NEW YORK ― The PBR returns to the Big Apple this week for the 2013 season-opening event, and while the riders have been enjoying a much-needed break, PBR Livestock Director Cody Lambert has been busy recruiting a pen of bulls suited for Madison Square Garden - arguably the biggest venue in professional bull riding.
Heading up the bull talent in New York this week are a pair of bulls that are notable for their difficulty: K Bar C's Rock & Roll and Tom Teague's RFD-HD. Both were among the Top 10 highest-marked bulls at the World Finals.
Lambert noted that Rock & Roll "deserves some attention." His record of 29-0 is starting to get him some. It's not unusual for a bull to go unridden for a time to start his career, but in two full seasons on the Built Ford Tough Series, Rock & Roll has faced the very best riders in the world in 18 of his 29 career outs, and no one has earned a score on him yet.
Lambert called RFD-HD "a little bit of an eliminator." He's been ridden twice in 32 attempts.
Another bull known for not allowing qualified rides, Jeff Robinson's Mulligan Man, will also buck this weekend in New York.
"He's a strong, strong bull that bucks off the guys who don't get bucked off very much," said Lambert.
"He's been too good for too long to let everybody ride him."
Just last season, Mulligan Man got the best of J.B. Mauney twice, bucked off Silvano Alves twice, Austin Meier twice, Fabiano Vieira twice and Ben Jones three times.
Lambert singled out a few bulls that finished strong last season, including Robinson's Pawnbroker and K Bar C's King Lopez. Both will be seen in the short round on Sunday.
A newcomer to the Built Ford Tough Series championship round is Teague's Highjack. He caught Lambert's attention in Thackerville, Okla., last season, where he won the ABBI Classic round, finished among the Top 5 bulls at the event, and turfed Mauney just one week after his 93.5-point ride on Asteroid.
The long rounds will feature several bulls that have been seen in short rounds in the past, including Robinson's RMEF Gunpowder & Lead and Wolf Creek Cattle Company's Bad Blake, along with Jack Simmon's Big & Rich, who Lambert noted was one of the highest-marked bulls at the National Finals Rodeo in December, and had a great trip with Guilherme Marchi at the PBR World Finals in October.
Veteran bull Carrillo Cartel will be back in New York, after turning in two outstanding outs here last year. Lambert said this could be Cartel's last season.
"He's a really smooth kind of bull the way he bucks, and has great timing," Lambert said. "And if he slows down a little bit, everybody's going to be able to ride him. He's been too good for too long to let everybody ride him. That's one thing. And the other thing is we don't have any use at the Built Ford Tough Series events for one everybody can ride."
Follow Slade Long on Twitter @ProBullStats.
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