRCA and CBR events happen—or watch FoxSports at odd times, catch delayed broadcasts of CBR or PRCA events, check out the CBR website that has half the rider bios missing, the PRCA website’s list of hundreds of athletes not categorized by event, and put up with an hour and a half of other activities to get to the half-hour of bull riding at the end of PRCA events.

Maybe you’ve already seen these bull riders, maybe not; if you haven’t, may I quote Sage Steele Kimzey: “There’s a ton of great riders out there; it’s just a matter of who hits their stride when.” Sage, at 20 years old, won the CBR world title, PRCA world title, PRCA’s Rookie of the Year title, and its Top Gun Award. And did I mention he’s at the top of the Xtreme Bulls standings and leading the 2015 PRCA Standings? He’s quite the crossover king.

From CBR, keep an eye on:

Joe Frost!!, Josh Frost!, Aaron Pass (smart dude: “If I ever feel negative, I just stay home.”), Ardie Maier, Corey Maier, Rorey Maier (yep, they’re all related), Brennon Eldred, Chandler Bownds, Clayton Foltyn (yes, Dad is that Foltyn), Codrick Murphy, Cody Teel, Cole Echols, Cooper Kanngeisser, Corey Bailey, Eli Vastbinder, Cody Rostockyi (“Your reaction has to be right on time; if you’re thinking, you’re late.”), Elliot Jacoby, Francisco Morales, Jarrod Craig, Josh Barentine (“You can take a little hang-up if you make the whistle.”), Kanin Asay, Luke Kelley, Tanner Bothwell, Tim Bingham, Trey Benton III, Tyler Adrian, Venn Johns, Wesley Silcox, Wyatt Rogers, Zac Peterson, and may I repeat, Wyatt Rogers!!

A word about Wyatt: he won his first CBR event about a minute after he turned 18. About his debut: “I had a bunch of people try to make me nervous—try to make me puke and things… I just gotta keep proving myself.”  Well, he did. (Proved himself, not puked.) He rode Little Moody for 89 points, because when he was 15, “He bucked me off then; I couldn’t let him buck me off again.” Wyatt’s now #7 in the CBR World Standings.
CBR and PRCA fans will have to excuse me if I’ve left out their favorites; these are just the guys I see taking care of business on the televised events.  Plenty of CBR riders also work in the PRCA (or vice versa). I’d be giving you a list of PRCA people to watch, but their website archive of riders is huge and kinda outdated; they’ve even got J.B. Mauney listed, who rode in PRCA events in 2009.

If I were you, I’d make an effort to keep an eye on PRCA and CBR riders, especially since more of them are jumping the fence into televised events.

Posted in Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, CBR, cowboys, PBR, PRCA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Health Insurance for Bull Riders

We all know bull riders aren’t crybabies, and sprains and strains are nothing to them. They shake off injuries that would put defensive linebackers out for weeks or months—while those linebackers are still on salary. Fat salaries—with health insurance, and the best healthcare.

I can vouch for the healthcare: I had a knee repaired at Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC, and was in their recommended rehab center for what seemed like months—those are the two places pro football players go to get their booboos fixed. Same kind of booboo I had. It’s not cheap.

Some injuries bull riders can’t ignore. Pistol Robinson couldn’t ride with two broken legs, even though two broken legs means big hospital bills and no income. Some riders return to competition way before their bodies are ready, and some resist surgery even when it’s obvious they need it. (I’m talking to you, Fabiano Vieira! Scared of needles?! You get on a 2,000-lb. bucking bull, but you’re scared of needles?? Você está me matando!)

I’ll bet I could count on one hand the number of riders who have full insurance coverage. For a rider in the million-dollar-cowboy bracket, surgery and rehab costs aren’t going to cause bankruptcy; those people can even afford to stay out of action for months. Medical costs are devastating for other riders.

It’s not uncommon to see on Facebook and Twitter pleas from family and friends of riders for donations to pay for surgery and rehab. These riders literally have to ask strangers to contribute so they can have an operation, recover, and stay afloat financially while they recover. I’d guess that for most of them, that’s more humiliating than a buckoff.

One example: in 2012, California bull rider Colin McTaggart was injured at the Ross Coleman Invitational in Molalla, Oregon: he was bucked off and trampled; an artery in his abdomen was ruptured, he had injuries to his liver and intestines, and three ribs were broken. In a coma, he underwent multiple surgeries at Legacy Manual Hospital in Portland, and spent 10 days in the ICU. A McTaggart Donation Fund was set up at Bank of America in San Luis Obispo, CA. Friends and family kept people posted on Facebook about his progress, and continued to request donations.

The PRCA’s helping hand is the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. This is from their website (emphasis is mine):

”With no guaranteed salaries or injured reserve provisions in the sport of rodeo, these professional athletes are often left with no place to turn when faced with serious, sidelining injuries and the accompanying financial hardship. Recognizing that serious injuries can be traumatic enough without the additional burden of financial worries, the Justin Boot Company formed a partnership with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) to establish the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund (JCCF). The Fund incorporated in 1990 and was granted 501-C3 status as a non-profit charity organization in 1991.

JCCF had awarded in excess of $6.7 million in need-based financial assistance to more than 1,000 injured rodeo athletes and their families. For the 2013 Fiscal Year, JCCF received donations totaling $277,662 and distributed $251,250 to 43 injured rodeo athletes and their families. At the end of 2013 the organization has net assets of $1,133,544.”

Those numbers are slightly different from what’s on their 2013 tax form, but according to these figures, that’s roughly $5,800 to each athlete in 2013. That might be fine for a short time-out, but it doesn’t cover medical care. Also, the athlete has to meet certain qualifications. Many of the injured athletes are still in college, so the money helps them finish while they’re injured, but what about athletes supporting families?

As of right now, no impact statement is available to show the exact results of funding. And since the organization has no salaried grant writer, it depends largely on donations and fundraising events.  Further, “Because JCCF does not have an extensive endowment, historically the fund has not covered medical bills but has concentrated on assisting with basic monthly living expenses for those who qualify for assistance.”  

No endowment? Bad news. Investment income? $213 in 2013, half of what it was in 2012. What the hell is going on out there? You can see the need for a grant writer.

PBR’s equivalent safety net is the Rider Relief Fund (that’s one of many names it has). I’m glad they exist, but sad to say, according to their website, “Since 1998, the Rider Relief Fund has provided more than 450 athletes with assistance totaling over $1.4 million.”

That’s $3,111 per athlete—and it took them 17 years to get to that point! I’d say their illustrious sponsors aren’t pulling their weight. On the other hand, the support is available to PBR riders at any level of competition—if they meet certain criteria.

The organization’s financials aren’t impressive. The total of their contributions and grants is half the intake of the Justin fund—except that the RRF actually has some investment(s) that brought in more than $14,000 in 2013.

The net assets of each fund show that the PRCA and WPRA are better at raising and handling money than PBR is: $390,000 better (unless things have changed in the last year—but neither organization has filed its 2014 figures yet). Nobody is paid to work for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, but the RRF pays one part-time person a salary that jumped by almost $19,000 from 2012 to 2013. It’s not what they pay their accountant; that’s a separate number. I’ll be damned if I can find who this person is, because s/he’s not named on the form. I’ll just have to assume s/he worked additional hours.

Okay, the numbers are boring. The upshot of all this math is that the Rider Relief Fund needs to pull up its britches. The Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund is doing the work without anyone being paid (if we’re to believe the tax form).

Bottom line: those funds don’t subsidize medical expenses. So what do bull riders do?

PRCA members get comprehensive accident insurance coverage; it’s covered by their membership and annual permit fees. I’ve heard it covers $300,000 worth of medical expenses for disastrous injury. Regular health insurance coverage is something else, though, and those monthly premiums are the rider’s responsibility.

I know that a very good individual health insurance plan from a commercial carrier would cost me about $950 a month, not counting deductibles or co-pays. If you have dependents, you’re looking at a lot more.

PBR is murky about its insurance coverage; you have to get the information out of them privately. This is from their website: “All competing contestants will be insured for a limited amount against injury while competing at PBR events. The insurance coverage is subject to a deductible to be paid by rider, provides a percentage coverage requiring co-payment from the rider, and is subject to change anytime. Please check with the PBR office for more information about coverage amounts, terms and conditions.”

Pretty lousy, huh? So many loopholes, it looks like Swiss cheese.

Sure, safety equipment and concussion evaluation technology are becoming more common, but riders still get seriously injured, and half of them still don’t wear helmets.

Riders don’t have a union to offer them health insurance. They could group together and get a reasonable rate. Being their own union, their own source of health insurance, doesn’t give anyone else power, it increases their own power and gives them some bargaining ability, especially those who don’t have strong agents—or any agent at all.

If a union makes PBR nervous, all the better. Maybe they’ll ante up and provide sufficient accident insurance, and even health plans, without all those caveats.

The other alternative, the one that exists right now, requires no unionizing, comes in all sizes, and is available to all. It’s called the Affordable Care Act. Most people don’t know what it actually offers—except for the 8 million people who signed up last year, and people who set aside their attitudes toward the President to read what the Act provides. If you don’t want to read the reality, skip right to the video and let James tell you how it helped him. http://youtu.be/THIw2cfOIIg

Here’s what the Affordable Care Act does:

Affordable Care Act video

  • Provides a choice of several health insurance plans, depending on where you live and which companies and states have agreed to participate. This is called the Health Exchange Marketplace.
  • Some plans are sponsored by the federal government, some are state-sponsored. Each state has its own website where you can compare plans.
  • The cost of the plans is less than those offered commercially by all private insurance companies.
  • The Health Exchange Marketplace takes into consideration your income level and tax return as to which plans are available to you. Some people may qualify for extra help paying, with a government tax credit.
  • The insurance plans come in different price levels, Silver (the least expensive plan) Gold (the medium-priced plan), and Platinum (the most expensive plan).
  • The cheapest plans have higher deductibles, the more expensive plans have lower deductibles.
  • The cheaper plans have higher co-pays, the more expensive plans have lower co-pays.
  • The cheaper plans have smaller networks of doctors and hospitals.
  • The expensive plans have larger networks.
  • All plans offer an optional pharmacy plan. Medicine prices are determined according to a formulary that’s also available on the website.
  • You can buy a dental plan as an add-on under certain policies.
  • You can buy a vision plan as an add-on under certain policies.

You can check all this information and get the pricing and lists of benefits, on the Health Exchange Marketplace websites. You need patience, because sometimes a website has glitches, like half the other websites in the world. You also can call a number and talk to a person to get information. You may or may not get someone who knows how to help you—just like if you call Customer Service at any large organization. Don’t blame the President if this happens. That would be just plain idiotic.

Guys: take care of yourselves. Do yourselves a favor and set aside whatever you think of the President. This Affordable Care Act works. It will give you health insurance.

You’re welcome.


Posted in ABBI, Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, CBR, cowboys, PBR, PRCA, Tuff Hedeman, WNFR | Tagged | 5 Comments


Craig Hummer commented on how nobody’d been put on the clock. Yeah, and wasn’t it nice? I don’t think I heard the chute bully yelling at anyone, either. Less tension for the cowboys, and less aggravation for those of us who care about fairness for all. I like it—and it didn’t seem to slow down the event at all. PRCA and CBR manage to keep their events on track (even too fast for me); they don’t seem intent on DQing people. I never scream at my TV when I’m watching those events. Those might be different in person, but for now, this is my take.

FRESH NAMES (some more so than others):
Some of the riders were invitees, some were guys we don’t see often, some came from other circuits, some I didn’t recognize:

  • Guthrie Long (debut), Luis Blanco, Mason Lowe, Tyler Harr, Dakota Louis, Roscoe Jarboe, Dallee Mason, Michael Lane (BlueDef #6).
  • Australia had an actual contingent: Cody Heffernan, Troy Wilkinson, Roy Dunn, and Justin Paton (first rookie in PBR Australia history to win the Rookie of the Year award and finish runner-up to the Australian title).

Gage Gay looked pretty perfect on speedy Recovery Time, for 88 points. Guess he took that name as a good omen. Leah Garcia asked Gage whether LCS being an outdoor event made a difference to his riding. Gay said it felt like he was in the practice pen, and that taking away the fireworks and all the rest made him more comfortable. “I made the whistle and I haven’t done that too much this year, so I’m happy.” Us too!

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard Ty Murray talk about how shameful it is for a rider to dismount on his feet, and that he’d take flak from guys in the locker room. Does it mean the bull was too easy, or was the rider that good? (From what a lot of us can see, that depends on the rider’s country of origin.) Would a guy lose points for sticking the landing on a dismount? It didn’t look like it this time.

Shane Proctor, who landed on his feet after riding Paige Stout’s bull Camo for 86 points, made it look easy, “and that’s your job,” said Ty, who has been known to contradict himself (HOLLA!!). “He looks like he’s just stepping off the curb.” And it looks like the judges didn’t hold that neat dismount against him. Thank goodness, every once in a while Ty says he wouldn’t want to be a judge.


  • Not my imagination: almost every bull did a hard cut to the right on the way out of the chute but then skidded a little or shortly after, in a sideways maneuver. It looked like they all took Shepherd Hills Trapper lessons, but there also may have been something about the dirt that wasn’t right. Or somehow Cody Lambert found every bull in the association who could waltz.
  • Rough ‘Em Up Tuck has become the money bull. Look at the scores guys have gotten on him: Bonner Bolton, Stetson Lawrence, Rubens Barbosa, Silvano Alves, Kaique Pacheco, Mike Lee, Eduardo Aparecido, Luis Blanco, Kanin Asay all were north of 85. On the other hand, in this event Nathan Schaper didn’t score. Ty’s comment: “I’d pick one with smaller horns.”
  • Breakdown was very impressive: blew up several times and had some hang time, too.
  • Julio Moreno, in a neck collar since a horse flipped over backward on him, said he has some Bushwacker calves bucking. Look out, world: the next generation is here! The B-Man himself, though, spent the weekend at the pool. Must be nice.
  • Not a good thing: Cracker rolled in the air as he kicked, and overshot the ground, landing upside down, then on his side—I wondered if he’d get up at all. It’s the first time I’ve seen a bull almost knock himself unconscious.
  • Great big pat on the back to whoever named the bull Jake from State Farm! No matter what he does, he’s going to get a big laugh every time he steps into the chute. (If he shows up wearing khakis one day, I’m going to bust a gut.) This time he wasn’t so funny: he knocked out Roy Dunn (Troy’s nephew) as Roy was helping Cody Nance prep. One clonk of horn to head and Dunn went down.
  • Maverick is one mean bull, per Shorty Gorham, and beat up Frank in the past. Shorty’s warning to the bovine: “One thing you don’t wanna do is make Frank Newsom mad.”
  • Neil Holmes scored 86 on Tahonta’s Magic for weathering quite a storm, then the bull went after him, hooked him, and for good measure, kicked Jesse Byrne in the head. That’ll show those damned two-leggeds! (Neil is so not into being interviewed, especially when Leah asks pointed questions, it’s almost funny. I think he may be too smart for this crowd.)
  • Gentleman Jim stumbled to his knees and pulled some lowdown scrabbling-on-the-dirt moves. So many times the commentators think this means the bull is so smart he’s coming up with these things on purpose, but frankly, dudes, this time it means the bull stumbled and scrabbled because he wanted to get back on his feet. Meanwhile, Michael Lane raked in 88.
  • Mississippi Hippy, at 1 for 32 (!!) has everybody so scared, he’s going to be bucking only about once a month; he’s a nervous diva. One or other of the resident cowboys always talks about the bull’s size, and this time proclaimed, “That’s like sittin’ on top of a house.” Yeah, a Hobbit house. And god, I would walk to the moon to never again hear Craig call the Hippy “a big mammajamma.”


  • It’s just weird that a cowboy can get into a Championship Round without having made 8 in the previous round. Then Livin’-in-Egypt Craig declares, “This is a sport where close doesn’t count.” Uh, well, then nobody should’ve won the Iron Cowboy.
  • Talking about Rough ‘Em Up Tuck, I saw that the Dallas Morning News (front page of the Sports section) and Yahoo! Sports both ran big photos of J.B. Mauney “riding Rough ‘Em Up Tuck out of the chute” in New York—and both neglected to say that he didn’t score. That in a nutshell is how PBR PR works: disinformation. Any decent reporter would ask what the score was. Were the writers told not to include that information? Anyone who didn’t watch or attend the NYC event would assume J.B. made the whistle (and scored high).
    Heading into The American, which is when the Dallas Morning News ran their story, there was no reason to feature a photo of J.B. Mauney, let alone Mauney on a non-scoring out at an event he didn’t win. (Interview in the article too, of course). Was there a betting ring that decided in advance he was the winner of The American? Well, yeah, only they’re not allowed to call it that. Was there favoritism over all the other riders? You betcha.
    Counterbalance this stuff with the fact that if you go to the PBR website (today, anyway) and look up J.B. under the “Athletes” tab, this is the message you get: SORRY, BUT THERE ARE NO RESULTS FOR “J.B. MAUNEY.”
    Are you kidding me??

Ben I-have-nothing-left-in-my-body-that-ain’t-broke Jones will have a neck operation. I’m sure he’ll want to get up and ride before the bandage is off. He’ll probably take it off with his teeth. Somebody be ready to stop him! Oh, wait a minute. He’ll have to use his hands.

When Stetson Lawrence finished with Knight Rider Six (81.75), he launched himself off the bull and started rolling away in the air, even before he hit the ground. Great self-preservation! Now that’s doing the bullfighters a solid. Take note, all you guys with the wonky dismounts.


  • When Aaron Roy didn’t make 8 on Bad Touch, why did Ty have to rant about how you can’t come in with “I just have to make the whistle”? Roy is climbing back from what could’ve been a career-ending injury, or even paralysis. Even if he seemed a bit tentative, SO EFFIN’ WHAT? He suited up and showed up. Shut up, Ty.
  • Why does Ty keep changing his mind about whether a rider or whoever’s in the vicinity should or shouldn’t push a bull over in the chute?
  • Roy (The Dude’s bro) spun wildly as he faded and drifted all the way across the arena, still kicking, for a 46.25. I want to know when judges decide a bull has “covered too much real estate,” because I have yet to see any consistency on that score. (ha)

Cooper Davis is #2 in the Rookie standings, a new father in snazzy chaps, and now the guy who made a snazzy ride on Heavy Dose for 87.50. Not a bad week!


  • On exiting the chute, Dave Mason’s bull scraped Mason’s knee against the chute, and Dave ping!ed off the metal. Re-ride granted.
  • Past Time messed up Mason Lowe’s out: practically slid into third right out of the gate, his head smacking the dirt; I think his motion stopped. As Mason headed over the bull’s skull, the bull got tangled up with him; it’s lucky Lowe got away relatively unscathed. No re-ride.
  • Jake from State Farm went bonkers in the chute. It looked like Cody Nance got that right spur hooked in nicely, but because of Jake’s performance being inadequate, Nance was granted a re-ride, which he accepted. His re-ride was Gold Rush. How did they not see his right spur hooked in there right out of the gate? 83 is the answer.


  • “That can be very hard if you let your brain understand that,” says Ty, trying to explain what goes on in a cowboy’s head—or at least in his head. Dangerous neighborhood.
  • Dallee Mason made a good ride on King Buck, but did he touch the bull? Someone decided the ride needed reviewing; the replay was inconclusive, so Dallee got an 81. Ty then started to think Mason slapped the bull and got away with it: “I can change my mind.”
    Nice shot, Craig: “You certainly can, and you often do.”
    Sez Ty: “You’re never wrong that way.”
    That explains it.
  • Justin McBride, still grinding on about Vieira: “…haven’t seen any proof that J.R. can ride bulls going away from his hand.” Who cares, dude? He won, like it or not.

HEH HEH (and it’s not a Craig quote)
“This is such a game of inches,” said Ty Murray, talking about Lachlan Richardson’s latest buckoff. I don’t think Ty meant it either of the ways I took it.

Shorty’s take on the Unfinished Business players: “I’m gonna be workin’; those guys are old and slow now.”

TRUE DAT (if people even say that anymore)
Ty joked that with the size of the Unfinished Business arena, and Mike Lee’s age, if he rode, they’d have to bring out an oxygen tank halfway around. Mike: here’s where you challenge the lil’ dude to a foot race (after he’s ridden for 8 seconds).

“Rectify becomes a day of reckoning,” began Hummer with one of his laborious word plays.
He also referred to newbie Guthrie Long as “another one of our debutantes.” I’m sure the dude from Pecos, Texas, would be thrilled to know that he reminds Craig of someone in a fluffy gown with a corsage pinned to his wrist. If I were Hummer (a nightmare of epic proportions) I’d be careful what epithets I toss around in the company of bull riders.

Reese Cates may have appendicitis. Billy Robinson came in with pinkeye, and now has the flu.

No, I don’t mean the explosion at the opening of PBR events that probably would still make me jump even if I were in the parking lot. I’m talking about what’s louder: the noise Billy Robinson made when he hit the ground off Wolverine Construction, or the hideous pop! of Stetson Lawrence’s head-to-head contact with Buck Dynasty. Thank god Lawrence’s face was in a mask and his head was in a helmet, or both would’ve been hamburger. Or should I say, beef burger? Mike Lee has been the consistently loudest plopper-off-er so far, but there may be some competition in the offing.

João Ricardo Vieira finally got his own back on Percolator, who had beaten him twice. Vieira stayed solidly in position, with that sitting-on-my-hand-stuck-to-the-bull seat that’s a Brazilian trademark, for 90.75. That positioning is why his score was higher than J.B.’s Round 2 88.25 on Cochise. That and the fact that I would fly out there with some plastic explosives and head right for the judges.

I hear Homeland Security knocking on my door. Gotta go.

Posted in ABBI, Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, cowboys, PBR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments


We like him, we really, really like him, but KNOCK IT OFF!!

LCS could be broken down into the following categories:


2) The J.B. Mauney Hour

3) Insulting Los Brasileiros

4) Re-ride Bullshit

5) Wild Bulls


By giving J.B. Mauney so much attention and airtime (more than ever before—who would’ve thought it possible??), PBR tried to make TV viewers, especially any new ones, believe that J.B. Mauney is the current world champion, the most important cowboy ever in the sport, the gold standard, everyone’s favorite; G-o-d, with a capital G-O-D.

UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, ADRIANO MORAES IS, regardless of whether he’s retired. And if anyone reading this blog doesn’t know why, you haven’t been paying attention for the last 10 years!

I am not dissing J.B. His riding and personality have nothing to do with the insane, ass-kissing, slobbering, panting hero worship the PBR has been performing for years. The guy is actually looking embarrassed lately when he gets treated like he’s Mount Rushmore.

Hey, PBR: why not just make a 14-hour documentary about J.B., or better yet, a TV series that runs on a loop, and get it out of your system?! Craig Hummer is so in love with J.B., it’s excruciating to watch (not to mention, hear). He actually blushes if the guy gets near him. Nobody talks about someone that much unless s/he’s in love with him. Thousands of us are fed up with this man-crush. Either he should do something about it, or STFU.

The blatant favoritism is sickening! PBR NEEDS TO STOP TREATING VIEWERS AS IF WE’RE IDIOTS, and that all they have to do is say something to make it true.

I and thousands of others refused to cough up for the Pay Per View event (and PBR thought it was so clever, dropping the J.B. bomb right before the event, to boost sales).

BTW, did you know that Unfinished Business is “the most important night in history”? (That’s right: they said HISTORY, not bullriding history.) Another lie to suck in any CBS viewers who don’t know better, so they’ll fork out $30 for the event. I guess a little thing like the Finals isn’t a big magillah.

My observations on the Sunday broadcast are from its second half. I missed the first hour because I just forgot it was on TV; I guess my subconscious wasn’t all that interested in another cheaters convention. (The rest of the report will be in another installment, because yes, there was plenty of good stuff, too.) I can’t imagine how much Mauney Time there actually was, if you add that hour. Here we go, with the highlights from

The J.B. Mauney Hour:

• “And JB Mauney—well, of course he’s on a hot streak,” says Craig Hummer, for the newbies who don’t know that God is in the house. That sentence caused my first scream of the day. This bit of disinformation was intended to put across the myth that J.B. is the most consistent, fantastic rider ever in the history of the sport, and it goes without saying that he’s unbeatable. Wrong on all three counts. P.S.: Who want to take odds on how soon Hummer starts calling J.B. “legendary”? (if he hasn’t already) Or maybe they’ve got that one in the chamber in case he wins the Finals or makes noises about retiring.

• After Robson Palermo got shafted out of a re-ride (more about that later), Hummer of course compared Palermo with J.B., for some reason that made no sense. Apparently everything reminds him of J.B. You know, like when you’re in love. I wish I remembered the exact segue; it was ludicrous.

• Guilherme Marchi (riding percentage: 47.27%) had just finished not making 8 on Houla Hoop (my second scream of the day), and somehow Craig and his fellow Booth Bozo managed to drag J.B.’s name in here, too. They may have been talking about Marchi still riding at age 35 and not planning to retire, because he still enjoys it. The concept that someday J.B. will hang up his spurs has started to dawn, and PBR is prepping us all for the inevitable by having J.B. do a commentator stint for part of “Unfinished Business.” That’s the prelude to “I’m thinking about retiring.” The boy will never lack for work, one way or another. The day they let Marchi work the Booth, I’ll eat my hat.

• After Sanchez bucked off Bonner Bolton (and yes, that’s the right way to say it—if you’re using English: the bull did it to the cowboy, not vice versa), making Bonner the bull’s 10th consecutive victory, Ty somehow found it necessary to quote J.B. (and every other cowboy in the PBR, PRCA, and CBR) saying, “I have to remember to have fun.” That’s what they say when they’re not on a hot streak—when they’re trying to fix the problem, and they’re gonna “go back to the basics,” bla bla bla. There really was no reason for this J.B. reference, either.

• There was all the usual Hummer hysteria: “Still to come! J.B. Mauney…he continues to show why he can’t be counted out for another gold buckle” (talk about a double negative!), “the ride heard round the world,” etc. This is the part of the movie previews when you go out for popcorn or a pee.

• Then even more Hummer hysteria about J.B. at the 2013 Finals—like we haven’t had that sham forced down our throats often enough. McBride joined; that moony-eyed stuff is catching (ha ha). J.B.’s bull Jukebox Hero crashed against the gate, and I think it definitely was a re-ride situation: the bull fouled himself. Instead, they scored J.B. 82.
Says the object of the PBR corporate crush: “Ain’t gotta be 90 every time, you just gotta stay on him.” Whoa—hold up! Isn’t that the opposite of what he’s supposed to say, per the scripted storyline? You know, that “swings for the fences” thing.
Craig said something about “a wrinkle in the rule,” and another scream came out of me. Do we really need another “wrinkle”?? As it is, the PBR rulebook could ldouble as a Shar-pei. Ty got himself all bollixed up, trying to argue against a re-ride, as if what happened was just a challenging moment and didn’t completely screw up the ride; then he ended up agreeing that the re-ride was given because the bull fouled himself. Ty’s schizophrenia is getting worse.

• “We’ve got 24 qualified rides, J.B. Mauney one of them…” babbles Hummer. Yeah, and 19 of them had higher scores, so AARRGGHH!! “It’s not about the points in the round…” Oh, I see; because J.B.’s score was 10 points below the usual, they became not important, but if his ride was scored a 90-something, of course it would be all about the points. This is more of that hypocrisy that makes me sick.

• Unfinished Business “features J.B. Mauney and other World Champions,” says the commercial. Another scream from moi. Who green-lighted that line? It’s absolutely insulting to all the nameless World Champions in ANY organization. This “billing above the title” thing is shitty and unacceptable, and I wish all the rider agents and sponsors would get together and BEEF. The billing is supposed to go: PBR, World Champions XYZ, other PBR cowboys. J.B. Mauney is not The Messiah making a special appearance.

• Reeling off the names of riders who scored, Craig compulsively adds, “and of course, J- B- Mauney.” As if he always scores, he never gets bucked off, he’s perfect. I am too fucking sick of Craig’s J.B. obsession. Somebody needs to rein him in—with a serious bit. If he’s this maniacal before the season break, what are we in for as we approach the Finals? Get the rabies shot ready.

• BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! This is truly incredible. Just when you think there can’t be any more bullshit left, PBR comes up with the MOST RIDICULOUS THING I’VE EVER HEARD, in a tone solemn enough to introduce a Nobel Prize winner:
“When we come back, we’ll sit down with World Champion J.B. Mauney. Don’t miss this rare glimpse into his perspective and his motivation.” OMG!! RARE GLIMPSE?? These people have been drowning us in interviews every 10 minutes on what might as well be called The J.B. Mauney Channel. AGAIN: HE IS NOT THE WORLD CHAMPION, SILVANO ALVES IS. Of course, new viewers have no clue. They’re being pushed to think that J.B. Mauney is the World Champion, and that an interview with him is practically a once-in-a-lifetime event.

The brilliant exchange:

“There’s no better life.”
–Why would you want to be a bull rider?
“No boss, and you get to do what you love doing, and to make a living doing it.”
–Who or what would stand in your way of winning the world championship this year?
“There’s only one person who can stand in my way, and that’s me.”
–About the difference in his life after his daughter was born:
“…it took me a while to get settled.”
–“…the great bulls you’ve already ridden… Bushwacker, Asteroid—who would you like to ride next?
“Mick E Mouse…He made me look dumb.” (I don’t know why he hasn’t been paying attention; Marlene Henry pulled Mick from the lineup weeks ago.)
Re how many championships he wants:
“I want at least two more, and I’m gonna do everything I can to get them.”
IMHO: There will not be two more championships. The judges will give it their all, though.

–“When Mauney sets his mind to something, he usually gets it.”—Another Craig love note. SO revoltingly corny, and complete bullshit. Remember 2011? Here’s the point at which I started screaming obscenities at Hummer. And we all know that when Silvano Alves sets his mind to something, he never gets it. Three times. (Some of us say 4.)
Then Ty did more raving about J.B. reaching for the fences…
–Somebody said J.B. “has been such a great ambassador for the sport.” Well, the PBR won’t let anybody else be, will they?
–“…another indication of what a rider means to everybody in the sport, everybody stops…”
We’re supposed to believe that the whole arena stops breathing when J.B. gets into the chute. Of course the commentators talk about how the bull is wild, trying to turn over in the chute; then JB gets off the bull. (Can you imagine what would happen if a Brazilian rider did that?) To divert attention away from this, the Booth Boys start Brazilian-bashing: “Valdiron de Oliveira is known to be very particular in the chute.”
“J.B.’s known to be very quick to get out of the chute,” Ty says. Um, I guess he didn’t notice that J.B. was no longer being quick, and we’re supposed to believe what we’re told, not what we see. And then there’s also that J.B. clock…
We’re told that Cochise pinned J.B. in the bucking chute, against his bad knee. When that happens to a Brazilian rider, we’re told the bull is standing just fine, he’s just leaning a little, the rider could shove him over, the rider had plenty of opportunities to get out, etc.
“J.B. Mauney does what he’s supposed to do.” This from Hummer. And what exactly is he supposed to do other than ride bulls, which I guess other riders aren’t supposed to do?
“He’s never really in the position he wants to be in,” says Ty—yet the score is 88.25. Other riders who aren’t in position lose points. Silvano gets shoved down to the high ‘70s or low ‘80s. After the ride, J.B. had to run from Cochise, who made a very interesting charge: twisting, unable to decide who to kill, the guy who rode him, or a bullfighter.
Another interview after the ride (does any other rider get interviewed after every ride?):
–Why do you thrive on this pressure so much?
One of the Booth Boys gives the same old rap about how J.B. shines the brightest when the lights are brightest or whatever that crap is that Hummer always spouts. Craig then gives a dissertation on J.B.’s bad knee, explaining that he took time off from the tour… of course, anyone else who has a bad knee is using it as an excuse.

• More disgusting hype: J.B. is “one of the biggest names in the business, who has a chance to insert himself into the conversation”—who else but Craig, talking about his honey. “He’s got his own theme music, he’s got the world title… he’s got the American…” Uh, he DOESN’T have the world title, it belongs to Silvano Alves, and anybody could have his own theme music, if he could be bothered. The shocker was Ty Murray saying of Mauney’s attempt on Little Red Jacket, “This is a dismount, this is not a buckoff.” Wow, I’m surprised Hummer didn’t slap him and start crying.

Insulting Los Brasileiros

• You already heard “Valdiron de Oliveira is known to be very particular in the chute.” Then there was “He just wanted off that bull.” –Justin McBride being snide about VDO coming unglued. Because Valdiron didn’t make it to 8 seconds, he didn’t get a re-ride, and we’ve been told that a rider must make 8 before he can be offered a re-ride. But there’s that wrinkle…

Robson Palermo’s bull Smoke Wagon was so fucked up, I can’t believe Robson didn’t get a re-ride. The bull was lumbering back and forth, rolling to the ground, gave a few good kicks that dislodged Robson, then fell down on his side and almost couldn’t get up. (And I just heard that commercial in my head. You know the one I mean.)

Fabiano Vieira made another unbelievable ride, with his free arm not looking so free, his upper arm held crunched against his body, on Western Hauler, no less, and was insulted with an 83.50.

Silvano Alves had surgery on his cracked left hip and will be out for about two months (starting last month). Therefore the PBR apparently is forbidden to mention his name.

Marco Eguchi’s ride on Supercool Cat was reviewed for time. I don’t know why; it was so obvious he made it. (You know I know why.) He deserved more points than 84, but at least he got a hug from Valdiron.

Rubens Barbosa (1 of 10 kids, started riding at 10 years old) got a bad out on Off the Rez. The bull hipped himself, changed the trajectory of the ride, and stepped on Rubens. Here’s that wrinkle: Ty said, “If you’re going by the way the rule’s written, that would be a re-ride.” So why wasn’t it? The usual reason.

Kaique Pacheco (#3 in the world, riding percentage: 40.91%) did what he could, but Hungry Eyes’s performance wasn’t great; he scored 82. Ty launched into his idiotic thing about how if the bull did this-or-that, or the rider had to do this-or-that, it would’ve been a buckoff. This time is was about Kaique riding on the end of his arm, and if the bull had been doing something else or kicking harder, that wouldn’t have worked. Here’s the thing, Ty: what Kaique was doing DID work. STFU.

João Ricardo Vieira (51.79% riding percentage) delivered a beeyouteefull ride on Kiss Animalize, and was given a (gasp!) reasonably fair score of 87.50. So instead of him being interviewed, Matt Triplett was, because he scored 87.

• Talk about fouled in the chute! Crossfire rammed Pacheco’s head into the inside of the chute twice, came out backwards, and changed direction—all the reasons Kaique should’ve had a re-ride. Wrinkle!

• Said Ty Murray about João Ricardo Vieira, “He can’t go out there and just pretend he wants to make the whistle, he needs to go out there and pretend like wants to win first.” Is that insulting enough for ya? I don’t think Vieira’s pretending anything, punk!

• I watched people reacting to JRV after his win. One guy gave him a handshake and clap on the back in passing. One gave a faint handshake. One gave a faint clap on the back. A sour-faced woman handed him a piece of paper. Nobody smiled at him. Not as bad as how they treat Alves, because they like this guy better, but still, shitty.

• The final indignity, post event: Again Ty presumes that the only reason JRV is there is because he wants to win a buckle—not the money, not the title. Uh, I think Vieira might be thinking something else. McBride was just plain bitchy: of course JRV was lucky, he got bulls going into his hand, he’s not good at riding bulls away from his hand, etc.

I’m fucking glad I missed the first half of Sunday’s broadcast!

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PBR sneaks in changes to new scoring system

Guest blogger Licoricewhip put his nose to the grindstone to figure out how the PBR’s new points system affects the standings now, and how it would’ve affected the 2013 and 2014 standings. Included below is the PBR’s longwinded explanation of the new points system (which I edited down), posted on their website.

Licoricewhip also discovered a change in the points system that the PBR snuck in under the radar earlier this year. That’s their standard m.o.: anything they think is a heckuva great idea is introduced with a load of fanfare and fireworks. (Remember Full Metal Jousting?) Anything that leaves them with egg on their faces magically vanishes. (Remember Full Metal Jousting?)

The problem is that the PBR doesn’t know the difference. The jousting was a sucky idea (A&E TV thought so, too; the show didn’t have a second season), but PBR can’t resist a chance to affiliate itself with the lowest common denominator: Ultimate Fighter stuff. (That’s actually a plan—they don’t do dumb shit by accident. Piggybacking on the UFC was a strategy. So how’s that working out for you, boys?)

Dumping Justin McKee as a commentator was a mammoth mistake equal to the new points system, but they ignored all communication from distressed bullriding aficionados. They even resorted to censoring comments on their website. They acted like McKee and the horse he rode in on didn’t exist. Talk about infuriating the fans! They just waited until the storm went away, though it took almost two years.

The new points system is destined to become congealed egg, when people finally catch on to what it does to riders in the middle of the pack. Most of us already know it was designed to fuck over Silvano Alves, in case he was on his way to a 4th (some of us say 5th) world title. I’m thinking this minor adjustment is a whispered “Whoops!” to lessen the sting for certain riders, but it ain’t cutting it, not by half.

Licoricewhip also found a Jan. 5, 2015 article about the changes—but not on the PBR website. They shuffled it off to the side, on the Wrangler Network, to make it less visible. Uhh, but when you use the same PBR writer, you kinda give away the game.

Here’s Licoricewhip’s exploration, step by step, our email conversations, his spreadsheets, and the aggravating discovery after all that slogging, that PBR had pulled the rug out by making an unannounced change.

Licoricewhip: 4-8-15
Once the new points system for 2015 went up, I wanted to figure out how 2014 would’ve played out under it. Specifically, I wondered if J.B. Mauney would’ve actually beaten Silvano Alves. So I made a big spreadsheet, and guess what? J.B. beat him. Big surprise, eh? Look at Sheet 1 of the attached Excel file. I had to figure out the points system based on what I found on the PBR website.

Alves vs Mauney 2014 – spreadsheet

BullRidingMarketing: 4-10-15
I looked through the 1st sheet, and unless I’m reading it wrong, a lot of aggregates are missing: 11 from Silvano’s side, and 5 from J.B.’s side: Missing Aggregates:

Oakland                           Anaheim
Tulsa                                 Sacramento
Des Moines                     Chicago
Fresno                              Denver
Tacoma                            Duluth

Asheville                           Colorado Springs
Arlington                          Anaheim
Duluth                               Chicago
Oklahoma City

Even if a rider has only one score, shouldn’t that be considered his aggregate from that event? I decided to add up just the aggregates, and Silvano beats J.B. by 1,000 points. (I couldn’t even deal with the other Excel sheets.)

Also, J.B.’s scores in the 2014 Finals were ridiculous: 94, 88, 93.25, 90.25, 88. The judges were desperately trying to push him up in the rankings, and when they knew there was no hope for a win, they figured they’d give him the High Score of the Event award.

And get this: J.B. rides Rango, gets 91.75; Alves rides Rango, gets 89.50. So did Rango have “a bad day”? I doubt it! And this: a few years ago, Fabiano rode Asteroid, was scored 87. Last year Silvano rode him, scored 87.25. But when J.B. rode him, he got 93.50. Are we supposed to believe Asteroid also had a couple of bad days, that just coincidentally were not when a “fan favorite” American rode him?

Licoricewhip: 4-17-15
For each rider, I didn’t enter the aggregate on my spreadsheet if it wasn’t in the Top 10 for the week, as the new rules give aggregate points only for Top 10 finishes. Slade Long [PBR statistician] lists the Top 10 aggregates in a given week, so if I didn’t see Silvano or J.B. in the Top 10, I wouldn’t bother to list their total score for the week.

In my points determination, the one thing that I didn’t feel confident about is The American, listed on rows 101-103. Since J.B. would’ve grabbed 600 (!) points that weekend, it makes all the difference. Since this year’s American has already taken place, maybe we can now see how the PBR scores it.

Funny how Slade defends the points system – at least he used to, on his message board [ProBullStats] before he shut it down – but he doesn’t list the points on the site. Scores? Sure, but no points. That’s up to us to calculate.

To be certain that my scoring is accurate, what I’ll do is pick a rider from this year and see if I get the same number of points that the PBR has listed on their site.

Ah… I see now that in the PBR’s website article, Professional Bull Riders – Scoring and Judging, the “majors” are worth a little more. I didn’t take that into account for 2014, but how could I? They weren’t “majors” then. I’ll have to find those suddenly-more-important events and work those points into them.

Looks like they changed the scoring system since I made this spreadsheet. I know that before, they were going to give scores only to the Top 10 aggregates. Now suddenly it’s Top 15. Since Slade lists only Top 10 for each past event, it’ll be hard to determine when an extra 10 points will be given. Arrgh!

Man, I can’t stand the lack of oversight. There’s no quality control. The only journalists that cover the BFTS are on the PBR payroll. [BRM: Except me. I’m a free bird!]

To be honest, I stopped watching the events. We dropped cable tv, and even though we can see everything on CarbonTV, my wife and I have found better things to do, such as look after our young son and get much-needed rest.

I’m looking at Silvano’s 2015 scoring, and of course there are discrepancies. PBR.com claims that he has 65 Touring Pro Division points from a single event (Denver). The scoring guidelines say that only this aggregate earns points, but the only way Silvano would get 65 points is if he got 5 points for his 4th-place first round, 10 for his 3rd-place second round, and 50 for his 1st-place aggregate.

Putting on my conspiracy cap, I wonder if the real reason Slade took down the message board is that a few of us were digging up more than he wanted known. Nothing screams “bias” like the number of consecutive Top 5 scores that J.B. put up in 2013-2014. Under the new system, whenever he rides, he’s basically guaranteed points.

Anyway… I think my scoring and new winner from before is wrong. If The American really is treated and scored like a Touring Pro event, as it is in 2015, then the 600 points for J.B. drops to either 80 if only the aggregate is counted, or 120 if he gets 80 for the aggregate and a couple of 20s for round wins. Even with that higher score, Silvano wins, 3,575 to 3,490.

J.B. would’ve won the 2014 Finals with the new system, but that’s no surprise. [BRM: The PBR figured that out, that’s why we have a new system.)

Licoricewhip: 4-18-15
I looked only at J.B. vs. Silvano; perhaps João would’ve won it all under the new system. But still, even with The American points being a lot smaller, it would’ve been that close between the two of them.

A few months ago, I thought of making it a mission to expose the PBR/BFTS for the crap they’ve pulled. Now… eh. Whatever. Once I stopped watching the CBSSports feed and Leah being forced to interview J.B. every waking moment, I got less upset.

One year, Brazilians placed 1st through 5th. That must’ve ticked off the home office big-time. [BRM: 2011 Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series World Championship results:
1. Silvano Alves, 15,742 points, $1,456,964
2. Valdiron de Oliveira, 13,340.25 points, $396,171
3. Robson Palermo, 13,035.75 points, $618,875
4. Guilherme Marchi, 9,820 points, $233,174
5. Fabiano Vieira, 9,170 points, $249,045]

Are there any discrepancies between the numbers? I believe that the PBR changed the scoring system after the season began and made no noise about it. Well, I guess there’s the scoring for the one Touring Pro USA event that Silvano entered this year. He got 65 points from it, but it looks as though he should have gotten no more than 50.

When the season started, I had no concrete proof that the scoring was for only the Top 10 in the aggregate; I thought I was losing my mind a little. But I looked at what I guess is the official scoring system:


When I looked at the page info, it shows that this .pdf was last modified on February 15, 2015, a good month after the season started. Is it because of the creation of the “major” events? That was announced on February 3rd.

I think it’s tacky to change the rules mid-stream, even if it’s a minor change such as the 10 points for the 11th through 15th aggregate. But yep, they can do what they want. “Hey Cowboy, if you don’t like it, you can go ride bulls on the PRCA.” [BRM: which is what Kody Lostroh decided to do. He was already riding in PRCA rodeos in 2012, but the new points system was his defining moment. A tip of the Resistol to Kody!]

Licoricewhip: 4-19-15
Yes! I found proof that they changed it:
Behind the Chutes: Refreshing on the New Points System

Those numbers look right to me. I had to find it outside of PBR.com, but notice how Justin Felisko (PBR scribe) wrote it.

[BRM: I edited the article below to give just the relevant information, but those bozos are still using the incorrect word “average” when they mean “aggregate.” Try not to let them confuse you with their confusion.
If you want to see what the new system does to certain cowboys, look at the Baltimore standings coming into the Championship Round: Sean Willingham is in 4th place, rides 2 for 2, earns NO event points. Kasey Hayes, in 5th place, rides 2 for 2, earns 60 event points, with a lower aggregate score than Sean.
And the beat goes on…]

PUEBLO, Colo. – The PBR announced in November a new points system for the 2015 season that changed how points are accrued throughout the regular season towards the PBR World Championship and how event winners on the Built Ford Tough Series are determined.

With one event officially in the books, here are how things shaped up for those still looking to learn more about how the points system played out during the Baltimore Invitational. Before taking a round-by-round look at the Baltimore Invitational, here is a refresher on the changes made for 2015.

  • Built Ford Tough Series Event Scoring

Riders earn points at BFTS events based on where they place in a round and the event average.
1st-place finisher at a BFTS round receives 100 event points.
Riders placing 2nd through 5th receive event points on a graduated scale (60, 50, 40, 30).
1st place finisher in the event average, which is based on a rider’s total combined ride score, will receive 400 points.
Riders placing 2nd through 10th receive points on a graduated scale (240, 180, 105, 65, 45, 20, 15, 10, 5).
The Top 15 riders with the highest-combined ride scores following Rounds 1 & 2 (or 3 during a three-day event) will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.

How did the new points system work in Baltimore?

  • Starting with Round 1:
    Mike Lee rode Pecos Bill for a Round 1-high of 87.75 points. Therefore, Lee was awarded 100 event points.
    Kasey Hayes finished 2nd in the round by riding Loco Lizard for 87.25 points, earning him 65 event points.
    J.W. Harris earned 50 event points with the 3rd-highest scored ride of Round 1 when he covered Alternator for 86.75 points.
    Nathan Schaper was awarded 40 event points for placing 4th in Round 1 with 86.25 points on Nefarious.
    Guilherme Marchi placed 5th in Round 1 with 85.75 points on RMEF Big Bull for 30 event points.

The remaining 15 riders that posted qualified rides earned no points toward the world standings or the event standings. However, they remained in the hunt for the event average title, which awards 400 points to the bull rider who accumulates the highest-combined ride score. Those 400 points are crucial when it comes to potentially winning a BFTS event.

  • Baltimore Round 2:
    In Round 2, there were a total of 18 qualified rides. Using the same approach as Round 1, here is how event points were awarded:
    Reese Cates earned the Round 2 victory and 100 event points with an 88.5-point ride on KISS Animalize.
    Cody Nance earned 60 event points courtesy of his 87.5 point-ride on Modified Clyde – the 2nd highest-scored ride of Round 2.
    3rd in the round was Matt Triplett with 87 points on Shoot Out The Lights, providing him with 50 event points.
    Renato Nunes was credited with 40 event points for a 4th-place finish on Slappy.
    Rounding out the Top 5 of Round 2 was Silvano Alves with his 86.25-point performance on Rough ‘em Up Tuck.

Once again, the other 13 riders that posted qualified rides in Round 2 did not earn any event points or points toward the world standings. However, some of these riders were a perfect 2-for-2 on the weekend and in prime position for making a run at the 400 event points that come with winning the event average.

  • Who qualified for the Built Ford Tough Championship Round?

Here are which riders qualified for the Built Ford Tough Championship Round based on the event average (total combined ride scores). Below in parentheses are the number of event points that each rider earned towards winning the Baltimore event following Round 1 and Round 2. Remember, these 15 riders were jockeying to earn the important 400 event points for placing first in the event average, as well as the additional points awarded to the remaining nine riders that round out the Top 10 in the event average.

1. Reese Cates 2-for-2 for 174 ride points (100 event points)
2. Matt Triplett 2-for-2 for 172 ride points (50 event points)
3. Renato Nunes 2-for-2 for 170.5 ride points (40 event points)
4. Sean Willingham 2-for-2 for 169.75 ride points (0 event points)
5. Kasey Hayes 2-for-2 for 169.25 ride points (60 event points)
6. Brady Sims 2-for-2 for 169 ride points (0 event points)
7. Ryan Dirteater 2-for-2 for 168 ride points (0 event points)
8. Silvano Alves 2-for-2 for 167.25 ride points (30 event points)
9. Shane Proctor 2-for-2 for 166.5 ride points (0 event points)
10. L.J. Jenkins 2-for-2 for 159.5 ride points (0 event points)
11. Eduardo Aparecido 2-for-2 for 151 ride points (0 event points)
12. Mike Lee 1-for-2 for 87.75 ride points (100 event points)
13. Cody Nance 1-for-2 for 87.5 ride points (60 event points)
14. J.W. Harris 1-for-2 for 86.75 ride points (50 event points)
15. Nathan Schaper 1-for-2 for 86.25 ride points (40 event points)

  • Championship Round Results

Kasey Hayes rode Fire & Smoke for 89.25 points to win the round and earn 100 points.
Silvano Alves placed 2nd in the round with 88 points on Yo Yo, earning 60 points.
Cody Nance finished 3rd with 87.5 points aboard I’m a Gangster Too for 50  points.
Reese Cates rode Percolator for 86.5 points and 40 event points.
Ryan Dirteater finished 5th with 84.5  on Cooper Tires Semper Fi and won 30 points.
Shane Proctor earned no event points, as he finished outside the Top 5 with 83.75 points on Freakster.

However, the majority of points available still remain within the event average, and Proctor finished 3-for-3 with a combined score of 250.25. Therefore, he finished 5th in the event average and earned 65 points, which carry over to the world standings.

  • Here is how the top event average finishers were awarded points in Baltimore:

1. Reese Cates, 260.5 ride points on three bulls (400 event points)
2. Kasey Hayes, 258.5 ride points on three bulls (240 event points)
3. Silvano Alves, 255.25 ride points on three bulls (180 event points)
4. Ryan Dirteater, 252.50 ride points on three bulls (105 event points)
5. Shane Proctor, 250.25 ride points on three bulls (65 event points)
6. Cody Nance, 165 ride points on two bulls (45 event points)
7. Matt Triplett, 172 event points on two bulls (20 event points)
8. Renato Nunes, 170.5 ride points on two bulls (15 event points)
9. Sean Willingham, 169.75 ride points on two bulls (10 event points)
10. Brady Sims, 169 ride points on two bulls (5 event points)

  • How were the final event results decided in Baltimore?

Based on the new scoring system, event finish at a BFTS event is determined based upon total event points earned and not total ride score. Consequently, here is how things finished in Baltimore.

1. Reese Cates (500 event points)
2. Kasey Hayes (400 event points)
3. Silvano Alves (270 event points)
4. Cody Nance (155 event points)
5. Ryan Dirteater (135 event points)
6. Mike Lee (100 event points)
7. Matt Triplett (70 event points)
8. Shane Proctor (65 event points)
9. Renato Nunes (55 event points)
10. J.W. Harris (50 event points)
11. Nathan Schaper (40 event points)
12. Guilherme Marchi (30 event points)
13. Sean Willingham (10 event points)
14. Brady Sims (5 event points)

These are the only points from a BFTS event that carry over into the world standings. Ride scores do not count toward the world standings. Riders may also earn points toward the world standings based on how they finish in the event average at BlueDEF Velocity Tour, Touring Pro Division and international PBR events. However, riders at those events do not earn any points for where they finish in a round.

© 2015 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.


(Licoricewhip, continued                  4-19-15)

Why would they change the points for the aggregate? Why wouldn’t they announce it? Why would they try to hide the old system? Seriously, what in the hell is with these people?

I wonder if J.B. actually won in 2013. Wouldn’t it be funny if they fudged the points to give it to him? I don’t mean the judges showing bias in giving him event wins down the stretch – there’s no doubt they did just that – I mean the stats guys messing with the points to put him farther ahead.

Licoricewhip: 5-6-15
To me, it would be a lot easier to take PBR seriously if the judges weren’t all American. The only Brazilian I can think of is Paulo Crimber, but I only remember seeing him once all year. They had him on the chute, he didn’t put Brazilians on the clock right away, and suddenly he wasn’t there again. [BRM: yep.]

The judging is another thing. Do you know which judge is Judge 2 or Judge 4 on a given weekend? I don’t. On Slade’s site, he doesn’t break down what each judge gave each ride. Heck, he doesn’t even split them up. It’s “Judge A: Shearer / Randolph; Judge B: Doyal/Foltyn.” Certainly he could itemize them; why doesn’t he?
[BRM: Occasionally either on the website or on the broadcasts, I’ve seen “Judge 1, Judge 2,” etc., and once in a blue moon Craig Hummer identifies someone as “the back bench judge.” The bully at the chute is David Fournier.]
They sure make it awfully difficult to expose the bias of a certain judge, don’t they? [BRM: Yep. That’s how they roll.]

I’d be curious to see how Crimber’s scores line up with the others, and what weeks he worked, but I can’t yet figure out how to find it. [BRM: Calling “I hate PBR judges” – this is a job for you!]

There are leagues that offer openness, and there are leagues that pretend to offer it. PBR is neither.

Licoricewhip: 5-20-15
Dang, this ain’t easy. Slade’s site used to be organized so that it was easy to find this info. Now it’s near impossible. I had to search on google.com under a custom range of dates. But here it is: You can see the Top 10 about halfway down.

Professional Bull Riders – Alves wins World Championship, earns $1.4 million

But seriously, why was it so hard to find this info? I can’t imagine that the PBR would actually try to erase history. I just don’t see the benefit. [BRM: Ah, but they do try, cheri, as often as possible. The benefit is, a viewership with amnesia is easy to manipulate, and the PBR can shove their storylines down our throats. Then if someone like yours truly says, “Hey—the Emperor has no clothes!”, they’ve already distributed enough Kool-Aid among their followers so that the fans actually think they see the Suits in cowboy clothes. May I quote Butch Cassidy: “Boy, I got vision, and the rest of the world wears bifocals.”

One fun thing about this search was that I found J.B.’s 2013 winning season had the lowest riding percentage amongst all PBR world champs, yet he won the second-most money ever, behind McBride’s 2007 season. Look under “World Champion” here: http://www.pbr.com/en/bfts/winners.aspx

Top 25 by Riding Percentage 3-23-15 – spreadsheet

Top 25 by Dollars Won 3-23-15 – spreadsheet

BullRidingMarketing: 5-22-15
And there you have it, folks: the long and winding road down the rabbit hole of insanity that is the PBR.

Thank you, Licoricewhip!

Posted in Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, CBR, cowboys, PBR, PRCA | 2 Comments

Colorado 15-15 Bucking Battle

Without any Built Ford Tough Series action this weekend, I had a flashback to the Colorado “Rumble in the Rockies.”

BTW, this hourlong broadcast contained just 30 minutes of bullriding material.

I nearly hit the hardwood when the judges awarded the Fabiano Vieira/Diesel pairing 90.25, for an incredible ride. It’s so rare for those guys not to begrudge a Brazilian rider a 90! This time it was a positive .25 ding. Of course he wasn’t interviewed when he scored, or even when he won. Bah humbug, as one of my grandmothers used to say.
Second in the news: Ty Murray actually used the word “inertia” correctly. And he wasn’t talking about lying on the couch.

The broadcast opened with that laughable “I’m so macho” voice bragging about how grueling the season has been, and how a “dangerous” J.B. Mauney has made a return, reasserted himself, etc. Never mind all the other guys returning from injuries, such as ROBSON PALERMO! You know the drill: trying to drum up excitement by playing up the physical injuries, and sticking to the scripted storyline about PBR management’s favorite rider.
I finally figured it out: Craig Hummer gets paid according to the number of times he says “J.B. Mauney.” I thought I might note the number of times, but I lost track.
Then, naturally we see an interview with J.B., instead of João Ricardo Vieira (53.70% riding percentage), Matt Triplett, or Kaique Pacheco, who are #1, #2, and #3 in the world standings.  Are you reading me?

Magic Train came into this battle with 11 straight buckoffs, but because he was facing J.B., who has a 46.67% riding percentage, Craig declared that “the next pairing could go well past that [90.25].” We all know that as long as J.B. stays on a bull, 9 times out of 10 his score will be north of 86, and it’s nice to know that Hummer will tell us the score ahead of time.


  • Panda Trax is certifiable. I thought Cooper Davis had a lock on that ride, but at 7.95, he got bucked off. (I yelled.) The bull didn’t just turn and give him what-for, he literally attacked Cooper, then tried to sit on him, and butted him along in the dirt. Frank pulled the bull’s focus (once again, we see how crazy The Fearless One is), while one of the other guys pulled Davis out of the way. Cooper had the presence of mind to challenge the time; the replays showed it was close, but he actually did have the rope in his hand at 8, even as the rest of him was about to become Panda’s doormat. Amazing! A lot of guys would’ve let go earlier and just try to protect themselves from the monster. 87 for Davis, but only 43 for the bull. (Were the judges punishing him for bad behavior?)
  • Long John: steep coming up and steep coming down, to Nathan Schaper’s detriment. 46.75 was high score of the event.
  • ABBI Classic winners from the Colorado Springs event: Bruiser and Wired Child, tied at 89.25 each. King Pin was the Back Seat Buckers winner, with 92.

Ben had food poisoning, and of course thought he was fit to ride, but after Modified Clyde’s lousy start, the Dancing Ozzie was a lost cause. After the buckoff, the bull literally almost went ass over teacup, and landed in almost the same position Ben did.

J.W. Harris’s neck and back injury (herniated disk) was causing his right arm to go numb, but he didn’t want to “sound like a whiner,” so he got on Percolator, got bucked off, and the bull scored 46. Said Hummer, dyslexing, Percolator was “no match at all for J.W.” Um, then J.W. would’ve scored the 46.


  • Could they please stop labeling events with stupid Worldwide Wrestling titles? It makes bullriding seem even dumber than a lot of people already think it is. I obviously don’t, and I know plenty of intelligent people who don’t, but the PBR is working against us when they use what they think is a clever marketing tactic. It ain’t. People who watch bullriding will watch it no matter what you call it, and people who don’t  aren’t going to start because you call it “Rumble in the Rockies.” “Bucking Battle” is good enough, though even that kind of embarrasses me.
  • After we see (for the umpteenth time) the gruesome video clip of Kasey Hayes getting creamed by Panda Trax in Des Moines, then Hummer and Ty Murray have a “conversation” about how Cooper Davis has to put this visual out of his mind when he gets on the bull today. Well, maybe if you didn’t keep showing that disaster, Davis wouldn’t have to try.

Stone Sober came into this event with 23 straight buckoffs, and fell down on Reese Cates right out of the gate. Re-ride flags flew. Now, why is that? Cates got a clean out, it looked like he slapped the bull, and we’ve been told many times that a rider has to make the full 8 seconds to get a re-ride option. I’ve seen the same thing happen to other riders, and I squawked that they didn’t get a re-ride; the explanation for not being offered one was always that the rider wasn’t fouled in the gate. Well, neither was Reese. Kaique Pacheco got slammed and squashed by Walk Off (who racked up a 44), but no re-ride.

Of course I think a cowboy should get a re-ride if a bull squashes him, but that’s not the point. The re-ride rules continue to be inconsistently applied, and the PBR makes no effort to stop the judges from pulling this crap. They just keep screwing with our heads, trying to make us think we’re the crazy ones.

From the PBR website:
Re-ride: If the bull’s performance is sub-par (negatively affecting the ride score) or if a foul occurs during the ride (the rider is rubbed against the chute, the bull stumbles, the flank strap detaches, etc.) judges can offer the rider a chance to take a re-ride.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen bulls stumble, but no re-rides were offered. Plus, where’s the much-touted “the bull’s motion has to stop” criterion for a rider to be granted a re-ride?
And just to make things more confusing, Ty said something about “breaking the plane of the rope.” Please tell me he was just befuddled, and that isn’t a real thing!

Also from the website:
Chute Clock: The Built Ford Tough Series implemented a new addition to the Professional Bull Riders’ original chute clock rule during the 2014 BFTS event in Nampa, Idaho. Each rider will have 60 seconds from the time he begins to pull his rope until he nods his head to begin the ride. The chute clock will stop the countdown when the judge starts the 8-second ride clock.

Regarding disqualification the rule states, “In the event that the chute clock countdown time expires before the rider nods his head, the judge has to make a determination to disqualify either the rider or the bull at the end of the allotted time. If the bull is disqualified then the rider will receive the first available re-ride bull. If the rider is disqualified, his ride for that round is over and he will receive a no score.”

Yeah, right. There’s a J.B. clock, and he’s never been put on the other one. As long as the commentators keep chanting, “He’s one of the fastest to get out of the chute,” we’re supposed to believe he never takes more than the allotted 60 seconds. LOL.

“This guy is a true warrior.” – Ty Murray’s comment on Guilherme Marchi.
J.B.’s standard response to, What happened to your rope?:
“I shoulda put more rosin on it.”

Posted in ABBI, Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, cowboys, PBR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Des Moines 15-15 Bucking Battle

You already know his favorite subject. The broadcast intro started with the standard “I’m so macho” voice touting “the return of fan favorite J! B! Mauney!” A few minutes later, Justin McBride talks about J.B. being “one of the greatest ever,” “only guy to ride Asteroid and Bushwacker,” riding “countless other bigtime bulls that other guys were scared of.” Craig calls Mauney, “Our LeBron James, our Michael Jordan.”

All that kinda guff inevitably jinxes a guy. Air Time made J.B. his 10th consecutive buckoff. I never get tired of seeing that first spectacular jump out of the gate. Granted, J.B.’s riding with his left knee braced because of his injury. (Hummer of course talks about J.B.’s injuries like they’re different from anyone else’s. Uh, dear, Matt Triplett is also sporting a knee brace.) Murphy’s Law: J.B. landed on his left knee. He hopped out of the arena.

This is some real PBR b.s.: Yo Yo launched Cody Nance pretty far, and Nance was offered a re-ride. Why? Nobody bothered to tell us viewers. Cody turned down the re-ride. So what’s the low score he keeps? Big mystery while judges confer. After Shane Proctor’s out, Craig announces that the score is 75.75. The website says 76.50. Well, guess what? “The score has been adjusted.” Nobody bothered to explain why. The PBR judges do pretty much whatever they want. “Cody Nance has escaped with a score, and maybe the win,” prophesied Hummer.

Nobody ragged on Cody for turning down a re-ride, either—no commentator, bullfighter, or livestock director had anything snotty to say. “Sometimes you just gotta take what God gives you,” was Cody’s reason for passing on the re-ride. (He also mentioned he was struggling with his self-confidence.)

Nance was the only one to ride his bull, so he won the event with the lousy score. YoYo’s was the worst of all the bull scores. It’s a world gone mad.

BITCHIN’ (as in, complaining)
I don’t know what the hell was wrong with all the other guys. Cowboys were sailing all over the arena. How could not one of them “convert,” to use Hummer’s stupid word instead of the much simpler and more accurate “ride”? The bulls sure did their job: Mississippi Hippy, Air Time, and Boot Jack were the stars of the show (45, 45.25, and 45.25 respectively). Not far behind were Spotted Demon, 44.75; Little Joe, 44.50; Who Dey, 44.25; Semper Fi, 44.25; and Diesel, 44.25.

Guilherme Marchi in particular made me despair. At #5 in the world, with 547 rides and 3 Bucking Battles under his belt, he really oughtta know better than to hold onto the gate so long. Pistol Pete, who’s unridden this season, was bumptious in the chute, and “the book on the bull,” as Ty Murray used to say, was that Pete was gonna swirl to the left. The bull backed out, started to head right—ye olde Marchi wheelhouse—and somehow Guilherme quickly was bucked off onto his feet, right back into the chute. Jeez, Guilherme!

I felt the same way about Valdiron de Oliveira’s almost-completed trip. He’s got a 53.33% riding percentage, looked like he was set to take Brown Sugar (whose official nickname is now “cute little bull”) to 8,  and then at 6.53—AAGGHH! I think the bull made Valdiron dizzy. He had to be half-carried out.

I’m not imagining it: Mike Lee delivers the loudest buckoffs and dismounts of any rider. This time we had the bonus of him being miked, so the usual PLOP off Mississippi Hippy’s back had extra oomph. For extra credit: what’s hilariously wrong with this sentence: “We move on to our next pairing, which includes 2004 World Champion Mike Lee”?

Kasey Hayes substituted for Ben Jones, and he kinda might’ve regretted it. Shorty gave his team the heads-up that Panda Trax “is a little bit mean.” Well, Panda didn’t do it on purpose, but his entire front end crashed down on top of Hayes and knocked him out. It was astounding that Kasey eventually came to and could stand up. Wobbly, but up. I don’t think he could even see where he was being taken by Sports Medicine. He stayed in the game the next day, which resulted in fractures of three lumbar vertebrae, and a 6-week vacation. The other stupid thing is, why on earth doesn’t Sports Medicine have a portable x-ray machine? It’s fairly good odds that at least one rider per day is going to need pictures taken; someone with cracked bones really doesn’t need to be rattling around in an ambulance for a trip to the hospital x-ray machine.

The ad for the upcoming Champions Challenge announces that participating in the event are J.B. Mauney, Guilherme Marchi, “and a host of others.” The visuals show 3-time World Champ Silvano Alves, 2004 World Champ Mike Lee, and other minor guys like that. Whoever produced this commercial needs to send it back to the Rewrite Department.

Posted in Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, cowboys, PBR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Robson Palermo Deserves More Respect: Rosinette Speaks Out

Guest Post By Rosinette:

All I’m asking is for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T (just a little bit).  Robson Palermo is a three-time World Finals event winner.  During his career, he has amassed 361 qualified rides out of 711 attempts, which amounts to an impressive 50.77% career riding percentage.

Beyond that, if you’ve ever had the opportunity to meet him at a PBR event, you can attest to the fact that he is the consummate professional, personable, gracious and humble.

His career has been marked with successes, challenges and, above all, perseverance. Despite all the injury setbacks he has endured in the past few years, he remained focused on returning to competition and worked his ass off.  Take a look at the video of the physical therapy and intense fitness training he endured after his last shoulder surgery, and you’ll see it hasn’t been easy.  In 2014, he tore a ligament in his ankle less than three weeks into his return, which brought his season to a premature end at the 2014 World Finals after he was stepped on in Round 1.  This season, he was cut from the Built Ford Tough Series, but true to form, he didn’t let it alter his focus.  He won a BlueDef Velocity Tour event and placed 3rd in a Touring Pro Division event.

Coming into last weekend’s event in Billings, Montana, Robson was ranked 45th in the world standings.  After going 2 for 4 and winning the championship round, he finished seventh in the event average, earning 120 points and leaping up to the 33rd spot.  It’s a compelling story.

The PBR must have featured this story on their website, right?  Nope.

But what about the comeback story posted on Monday?  Sorry, that was written about another rider.

Instead, they posted a fluff story about two other riders becoming friends (yes, really). They did post a story about the “movers and shakers,” examining the riders who “made the biggest moves in the standings following three days of action in Billings, Montana,” with barely a small mention of Robson.  One to be exact:  “Gay was the biggest mover among a group of alternates, including Robson Palermo and Aaron Roy, to make a move up the world standings in Billings.”  

The article talks in length how Gage Gay jumped from 36th to 26th after his performance in Billings.  If 2 + 2 still equals 4, then I’m pretty sure Robson moving up 12 spots is a larger jump than Gay moving up 10.

Is this snub the PBR’s retribution for Robson speaking out about all the criticism of the Brazilian-style rope (which some American riders also use)?  Or is this yet another example of the PBR’s unrelenting effort to glorify a few chosen riders while slighting the others from another country—and hoping that we won’t notice?

We can only wonder…

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So nice how the CBS voiceover intro sounds like an adult, professional announcer, not screaming at us like some illiterate moron.

Silvano Alves is out with an injured hip; it’s a weird sight, seeing him sitting in the stands. Now the Booth Boys can’t keep talking about how he’s never injured (the rotten subtext being, Alves doesn’t take chances like real cowboys do). In the meantime, João Ricardo Vieira has a 57.14% riding percentage. I’m impressed. That puts him only 5 points behind Matt Triplett.

The bull scores were great, the lowest being 42.75 (Chocolate Thunder), highest 46.50 (I’m A Gangster Too). Eduardo Aparecido, in because Ben Jones was out with an injury, took a beating from the Gangster: got jerked down over the bull’s head, took a horn to the face (without a helmet, of course), and was kneeling on the ground, stunned, until Sports Medicine took him away.

Stone Sober telestrator photos: WOW. On his first blast out of the chute, his hooves are higher than the chute gate, and the rider is about 12 feet in the air. What may be the photo of the year is the shot of the bull leaping over Renato Nunes (the top of whose head is stuck on the dirt, butt in the air), with all four legs gathered up under him, clearing Renato by at least three feet. “This bull is a freak,” Ty Murray announced, and yeah, he ain’t kidding. Emilio Resende is only person to ride that bull (for 88, in Oklahoma City, 2013). Is it too early to smell a World Championship?

Are you sure?? Nathan Schaper’s bull, Wicked, did one of those stumble things, so the ride was reviewed for time and a slap that looked to me like it was at the 8-second mark; the judges said it happened at 7.99. Aww, maaaaan!

The bullfighters closed in to save Schaper during his less-than-ideal dismount from Wicked, with Jesse Byrne as the flying quarterback: he jumped smack in front of the bull’s face and took a big hit. That boy must be covered with purple bruises.

• I am SO sick of “The Longest Ride” commercials. The female character is beyond dumb. She knows her boyfriend’s a bull rider, yet she’s shocked when the doctor says he’s lucky to be alive. Then there’s the utterly stupid, puzzled look on her face as the doctor tells her that in bull riding, “It’s not if you’re going to get hurt, it’s when.” Bad acting choice. Or bad direction; who knows. I’m not going to see it.

• This “Ring of Honor: Unfinished Business” Pay Per View thing could be a hoot. According to Ty Murray, the three decades of “legends” who are participating “includes champions who are 50 years old.” It’d be nice to see a geezer make 8; the judges would probably throw a 98 at him. I’m still not paying for it, though.

• Hickory dickery dock, Brazilians on the clock:
Fabiano Vieira, Eduardo Aparecido, Valdiron de Oliveira, and Kaique Pacheco (who had to exit before he was ready), and don’t tell me all of them were taking too long in the chute. J.W. Harris took his sweet time in there, and wasn’t put on the clock.

• Here’s how you set up a game:
Mike Lee goes out on Percolator. The bull wasn’t as much of a handful as he has been; he was kinda predictable: slow turns, high leaps, as rhythmic as a rocking chair. Shorty Gorham called the ride “flawless,” but I’m thinking, did Mike make it look easy, or was it in fact an easier trip? Scoring him 92 right off the bat guaranteed him the win; who were they gonna score higher than 92? Not a Brazilian. (And J.B. wasn’t around for them to throw a 94 at.) Mike’s take on it: “Percolator’s an old man like me. 10 years old. So if he can do it, I can do it…”

• “Ride, rewrap, repeat,” was how Craig Hummer described Guilherme Marchi’s prep for his rematch on Calypso. Despite his Grand Old Man status, the judges handed him an 89: not good enough to win, but not insulting, either. In his post-ride interview, Marchi, who has a 48.84% riding percentage, said he thought the bull bucked harder than the first time he was on his back. This was ride # 543.

In spite of his bad shoulder issue, Fabiano Vieira has a 47.50% riding percentage, and scored 88.25 on American Sniper; he’s been able to keep his free arm higher lately.

The word on J.W. is that he likes to play jokes on people. Of course Craig then compared him to J.B., for being a “presence” in the locker room. Oh come on, dude—can’t ANYBODY be as good as (or better than) your idol in anything? J.W. needs to pull a prank on Hummer. A custard pie would be a start.

Reese Cates, after scoring 87.75 on Chocolate Thunder, spoke for many a bull rider when he said, “I was so mad about being bucked off before, he could’ve gone out there and done backflips; I would’ve stayed on him.”

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Albuquerque notes

Had some thoughts hanging around for a while, so I figured I’d put them here.

Round 2 is where it looked like Matt Triplett’s injury (possibly a torn ACL or MCL) would keep him out indefinitely. (Coyote kicked his left knee during the dismount.) But since I can see the future (Seattle), it’s not a PCL injury, and Matt thinks maybe he can ride by taping his knee.

It  also looked like J.B. Mauney would be out until May, but again, my retroactive crystal ball told me he’s getting a brace, and wants to return to riding in late April or early May. 


  • Nutso’s awkward sideways bobble took Nathan Schaper out of position and the bull almost fell down, but did NOT stop its motion. The judges offered Nathan a re-ride. J.W. Harris also was awarded a re-ride, because Leslie’s Pet crashed into the fence—but the bull’s motion didn’t stop, it just slowed. Is this a new re-ride rule, and will it be selectively applied? I remember a few scraping-the-dirt moves by other bulls that nearly took Fabiano Vieira, Silvano Alves, and Guilherme Marchi down with them, but those guys weren’t offered re-rides. However—see Highlights below for what happened with Renato Nunes.


  • 17 qualified rides in Round 1; pretty surprising. The wunderkind from Brazil, Kaique Pacheco, won Round 1. Not so surprising. I’m still puzzling about Ty Murray’s semi-coherent remark: “Wonder with these young guys if when they get an egg broke in ‘em if something happens to them.” I think the translation was that he thought maybe Pacheco’s wreck injury took him off track. Yeah, that’s why Kaique scored 89.75 on Joe the Grinder in Round 1, for his 5th round win of the season.
  • W. Harris won Round 2. Not so surprising, either.
  • Ben Jones took on Beaver Creek Beau, who was on a 21 buckoffs streak—and broke it. “He’ll get on anything,” Ty gushed. “This guy would get on a mountain lion!” Great score: 90.25, and as Craig put it, “Albuquerque was treated to the Ben Jones extended dance mix!”
  • Stone Sober “hates having people on his back,” says Ty. “He goes spastic and will do anything he can to get ‘em off.” The bull sure proved that: leaped up hard in the chute, then exploded, chucked Renato Nunes off, and literally hurdled him, all four legs churning in mid-air like Michael Jordan. Reminded me of Wile E. Coyote running off a cliff into the air (before he comes down with a huge thump). Renato threw some wild stuff at the bull; 99 ½% of all riders would’ve let go after the first big bomb, but he is one feisty lil’ cowboy! The bull stumbled, and his back end went down far enough to earn Nunes a re-ride—once Renato challenged for it. The situation was enough like Schaper’s trip that the judges had to grant it, or their attitude toward the Brazilians would’ve been REALLY obvious (for the thousandth time).

MARCHI KEEPS MARCHING ON (Has Hummer used that one yet?)
Guilherme Marchi came into this event with 538 rides under his belt and left with 541.

Ty Murray complained about Ryan Dirteater getting too picky about how Oscar P. was standing in the chute. Dirteater ended up on the clock, and started to argue with the judge—not something you see every day! The cranky pill at the chute DQd Ryan for chute time—and Ryan kept arguing. Did anybody ever explain what was happening?

Craig Hummer referred to Ivan Sells, the 2014 Indian National Finals Rodeo champ, as a “full-blown Navajo Indian.” Moron. Did he mean full-blooded? Why is that relevant? Is Aaron Roy a “full-blown Canadian”? Can’t you just say, “Ivan Sells is the Navajo rider who won the INFR?” (Note: Navajo is a nation, therefore its citizens are Navajos. “Navajo Indian” is redundant. It’s like saying “an Irish Irishman.”)

Add Ty Murray’s condescending, “Look at this, there are some abilities… This is the ultimate underdog right here,” and I want to slap both of them.

Ivan Sells decided to become a bull rider after seeing “8 Seconds,” but he didn’t know which hand to use, so he just followed what Lane Frost did. Good way to start.

According to Ty Murray, Gage Gay’s “confidence has been shook.”


  • Joe the Grinder gave Shane Proctor a hard time; after Shane’s 86.50 smooth ride, Joe went after Shane to hook him, but slid on the dirt and missed (Ty thinks he was dizzy from spinning so much). Proctor slid down a notch in my book when he said something about Kaique, calling him “Pacheco—whatever his name is.” It’s not that hard to pronounce, dude.
  • Mortifying: since Sonic is now the official PBR drive-in (I mean, how many drive-ins are there?), some of the bull riders had to put on roller skates and serve some customers. How embarrassing! PBR Marketing has them by the you-know-whats.
  • Silvano Alves came into this event with a 60% riding percentage, so naturally he was given one of those predictable Get Silvano scores: 84.75 on Western Nights. He was some kind of hurt after the ride, helped out by medical staff, but naturally, because it’s Silvano, the commentators barely noticed.
  • When João Ricardo Vieira broke Walk Off’s 24-buckoff streak, Craig lost his marbles. “JRV just sent a statement to the world… That’s going to be the ride heard round the world!” What, did you forget to take your medication today, Craig? Vieira had a very solid seat, “He couldn’ta rode that bull any better,” said Ty, but the score still wasn’t a 90, because that wasn’t J.B. Mauney on Walk Off’s back. JRV’s score was 88.


  • They keep re-running the video of last week’s awful wreck, showing Kasey Hayes unconscious on the ground, getting his chest trampled. For extra awfulness, they keep displaying his split-open helmet.
  • “I’m talking about a different level here,” repeats Ty, about how the 4-time PRCA World Champ J.W. Harris has to “step up” because he’s riding in the PBR. I am fed up with his condescending attitude. Ty never won a PBR championship, so I guess that means he didn’t “step up”? In the Championship Round, J.W. picked Mick E Mouse, for their 3rd Suddenly Ty is admiring J.W.’s attitude: “Mick E Mouse is dreaded by everybody; nobody wants to get on him, he’s dangerous, there’s nothing attractive about him.” Mick E was on a 32-buckoff streak; Ty called him the rankest bull in the world. Even though it was J.W. going up against the Mouse, it was never a contest. The bull scored 45.75, and “All he can do is tap and tip his hat to one of the best bulls ever,” babbled Hummer, stumbling his way through yet another incoherent moment.

You can’t pay for this stuff: Hummer, trying to tell us what’s in store for us, got tangled up and ended up saying something about “a judge goes on the clock properly.”

OMG!! The guy Leah Garcia interviewed about event logistics—Jay Daugherty, VP of Competition—is the nasty s.o.b. I encountered (at a distance, thank god) at the NY event!!

Ben Jones takes the win! “I’m a bit lost for words…not gonna feel like a man when you say this, but I feel like I’m about to cry” was what I could make out of his interview with Leah Garcia. Are you kidding? I’ll bet I wasn’t the only one who got misty-eyed. A bunch of riders, including João, hoisted Ben on their shoulders and whooped their way to the winner’s circle. Unfortunately the last thing we saw onscreen was two female butts in our faces, obscuring the view of Ben holding up a trophy.

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