NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Through the years, the Built Ford Tough Series event in Nashville, Tenn., which was among the first cities to host a PBR event in its formative years, has had its share of memorable rides.
There was Ty Murray on Gunslinger, Dusty LaBeth on Promise Land and Lonnie Steverson's 96-point ride on Copenhagen Zandy, among other high-marked rides.
Unlike the past three BFTS events, Bushwacker and Asteroid won't be going head-to-head in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round. However, Asteroid will be competing at his fourth event in five weeks and his fifth consecutive BFTS event dating back to Pueblo, Colo., prior to the summer break.
Asteroid, last year's runner-up among the World Champion Bull contenders was ridden last month, in San Antonio, for 93.5 points when J.B. Mauney made the whistle, so his presence always sets up the possibility for greatness.
A week ago, in Thackerville, Okla., he was marked 45.25 points, and he put Cody Ford on the ground in 2.18 seconds.
According to PBR livestock director Cody Lambert, Ford "was gone in one jump" and didn't leave much time for Asteroid, who is undoubtedly among the top two contenders again this year, to showcase his abilities.
Circle T Ranch & Rodeo will haul Asteroid over to Nashville from their ranch in Northern Louisiana. They're also bringing David's Dream with them.
He last competed in Tulsa, Okla., and was in San Antonio a week later, but was held out of the Championship Round after getting into a fight with Speckled Ivory while the two were behind the chutes.
According to Lambert, "He was just body sore and could have probably gone last week, but I told Gene (Melton) to wait until he was 100 percent sure."
Formerly known as Black Widow, David's Dream was renamed in honor of the late David Wisener, who hauled the bull for Lufkin Ranch & Rodeo until his untimely death earlier this year.
He's been marked 45 points and 45.25 points in two of three BFTS events since being acquired by Circle T back in the spring, which is to be expected for a bull who established himself as a perennial short-round-caliber bull last year.
Like so many other bulls, however, David's Dream is in the group of contenders who are clearly a notch below Asteroid and Bushwacker, who is vying to become only the third bull in PBR history to win back-to-back World Champion Bull titles.
Also among that same group of bulls are Rango, Smackdown and Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey. In five of his past six events, Tennessee Honey has been marked 45 points or better.
Tennessee Honey and Jack Daniel's After Party, who are both competing this weekend at the Jack Daniel's Invitational, are participating in a bull weigh-in at the Jack Daniel's Distillery in nearby Lynchburg, Tenn. The weigh-in, in which the bulls' combined weight will be compared to several barrels of Jack Daniel's, takes place at noon CT and is open to the public.
PBR statistician Slade Long, who co-hosts Lambert's podcast the Thursday before every BFTS event, described Tennessee Honey as a spinner and noted that he "still gets the job done" even though he's "exactly what the riders want."
Lambert added, "They know he's going to the left and they know he has a little whip, but he had some forward motion to him."
That forward motion and a constant desire to buck riders off is what makes Tennessee Honey more difficult than otherwise expected. He showed that desire last week with Silvano Alves.
He battled Alves the entire way through the Championship Round until finally getting the reigning World Champion on the ground at 7.42 seconds. "He keeps trying and does what it takes," Lambert said.
Shepherd Hills Tested is unridden in 18 overall PBR outs, including Touring Pro Division events, and an impressive 11-0 on the BFTS - and he's only four years old.
This year, he's established himself as the frontrunner for the ABBI Classic title and has been mostly competing in Classic rounds - as he was a week ago in Thackerville - but this week he'll be among the 10 bulls featured in the Championship Round.
He's not known for having a lot of tricks, and Lambert said Shepherd Hills Tested typically doesn't shine unless guys ride him five or six seconds.
"He gets strong, faster and higher in the air," Lambert said. "He's a really good little bull."
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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