After a summer out in the heat, PBR livestock director Cody Lambert remarked that it will be good to go back indoors for the upcoming stretch run of the Built Ford Tough Series.
Nine regular-season events remain leading up to the World Finals in Las Vegas.
In their weekly Podcast, which is recorded every Thursday prior to a BFTS event, PBR statistician Slade Long told Lambert that he noticed many of the top-ranked riders "took it easy" over the past few months. More important, the top two ranked bulls--Asteroid and the reigning World Champion Bull Bushwacker--did not compete at all at any of the Touring Pro Division events.
Asteroid last competed in May at the BFTS event in Pueblo, Colo., while Bushwacker hasn't been to an event since Kansas City back in mid-March.
"They've had a long break," Lambert said, "and I bet they're in top form when they get to Tulsa."
It'll be the first time since the Iron Cowboy Invitational in Arlington, Texas, that both top bulls have been at the same event.
Listen to "In the Bull Pen" with Cody Lambert and Slade Long.
Coming off his first world title, Bushwacker has been out three times this year and trying to make it through his third consecutive season without allowing a qualified ride. However, he did miss the start of the season after having bone chips removed from both back legs and time in the spring after his back hock swelled up for unknown reasons.
In his three outs he's been marked 46 points, 46.5 points and 46.25 points.
"I think he'll be really strong and he'll finish really strong the rest of the year," Lambert said. "I look forward to it being a real race between Bushwacker and Asteroid again."
Lambert went on to say there are some other worthy candidates.
Among the bulls he mentioned were David's Dream, Mulligan Man and Rango, who is now known as Lightmaker.com Rango. He also talked about Palm Springs, a bull Circle T Ranch & Rodeo added to their herd while in Pueblo.
Palm Springs will be in Tulsa.
Long then added Meat Hook to the conversation, which will also be in Tulsa at the BOK Center this weekend.
In Pueblo, Meat Hook outscored the rest of the bulls in the event with 46.5 points. In Pueblo, he beat out Asteroid, Rango, Smack Down and Buckey. He bucked a week later, at a TPD event in Decatur, Texas, where he was marked 45 points.
He's only been ridden once his PBR career and that was when Harve Stewart took him the distance, in Albuquerque, for 89.5 points.
"He sure (has) the potential," Lambert said. "He's been bucking them off and he's looked strong."
In addition to the featured bulls in Saturday night's Built Ford Tough Championship Round, the event starts Friday night with an ABBI Classic competition in the opening round.
The top three-and four-year old bull has been Shepherd Hills Tested.
He's been success in spite of having the same trip each time out of the chute--two jumps and around to the left. The fact that he's bucked off J.B. Mauney, Chris Shivers, Austin Meier and Fabiano Vieira--four of the strongest left handed riders--is a testament to his strength, speed, kick and all-around ability.
"He's actually one of the top bulls in the PBR," Lambert added.
Coming off a summer break, Lambert said he thought with a fresh
start the riders will cover "about half" of the bulls in Round
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