A week after fearing his 2012 season had come to an
unceremonious end, Ben Jones will be competing at
the Bass Pro Shops Chute Out in San Antonio, Texas.
Prior to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, Jones had just
proclaimed that he intended to select Bushwacker with the fifth
pick in the bull draft when he succumbed to an abdominal pain that
he initially thought might have been caused by pulling a groin
He retreated to the sports medicine room, where he was initially
diagnosed with a lower abdominal strain before Dr. Tandy Freeman
later wrote in an email, "Change of presumptive diagnosis -
fractured pubis (pelvis)."
An injury of that type would have surely ended the season for
the 33-year-old from Australia.
However, after being further examined on Monday morning, Jones
said he was cleared of any fractures and was told that he had a
In a text message, on Thursday afternoon, Dr. Freeman wrote that
Jones has a "sprained symphysis pubis (pelvis) and abdominal
strain. No fracture. Plans to ride this weekend but still on
crutches when he left the office."
Jones said Dr. Freeman told him competing would be painful, but
that the training staff will try to help make him slightly more
Jones said he has no choice but to compete. There is a cut
following this weekend's event and although he's ranked 22nd in the
world standings, having already been cut once this season he does
not want to take a chance.
"I could be in," he said, "and I could miss it too."
He is also risking further injuring himself, but feels the
urgency to protect his place in the standings and try to secure a
spot in the draw for the fast-approaching World Finals. The
year-end event is in late October and Jones is currently 25th in
the qualifier standings.
The final cut of the season will come after the Greensboro,
N.C., event at the end of September.
The PBR returns to the AT&T Center in San Antonio for the
sixth straight year and the seventh time overall. Past winner of
the Bass Pro Shops Chute Out presented by Cooper Tires include:
Shane Proctor (2011), Cody Nance
(2010), J.B. Mauney (2009), Valdiron de
Oliveira, (2008), Tyler Smith (2007) and
Owen Dunn (1996).
The BFTS will then take a week off before returning to
Thackerville, Okla., on Aug. 31 - Sept. 1 for the WinStar World
Casino Invitational. It will be the second year in a row that the
BFTS will compete under the stars in a custom-built arena adjacent
to the WinStar World Casino.
In 2011, Thackerville became the first outdoor BFTS event since
the 2005 event in Laughlin, Nevada.
Douglas Duncan was cleared to return to
competition, but has decided to err on the side of caution in his
return from hip surgery. Because of the off-week next weekend,
Duncan said he decided to sit out the San Antonio event and will
return to competition in Thackerville, Okla.
He said he's not 100 percent, but with the additional time off
couple with physical therapy his hip is getting noticeably stronger
Doctors told him other athletes are ready to return to
competition right at three months, but Duncan said, "They're not
having to ride bulls."
Duncan had the same hip procedure once before and a year later
was already in need of the recent surgery - likely because he
returned to competition too quickly. If he were to need a third
surgery, Duncan said it would be "hip replacement," which would end
his bull-riding career.
The 25-year-old from Alvin, Texas - the same hometown as Hall of
Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan - is currently ranked 16th in the world
standings and is a young gun regarded as a future contender for a
Better Late Than Never:
It's been eight years since he turned pro. He's ridden in 243
various events and attempted 387 bulls, but Bart
Miller never gave up on his goal of competing alongside
the top-ranked riders in the world. Friday night he'll make his
BFTS debut in Round 1 against Gun Powder & Lead (not be
confused with Jeff Robinson's World Champion Bull contender RMEF
Gunpowder & Lead).
Miller is from Oshkosh, Neb., and is the younger cousin of
two-time World Champion Justin McBride. In 2008,
he was teammates with Mauney and competed in the PBR Team Shootout
Miller earned a spot in the draw by winning a Touring Pro
Division event in Hailey, Idaho. Two other riders also earned spots
in this week's draw. Cord McCoy will be in San
Antonio after winning a TPD event in Everett, Wash., while
Matt Triplett is in the draw after winning a
Rookie of the Year:
The Rookie of the Year award is presented annually to the rider
who earns the most money during his first PBR season. The current
Top 5 contenders include: Chad Besplug:
$153,193.83; Chase Outlaw: $133,773.28;
Eneias Barbosa: $81,250.20; Lachlan
Richardson: $74,400.88, and Ademir
Candido: $51,409.25. Barbosa and Candido must compete in
the World Finals to be eligible for the award.
Outlaw finished last week's event second in the average and was
one qualified ride short of winning his second BFTS event of the
season. He's ranked 19th in the world standings and 10th in the
qualifier standings. L.J. Jenkins, who is
currently ranked second in the world, remarked, "I don't think
we've seen the best of him yet. That kid rides really good."
Doctors told him other athletes are ready to
return to competition right at three months, but Duncan said,
"They're not having to ride bulls."
Based on statistics from the past five BFTS events (Uncasville,
Idaho, Pueblo and Tulsa) the Power Rankings measure rider
efficiency using a variety of variables including, but not limited
to wins, riding percentage, scores, and bulls. The current
rankings: 1. Kody Lostroh: 90.68; 2.
Silvano Alves: 87.41; 3. Guilherme
Marchi: 86.49; 4. Valdiron de Oliveira:
85.51; 5. Jenkins: 85.43; 6. Jones: 84.46; 7.
Richardson: 84.10; 8. Stormy Wing: 83.75; 9.
Fabiano Vieira: 83.57, and 10. Renato
It has been brought to the attention of the PBR that 23-year-old
Marco Eguchi does in fact spell is last name with
an "i" as opposed to an "e."
The Big Show:
Jory Markiss said he's hoping from week-to-week
to get into the BFTS as an alternate because it has "better bulls"
than the TPD events. Last week, Markiss said he had hoped to get
into the San Antonio event because "I don't want to go to Del Mar.
I love the big show." Unfortunately, he missed earning spot and
will be competing in California on Sunday night.
CBS Sports Network will broadcast action from Round 1 and the
first short round in HD at 10 p.m. ET on Friday, and will have an
encore airing at 1 a.m. ET on Saturday.
NBC Sports Network will broadcast Round 3 and the Built Ford
Tough Championship Round live in HD at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, with
an encore airing at 12:30 a.m. ET on Sunday.
Veteran broadcaster Craig Hummer will provide the play-by-play.
Color commentary will be provided by McBride and dirt-level
interviews will be handled by Leah Garcia.
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
Follow Jack Carnefix on Twitter @JackCarnefix.