Round 1 matchups:
Guilherme Marchi on 833 Hammer Head:
This bull has been ridden twice in three outs on tour ― by J.B. Mauney and Renato Nunes. Both of those rides came at the World Finals in October. Hammer Head will probably spin to the left, and he won't be a day off, but Marchi will probably get a score.
J.B. Mauney puts up 87 points on Hammer Head at the 2012 World Finals.
Sean Willingham on 118 Black Cat:
Black Cat is making his Built Ford Tough Series debut. He's 3-3 overall at Touring Pro Division events, but the three rides went to the only three BFTS-level riders he's faced.
Austin Meier on 626 Rock O:
This is another bull that doesn't have a lot of experience at this level. He's been ridden five times in 20 career outs, and hasn't really faced a lot of top-tier riders. Meier should get the job done.
Mike Lee on 305/8 Timberwolf:
Timberwolf has faced four left-handed riders that we know of, and he was ridden by three of them. Lee is likely to get a score here, but he needs this bull to have a better-than-average day.
J.B. Mauney on K613 Whirlwind:
We've seen this Diamond G Rodeos bull on tour quite a bit. He's been ridden nine times in 14 outs at this level, including once by Mauney in 2010. Mauney should be heavily favored to make the whistle here.
Kody Lostroh on 729 Businessman:
Businessman will be making his BFTS debut tonight. He came from Burns Rodeo Company, who hauled him to rodeos for the past couple of years. He's been ridden only once, and has been one of the best bulls in rodeo during his time. He was a Top-5 bull at the National Finals Rodeo in December, and it will be interesting to see if he can carry his high performance up to this level.
Robson Palermo on 5BB Little Brother:
Little Brother is 5-4 against BFTS riders, and that is not the record of a bull that is likely to throw Palermo off.
Cody Nance rides Little Brother in 2011.
Ryan Dirteater on 51 Night Rider 6:
This bull is also 5-4 on the BFTS, and he's 5-5 against top-tier riders. Dirteater hasn't had a great start to the season, and he's due to turn it around.
Stormy Wing on 594 Ropin' Dreams:
Ropin' Dreams was ridden in his last two outs, and while he's likely to spin to the right ― away from Wing's riding hand ― he's a solid, honest bull that most guys on the BFTS should be able to handle.
15/15 Bucking Battle:
Agnaldo Cardozo on W1 Buckey:
Buckey is one of the buckiest bulls in the world right now, but the good news for Cardozo is that he likes to go to the right, and has been ridden more often by right-handed riders.
Chase Outlaw on 164 Great White:
This not-very-famous bull hasn't let his lack of notoriety affect his performance. He's been ridden only once ― in 2010 in the very first out of his career. Since then, he's denied everyone, including Mauney at the World Finals. Great White has 22 outs in his career, including six Built Ford Tough Series outs, and PBR Livestock Director Cody Lambert mentioned that he is not sure whether this bull will spin or not. If Cody has him in this round, and he doesn't know if the bull will spin, well... it means this bull bucks pretty hard.
Kody Lostroh on 691 Meat Hook:
Meat Hook is one of the better draws in this group of bulls. He's been ridden a few times ― three to be exact ― and his bucking style can help the rider at times.
We often mention that a bull moves forward, or has forward movement. When a bull moves forward while bucking, it tends to force a rider's upper body back and makes it hard for him to get back into position for the next jump. It feels like the bull is leaving you behind and you can't catch up. Some bulls do the opposite of this ― they have negative forward movement, which riders call "sucking back." This kind of horizontal movement tends to help the rider stay in position, although in extreme cases, it can cause problems.
Meat Hook is almost as neutral as a bull can get in this respect. He typically shows almost no forward movement and little-to-no backwards movement either. He has up-and-down movement, spin and speed, but the lack of horizontal movement ― especially forward movement ― means he's always vulnerable to getting ridden.
Marco Eguchi on 805 Detailer:
This bull has only competed on the Built Ford Tough Series once. He threw Brendon Clark at the World Finals. He's got quite a bit of experience on the rodeo circuit, and hasn't been ridden in a year. He's faced some fairly tough riders at times ― Shane Proctor had him at the National Finals Rodeo in December.
Nathan Schaper on L704 David's Dream:
David's Dream was ridden a couple of times late last season, but he didn't have the kind of trip he had in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Austin Meier a couple of weeks ago. He can be almost unrideable at times. Schaper will need a little help from this bull if he's going to get a score. He needs David's Dream to have a Dr.-Jekyll trip, and not the Mr. Hyde one.
Cody Nance on 1415 Palm Springs:
Palm Springs was ridden in Winston-Salem by Jory Markiss, and that was the first time he'd been ridden by anyone in about a year and a half. Markiss ended a streak of 29-straight buckoffs at all levels for this bull. In short, he's not easy to ride at all.
Jory Markiss on 718 Lightmaker's Rango:
Rango probably doesn't get the recognition he deserves. He's 42-3 in his career, and he's one of the top 20 high difficulty/high performance bulls in PBR history. Essentially, Rango gives a ride away from time to time, and every time he's been ridden it's been on one of these rare mild days for him. For Rango, a mild trip simply means he keeps a steady rhythm and allows the rider to stay in time. He typically bucks so hard that any break in rhythm is enough to put even the best riders on the ground.
Robson Palermo on 01B High Octane Hurricane:
This bull has been around for a while, and has held his own against the best riders in the world. Silvano Alves rode him twice last season, but no one else did. Palermo had him in January of 2010, and didn't get a score, but you should never bet against Palermo. He is the most well-rounded rider going today, and if it wasn't for injuries, he probably would have taken at least one world title from Alves ― if not both. No bull throws Palermo off easily. If they get rid of him, they have to work hard at it, because he can ride every kind of bull equally well. Most riders and bulls have some sort of weakness that you can see with a little observation. Palermo's only weakness is his chronic shoulder injury.
Silvano Alves rides High Octane Hurricane at the World Finals.
Sean Willingham on 601 Shepherd Hills Trapper:
Willingham is coming off a big win, and when I talked to Lambert on Wednesday, he said that Willingham proved him wrong in Oklahoma City. Lambert didn't expect him to be capable of riding Rockie Smooth in Round 3. I didn't either. This is a similar situation. Shepherd Hills Trapper is one of the toughest bulls in the PBR to get by, and he has the most-wicked corner of any bull going today. If he uses it, frankly, no one here will ride him. Willingham has to hope Trapper decides not to.
Jordan Hupp on 513 Class 6 Kat:
This bull is a son of a famous PBR bull ― Skat Kat, who was one of the best bulls around in the late 1990s. Class 6 Kat is bigger than his father, and not quite as quick and catlike, but he's only allowed six qualified rides in 49 career outs.
Douglas Duncan on 924B Jack Daniels Tennessee
When I mentioned earlier that Meat Hook doesn't move forward, this bull famously does. He is also blazing fast, and doesn't really have a great deal of rhythm due to the fact that he will throw in the forward movement at odd times. He can also slide sideways at times. Duncan will have his hands full here, but he is left handed, and Honey spins to the left. It's often been said that riding a bull makes 8 seconds seem like a really long time. It's an eternity on this bull, because he just never lets up.
J.B Mauney on 868 After Party:
These two have never met, surprisingly. Lambert called this the easiest bull in this round on Wednesday, and After Party's stats support that. I think he will be difficult for Mauney. After Party has been ridden 14 times in 47 career outs, but most of those rides went to guys who tend to stay compact and make small adjustments. For a guy who likes to swing for the fences, this bull is an off-speed pitch with a lot of movement. After Party won't allow any kind of big moves, or any recovery. Out of shape typically means on the ground with this bull.
Shane Proctor on 793 RMEF Bugle II:
We don't have a lot of history on this bull. He's unridden in three outs in Oklahoma City and New York this season. He spent all of last season on the rodeo circuit and was ridden once in seven outs ― by a right-handed rider.
Silvano Alves on W5 Buck Off:
This bull is a son of Buckey, who is also in this round. Buck Off is pretty similar in looks and style to his father, but maybe not quite as strong. I don't think he will get Alves to buck off here, because bucking off is not something Alves likes to do. He's 0-for-his-last-5, which just never happens to him. Look for him to get a score here.
Mike Lee on 781 Asteroid:
They met in Philadelphia in October of last year, and Lee didn't quite stay aboard for two seconds. There's not much more to say about Asteroid, other than until he decides to change his ways, he will have to be favored against every rider he meets.
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