CHICAGO ― Once he nodded his head and the gate opened there wasn’t a question of whether or not J.B. Mauney was going to make the 8-second whistle.
The reigning World Champion had a perfect seat on the back of KISS Destroyer.
The 85.75 points was good enough to split fifth, sixth and seventh place in the opening round of the Chicago Invitational. However, more importantly, it gave the 27-year-old sole possession of the all-time streak for consecutive rides on the Built Ford Tough Series with 16.
Mauney tied Terry Don West last week in New York with his round-winning effort aboard Jack Daniel’s Winter Jack in the championship round.
“Man, it feels like all the cards are falling into place,” said Mauney.
Mauney said he wasn’t even aware of the record until last week and added that after leaving Madison Square Garden, where he split the event win with Fabiano Vieira, he tried to forget about it.
He added that if he didn’t worry about it, much like his first world title back in October, “the rest will take care of itself.”
The streak dates back to the first round of the last regular-season event of 2013 in Hollywood, Fla., where he went 4-for-4 and rode a fifth bull in the 15/15 Bucking Battle. The Hollywood event was Mauney’s third consecutive event-win to close out the regular-season as he looked to complete what would eventually become the greatest come-from-behind title run in PBR history.
Mauney was a perfect 6-for-6 at the World Finals and has now ridden five bulls to open the 2014 season.
Four of his past 16 scores have been for 90 points or more.
“Most of those were at the Finals, and I had a lot of good bulls there,” Mauney said. “It couldn’t have worked out any better at the Finals. I drew the way I needed to draw and luckily I rode the way I needed to.”
He added, “Any time you ride that many bulls in a row that’s an accomplishment in itself. You’re getting on the rankest bulls in the world at these deals. It’s not like you’re getting on duck-spinners.”
West set the original record of 15 back in 1998.
According to PBR statistician Slade Long, “The biggest different is that the weakest of J.B.'s 16 bulls were much stronger than the weakest of Terry Don's.”
Long did note that West rode bulls like Promise Land, Knock’em Out John, Copperhead, Northcott’s Short Fuse, Hollywood and Sky King as part of his streak.
However, West also had three scores under 80 points, including one for only 71 points on Dr. McGilacutty.
By comparison, Mauney has only had two scores under 85 and nothing under 81.
In addition to his four scores in the 90s – Smackdown, Breakdown, Ford Hammer Down and Wipeout – he’s had three more scores of 89.75, 89.5 and 89, along with 88.75 and 88.25-point rides. That’s a total of nine rides out of the 16 that were marked 88.25 points or higher.
Asked what this streak compares to, he replied, “I have no idea.”
“I haven’t really been thinking about it,” Mauney concluded. “I’ve just been riding away, letting it go and having a good time.”
He will have a chance to add to his record Sunday afternoon in the final two rounds of competition at the Allstate Arena.
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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