DES MOINES, Iowa - Though he finished in the Top 5 in Detroit
and Glendale, Ariz., Robson Palermo wasn't happy
with his performances in the next three Built Ford Tough Series
After barely cracking the Top 25 in the standings, he even had a hard time sleeping after the Indianapolis event April 15.
"Last week I was really scared because I knew I was so close (to the cut line)," said Palermo, noting that the next BFTS housecleaning takes place after next week's event in Uncasville, Conn. "I kind of dreamed of going to the Touring Pro (Division events) and all this stuff, but everything worked out.
"I fixed myself at home and got on some bulls."
Robson Palermo has three Top 5 finishes in the past six events.
He not only got on four bulls in Des Moines, but he was the only
rider to go 4-for-4. He won his first event since winning the World
Finals last October.
This weekend, Palermo looked as strong as he has since returning from shoulder surgery in March.
The 28-year-old rode Magic Man for 87.75 points in the opening round, and followed that up with another 87.75-point effort in the first short round on Saturday night, this time on the back of Sam T. Straight. He was the only rider in the round of 10 to cover, and kept that one-score lead the rest of the weekend.
On Sunday afternoon he earned 86 points on Space Chimp, whom he chose with the first pick in the bull draft for Round 3.
He also had the first pick in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, and as expected, he selected RMEF Gunpowder & Lead. Having already secured the win, he rode him anyway for 92 points, and won the event convincingly.
Robson Palermo scores 92 points on RMEF Gunpowder & Lead in Des Moines, Iowa.
He moved from 23rd in the world standings to 16th.
Palermo is now only 500 points outside of the Top 10, despite missing the first nine events of the 2012 season.
"I feel really good because I've been struggling the past week," he said. "I bucked off a couple bulls and I came over here and I feel really good. My head and everything is right."
It's the sixth time in his career he's selected RMEF Gunpowder & Lead. Last year, Palermo was a perfect 3-for-3 on him, including event wins in Tampa, Fla., and Pueblo, Colo.
'I was close to being cut, and then I came
here and won this event.'
Palermo has never scored less than 91 points on the bull.
"I know the bull fits me pretty good," Palermo said.
To turn his season back around, Palermo recently purchased some practice bulls from McKennon Wimberly.
The extra work helped.
He has now recorded Top 5 finishes in three of the past six events. Only once has he gone 0-for-the-weekend.
"I feel really good, my back is starting to feel good," said Palermo, who's been experiencing some back pain. "It's so blessed for me, because like I say, I was low on points. I was close to being cut, and then I came here and won this event. I am so excited. I'm going to get ready for next week and see if I can win one more and one more."
NEWS & NOTES
HAND AND FOOT: J.B. Mauney has been out with a broken bone in his left (riding) hand, and all indications are that he intends to switch to his right hand next week in Uncasville.
'Oliveira broke the third metatarsal of his right foot when it got twisted in a slat in the chute as he was getting ready for his third-round ride in Des Moines.'
He rode two practice bulls Thursday and was planning to get on a
couple more Sunday afternoon, but had to wait out some rainy
weather in North Carolina. He eventually got on his third practice
bull later Sunday with his right hand in the rope.
While waiting for a break in the weather, Mauney got a break in the world standings.
Rival Valdiron de Oliveira, currently No. 1 in the world, rode only one bull in Des Moines, and now leads Mauney by only 563 points. In addition, according to Dr. Tandy Freeman, "Oliveira broke the third metatarsal of his right foot when it got twisted in a slat in the chute as he was getting ready for his third-round ride in Des Moines."
He is listed as probable for the Mohegan Sun Invitational.
Last season, Palermo was able to win events in Indianapolis and Chicago with a broken foot.
Mauney has until Tuesday to confirm his plans with the PBR.
ASTEROID SLINGS WING: After bucking off Asteroid for the second time this year on Sunday, Stormy Wing made no excuses. "He won," said Wing, who quickly added, "Yes, I can ride that bull."
"There's no sense in showing up to this sport with these guys and these bulls and doubt yourself and I don't doubt myself one bit," he said.
Stormy Wing lasts 1.99 seconds on Asteroid in Des Moines,
Asteroid was marked 47.25 points in bucking off Wing in a matter of 1.99 seconds. "It was a mistake leaving the chute," said Wing, who stayed on 6.11 seconds in Atlanta. "It's all timing. The bull beat me out of there. He's one of the rankest bulls there, and you can't get behind him at all one bit, and I did. No excuse. He bucked me off. He won again, but that was why."
Wing said he had hoped for either RMEF Gunpowder & Lead or Party All the Time, but Palermo and L.J. Jenkins made those picks before Wing took Asteroid in the bull draft. Having been on him twice this season, Wing surmised that he thought Asteroid was the rankest bull a year ago, and now he knows Asteroid is the rankest bull again this year.
Still, the 22-year-old said he will not hesitate to select him again "in the right opportunity."
DUNCAN'S HIP: Douglas Duncan will have his injured hip repaired on May 2, which means he will compete again next weekend in Uncasville before missing the final three BFTS events leading into the summer break.
Duncan is expected to be ready to return to competition when the season resumes in Tulsa, Okla. Duncan said he'd rather miss three going into the break than miss three coming out, because he wants as much momentum as possible going into the World Finals.
WHERE'S JESSE?: Dickies DuraBullfighter Jesse Byrne missed the event in Des Moines after injuring his knee at a youth rodeo in Canada. Byrne, who was not bullfighting at the event, was observing when a young bull rider got hung up, and the bullfighters were having a tough time getting him loose. Byrne jumped into the arena to help, and wound up injuring his leg.
Initial X-rays indicated no breaks, and in a tweet on Sunday, Byrne wrote, "no major issues 2 report of knee appt Monday am but pretty positive it's going to be quite fine." He was replaced in Des Moines by Lyndel Runyan, who made the last-minute drive from Ardmore, Okla.
BESPLUG MAKES HIS MARK: Chad Besplug, a 26-year-old Canadian competing as an alternate, said it felt great to get the first qualified ride of his career at a BFTS event, but he expected that to happen a week ago in Indianapolis.
Besplug, who finished the event 16th in the average, made the whistle in the opening round when he rode Sam L for 85.25 points.
Chad Besplug's weekend in Des Moines, Iowa, was decidedly better than last weekend's outing in Indianapolis.
"Overall with the day, I was disappointed because I was bucked
off in the first short round, so if I don't ride two more (Sunday),
it doesn't mean anything," he said afterward. "I was happy at the
time, but that's in the past. I have to ride two bulls (Sunday).
One's not good enough, so that's all I'm thinking about it."
NO PRESSURE: Cord McCoy had 45 in-laws in attendance on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena. "Yeah, it's kind of important to stay on here," he joked. "I'd like to say I spotted them all a ticket, but it's cool that most of them spent their hard-earned money to come watch and cheer me and the other riders on as well. They're bull riding fans, so it's not a new thing for them."
His wife Sara Best-McCoy is from nearby Brayton and his father's family is from Iowa as well.
He's twice hosted a Touring Pro Division event in Atlantic, Iowa, and plans to do so again this year, but has yet to announce a date. McCoy said the first two years were successful and that he wants to build on the previous events.
He said, "We've been holding off because we want a date where we can get all the best riders there."
DAD'S DONATION: The PBR and DAD'S Pet Foods announced that they are donating 1,000 pounds of dog food and cat food to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, which cares for more than 18,000 homeless animals each year.
The Official Pet Food of the PBR, DAD'S Pet Foods looks to donate 1,000 pounds of pet food product to a local humane society, animal rescue, or animal care center in each city the BFTS visits.
Animal Rescue League of Iowa is a non-profit organization that depends on the generosity of private citizens to help provide assistance for the more than 18,000 homeless animals it cares for each year. Donations include volunteering time, supplies, and financial contributions.
15/15 REDUX: The fourth in a series of 15/15
Bucking Battles will take Friday night in Uncasville following the
opening round of the Mohegan Sun Invitational. Saturday night will
feature Round 2 of the event, and the final two rounds will take
place Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET. Friday and Saturday will both
start at 8 p.m. ET.
The 15/15 Bucking Battle can be seen Saturday afternoon on CBS at 2 p.m. ET, while the opening round on Friday can be seen live on YouTube. Saturday's competition will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network at 10 p.m. ET, and Sunday's at 6 p.m. ET.
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