FORT WORTH, Texas ― Injuries will keep two former World Champions from competing this weekend in the Iron Cowboy IV.
Kody Lostroh, who won the title in 2009, and 2010 World Champion Renato Nunes bowed out of this weekend's one-day event in Arlington, Texas, at Cowboys Stadium because of injury. Lostroh is dealing with an issue related to the thumb on his left riding hand, while Nunes is still recovering from a bruised right shoulder.
"My thumb is shot right now and I don't really know what to do, to be honest with you."
Nunes, who sustained the injury in Anaheim, Calif., will miss his third consecutive Built Ford Tough Series event. Lostroh will miss his third event in the past five weeks with a sprained ligament that he's been advised will likely need surgery.
"My thumb is shot right now and I don't really know what to do, to be honest with you," Lostroh said. "I'm kind of at a loss. (Dr.) Tandy (Freeman) said I need to have surgery to fix it right, but I don't really want to have surgery.
"These bulls are really having their way with me and I feel like I can't ride the right way. I'm just barely, barely being able to hang onto my rope for 8 Seconds, so I don't really know."
Lostroh, who is 27 years old, said he's reticent to undergo any surgery after his experience in 2010 when he underwent three surgeries in an eight-month period to repair damage to his left elbow and shoulder.
He was 1-for-2 this past weekend, in Kansas City, Mo., and would have qualified for the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, but declined because of the injury.
Nunes had a first round bye and his spot will now be filled by
Marco Eguchi, while Eduardo
Aparecido will fill Eguchi's original place in the draw.
Brendon Clark, who earlier this season announced
that he will retire at the conclusion of the 2013 season, will fill
Nunes was the first of the two riders to indicate he would not be able to compete, which is why Aparecido (the first alternate) will take his place followed by Clark.
Clark is coming off an injury of his own.
The 32-year-old Aussie unknowingly suffered a groin injury in St. Louis and was unable to compete in Kansas City. He'll be matched up in the first round against Douglas Duncan, another of the injured riders competing this weekend.
Duncan is fighting through a career-altering injury to his right hip.
Like Lostroh, Duncan was unable to compete in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round this past weekend.
The Iron Cowboy IV has been universally described by the riders as the most physically grueling one-day event on the Built Ford Tough Series.
The Top 24 riders will be matched up in a March Madness-like bracket format in which the rider with the highest score or longest buckoff time progress will advance from one round to the next. The final two riders will face either Bushwacker or reigning World Champion Bull Asteroid.
The winner of this year's Iron Cowboy will then face Shepherd Hills Tested for an additional bonus.
"It takes endurance to win the Iron Cowboy," Lostroh said. "It's not easy and usually the winner is beat to crap by the time it's over, but it's just about giving it everything you've got and that's kind of what this sport's about.
"There's a difference between being able to try your guts out once in a night and give it everything you got, but to have to do it all night … is very mentally challenging because it's an ongoing war. It's not just once and you're done. Now you're done and you have to go do it again a couple minutes later."
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC
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