SAN ANTONIO - "I don't look at the future," proclaimed J.B. Mauney. "I look at the now."
Right now he's the man who made the whistle on Asteroid. Mauney selected him with the fifth pick in the bull draft for the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, on Saturday night, in San Antonio.
Judges marked Mauney a full point over the 46.25 points they gave Asteroid for a total score of 93.5 points - meaning he was in control for the duration of the 8 seconds.
It's the first time Asteroid has been ridden since last August, when Fabiano Vieira rode him for 87 points in Billings, Mont. Since then Asteroid has established himself as one of the Top 2 rankest bulls in the world.
In his past 18 trips, Asteroid has been marked 45 points or higher 16 times.
Mauney previously matched up with him earlier this year at a Built Ford Tough Series event in Portland, Ore., when Mauney "tried to cheat him around the corner" only to have Asteroid turn back in the opposite direction. That time, he bucked off in 2.96 seconds.
"This time I knew: Let him start," Mauney explained, "and then play catch up. Luckily I kept my hand shut long enough it worked out."
The 25-year-old from Mooresville, N.C., has been beaten, battered, and bruised of late.
Friday night, he could barely hobble from the arena after bucking off Blue On Black. His left riding hand is still bruised and swollen as he continues to recover from surgery to fix a broken bone on the top of his hand.
"Anytime you make a good ride like that, the pain goes away," he joked.
Mauney made an 88.25-point ride on 10 Penny late in Round 3 to make it back on one score. He was the highest rider in the average with one score, while L.J. Jenkins and Mike Lee had ridden two. Austin Meier and Fabiano Vieira, who won the event, already had three scores coming into the final round.
Needing to make up ground in the event average as well as the world standings, Mauney originally eyed Bushwacker until he knew Jenkins was going to select the reigning World Champion Bull.
"When you're getting thrown off and you're sore and you're beat up, your confidence gets low," said Mauney, who was disappointed he didn't have a chance to win the event. "Everything feels like, 'When it rains it pours,' and any time you can come back and make a good ride like that, all that pain and the soreness and the not riding, that's gone."
Mauney moved past Guilherme Marchi in the world standings and is now ranked fourth in the world. He's 2,019.5 points behind Valdiron de Oliveira, who remains in the top spot despite going 0-for-2 this weekend at the AT&T Center.
Jenkins is 517.5 points off the pace, while reigning World Champion Silvano Alves is third and only 882.75 points behind Oliveira.
Mauney said he was less concerned about the standings as he was the event average.
"The way I look at it is if I win right now," said Mauney, whose goal is to win every round, "I win at the end."
This weekend, it wasn't about winning the fourth BFTS event of his career or the fact that he won his second event this year. It wasn't even about moving into seventh place in the world standings.
For Fabiano Vieira, it was an opportunity to raise awareness for "Tynan's Crusade."
Tynan Chapa was five years old when he passed away on July 29 after a nearly three-year battle with Leukemia. Throughout the weekend Vieira rode with a patch that had been given to him at a previous event by the "young cowboy."
It read: "Fighting Leukemia to make a gold buckle ride."
His memory was a source of inspiration for Vieira, who said, "God is the one who constructs my life and he's responsible for my victories. I'm just really glad that I got to come here and win and present that patch."
Vieira was the lone rider to cover all four bulls in San Antonio and was further inspired to do so in front of Chapa's family, including his sister Sykora, who made the four-hour drive from their home in Houston to be at the event.
"In all of our lives we go through difficult things," Vieira said. "He was a great PBR fan and only God knows why things happen, but he came into my life."
To learn more about Tynan Chapa, log onto tynanscrusade.blogspot.com.
Cuts like a Knife:
Caleb Sanderson narrowly escaped being cut from the BFTS. However, Aaron Roy wasn't as lucky. He rode his first round bull, but then bucked off the next two as Sanderson covered one in the third round to stay 216.5 points ahead of Roy.
"I've been having tough luck down here," said Roy, who said he focused on one bull at a time as opposed to worrying about the world standings.
Roy has been successful up in Canada and, in fact, this past week won a PBR Canada event on Wednesday and bucked off at 7.5 seconds on Thursday, in the final round, of what would have been back-to-back Touring Pro Division wins.
He's fifth in the TPD standings with nearly $78,000 won - almost half of which has come at Canadian events - and will be among the Top 5 TPD riders to earn a spot in the next five BFTS events.
"That's why I go back to Canada, is to get my confidence back," said Roy. "It's just about staying on everything now. Yeah, I have some work, but I'm not going to let it bother me. I just have to stay on my bulls.
"It's another day at the office."
Two newcomers to the BFTS earned the first qualified rides of their career.
Bart Miller covered his first bull, Gun Powder & Lead, for 79 points. However, he said, "The only thing I was concentrated on coming here was riding all my bulls, just like anywhere else. This isn't rocket science. It's pretty easy to do. All you have to do is make the whistle and then whatever else happens, happens."
The highly touted Cody Johnson, who won three TPD events this summer to earn a spot in the draw, also made the whistle in Round 1. He rode Dr. Feel Good for 85.5 points to split eighth and ninth in the round.
"Last week, I came in here and I had so much pressure on me I just kind of choked," he said afterward. "I was really worried about things too much and, this week, I just came to ride for me and glorify God."
He said his initial thought when he heard the whistle was to "just do it three more times."
Another newcomer, Kyle Lozier, nearly had his first ride as well. Late in the opening round he rode Joe Kidd for 73.25 points with an option for a re-ride. Less than 15 minutes later he bucked off his second attempt at the whistle and finished the weekend 0-for-2.
"I don't look at the future. I look at the now," said J.B. Mauney.
The Happiest Place on Earth:
True to word, Chad Besplug and his travel partners are headed to Disneyland on Sunday afternoon.
In the summertime, Besplug travels with Tyler Thomson, Tanner Byrne and Ty Pozzobon. According Besplug, it was Thomson's idea that if one of them were to win the Calgary Stampede they would go somewhere on vacation - at the expense of the winner.
Byrne and Pozzobon came up with Disneyland as their destination.
In hindsight, Besplug said he was only joking about it when he referenced it after winning the Stampede. However, he was contacted by a marketing executive from Disney, who offered to provide hotel accommodations and passes to the theme park.
Besplug bought the airline tickets and now three of them - Thomson is unable to go - are off to Anaheim, Calif., until Thursday.
"At that point I wasn't shocked about anything," said Besplug, who has been to Disneyland once before on a family vacation when he was 8. "It's going to be fun with those guys."
The BFTS will 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 2005 in Laughlin, Nevada.
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
© 2013 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.