SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Bushwacker, the reigning World Champion Bull, will make his last scheduled regular-season appearance Sunday in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.
Last year's top-ranked bull will then return to Stephenville, Texas, before heading west out to Las Vegas for the World Finals in October.
Earlier this year, Bushwacker missed the first eight events of the season after undergoing surgery in January. He enters this weekend having bucked off 32 consecutive BFTS riders, only three shy of the all-time record. Including Touring Pro Division riders, Bushwacker's buckoff streak totals consecutive 45 riders. Pandora's Box, who passed away earlier this week, bucked off 34 straight, while Silver Wings holds the record with 35. Rounding out the Top 5 buckoff streaks are Rooster (31) and Hurts So Good (30).
Bushwacker could tie the all-time BFTS buckoff record with his second out in Vegas. He has been the high-marked bull in each of his last four outs, with 47 points out of a possible 50 points in Thackerville, Okla., 46.5 points in San Antonio, and 46.25 points in Tulsa, Okla., and in Kansas City. The top-ranked bull also had the highest bull score with 46.5 points in the PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle at Albuquerque, N.M., and he tied for the second-highest bull score with 46 points in Arlington, Texas, at the Iron Cowboy III.
He's been marked 47 points or higher 11 times in his career, including a career-high 48.5 points in Round 3 at the 2011 Built Ford Tough World Finals.
PFI BOUNTY BULL CHALLENGE:
The winner of Round 1 will be given the opportunity to win an additional $5,000 in the PFI Bounty Bull Challenge. The rider must successfully ride PFI's BootDaddy (formerly South Paw), who is owned by Randy Little of Springfield and Gene Owen.
NATIVE AMERICAN INVITEES:
The PBR has invited Native American riders H.D. Coleman and J.D. McCoy, who have both competed in the Indian National Finals Rodeo, to compete in Springfield. Coleman is a Chickasaw Indian from Madill, Okla., and is a past Oklahoma Indian champion. McCoy is from Haskell, Okla., and is a Cherokee Indian; he competes in the Arrington McSpadden Indian Rodeo Association.
Last year, Silvano Alves won the Springfield event en route to winning the World Championship, while the first event in 2009 was won by 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi. J.B. Mauney won the event in 2010. All three past winners are currently ranked in the Top 5 of the world standings.
15/15 BUCKING BATTLE RETURNS NEXT WEEK:
The eighth of nine 15/15 Bucking Battles will be held next week immediately following Round 1 in Tampa on Friday.
The 15/15 Bucking Battle features the Top 15 riders in the world competing against the 15 highest-ranked bulls at the event for an additional purse of $21,000. The bulls are randomly assigned a position from 1 to 15. The riders are then matched with their bulls based upon their own current rankings in the BFTS standings.
BFTS points will be doubled in the 15/15 Bucking Battle, with the winner receiving 200 points and second place receiving 180 points, continuing on a scale down to 20 points for 10th place. Points earned count toward the BFTS standings, but do not count toward determining the event winner in Tampa. Money earned counts towards qualification for the Built Ford Tough World Finals.
If a rider fails to make a qualified ride, he does not receive any points or money.
The bulls for next week have been set and the current Top 15 riders are:
1. Highway 12 and L.J.
2. Shepherd Hills Trapper and Valdiron de Oliveira
3. Asteroid and Alves
4. Shamoun and Mauney
5. HIGH Steaks and Marchi
6. Ronnie Rooster and Fabiano Vieira
7. Larry the Cable Guy's Git-R-Done and Austin Meier
8. Palm Springs and Marco Eguchi
9. Quiet Riot and Renato Nunes
10. Pawnbroker and Ryan Dirteater
11. Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honeyand Harve Stewart
12. Meat Hook and Robson Palermo
13. David's Dream and Luke Snyder
14. Lightmaker.com's Rango and Stormy Wing
15. Mulligan Man and Justin Koon.
LIVE EVENT CENTER & YOUTUBE:
Visit the Live Event Center at www.PBR.com/live for live streaming video of BFTS events, scores, photographs, and more. Also follow the PBR on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PBR (BFTS and Touring Pro Division), www.Facebook.com/PBRNow (Brazil), www.Facebook.com/PBRCanada (Canada), www.Facebook.com/PBRAustralia (Australia) and www.Facebook.com/PBR-Mexico (Mexico).
CBS Sports Network will broadcast action from Round 1 in HD at 10 p.m. ET on Friday and will have an encore airing at 1 a.m. ET on Saturday. NBC Sports Network will broadcast Round 4 and the Built Ford Tough Championship Round in HD at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, with an encore airing at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Veteran broadcaster Craig Hummer, who celebrates his 21st wedding anniversary Friday, will provide the play-by-play for the television broadcasts on Friday and Sunday. Color commentary will be provided by two-time World Champion Justin McBride. Chute and dirt-level interviews will be handled by Leah Garcia.
GET WELL WISHES:
The PBR family wishes Chad Berger a speedy recovery. The three-time Stock Contractor of the Year had not been feeling well in recent days when a routine examination led to an angioplasty and stent procedure Thursday morning. According to his family, Berger is doing well and expected to be released from the hospital Friday afternoon. He could also resume his ranching duties in as soon as 10 days.
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
Follow Jack Carnefix on Twitter @JackCarnefix.
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