I WANT TO HEAR FROM PBR WATCHERS about any incidents they see of prejudiced judging, whether on a broadcast or in person. Please send me specific details, not comments like “That guy’s my favorite rider; he should’ve made 90 points!”

We need to put the PBR on notice that people who watch aren’t fooled by the maneuvering that goes on with scoring and unequal application of rules. It’s cheating—cheating is bad sportsmanship, and it degrades the sport! Bull riding will never be considered a mainstream, legitimate sport if the judges are allowed to continue their blatant prejudice. They need to be monitored, fined, re-trained–especially in the area of racism– or fired.

And since the PBR isn’t doing that job, why don’t we become the watchdogs? Let’s bark every time the judges pull their stunts. Don’t you want to see who REALLY wins the World Championship? Or are you going to settle for who the judges decide to hand it to?

Here’s what to look for:

1) Prejudiced scoring: little nicks that add up to losing instead of winning

2) Selective applying of re-ride rules

3) Not making 8 seconds but being scored

4) Being scored despite a slap or touch

5) Harassment at the chute

6) Reversed decisions

7) “Favorite son” or “hometown boy” scores

8) Clock/buzzer issues

I looked back over my reports of the 2012 events I’ve seen so far, and was sickened by the many instances of prejudiced behavior by the judges. I started to do the math on the results posted on the PBR website, but was giving myself a headache. For that much work, they’d have to pay me. And right now, the site is “having a wreck.” Great timing– just hours before the Tulsa event is broadcast.

Here’s what I found, even without using a fine-toothed comb:

1)             Prejudiced scoring:

Frequent .25-point dings against Brazilian riders to keep them behind American riders. The only time I saw a .25-point ding against an American was– shockingly enough–against JB Mauney, so that Chris Shivers could win the Atlanta event. (It’s pretty obvious that the management wants to have Chris retire with 100 90-point rides under his belt, no matter how he gets them. This is not a comment on Shivers, it’s about the judges—although two or three times last year he knew he got away with an obvious slap.)

Those .25-point dings threw the New York event to Cody Nance instead of Valdiron de Oliveira– I was there in person seeing it happen; obviously management didn’t want him to win NYC twice in a row. The fake scoring threw the Albuquerque Bucking Battle to Luke Snyder, tied Stormy Wing with Renato Nunes for the Boise Bucking Battle, moved Silvano Alves onto the bubble in Portland and Oklahoma City, and maneuvered L.J. Jenkins up to #2 in the world standings, pushing Silvano Alves down to #3 by the time the Pueblo event was over. Note how many times Alves is scored in the 60s and 70s, ever since the judges realized he wouldn’t take re-rides unless the rules said he must.

It looks like they’re pretty desperate to keep Alves from taking a second World Championship, or Valdiron from winning his first.

And those are only the most obvious examples!

2) Selective applying of re-ride rules:

NYC: Marchi’s bull full-stopped; no re-ride, no score. Pistol Robinson’s bull full-stopped; score 86.25.

Atlanta: Douglas Duncan’s bull had no spin; re-ride, score 88. Harve Stewart’s bull had no spin; no re-ride. JB’s bull traveled halfway across the arena; no re-ride, 88 score.

Oklahoma City: Renato’s bull broke his motion; no re-ride.

Kansas City: Billy Robinson’s bull fouled; no re-ride. Ty said: “I’ve seen guys get re-rides for less.” Kasey Hayes’s bull fouled; no re-ride. Apparently you have to be a VIP rider to get a re-ride.

Billings: Chad Desplug’s bull completely screwed up; no re-ride. Ditto, though he’s a VIP in Canada.

Mohegan Sun: Billy Robinson’s bull went down to his knees and briefly stopped motion; he challenged for a re-ride, didn’t get one. I was there, and he deserved one. What do they have against Billy?

Indianapolis: Palermo’s bull traveled halfway across the arena, no spin; no reride, 83.50 score. (Contrast what judges did for JB in Atlanta.)

Pueblo: Marchi’s bull had no spin; no re-ride, score 81.50. (Contrast what judges did for Douglas Duncan in Atlanta.)

3) Not making 8 but being scored: NO instances of this happening to Brazilian riders. 

NYC: Dustin Elliott; score 81.25. Luke Snyder in the air at 7.8, challenged (taking more than the allotted 30 seconds), review inconclusive; scored 88.75… because he was on Carrillo Cartel as “payback” for the bull wrecking Pistol the night before. (PS: Luke’s bull was supposed to be RMEF Gunpowder & Lead.)

Portland: Ryan McConnel; score 85.50. J.W. Hart said Ryan’s hand came out of the rope at 7.99, “but you’re not gonna get that from me.” (Reminder: the flap over Nunes challenging a call on McConnel, who was getting away with a slap.)

Kansas City: Robson Palermo, inconclusive replay, re-ride with almost no recovery time between. (He still scored 87.50—ha!) Marchi on the ground at 8; no score. (Contrast to how judges treated Dustin Elliott, Ryan McConnel, L.J. Jenkins.)

Atlanta: Inconclusive replay for whether Marchi made 8; no score. (See above comparisons.)

Detroit (Last Cowboy Standing): L.J. Jenkins; lost the rope at 7.79; score 88. Ty said, “He got away with that one.”

Pueblo Bucking Battle: Jordan Hupp, inconclusive replay; score 85.75.

4) Being scored despite a slap or touch: NO instances of this happening to Brazilian riders.

Note how many times Ty Murray says a rider “got away with one”– either a slap or not making 8– yet was scored. Each time it was an American rider.

Portland: Austin Meier, no review; scored.

Oklahoma City: Chris Shivers; score 88.75.

Glendale: Austin Meier; score 86.50. Caleb Sanderson, inconclusive replay –viewed from only the opposite side, so no one would see if there was a slap; 91.75 score.

Pueblo Bucking Battle: Palermo, bull came up and hit him; reviewed, no score. Cody Nance “won” Round 1 with his spurs hooked in the rope. Ty Murray said, according to the rules, a rider can’t leave the chute with his spurs anchored in the rope: “It’s obviously one he got away with… A rule’s a rule.” Score: 90.50. 

5) Harassment at the chute: NO instances of anyone a hassling a non-Brazilian rider to hurry up. 

Oklahoma City: Valdiron, while they were using a 4 x 4 to free his leg; but not Cord McCoy for his long wrap time.

Glendale: Alves put on the clock.

Detroit: Robson, while his bull was rocking, then lying down.

Albuquerque: Repeated badgering of Nunes.

Arlington: Marchi put on the clock, rushed out; result: 2-second buckoff.

Indianapolis: Emilio Resende put on the clock. Harassing de Oliveira. Hassling Marchi while he was still getting his hand in the rope.

Pueblo: Cody Nance not harrassed for his very slow wrapping. 

6) Reversing decisions: NO decisions were reversed on behalf of Brazilian riders. 

Pueblo: Bonner Bolton DQ’d, challenged, decision reversed; score 86.25. Replay showed Jenkins lost his rope at 7.88, the bull at 7.91. Later, judges re-reviewed (Hummer, “We are about to see if the judges are feeling generous.”); decision reversed, claiming the clock didn’t start on time (not shown during the ride); scored.

7) “Favorite son” or “hometown boy” scores

 NYC: Little Shyster underperformed (according to bull scoring requirements); JB Mauney scored 86.50.

Portland: JB/Train Wreck re-match; payback factor, score 89.50, despite him holding onto chute rail longer than anyone I’ve ever seen. Jordan Hupp wins, 88.25, though “In the first five seconds he got me in a bad position, and I don’t know how I rode him for the last three.” Other riders get out of position and are docked points.

Atlanta: Cord McCoy’s bull wore out, hind legs barely left the ground, almost sat down; score 86.50. J.W. Hart said the bull ran out of steam. No “real estate” issue for JB’s bull’s waltz across the arena; score 88. Shivers, 90 for a trip on Delco that even made J.W. laugh.

Arlington (Iron Cowboy): JB wins; judges making it up to him for dinging him in Atlanta in favor of #1 Son?

Oklahoma City: 12 qualified rides on first day, how many Oklahomans? I’d check the stat but the PBR website is “having a wreck.” (Reminder: The New Mexicans “won” in New Mexico last year.)

Kansas City: Douglas Duncan’s bull covered real estate; score 88.75. Missourian Matt Bohon’s bull, almost nothing but spin; score, 86.50. (Contrast to Palermo, Indianapolis and Marchi, Pueblo.)

8) Clock/buzzer issues:

NYC: Alves, clock said 8, buzzer didn’t sound; score 80.50.

Atlanta: Clock said 8, judges said Alves was off at 7.99 (but he still had the rope), he challenged; no score.

Indianapolis: Alves bucked off at either 7.69 or 7.85. Such a discrepancy makes you wonder why he’s the one rider who had several clock/buzzer issues—something viewers can’t investigate and commentators don’t.

You get the gist: Brazilians are persona non grata, Gumby wrote the re-ride rules, the clocks and buzzers may or may not work, video reviews may not be from the side where the slap or lost rope is visible, certain riders can get away with rule violations and even “win”… Post your comments on this blog—tell me what you see!

Maybe we should petition Ty Murray and J.W. Hart to challenge the infractions and judging “errors” they see, and DO something about it.

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10 Responses to IMPORTANT BULLETIN for the rest of the season, STARTING TONIGHT

  1. S. says:

    I am also really annoyed with the Silvano call. Unless the judges have some other feed that we weren’t seeing, there was no definitive slap. I swear they had changed the rule so that a challenge went the cowboy’s way if the judges couldn’t definitively see a slap, and yet now apparently the call stands unless there definitively wasn’t a slap? Or does that change depending on whose ride they are reviewing? Because at least 50% of the time, the video doesn’t show anything definitive, and everything shouldn’t rest on what one guy thought he saw in a fraction of a second.

    Did you notice the Ty Murray Report about how fatherhood changes bullriders, with interviews about a bunch of Americans? Apparently the PBR wasn’t interested in talking to any of the dedicated Brazilian riders who are devoted fathers and came here to give their kids a better life. Nice.


    • In my Tulsa post, I quote the rule issued by the PBR. It clearly states that an inconclusive replay goes to the rider. The clause they didn’t publish is the one that says, except if he’s Brazilian.

      This is sheer racism. On top of that, it shows that the American judges are so desperate to have an American win the World title, they’ll result to cheating and degrading the sport. And if the PBR management allows this, it’s clear that they condone this behavior. Maybe they’re even paying the judges extra.

      Silvano has every right to be angry. I wish he’d thrown his helmet at the judges!


      • S. says:

        The next day, Leah said something about Silvano being mad because he thought the bull came up and hit him, not that he hit the bull, so apparently he did slap (assuming that is what he actually said, since although I don’t speak Portuguese, I can tell that often about 1/3 of what is being said gets translated, accurately or not, by the sometimes-present translator). But give me a break, if the rule says the guy gets a score if the replay doesn’t show anything definitive, then give him a score, because that replay didn’t show anything helpful. It’s happened before, and at least the rules would be applied evenly.

        Unless Silvano, Valdiron, Fabiano and Guilherme all get hurt or get into some funky slump, and L.J. Jenkins somehow sticks on everything, I take comfort in the fact that it’s very unlikely they can crown an American champ, despite their best efforts. The sheer volume of bulls the top Brazilians stay on is going to keep them in the top.


    • Yeah, and I remember one broadcast where they ran a film clip about rider injuries– and all of the riders were American. Not even an Australian or Canadian among them! (Never mind the Brazilians, of course.)


  2. closeobserver says:

    I agree 100% on your post! This weekend event is no different ! Silvano Alves rode 8 seconds on the 1st champioship round, He clearly didn’t touch the bull. He’s a Brazilian so of course the judges will always go against them. I also saw several of the Brazilian’s were getting harrassed by the chute judge but yet American riders were giving all time they needed!!!


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