After bucking off Asteroid in less than 1 second, Pistol Robinson admitted, “I didn’t even warm him up.”
“The first jump out he disappeared on me, and I was just trying to stay up, and we met head-on right there a second into it,” he explained.
Asteroid might be disappearing on the riders who attempt to ride him, but he has made himself as visible as Bushwacker in the race for World Champion Bull. Springfield was the fifth time they’ve gone head-to-head in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, and the fourth time in a row Asteroid has outscored the favorite.
“If they only ride him as far as I did tonight, it’ll probably be about even,” said Robinson, who added that Asteroid has fully adjusted to life on the Built Ford Tough Series and is no longer bothered by the bright lights and sold-out crowds like the one in Springfield this weekend.
“He’s got heart. He wants to buck and he knows how to do it.”
In his past four events, he’s been marked 46.5 points three times, and last week in Milwaukee, he scored 47.5 points.
While Robinson said that he thought his first trip on Asteroid (in Pueblo, Colo.) was ranker than his Springfield buckoff, he agrees Josh Thames was the rankest Asteroid has been all season. But Asteroid was marked 45.25 points when Robinson drafted him in Pueblo, compared to the 46.5 points he was marked Sunday night at the JQH Arena.
“I still think the first time I got on him he was ranker, but I rode him farther,” Robinson said. “I’m not going to take anything away from the bull. I just feel like I let him get me back and I let him bring me.”
Asteroid’s average buckoff time in eight outs this year is 3.13 seconds, with an average score of 45.19 points, which would be higher had it not been for two below-par outs. He was ridden in his first outing of the season when he was marked only 39.5 points, and again when Jim Rowsell. That night he was marked 44.75 points.
By comparison, Bushwacker has been unridden in 11 outs this year, matching his 11-0 streak from a year ago.
His career average score is 45.83. This year he hasn’t been marked less than 45.25 points, and twice he’s been as high as 47.75 points. This weekend, he was marked 45.75 points after bucking off Cody Nance.
“I’d just hate to be the judges when comes down to it,” Robinson said.
NEWS & NOTES
Lead lengthens: Silvano Alves won for just the second time in 2011 to extend his lead atop the world standings to 1,859 points with four regular-season events remaining before the PBR World Finals.
His riding average is more than 5 percent better than anyone else in the Top 5.
This weekend he rode Perfect Poison for the sixth time, and while he’s a perfect 6-for-6 on the 4-year-old owned and hauled by Circle T Ranch, the rest of the riders are 3-for-10. One bull who has seemed to have his way with Alves is Jack Daniel’s After Party, who bucked off the world No. 1 for the second time in the past four BFTS events.
Alves has come close both times, but After Party has managed to find a way to win the battle. In Tulsa, Okla., Gerardo Quinones, and in Springfield, he got him on the ground at 6.2 seconds.
ABBI updates: Back Bender won the ABBI Springfield Super Classic with what Kent Cox termed a consistent showing in two rounds of competition. He was top-scoring bull in the second round on Sunday with 90.75 points, compared to his 89.25 points from Friday night.
He made up the full two points by which he trailed Rango after he scored 91.25 points to win the first of two Classic rounds of bull competition. Smooth Groove, Delco, Train Wreck and Porcupine Puncher rounded out the Top 5.
Back Bender won $17,526.25 for first place, and the Top 10 Classic bulls earned a combined $62,593.75.
Reigning Stock Contractor of the Year Jeff Robinson might have been disappointed with Rango’s second outing, but the North Carolina native didn’t leave Missouri empty-handed. Amy’s Pet won the Maturity competition on Saturday night.
He earned 89.5 points to beat out second-place Flirting with Disaster, who is owned and hauled by J.W. Hart, by 1.25 points. Robinson collected $7,632.80 and the Top 10 bulls earned a total of $27,260. Crooked Mile and Habanero 664 split third and fourth, while Jimmy Cricket and Moon split fifth and sixth in the Maturity.
Proctor was seventh in the average, but strained his right groin in the fourth round. Vieira, who had qualified for his fifth consecutive championship round, missed out because of bruised ribs, and is questionable for next week’s event in Wichita, Kan.
There was confusion about Elliott, who was 11th in the average, when he also opted out of the round prior to consulting with Dr. Tandy Freeman. It was later reported that he “was unable to compete in the championship round due to sore ribs.”
Bohon frustrated: Wanting to capitalize on what he called a great opportunity, Missouri native Matt Bohon was in Springfield with hope of qualifying for the PBR World Finals. Bothered by an injured right hip, he labored through an 0-for-3 weekend.
Prior to the first round, Bohon said his right hip has been as bad as or worse than the left hip he had surgically repaired. He’s expected to undergo an MRI on Monday afternoon.
“My hip is good for three or four weeks,” said Bohon, who hobbled from the arena after all three buckoffs this weekend, “and then for two weeks I better just sit at home.”
In comparing it to his previous hip injury, Bohon said, “With my other hip, I went and went and went until it got to where I couldn’t stay on a chair if the wind blew right. I’m ready to get it done, but I also want to make the Finals.”
Bohon, who earned the BFTS invitation by winning a three-event incentive series in Canada, is 83rd in the qualifier standings and needs to make up nearly $26,000 in the next month to catch the Top 40 qualifiers. As for continuing to compete or cut his season short, Bohon, who turns 28 on the 30th of this month, said, “I’ll have to discuss that with my doctor.”
House hunting: Missouri native Luke Snyder has been spending a lot of his time in Southern California with his girlfriend, who also happens to be a Missouri native.
However, he said, “When she flew in Tuesday I picked her up at the airport and she was kind of looking at the area a little different for once, and I was too.”
According to Snyder, they spent part of last week “hunting around” for homes in and around the Springfield area. They both like the lakes and hills, and have “always loved the area.” Snyder is originally from Raymore, which is just outside of Kansas City and three hours north of Springfield.
Snyder is currently ranked 13th in the world standings and has won nearly $290,000 in 2011.
Reflections on Ross: Several top riders and close friends reacted to Ross Coleman’s decision to announce his retirement Saturday night.
Snyder: “We all find that spot when it’s time, and Ross is ready to take that next step. When you start thinking about when you’re done, then you’re done. When that thought crosses your mind, this sport is way too dangerous to just go about it half-hearted. … When you hang out with Ross, he’s very upbeat and there’s never a dull moment. You can’t be too lazy around him because he always wants to do something. I guarantee you he’s got some slight (Attention Deficit Disorder) because he always has to be doing something, and one thing: I love to room with Ross, but he always has sports on. It doesn’t matter what it was. It doesn’t matter if it was women’s softball or kayaking or whatever, he always has to be watching sports all the dang time. … The stuff he’s done with Make-a-Wish Foundation and the kids every year, his bull riding raises tons of money for it, and he’s always giving back. He’s a great personality and great role model for the sport and a key player in the PBR being what it is.”
Brendon Clark: “Tough. That’s the first thing that comes to mind, and a great ambassador for the sport. He was a big influence on me putting a helmet on, for starters, and it was one those deals for a lot of people that if Ross Coleman puts one on, then I guess it’s all right for me to put one on, too. He’s done a lot for the sport in and outside of the arena. … It’s important to give back and Ross has done that, and he’s also paving the way for other bull riders to do that. He’s definitely made a big impact for a long time and I’m just lucky to be able to call him one of my best friends.”
Chris Shivers: “He’s been around for many years and always been a tough guy that you always looked up to, and a guy that if it needed to be done, he got it done. He was a guy that in the pressure points always succeeded. … He always brought an energy inside the locker room that we’re going to miss a lot. It’s kind of hard for me to say, because some of the guys that I watched come onto the tour, heck, they’re leaving before I am, so it’s kind of rough. … As far as putting a helmet on, he’s one of the reasons that I kind of went on with a helmet. There were just a few guys and it was kind of a pansy thing to do for a long time until the tough guys start putting a helmet on. Ross is definitely one of the tough guys and always has been.”
Guilherme Marchi: “I met Ross Coleman in 2004 and he was a great bull rider. He was a nice guy, a friend, and helped me out all the time. I’m just glad to have friends like him. I remember my first year here, he tried to talk to me. He and Justin (McBride) traveled together, and those guys would talk every week with me. I always liked to watch him get on a bull. He’s a great bull rider, great guy, great daddy, great family guy. I’m going to miss having a great bull rider in the PBR. … He’s happy all the time. He’ll talk to you all the time. He’ll try to help you. Anything you need from him he will give you. We are going to miss him. He was a great guy for the PBR for a long time.”
Flint Rasmussen: “When I hear Ross Coleman’s retiring, I think, ‘Dang it, I’m old.’ Ross was one of the young-gun guys during the heart of my rodeo career, too, and one of the originals when I started going to the PBR. It was Ross, (Justin) McBride and those guys, but honestly, without it sounding the wrong way, I was hoping he would retire. I’ve seen him get injured. I’ve seen him get some concussions. He has little kids and a great wife and has a long life ahead of him, so I think he’s setting a good example for some guys about when it’s time to call it quits. … I’ve known Ross Coleman’s family before Ross Coleman was anybody, and he comes from a great family, and they treat me well, and he’s been a good friend. Back in the rodeo days, we’d pull in, park the motor home there and the kids would go swimming in their pool. I’m not sure why Ross didn’t learn how to work hard from his dad. Of course I’m joking, but his dad is the hardest-working guy and they’re great people. I always said that there are just a few guys I consider true friends on the tour, and he was always one of them.”
— by Keith Ryan Cartwright
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