By Keith Ryan Cartwright | Jul 06, 2012 @ 08:00 AM
FORT WORTH, Texas - Ty Murray has long
said that every ride counts.
J.B. Mauney is hoping that three qualified
rides in May prove to be the difference between winning his first
world title and coming up short for the seventh time - in what has
otherwise been a remarkable career in the PBR.
After breaking his left hand at a Built Ford Tough Series event
in Kansas City, he made the whistle three times riding with his
usual off hand.
"It could be," he said, when asked if his determination could be
rewarded with a gold buckle and a $1 million bonus. "Who
Mauney was injured after making the whistle for 90 points in the
opening round in Kansas City, when Ragin JT stepped on his open
left palm. He was the No. 1 ranked rider in the world when he was
stepped on, an injury that required surgery.
"I proved to everybody and showed everybody I
could do it right-handed, and I proved to myself I could do
He missed only two events, before returning to competition
Mauney covered three bulls in three events, including two - RMEF
Gunpowder & Lead and Bad Blake - in a 15/15 Bucking Battle.
Some were surprised he rode at all, while others were shocked
that his qualified scores came on two championship-round-quality
Then again, historically, Mauney has come through in big moments
on rank bulls.
"When you get on Gunpowder & Lead or Bad Blake, you don't
have time to think," said Mauney, who admitted that on some the
long-round bulls he was thinking too much. "It's just all reaction,
and it's going so fast there (isn't any) time. You just keep
He sat out the last BFTS event in Pueblo, Colo., thinking he
might have partially torn a muscle in his left arm. After resting
all of June, he's heading north of the border to Canada for the
100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede.
Mauney, who said he feels good, will once again compete with his
He spent his time off stretching his arm, regaining flexibility
and mobility and strengthening his grip with his previously-injured
"It's getting strong again," he said, "movement's good."
Mauney won the Stampede in 2009.
This is the seventh year Stampede officials have invited the top
PBR riders. Mauney is in Pool A, which starts this weekend, along
with Aaron Roy, Austin Meier,
Chad Besplug, Shane Proctor,
Tyler Pankewitz, Tyler Thomson,
Tyler Willis and Wesley
When Mauney last rode, he left the Idaho event knowing he would
not be able to compete a week later in Pueblo, but despite what he
put himself through, he said it was worth the effort.
"I can live with myself when you try," Mauney said. "You're
going to get hurt. That's part of it and points are points. I
figure I proved to everybody and showed everybody I could do it
right-handed, and I proved to myself I could do it."
He's currently ranked fifth in the world standings, and is
within 2,303.75 points of world leader Valdiron de
Had he not earned those three scores, he would have barely been
in the Top 10 and his chances of coming from behind would have been
far less likely.
An optimistic yet cautious Mauney offered, "We'll find out at
the end of Vegas, I guess."