SPRINGFIELD, Mo. ― The bulls in this round are competing with each other just like the riders are. Saturday night is an ABBI Maturity competition. The contractors here paid an entry fee to enter their best bulls (of any age) for a shot at over $41,000 in prize money. The highest-marked bull wins.
With only six qualified rides Friday night and two more long rounds to go, the PFIWestern.com Invitational event title is still up for grabs here.
Brant Atwood on 620 Blonde Bomber:
Right-handed riders tend to ride Blonde Bomber about half the time, and Atwood has had success on him before. This bull carried Atwood to a round win in Oklahoma City back in January.
L.J. Jenkins on 84 MEGATON:
Jenkins has a good shot at adding a second score here. MEGATON has been statistically weaker against right-handed riders, although I believe he tends to spin to the left. The reason for the backwards numbers is that he's faced six right-handed riders, and three times it was against Silvano Alves and Guilherme Marchi. Alves has two scores on him and Marchi has one.
Jordan Hupp on 807 Cowtown Slinger:
Hupp is 2-for-2 on this bull, both rides coming at Touring Pro Division events. He picked up 85 points in Fort Worth, Texas, in December 2011 and 89.5 points en route to a win at J.W. Hart's event in Decatur, Texas, this summer.
Silvano Alves on L37 Yo Yo:
This is a rematch from the 2011 World Finals, where Alves earned 82.75 points on Yo Yo. This bull has only been ridden twice in 13 career outs, and Alves and Valdiron de Oliveira are responsible for the two scores.
Mike Lee on 924B Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey:
This is likely to be the best bull in this round. He's a short-round caliber bull who is prone to have a flaky trip every so often. When he's not behaving badly, he spins to the left and essentially no one rides him. He hasn't been ridden since May 2012 when Silvano Alves did it, and if you think Alves only gets it done on the easier bulls, Cody Lambert has said more than once that right-handed riders really don't have a chance on Honey. Alves is the only righty to have ridden him on a good day. Lee had him earlier this season and came down in under two seconds.
Shane Proctor on 7477 Main Event:
The numbers say there is no way this bull should buck Proctor off, but the bull might decide to disagree. Main Event has been ridden six out of nine times on the Built Ford Tough Series. He's 3-4 against right-handed riders, and 4-6 against the top riders.
J.B. Mauney on 916 Razorbuck:
This bull has just one out on his record, so he's essentially unknown. Mauney, on the other hand, is starting to look like he could be the most serious threat to overtake Alves. He's ridden 75 percent of his bulls since we came back from the summer break, and more importantly, when he's had top tier bulls he's converted on them as well. That's the one thing he was struggling with the most earlier this season. Just from his interviews, he seems more relaxed than he has in the past, and loose and relaxed is a good way for bull riders to be. He needs to convert here because Alves is probably going to get a score in this round.
Billy Robinson on 59 Whiskey's Rebel:
Robinson has been on Whiskey's Rebel twice this season and came down both times, but this is a bull that most of these guys should be able to ride. He's got some wild and western jumps right out of the chute, but most of the time he settles down considerably as the ride goes on.
Joao Ricardo Vieira on 842 Hou's Back:
Valdiron de Oliveira rode this bull for 87 points at the Last Cowboy Standing, and Renato Nunes rode him for 88.5 points in Anaheim, Calif., back in February. With Nunes he backed out of the chutes, spun to the left and had great timing. Vieira should be able to ride him either way he goes.
Jared Farley on 801 Ford Hammer Down:
This bull is a gift for anyone who draws him. He's got great rhythm, plenty of kick and doesn't cover a lot of ground. He's just exactly what riders are looking for when they need to win a round. Riders at this level hope for a bull like this everywhere they go in every round. No one has made the whistle on him since May, but the last two guys to take him the distance won the round.
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