After a two-month break, the Built Ford Tough Series is back on track with events every week running up to the World Finals in late October.
There will be a lot of focus on the rider standings for the next two months, but this time of year may be more important for the bulls. Every out leading up to the Finals critical for bulls that are trying to make the cut, or competing for World Champion Bull.
Round 1 here in Tulsa is an ABBI Classic Competition for the bulls, which means every bull is 3 or 4 years old and competing for top bull score in the round. The group of bulls we'll see in Tulsa overall may be the best group we've seen at a single event all year. With both Bushwacker and Asteroid set to go on Sunday, the championship round should be the strongest ten bulls assembled this season.
Round 1 Matchups
Ben Jones on 823 Wilson:
Ben is one guy who probably wishes the Built Ford Tough Series summer break never happened. By the end of Pueblo, he was on a roll, and had ridden eight of his last 10 bulls. The primary goal for any rider is to get to the whistle, and Ben has a good bull for that here. Wilson has been ridden successfully in four of six appearances, and Harve Stewart nabbed 88 points on him in Pueblo.
Harve Stewart battles Wilson at the Pueblo Invitational in May.
Guilherme Marchi on 20U Shepherd Hills Tested:
Shepherd Hills Tested is the bull to watch in this round, and he's been the best ABBI Classic-level bull all season. He likes to go to the left, which will be away from Marchi's hand, but Tested has faced the best lefties in the business and none of them got the job done. A healthy Marchi is capable of riding this bull, and if he does, he'll the round with 90+ points.
Cody Campbell on 818 Smiling Bob:
Campbell got in here because Douglas Duncan is still out after hip surgery, and Campbell drew pretty well. Smiling Bob has been ridden twice in three appearances at PBR events, and both times by a right-hander.
Robson Palermo on 801 Gets Tricky:
Chase Outlaw was 87 points on this bull in Pueblo, but the bull went to the right, which was away from his hand, and he'll be away from Palermo's hand too.
Chase Outlaw faced Gets Tricky at the Pueblo Invitational.
J.B. Mauney on 10 Carney Man:
Carney Man has quite a bit of experience compared to most of the bulls in this round, and he hasn't been ridden since Mike Lee was 88.5 on him over a year ago. Mauney will have his left hand down again, and should be ready to cash some checks.
Renato Nunes on 124U Fortunate Son:
Austin Meier is the only left-handed rider to face this bull, and the only one to get a score on him as well. If he likes to spin to the left, then Nunes should get along with him.
Cody Nance on 850 Highjack:
This bull is unridden in five outs, but he may be up against it here. Nance has been the hottest rider anywhere over the past two months. He didn't really take a break; he used the spare time to get better.
Fabiano Vieira on 8061 Mud Wasp:
Mud Wasp has been ridden twice in six attempts, and those numbers do not indicate a bull that may be able to throw Vieira off. Vieira has been as consistent as Silvano Alves, although he's about 6 points below his riding percentage from last season. I expect him to ride over 60 percent of his bulls by the end of the year.
Jordan Hupp on 83 TribalTuff.com:
Hupp and TribalTuff.com met in Kansas City back in March, and Hupp came down at 5.7 seconds, but he should have a feel for this bull and could get a score here.
Lachlan Richardson on 238 Skatman Hou:
This is just an awesome bull to have in any round. Emilio Resende was 88.5 points on him to win round one in Nampa, and you couldn't hope for a better draw. Richardson came on the scene with a bang in Uncasville, and has basically done nothing since. This is a nice opportunity to get things headed in the right direction again.
Silvano Alves on 91 Son of a Metal Jacket and Valdiron
Oliveira on 133 Rookie:
We don't have any history at all on these two bulls. Their owners probably wish they had drawn differently here. For a bull making his debut on the big stage, Alves and Oliveira are too much. This is like a young pitcher getting called up to the majors and on his first day they trot him out to face Albert Pujols.
Follow Slade Long on Twitter @probullstats.
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